Yes, we are pleased to announce that our son has been born. He arrived Jan 23rd, a bit early at 38 weeks, so we weren’t quite prepared. But then I don’t anyone is every really prepared anyway.
Keep reading if you want to hear more about my labour and eventual C-section. I will probably stop blogging here now and just continue on my regular blog. I have enjoyed the anonimity of blogging pregnancy health stuff (since as constipation) here on this blog, but baby stuff I don’t want to be anonymous about.
My water broke on the Monday and we madly packed a few bags from the piles of stuff we had been collecting and went to the assessment room at the hospital. We wouldn’t have gone in straight away except since I was Strep-B positive I had to go on anti-biotics right away.
We got to the hospital at around noon, and they put in an IV line and started the antibiotics. The first doctor said I would be induced by 10:00pm if I had not started by then. They told us to return for 4:00pm for the next dose. We returned at 4:00pm and now my own Ob-Gyn was there and she had a different opinion and wanted me to be induced right away. We were moved from the asssessment room to the birthing suite so they could hook up all the monitors. I took a chance to walk around a bit before they hooked me up. I had wanted to do lots of walking during labour, but once on oxitocin they monitor the baby continually, so I only had a few feet of area to move around in.
The heart monitor kept moving around and they had a really hard time getting the sensor positioned to hear they baby’s heart. Probably because the placenta was at the front of my uterus.
The nurses at North York General Hospital in the Labour and Delivery were great. Very attentive and helpful, especially Pam and Natasha.
I told them I wanted to go drug-free and they were very supportive. Contractions started and at first were fairly mild. It was interesting watching the contraction on the monitor and the patterns.
The contractions got more and more difficult and to be honest the next hours were all a bit of a blur. I remember:
- my husband holding my hand and helping me do my breathing. (Huge Thanks to Marta, our pre-natal class instructor)
- my Mum for support and encouragement and for giving my husband a chance to nap
- the stupid heart monitor disconnecting all the time, especially in some positions (they eventually inserted the internal sensor into the baby’s head which was much better)
- trying to find a good position for labour. I liked kneeling on the bed with my arms on the back of the raised head. I also found a new position kneeling kinda sideways, which I can’t really describe, but was good since I could really relax between contractions.
- being told I was not yet in “Active labour” after suffering for 9+ hours
- being ready to give up and get the epidural when I was told I was only 4cm dialated, and I realized there was a long long way to go. I was told I could get the epidural at any time, but decided to try a bit longer, and managed to get past that mental give-up phase
- being told that I had fallen asleep during labour in-between contractions
- being told that I had reached 6cm dialated
Then it got to the point where contractions changed and there was a different sensation and I felt the need to push, but had to work hard not to. These were the worst contractions and even my breathing patterns did not help at first until I remembered the in-out-in-out fast breathing pattern. I was re-evaluated three hours later and was found to still be at 6cm. (average progress is one cm per hour of labour) The doctors recommended that I get an epidural since sometimes that can relax the mother enough so that dialation progresses. They let me get off the monitors for a while first and take a jakussi bath. I thought it would help, but I still couldn’t relax. So I accepted the epidural.
I have a huge fear of blood and needles, so I made the nurse, my husband and my Mom all distract me while they did the epidural. It wasn’t bad, however I felt that I had given up and gone through all that labour for nothing, but everyone said it was amazing I had gotten to 6cm and that it was good for the baby.
After a few minutes the pain killers kicked in and I was able to relax. My husband and Mom were able to nap, and I tried, but I just couldn’t seem to fall asleep. After a few more hours I still had not progressed so the doctors recommended a C-section. They said there was some unknown reason that I was not progressing such as the baby’s head being too big, or in the wrong angle. I had been expecting them to talk about a Cesarean section since I could see on the monitor that the contractions were not getting closer together. I agreed and 40 minutes later I was taken to the OR.
With my fear of blood & needles, I told them to distract me and that I didn’t want to know any details. At first they made my husband wait outside and they shaved my belly and put my arms out (like on a cross). The epidural guy pumped new drugs into me and I wasn’t able to feel much except some pushing and pulling. An oxygen mask was put on me and they hung a big sheet between my face and the rest of me. Soon they let my husband come in with me which was good since I needed someone to talk to. It all happened rather fast once they got started. Then they were telling my husband that he could watch as the baby was born. He even got a couple photos taken. They moved our baby to a nearby area to check him out. It was really hard to see him around all those people. (did I mention there were a lot of people in the room). I was eventually able to see him as they laid him on my chest, but then he was taken away again to spend some skin-to-skin time with my husband while they stitched me up. They had to roll me on either side and it felt very strange to have absolutely no feeling and to have no control over my body.
Eventually they rolled me into recovery where I could see our baby again. The nurses massaged my abdomen and did other cleanup stuff. My blood pressure was super-low and I felt strangely non-present for a while.
Then they moved us into the “Mother and Baby” unit and we were able to spend some time with our baby.
So even though my labour did not go as planned, the important thing is that our son has arrived safely and healthy.
Wow, my water broke this morning at around 10:00am. At first I wasn’t sure if I just peed on the floor, but then it kept trickling so I knew it had broken. We are at 38 weeks as of today, so the baby is full-term, but still two weeks before ETA.
At my last appointment, the receptionist at my OB-GYN said “good luck, just in case I don’t see you”, and I thought she was crazy since first babies are usually late. But, she must see so many pregnant women, that maybe her intuition is finely tuned.
Since I tested positive for Strep B I had to go to the hospital right away to get started on antibiotics. We went to the assessment room at North York General, and met two nurses, Heather and Karen, who were very friendly and helpful. They put the baby on the monitor for a while, and confirmed that the water had broken. I am 1cm dialated so far.
They let us return home since we live so close to the hospital, but we have to be back for 4:00pm for the next set of antibiotics.
If my labour does not start at 10:00pm, then they are going to start to induce me. I would prefer not to be induced, especially since I hear it is more painful than natural, but I am going to go with the recommendations of the nurse and doctor.
Now every twinge/kick I wonder if it is a contraction, but no contractions so far.
We took the subway to the hospital the first time, and I know the walking is good for me at this point, but if the contractions start, then we are calling a taxi.
Yesterday I felt so big and couldn’t get comfortable in any position. I can no longer get out of bed or a chair without a routine and sleeping is so much more difficult. It was painful every time I moved or the baby kicked.
I have two weeks left until the babies ETA and I have been suffering from lots of other symptoms, but this is the first time the weight of the baby has really been an issue. I have gained around 25-30 pounds. (It is hard to tell exactly since I was on a mini-diet when I first found out I was pregnant). I am so glad that I am no longer working.
My belly does not feel as hard or extended today. I had always expected the growth of my belly to be linear, not up and down like it has been. I know a lot of the differences are due to gas and constipation, but it still is weird. Oh, that reminds me: time for my daily prune juice.
Everyone seems to be on one side or the other when it comes to epidurals. I have read stats that epidurals can cause additional complications 23% of the time. Now, these are not always major complications: they could be episiotomies, tearing or just head-aches.
Most of the mothers that I have talked to were either in the majority (77%), or they did not associate any complications they had with the fact that they had an epidural. This is not surprising, since most of us do not have anything to compare birth with, until we have had lots of children.
We learned in our pre-natal class that the worst position to give birth in is lying on your back, and yet, how often do you see a birth in movies which is anything else? Lying on your back removes the advantage of gravity, and causes more stress on the Perineal since the baby’s weight is on that area only. more info on labour positions
Every woman I have talked to who has had an epidural, has also had a difficult time breast-feeding (ok, I realize this is a really small sample of people, and most women find breast feeding difficult). Then I read an article from Today’s Parent with a section on “How Birth Affects Breastfeeding” which seems to agree.
Now, there are some cases when an epidural is recommended. So while I am going to try to avoid an epidural, I am also going to listen to the Nurses and Doctor and deal with things as they happen. While it is not ideal, an epidural is an option that I might choose.
I heard back from our local police station (division32 in Toronto, 416-808-3219) and found that they were booking car seat installation verifications a month in advance. So since I am not that organized and didn’t want to wait until after the baby was born I decided to go with a private company. The police told me to call the Canadian Car Seat Installation Centre. I had also heard about this same place through BabyAndMeFitness. They provide “free inspections”, however I suspect that most of their installations are able to find something wrong, but then I have heard that 80-90% of car seats are installed incorrectly. In this case the angle of the car seat back was not at 45 degrees (it was more like 60 degrees: they said the indicator on the seat is not very accurate) so they asked if I wanted them to install it for me. I agreed and I feel better now that it has been installed by someone who does this all the time. Of course, I had to sign a liability form, but that was not surprising.
It cost $35 CDN plus tax for the install.
I also asked about the recent Consumer’s Report about the safety of car seats and they referred me to a Toronto Star article “OPP contradicts Consumer Reports on child seat safety“. Which I found very reassuring. I know I am a worrier and that I don’t always put risk into perspective, but sometimes we don’t have enough data on things and I can blame it on the hormones too right? It reminds me of a Time article on “Why we worry about the wrong things” which looked at the probability and impact of everyday risks. e.g. “Shoppers still look askance at a bag of spinach for fear of E. coli bacteria while filling their carts with fat-sodden French fries and salt-crusted nachos”: Heart disease is still the number one killer.
I had a wonderful baby shower on the weekend that my friends threw for me. I was supposed to be a surprise, but multiple people gave it away so I did know it was going to happen, which is good since otherwise I would have done more shopping. Now I am on vacation we can go and pick up the last few things that we will need (cloth diapers, baby carrier, etc…)
As of today I have only 3 weeks left which means that the baby would no longer be considered premature if it was born now. I know that nothing magical happens on these arbitrary dates, but it still feels really good. They say first babies tend to take more than 40 weeks, so why don’t they just change the average number of weeks?
I called about getting the car seat installation verifed at our local police station (division32 in Toronto). It was really hard to find information online, so here you go: call 416-808-3219 to make an appointment, the clinics are usually on Wednesdays.
I guess this blog post is rambling, but then if you are pregnant you understand
Only 24 days to go until the baby’s ETA date. Although of course I realize that it is not likely to be on that actual day. I have started finishing up things at work and it feels weird that I won’t be around.
I went grocery shopping yesterday I bought milk which had a later expiry date than my due date. That struck me as very strange. Months ago, it felt like I would be pregnant forever, but now the date is approaching. I hear that the waiting after the due date is the longest wait of all, and first babies do tend to be late. But I still am counting down the days.
Another side of me doesn’t want the pregnancy to end. I like the looks I get and being treated special. Also, I think I am really going to miss the baby kicking (except the kicks to the bladder). Most nights I am up 2-7 times to go pee, which I guess is good training for when the baby is here. But it would be nice to not have to plan my errands around bathroom trips. The other day I was at Yonge/Finch and the bathrooms were locked since it was after 6:00, luckily there was a dentist office there and they let me use their bathroom instead (Thank you).
- Occasional abdominal pain due to kicking or Brakston-Hicks
- Carpal tunnel: I wake up with painful hands each morning and cannot close my right fist for a while. Also, part of my left thumb is numb always.
- Weird painful spot on the upper outside of my calf
- Constipation – I must say that “Prune Nectar” rules. When I actually remember to drink a glass each day, this really helps.
- Swollen ankles – good thing I have boots that fit
- Mood swings
After not sleeping well for two nights, I guess it was not surprising I was late getting up this morning. So I decided to walk to the closer subway station since the trains are not as full once rush hour is over. Of course it was packed and the first train was squished-standing-room only so I let it pass. I got on the second train but wasn’t able to get a seat.
So for the first time I asked aloud “Anyone willing to give up their seat for a pregnant lady?”. And it worked! Two people started to get up and I took the closer one, thanking the woman who got up for me.
My belly is big enough now (start of third trimester) that most people guess I am expecting, but there is still a question in their mind if I am really pregnant, or just fat.
Normally I walk an extra stop just so there are empty seats (I also take off my coat and rub my belly while waiting for the subway), so I can’t really run an experiement to count how often I am offered seats. But I will let you know how it goes if I ask again.
Hopefully I will get a good sleep tonight. I just started taking iron supplements at my doctor’s recommendations, so hopefully that will help with my overall energy levels.
Should I give people a chance to offer me a seat before I ask?
I wasn’t sure which week marks the beginning of the third trimester, but then I used a couple “due date calculators” online to get the exact date (based on my due date). Not that the actual trimester actually means anything, but it does feel good to know I am in the last stretch.
Last week I freaked out a bit. My husband mentioned that he thinks I might have sleep apnea, and I looked up possible complications and found lots of things to worry about. http://www.dreamdoctor.com/saps1.shtml
I also sometimes gasp during the day, my husband and Mom think it is due to my posture, but I started to worry, especially since I was getting a tightness in my neck/chest (probably heartburn) and my hemoglobin was low last blood test (although iron level was ok) and I am so out of breath and my heart beats so loudly if I walk up a flight of stairs. Anyway I called my ob-gyn, but she was away for 8 more days and so I tried my family doctor, but I couldn’t get an appointment anytime soon. So I decided to leave it, and the next day I felt much better. I think I was just stressed about something on Wednesday, even though I didn’t realize I was that stressed about it. Thursday I felt much better.
It is so easy to get stressed over things, I know I should not look things up on the internet and try self-diagnosis, but it is so tempting.
We also realized that we have to start looking for a pediatrician. Many are not taking new patients and you have to have one lined up since you are supposed to have a checkup within 48 hours of bringing the baby home. So I am going to ask my ob-gyn next appointment if she recommends anyone on the subway line.