Dream Delivery

When I was pregnant, I found tons of posts online from bloggers who were telling the story of their delivery. Almost all of them were horror stories, which is why I decided I needed to talk about our son’s extremely lucky and easy birth on this blog, even though it’s not quite on topic. So here it goes, and it’s very long-winded, so you are forewarned.

August 6 was a civic holiday here in BC, so Zakary was home. In the morning, we finished setting up the nursery and taking photos of my belly for my far away family. We were 4 days before my due date and figured we had all the time in the world. Then we went to bed for a nap. When I woke up at 11:30 am, I felt my first contraction. I really thought it was just a cramp, as I didn’t feel anything “contract”. But after 2 hours of those “cramps” coming every 3 to 5 minutes, we figured we’d better call the doctor.

My wonderful doctor had been away for 3 weeks. She was back on duty that very morning. Talk about luck! I called her around 1:30 and she figured we should stay home for a while longer, as labor couldn’t possibly have progressed much in 2 hours. She gave us her cell phone number in case we needed to get in touch with her faster, but promised to call back in 1 or 2 hours. She called back at 3:30 and suggested we slowly make our way to the hospital.

The whole time, Zakary was busy finishing to pack our suitcase. At 3:30, he ran into the courtyard of our building, a housing co-operative, and asked the first people he saw if they could take care of our dog while we were away. They were delighted to help. Co-ops rock! Where else would you be able to do that in a city? After giving instructions to the neighbors, we called a taxi and climbed aboard, praying that my waters wouldn’t break in the cab.

We arrived at the hospital just past 4 and by the time a nurse examined me, around 4:30, I was 5 to 6 cm dilated. Pretty good start! I was encouraged, which helped me cope with the pain that was getting worse with each contraction. Whatever you heard, labor hurts even more than that! With every contraction, I would hold on for dear life to Zakary’s shoulder, finally understanding why women get epidural and wondering if I would be able to stick to my plan of having an all natural birth. The doctor came by, announced that she would wait until around 6 before she examined me again, complimented me on how I was coping with the pain (easy to say from the outside), then left to do some paperwork, promising she’d be back soon.

A nurse came by around 5:15 to take us from the assessment area to our room. She announced with a laugh that it was going to be her third delivery of the day, but then confirmed that she was just joking. Her shift was about to finish at 7, so there was no way my baby would be there by then, right? She convinced me to walk instead of using a wheel chair, and I had 2 contractions on the way up, but again I was “managing” just fine, apparently… Once settled in this nice and large room, Zakary started filling up the wonderful bath tub and thought of blowing up our exercise ball. But at 5:45, my waters broke. It was a relief to hear the nurse say “Let me know if you feel like pushing”, because I really felt like pushing at the end of that last contraction, although I just thought it was silly of me to think that so soon. But she figured she would examine me just in case, and lo and behold, I was fully dilated and ready to push! We gave up any thought of using the tub, the ball or anything else, for that matter, and started the real work…

The nurse asked me not to push until she came back and went to call the doctor, but no one at the hospital could find her pager number! Luckily, we still had her cell phone number, so they gave her a call and she showed up almost right away. And that’s when the real pain started. I have heard women say that pushing is a welcome relief after the pain of labor… Not for me! It was the worse part, worse than anything I could imagine. With every contraction, I almost broke Zakary’s fingers by holding on to them so tight. He was holding one of my leg, the nurse, the other one, and the doctor was somewhere in the middle doing something important, I guess, but I cannot tell. At that point I had removed my glasses and collapsed sideways on the bed, and all I could think of was the pain.

Between contractions, Zakary and the doctor were chatting away like two good friends having tea on a Sunday afternoon. I placed a few words here and there, just to make sure they didn’t forget that I was supposed to be the one getting their attention. With every contraction, the nurse was encouraging me to push longer and stronger, whereas I just wanted the contraction to be over so I could rest for a minute before the pain came back. At some point, I remember her telling me that I needed to keep pushing a bit longer, that the baby was getting tired. I felt pretty selfish back then and I’m not sure she convinced me. But the doctor asked her to go get the vacuum so she could help extract the baby, and I think that enticed me to push more than anything else.

Before the nurse could set up the vacuum, I had another contraction and the baby was born. It was 6:31, 7 hours only after my first contraction. Zakary cut the cord, then Elliot was placed on my chest, still covered in slime and blood. It was over!

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At least that’s what I thought, but I wasn’t quite right. I still had to deliver the placenta, which I was not too happy about because the doctor had to push on my abdomen and the pain came back, especially as it was pulled out of my already bruised and beaten nether regions. But it was pretty short lived, and then I was really done. The nurse apologized for not taking me upstairs in a wheelchair. She had time to clean up before the end of her shift. Now, you’ll say that with all that talk about pain, it doesn’t sound like a dream delivery. Don’t be fooled, though: even the best of them hurt like a bitch. In the end, I didn’t tear and within half an hour I was able to walk to the bathroom.

We had not decided on the baby’s name beforehand, but Zakary knew that Elliot was my first choice, and in the few minutes following the birth, seeing that I had been through a lot of pain without even having time to think about pain relief, he decided to let me have it my way. Hence it officially became Elliot, although everyone kept asking us how we spelled it and we didn’t have a clue.

So that’s how Elliot came into the world. At 3.2 kg (7 pounds) and 52 cm (20,5 inches), he was a lot bigger than expected and everyone wondered how I managed to hide him in my small belly. There is a lot more that could be said about how good of a baby he has been, how easily we were able to establish breast-feeding or how fast I recovered from that all-natural birth, but you may have to come back for those at a later date!

2 Responses to “Dream Delivery”

  1. Andy Says:

    Bonsoir,

    Félicitations.

    Une naissance, un moment de calme avant une nouvelle bataille.

    A.


  2. sophie Says:

    Tiens, je n’aurais jamais imaginé qu’on puisse décrire une naissance comme un moment de calme! Pour la bataille, ça, je comprends! Merci…