My daughter’s birth’s story

Not long after my son was born, I decided to post my memories of her birth so that it would stay in cyberspace forever… and also in order to give mothers-to-be out there some hope. I remember, when I was pregnant, finding tons of horror birth stories, but very little stories of births gone right. So here is my second story of an “easy” delivery (anyone who has given birth knows that there is no such thing as an easy delivery, but mine seemed to be much easier than most others).

The night before my daughter was born, I felt some contractions. It must have been 11 pm, I was in bed, and it kept me awake for about an hour. It wasn’t really painful, but it was constant enough that I thought it was the real thing. After about an hour, I got up to go to the washroom, wondering if I should maybe have a shower to see if it would either speed things up or calm them down. But before I made a decision, the contractions stopped.

In the morning, the contractions came back around 7 am. I was not sure what to do because I didn’t want to wait for too long, but on the other hand the experience of the night before made me weary of crying wolf. At about 8 am I called the midwife. The midwife on call was not one of my favorites ones, so when she said that she was busy at the hospital and I could either go see her to get assessed, or she could call another midwife who would do a home visit, I jumped on the occasion of a home visit by a midwife I liked better. Unfortunately, she called back a few minutes later saying that the other midwife was also busy so I should go to the hospital. Which is, I have to say, 2 blocks away from home. So we phone our neighbor, asked him to take care of our son while we went to the hospital, and slowly got ready.

But my contractions stopped. I was wondering if I should go to the hospital or not, but by that point since we were all set up to go we figured we might as well. The assessment would tell us if anything had progressed, and we could discuss the next step as there was talk of using castor oil to induce labor but I was weary of that. I was 9 days late and really hoped to avoid chemical induction. We took the elevator down to meet our neighbor with our son, and the contractions started again while we were chatting with him. It was about 9:30. So we figured it was a good thing we decided to go to the hospital anyway. We walked there, not taking our hospital bag because we were not sure we would be staying. I do get a kick out of the fact that I walked to the hospital while in labor! But the contractions were pretty spaced out, not very painful, and it did take only 10 minutes.

We stayed in the waiting room at the hospital for a while because the maternity ward was really busy that morning. My contractions were about 6 minutes apart and not very painful. Finally, around 10:30, we were given a room, although we were told we might not be able to stay depending on the state of my labor. The midwife came and assessed me at 10:45. I was 6 cm dilated, so given my previous experience (going from 5 cm dilated to ready to push in less than an hour), the midwife decided she was going to keep me at the hospital. We were able to stay in that room, but the labor did not progress like my first one. We spent most of the day with me roaming around the room with spaced out contractions. We chatted with our labor nurse, whose son happens to be in the same preschool class as our sin (!!!). When contractions became stronger I had a bath, which was nice, but inaction was killing me so after a while I got out and put on a gown.

Our midwife had to call for some reinforcement as she was already helping another woman who was not quite as lucky as I was. She ended up having a C-section, but not before laboring all day. Anyway, I digress. The other midwife that showed up is one that I really liked and trusted, so that was nice. The first midwife asked me several times if I wanted her to break my waters, which would have helped labor progress. But I was still doing good, the baby was fine and I was confident it wouldn’t take too much longer, so I wanted to let nature follow its course. The second midwife who showed up never offered once (she has more of a letting-nature-follow-its-course kind of mentality, I guess).

Around 2 pm, I would say, things started to be much more painful. Contractions were closer together and I could not stand up anymore. I ended up on all fours on the hospital bed, and that part wasn’t fun. I never had contractions that painful during my first labor, and I understand how women who do that for hours end up needing an epidural! Luckily, Zak and the midwife were there, trying to make me feel better. After what seemed like forever, my waters broke; it was about 4 pm. There was some meconium (baby poop) in the amniotic fluid, so the midwife warned us that if there was any doubt as to the state of the baby’s lungs when born, we would have to see the pediatrician (inhaling poop form the fluid is apparently bad for them, for some reason). I was almost completely dilated and felt like I had to push, and the midwife told me it was ok to start pushing. From that point on, it went really fast. The midwife says I never really pushed: the baby just came out. In fact, I swear there were a few pushes, and it was extremely painful, but it lasted about 15 minutes and then it was over. The baby was delivered (screaming, which proved her lungs were just fine) and they try put her on me.

The umbilical cord was really short, so they couldn’t put her very high and I was trying to see if it was a boy or a girl, but it was awkward. Finally, I saw that it was a girl and I have to say I was quite surprised. We kind of expected another boy. But this one definitely had a vagina! Zak helped the midwife cut the umbilical cord, and they put her on my chest where she immediately latched on to my breast. She could already lift her head while on my tummy. It really felt like she was “older” than my first born, as if the extra 13 days she spent in the womb had prepared her better for the outside world. But she was the same weight as her brother (only 25 grams lighter). And of course, she was perfect.

Our neighbors came by with our son, then they went and brought us some sushi which we had together, all 4 of us now, in the hospital room. Then our boy went back to our neighbor’s house while we were waiting to get the ok to go home. Thanks to the midwife, we were able to leave the hospital at 7:30 pm, about 3 hours after birth. I took a taxi home with instructions from the midwife not to walk for a week. Zak walked home with the baby in a wrap. When the nurses saw us leave, one of them asked “Are they allowed to leave like that?” because normally, people leave in a car and they check the baby in the car seat before allowing the parents to take them home. They want to make sure the car seat is appropriate and the baby is well buckled in it. But we were allowed to walk home. It was a nice evening. We went home, picked up our son at the neighbors, put him to bed and then went to bed ourselves.

And that’s how my daughter came to be. A very different labor than my son, when I barely had painful contractions before the waters broke but then pushed for 45 extremely painful minutes. But both births were easy and fast (7 1/2 hours total), and I recovered extremely quickly from both. Especially the second time, since I was able to sleep quietly in my bed without being woken up by nurses every couple hours. People say I was made to bear children. I say, that’s enough. I wouldn’t want to do it again. And besides, I have a great family as it is. 2 is enough.

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