Monday, November 26, 2012

Birth Story

Well this is 3 weeks coming.  I apologize for not writing sooner. Life has been a bit crazy!  I'll likely do multiple posts today...

I was hoping to write a beautiful post honouring my daughter's birth.  Maybe one day.  Today you get the coles notes version :)

On Sat. Nov. 3 and Sun. Nov. 4 I went for a long hikes to help move things along. Between the two days I think I hiked over 16 km! Pretty good for being 41 weeks pregnant!  I definitely think the hikes helped move things along :)

On Sun. Nov. 4, Hubby and I went to my parents for dinner. Baby was fairly quiet, and my step-mom kept asking if the baby was moving. She then proclaimed when we were leaving that we would have the baby that night given how quiet she was. On the ride home (only a 5 min drive) I started having contractions. I usually had contractions in the car, so I wasn't really surprised. I told hubby to keep driving to see if anything happens. So he took me over every pothole and bump he could think of in the city! After about an hour of driving aimlessly, we decided to go home and see what was going to happen. At home, I was feeling odd. No real contractions, but she a sense of blah. Every time I stood up I noticed I had a fluid leaking out. My dr told me that if it was amnotic fluid, I would know (it wouldn't stay in my underware but would go down my leg). Since it didn't trickle down my leg, I figured I was just peeing myself! LOL.

At around 10 I went to bed (thank heavens!) and slept for about an hour and a half. (Hubby didn't...big mistake). At 11:30 I woke up feeling really yucky and when I stood up even more fluid would come out. I was starting to get worried, but hubby told me to just relax. He said that he was going to go to bed and that if anything were to happen, he needed time to make a coffee and take a shower! LOL. Needless to say that never happened. As soon as he laid down, I felt a pop inside and low and behold, my water broke. I called our Doula, and we proceeded to get ready for the hospital.

Once we got to the hospital, I was checked. Baby's heart-rate was good, but took awhile to get the movement count they were looking for. They checked me and I was 3 cm. Since water had broken, I was admitted. As soon as we got to our room, the contractions were picking up quite a bit. They were very localized to my pelvic floor region - not all over and thankfully none in my back! Once our doula came, I really put all my faith in her and just let thing happen. Sitting was horribly uncomfortable, so I laboured standing hunched over the bed or kneeling curled into pillows. The whole thing was a bit of a blur. I really was having an out of body experience. At around 4 I was checked and was at 7 cm. The pain was managable. My scaitic was hurting - so our Doula put a heating compress on it and would give me pressure during a contraction. Hubby would get water and ensure the music was on during the entire time. At around 6, I had an uncontrolable urge to push. I couldn't help myself. Our regular nurse was on break and the cover nurse checked me and said I was only 8 cm and still had a thick cervix left. Once she told my regular nurse this, they offered me gas to help manage the pain as they were concerned my pushing would swell the cervix more. I couldn't manage through the urge to push, so around 6:45 I told them that if I can't push, they needed to give me an epidural because I couldn't go on anymore. My nurse decided to get the Dr to check me at this point to see where we were at. Thankfully she did - I was at 10 cm and what they thought was the cervix was the baby's head!! I suddenly had to go through quite the mind shift - not pushing to PUSH. At this time there was a change of staff. Our wonderful nurse left and we had 2 new ones (don't know there names...they were okay...) and we had new Dr. SHE WAS AMAZING!! I pushed for about 2 hours and made some headway but was really exhausted. I asked for help. The Dr suggested we use the vaccuum to help get the baby out. Half and hour later, Hannah was born sunny-side up facing the crowd! Unfortunately her cord was wrapped around her neck really, really tight. Dr had to cut the cord before delivering shoulders to get her out. Hubby then trimmed it. Baby was caught on my pelvic bone - and in addition to her cone-head, she had a nice read line across her head from being stuck.

Now thing really become a blur. I know she was put on my chest right away and hubby and I got our moment of pure joy. The nurses then took her to clean her up and she wasn't breathing right...not crying just grunting. They tried to give her some oxygen - but that didn't help matters. They gave her back to me for another moment and then they took her off to try to stabilize her. They weren't successful in the room so they rushed her to the nursery with hubby in tow. It was aweful! Hubby said that the 2.5 hours they were trying to stabilize her were the worst hours of his life. Her oxygen levels were very poor and she wouldn't breath right - just grunt. Her heart rate was extremely high too. Her colour went purple and the Dr told him they were going minute by minute to stabilize her and if she didn't stablilize soon, she would be airlifted to McMaster. They had to give her a round of fluid, which blew her vein and caused her arm to swell. They coudln't find another vein for the IV, so they had to do a surgical procedure on her ambilcal cord and put in a catheter. When I was able to go see her agian, it was aweful. She looked so helpless and scared sitting in the incubator. Noone warns you of what could happen after birth. I was prepared / educated on the different interventions that I could have had to face during labour and delivery - I never imagined that my baby would have needed such care after being born. She had a Spontaneous pneumothorax which prevented oxygen to reaching her blood. They don't know what caused it - the vaccum, the cord or the long period of pushing. However the reason, it is difficult for me to not feel guilty. After the delivery I was very proud of myself for deliverying naturally (just with vaccuum assistance) now I wonder if there would have been away to avoid all the chaos had I just pushed a little bit longer/harder on my own.

Breast feeding -  has been an incredible struggle...I will be doing a post on breast feeding soon! I need to clear my head of all the negative thoughts I have of myself.. I hope, as time progresses this gets easier. I blame some of my issues on the fact that I wasnt' able to feed her for 2 days after she was born and given she was in the nursery and I wanted to spend every moment with her, I wasn't diligent on pumping.

Overall, we have a beautiful baby girl. Her lungs are clear and healthy now - no lasting side effects from the pneumorthorax. Just trying to ensure her weight goes up!


  1. Wow, what a story! Sounds like you were such a trooper Amanda. Don't AT ALL blame yourself for any of the issues. You have a a BABY GIRL!!!! That is the most important thing now. Oh, I am so happy for you. I would love to see a picture at some point :)

  2. What an eventful delivery! I am so glad that your baby girl came out just perfect. I hope you are feeling well, too! :)

  3. Wow!! Don't guilt yourself, it sounds like you did an amazing job!

  4. Congrats Amanda! You did a great job! Very scary stuff what happened afterwards. Hannah is a beautiful name for a beautiful little girl!