nia's birth story: part I

Note: this story isn't for everyone, so read with caution and yes, it's lengthy!! 

Ok, let's start back on Thursday, November 22nd when the whoooole thing began.

That morning I had actually still planned to go to school/class that day. I might have been a little delirious or sleep-deprived (or crazy!) for even thinking that, that was a good idea, but luckily I did end up staying home. The only reason I didn't end up in that car and on the road is because right before I was about to leave, I peed and lost my mucous plug. After that, it just didn't feel right to go to school (although I know you can lose your plug and not go into labour for up to weeks!).

So I stayed home, napped, and waited for 2pm to roll around to go to my midwife appointment. There, they hooked me up to monitor baby's heart beat for 20 minutes and watch for contractions (that were non-existent at this point); this was to just make sure babe was still happy in there at 6 days overdue.

While there, I decided to get a stretch and sweep to hopefully induce the labour process to start; basically the midwife goes in to sweep away the membranes from the cervix, which can help start contractions. She was only able to perform about 50% of this process because my cervix was sitting back (which is common because once you're in the labour, the baby helps push it down).

I never did the stretch and sweep intending for it to put me straight into labour (and was also fine with being that many days overdue), so I was ok with the fact that it didn't completely work. The midwife also let me know at that point that I was 2cm dilated and my cervix was 50% thinned out, which was assuring to know that we were heading in the right direction (but remember, I wasn't having contractions at this point).

The hubby drove into town after the appointment to hang out/take a quick break from work (which would also be our last solo hangout!), and from there, I continued on with my regular day - visiting three grocery stores, because that's just the way I roll. I picked up some food, went home, made dinner, packed all the last minute things in my hospital bag just in case, and then ate some dinner. During that late afternoon/evening, I was feeling some cramping, but wasn't anything major.

After dinner, cleaning and just making sure everything was organized (like snacks for the hospital packed!), the husband and I headed upstairs to finish a movie in bed. This is when heavier cramping started (10:30pm). I felt like the cramping came on pretty quickly and faster than I had anticipated, because we actually had to pause the movie a few times due to it.

At this point, I also went to the bathroom and more mucous came out, so really, I hadn't fully lost the plug earlier, but the cramping was continuing to progress. I knew that I had to wait for the 5-1-1 to call the midwife (ie: contractions are 5 minutes apart, last 1 minute for 1 hour straight).

We somehow made it through the movie, and then I started timing my contractions (11:30pm). I told Tyler to go to sleep so that at least one of us would be rested (and at that point, I knew that I wouldn't be able to sleep through the pain, even with gravol and tylenol). I didn't really know what to do because my contractions were wonky - they weren't the 5-1-1, but were about 3 minutes apart, lasting for 45 seconds.

At around 12:45am, I felt like the pain wasn't staying the same, but increasing, and along with my wonky contractions, I decided it was time to call my midwife, Sarah. I woke up Tyler to let him know.

Sarah arrived somewhere around 1:30am, and started timing contractions and then examined me. At around 2am, I was 3.5cm dilated, so we decided that I was going to labour for longer at home. Sarah went to our living room to sleep on the couch while I stayed in the bedroom and tried to get some rest between contractions.

We continued to do this (ie: rest, check, assess) for a few hours (I also had a warm shower to try to relieve some pain), and once I was a few more centimeters dilated, we collectively decided it was time to go to the hospital. Sarah went ahead to let the hospital know we were coming, and we followed not long after.

After getting checked in, and into our room (around 5:45am), I continued to labour without pain intervention - just music and a relaxing lavender spray. This is where time went the slowest, since we just had to wait it out and let the baby work its way down the birth canal. This is also when Sarah had to go and rest (since they are legally required to go and sleep after being awake for 28 hours), and my third midwife, Kylene, stepped in.

My mom arrived at the hospital around 10:30am, and just stayed with Kylene, Tyler and I, while I battled stronger contractions and a baby that was making progress, but very slowly. I reached 6.5cm fairly quickly, which is awesome, but it was after that point that really started making me more aware of the time.

I felt like our progress up until this point was very good, but it was after the 6.5cm that things started making me more uneasy and ready to have the baby.

To be continued...