January 18, 2013

A Birth Story


Six weeks ago, I was awoken at 6 am by contractions. I was 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Throughout my pregnancy I had expected to go past my due date but I began to question this when I learned that I was 3 cm dilated at my 37 week appointment. Throughout that week I waited for labor to start and was surprised when nothing happened, even after playing a pretty vigorous game of "gutterball" in my water aerobics class in which I ran and swam back and forth across the pool for 45 minutes and somehow managed to score over half the goals for my team. There were a couple of days when I had three or four painful contractions in a row, but nothing more than that. I began to wonder if the baby would come late after all.


The night of December 3, John and I stayed up late playing Phase 10. I was feeling more uncomfortable than usual but I wasn't sure why. I felt a little pain in my abdomen but it was a constant pain that didn't come and go like contractions. As John and I were getting ready for bed he said that he wouldn't be surprised if I woke him up in the middle of the night saying that I was in labor. We ended up going to bed at 2 am. I definitely regretted this when my contractions started 4 hours later. My contractions were about 15 minutes apart and I wasn't sure if this was the real thing this time, so I decided to try to go back to sleep. I figured that if I could go back to sleep, I probably wasn't in labor. The contractions kept waking me up every 10-15 minutes for a while, but I managed to sleep for a couple of hours.

I woke again at 10 am. My contractions were 5 minutes apart so I began to accept that this was the real deal. We'd been told to come to the hospital after my contractions were 5 minutes apart for an hour, but I decided to wait it out at home for a while longer. I wanted to hold out on getting an epidural for as long as I could because I'd heard that epidurals could slow things down. I thought it would be easier to deal with my contractions at home where I was comfortable and could move around freely. After three hours of my contractions being 3-5 minutes apart, we decided to go to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at about 1:30 pm and at this point I was dilated to 5 cm and fully effaced. My contractions were excruciatingly painful but I decided that I could last a little longer without an epidural. I have no idea how some women have natural births. I know that I could never voluntarily do that. At about 2:45 my doctor came and broke my water. Funnily enough, my 38 week appointment with my doctor had been scheduled for that time. After my water was broken, my contractions became even worse so I decided that it was time to get my epidural. I soon learned that I am one of the unfortunate people who experiences some negative side effects with an epidural. My blood pressure dropped to 74/33 and I became really nauseous. I didn't feel any more pain from my contractions but I felt awful. I had no energy and I felt so sick that I couldn't even talk. I was given extra fluids to bring my blood pressure up to a safer level and some nausea medication. After about half an hour I felt so much better.


I progressed gradually over the next few hours. My pain was completely relieved. All I could feel was some slight pressure. By 7:45 I was 10 cm dilated and it was time to push. I couldn't believe that it was finally time to meet our little girl. I pushed for about 45 minutes. I was surprised that I barely felt any pain while I pushed. I could completely relax between rounds of pushing. Epidurals are wonderful. 

Our baby girl was born at 8:29 pm. Holding her for the first time was such an amazing experience. It felt so surreal. It was hard to believe that this little girl was my daughter and that she had been inside of me for so many months. She was so beautiful and small, with a head of thick dark brown hair. She weighed 6 lb 5 oz and was 19 in long.










It was so cute to see John hold her for the first time. She looked so tiny in his arms and he looked so happy. When she was handed back to me after being cleaned and examined, I was a little scared. I'd never been around babies before, let alone a newborn baby. I was nervous that I would somehow hurt this perfect little girl. 



We named her Evelyn Elizabeth Oblad but we call her Eve. She shares her first name with my grandmother and her middle name is the same as mine.





I can't believe that Eve is 6 weeks old. It has been the hardest but happiest month and a half of my life. She is such a sweet little girl. She started smiling last week and it is the cutest thing ever. Nothing is better than seeing her smile up at me. I love being a mum. Those long 38 weeks of pregnancy and 14 hours of labor were definitely worth it. 


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I'm very proud of you and happy for you and John and Eve. I can't wait to see her smile myself. I think about you every day and wonder what you are doing and how you are getting along with the little one.

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