Monday, June 13, 2011

Matthew's Birth Story

These past few days have been incredible. Matthew fits into our family so beautifully.

He is such sweet perfection.

If you love a birth story, then this is for you. If you don't, you might just want to skip to the end!

My induction was scheduled for Wednesday June 8th, when my family doctor - Dr L - would be on call. The hospital said they would call me when they were ready for me to come in and to be ready any time after 8am or so. They called us at about 8:20am and said to start making our way in. Ian took the children to school, then came back for Jordan and me. We took Jordan to my mom's and then headed to the hospital.

I was so nervous and excited. I couldn't wait to see my baby but was not looking forward to the labour part of things. The first parking lot we went to was full, and on our way to the next lot I looked to the left and saw the row of doctors' parking. Each spot was full....except the anesthesiologist. It was one big fat spot of emptiness and I told Ian we had to go home because he wasn't there.

Turns out there was ten anesthesiologists on duty and they tend to park at the back of the hospital. Whew. Crisis averted.

We checked into triage and once I'd given urine and blood samples I was hooked up to the fetal monitor.

Dr L arrived to see me after awhile, and after discussing some options decided to give me a dose of Cervadil to soften my cervix. Once he'd done that, we stayed for an additional hour of fetal monitoring and then we were told to go home and come back in six hours. We picked up some lunch and went home so I could rest up. After a couple of hours we went to the theatre to see Thor. It was during the movie that I started feeling some low backache and mild cramping. It was getting hard to sit still but I didn't want to leave because I was really enjoying the movie. Afterwards we went to my mom's to see the children. At this point there was a regularity to the pain I was feeling, and my mom kept a record of the length and frequency.

I am a suck when it comes to pain, and it was all I could do not to fuss or cry in front of the children. Ian and I returned to the hospital at about 8pm and went back to triage to be checked. They put me back on the fetal monitor and after awhile Dr L came to check me only to find there was minimal change. The pain I was feeling wasn't even registering on the monitor. He gave me a second dose of the Cervadil and sent us home with instructions to return in another six hours.

I was so frustrated. I was cramping and sore from being checked, and I was scared about what was to come.

We went home and Ian pulled out the sofa bed so I could rest there where it was cooler, instead of our hot bedroom. My backache and cramping was getting worse and I was restless. I'm sure my anxiety was heightening everything but I couldn't help it. I was able to sleep in 20 or 30 increments, but around 2am I woke up and started walking around. I was cranky and started snapping at Ian and was losing control. I have a panic disorder that I don't really like to talk about and it was rearing up big time. He put the sofa back together and tucked me in, speaking so softly and gently until I dozed off. He slept on the floor beside me until I woke up at 5am. We decided it was time to return to the hospital.

All the way there I was experiencing regular pains in my lower back. By the time we parked at the hospital I told Ian that something was happening. He said he knew, I was contracting every 2-3 minutes and they were lasting 30-40 seconds. I had to sit down on the way in and he would softly count backwards from 30 to 0 until the contraction passed.

Back in triage they put me back on the fetal monitor until Dr L came in. The contractions were coming closer together and I asked Ian to rub my lower back with his fist to counter the pain. I was so crabby and barked "Both hands! Use both hands! GOD GAVE YOU TWO OF THEM!" Shortly after we arrived, Dr L came in and checked me. I lost it. At one point I yelled at him to "Get out! Get the hell out!" when he was checking me. I felt bad for all the other women labouring alongside me.

Being that I'd never been in labour like this before, I wasn't sure of whether or not it was the real thing. I asked my nurse if my pain was registering on the monitor this time and she said one only had to look at me to know I was in active labour. She had me change into a gown and said we'd go to my room as soon as I was ready. Three contractions later I was ready to go. Ian helped me down the hall, patiently stopping every time I had another contraction. I told him that I couldn't deliver in any room, it had to be in a room where the bed faced West.

My two easiest deliveries were Sam and Jordan, and in both cases the bed was facing West. My most painful delivery was Julie's and the bed was facing East. I couldn't face East. No way.

We arrived at our room and sure enough, the bed was facing East. I told Ian I couldn't deliver there, but we went inside anyway. I was pacing around, dealing with this excruciating back labour, when my triage nurse came rushing in and told the current nurse that I panic disorder and couldn't deliver in an East facing room and needed to be moved immediately.

Holy pickles.

They moved me across the hall and sure enough... another East facing room. I didn't say anything at this point but that was more because I couldn't say much of anything. I was in the washroom and could hear a couple of nurses just outside the door talking about why I needed to be moved and "something about having Feng Shui issues". I shouted through the door - and a wicked contraction - "I DO NOT HAVE FENG SHUI ISSUES!!"

The nurse assigned to me was only there for about a half hour and was something else. She wanted me on my back on the bed, regardless of the pain I was in. Ian put on some classical music for me to focus on and she told him to turn it off because it was distracting. She couldn't find a vein to put my IV in, and had the anesthesiologist come in to do it. Once he had it in he began to set up for my epidural. I went to hold the nurse's hand and she said she didn't want me to hold her hand or her arm. She said I could hold her scrub jacket as long as I didn't rip it.

I could hardly understand anything the anesthesiologist was saying, but I did get " no move....I stick you in wrong get headache...ok?" then a minute later "you no move move now...I stick you in wrong go paralyzed...." The nurse just kept telling me to relax...relax...relax... UGH. I asked her when her shift was over and she said in 20 minutes. "I think that's going to be very good for the both of us," I said.

He was done at about 7:50 and Dr L came in at 8am to break my water. At that point I was 2 cm and he said he figured I would deliver between lunch and dinner. His on-call time was over, but said he'd be in the next morning to see me.

The back pain went away with the epidural, but suddenly I could feel my stomach hardening and see it rising with each contraction. And the pressure was unbelievable. I commented on it a few times and the on call doctor - Dr C - said the epidural takes care of the pain but not the pressure. I kept telling Ian there was no way I could endure that pressure for hours.

My new nurse was very calm and matter of fact. I liked her. She said she'd check me at 10am, but with all my moaning and groaning decided to check me at 8:45 instead. I think she intended to do it to placate me, but shocked us all by saying I was 8-9cm.

6-7 cm in 45 minutes??


Ian called my mom to update her. I was heartbroken that she couldn't be there this time, but she was with the children and they needed her. Ian put her on speaker so I could talk to her. I cried and told her I wished she was there and she said she wished she was too, but I could do this.

I heard my nurse sniffle.

Talking to mom gave me what I needed to keep going.

Dr C came back at 9am and checked me and I was fully dilated. He said I could feel free to start pushing with the next contraction.

I looked at the clock and told Ian I couldn't start pushing yet, because I couldn't have our baby born at 9:11, it was a bad luck number. Dr C and my nurse froze and looked at me. Ian said it didn't matter, but there was no way I was going to start pushing.

So there we waited, all looking at the digital clock on the wall until it clicked over to 9:12.

"Ok, we're good to go." I said.

"Ok let's go!" Dr C said.

That's when the room felt....electric. If you've had a baby then you know what I'm talking about. The speed in the room picks up, the blanket is laid over your chest, and you know you are minutes from being changed forever.

I heard Dr C instruct our nurse to call in the team.

Dr C: Push Kate!
Nurse: Push!
Ian: Push! You can do this!
Me: I am so excited right now!
All: PUSH!!!!
Me: OK!!

Three sets of pushes later and Matthew was born at 9:17 am. He was laid on my chest immediately and I broke down.

God let me have him after all.

After all my nightmares and spiritual attack, there he was. Perfect.

He was in the warming bed being cleaned up when the team arrived, now unneeded at this point.

I couldn't take my eyes off him.

He was perfect.

I fell in love with Ian all over again.

And there you have it... my little feller's birth story. If you made it this far, bless you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your prayers and words of encouragement. I wish I had the words to express how much they meant to me, and the strength they gave me.

I'm hoping to get some pictures of Matthew up to share with you. At this point I just cuddle him and stare at him in awe. But they'll come, I promise :-)



  1. How could I have NOT made it through the whole thing?! Oh, how I would've loved to be there! The Feng Shui, the whole "better for the both of us", the "you not go paralyzed", and "GOD GAVE YOU TWO OF THEM!!!".

    Kate, my dear, you are priceless!! You're Ian and you're children and your mom are so lucky to have you! I love ya, girl! Congrats all over again!!!

  2. I'm sorry but I giggled A LOT during this post, especially when you told the nurse who was leaving in 20 minutes that you thought that was good for both of you!

    Oh I am so thankful your little treasure is here and safe and beautiful and full of life!

  3. I love it. I am bawling my eyes out. I cracked up over the email version because it left out lines like, "talking to my mom gave me what it took to keep going" and "God let me have him after all" - oh my word. So lovely - Kate, of course God let you have him. You're a beautiful, funny, sweet, kind woman and a wonderful mother and you managed to find the most amazing father for them and husband for you... I am so utterly and completely thrilled and happy for you and your whole family and especially Matthew - what a lucky boy to grow up with you all. Love you!

  4. Awww- so glad that everything went relatively OK. :) I love that they let you leave the hospital after giving you Cervadil. I was induced with Brad and had Cervadil and my hubby and I had a long boring night in the hospital waiting for my cervix to soften. :)

  5. Awwww, Kate! Congratulations!!! That's quite a story...I was grimacing and giggling the whole way!!! I can't wait to see some more pictures of sweet Matthew!!! You are blessed!!!

    PS - My Shannon was born at 9:17, too. PM though. :-)

  6. Love.this.story. I was laughing and crying this whole post! Love you, love your sweet sweet baby boy!