On Monday night I went to bed after talking to my mom. I told her where to find the house keys in case we would already be in the hospital when her flight from Québec arrived in Regina Tuesday night. She told me everything would be fine and that my baby will be born on his due date February 25. But since I was pregnant I had the feeling that our baby will show up earlier. At 39 weeks, I was feeling very uncomfortable for the first time since I was pregnant. I was feeling so big and so tight, I could not find a good position.
That night like every other night for the last few months, I woke up many times. I kept feeling like peeing but I couldn’t pee. I thought my baby was probably positioned on my bladder. At 4:00 a.m., I woke up after having a crazy dream. I dreamed that my baby was born but I was looking for help to put him back in my womb to get to the hospital to deliver him. Crazy! In my dream, I found out it was a baby boy. We didn’t know the gender of our baby. But since I got pregnant, I had the feeling it was a boy. I finally woke up from that crazy dream with a little bit of pain in my lower back. I went to the bathroom again to discover I was bleeding like if I was having my period. Because I had already lost my mucus plug a week earlier, I was a little bit worried especially because the blood was so red. I woke up my husband Cameron in a panic. I had a quick shower and then, we went to the hospital with our bags. We thought that was it… We will meet our baby soon.
Arriving in the labour unit, I was in a very good mood considering I was so scared of having a baby, so scared of hospitals, needles and doctors in general. I was examined by a nurse and a resident right away. They ask me if we had a labour plan. I told then I didn’t have one. I just wanted to go with the flow. They confirmed to us I was in early labour and that the blood secretions were normal. But because I was just one centimetre dilated, they sent us back home.
Laughing and happy, we stopped to get breakfast. As we were waiting in the drive-thru I started having contractions. Surprisingly, they were already pretty close and strong. We got home. I ate and then I decided to relax in the living room. I sat on an exercise ball, and did some yoga exercises on my mat. Early in my pregnancy, I had decided to try hypnobirthing. I was wishing to have a natural birth. But it was primarily because I was so scared. I was hoping the technique will help me with my phobia. I had started to train with the relaxation at 4 months pregnant. Almost everyday after work, I was practicing the visualisation and the breathing. I made myself a positive birth story that I played it again and again in my head. So when the time came to relax during labour I was pretty good at it. Listening to my hypnobirthing cd, I sat in a warm bathtub for 2 hours. When I came out the contractions were pretty strong. They went from every 3 minutes for 50 seconds to every 2 minutes for a minute. Because my contractions were so close, we decided to go back to the hospital hoping it would be it.
After going through the same process, a nurse came to examine me. Unfortunately, I was only at 2 centimetres. I was so upset. Six hours of intense pain for a small centimetre! The nurse told us, we will probably be sent back home. But because my contractions were so close she said a doctor will come see me and make that decision. It was 1:00 p.m. Four hours later, we were still waiting. I told my husband to go get the doctor. I had enough. I was uncomfortable, I wanted a ball, a room, a bath… and most of all, I wanted that baby to come out. I was breathing deeply but the pain was so intense I really had to focus to achieve that.
A nurse brought me a ball. It made me feel better. Then the doctor came to check right away. I was at 4 centimetres. She was very encouraging even if I was sure I would spend the rest of my life in labour. So we made the trip from triage to my new room. It felt like the longest walk ever. I had to stop many times. And for the first time in my life, I felt like I would faint. I remember asking the nurse where my room was because I didn’t feel well. She told me it was a good sign. She said it was probably because was in transition. I felt like throwing up. Arriving in my room, I was sure I would be sick. But that feeling left as fast as it came.
I took a warm bath but I rapidly felt like I had enough. I sat on a ball. But I had a hard time to be sitting and lying down. I had to walk between contractions and be on my knees during the contractions.
At 8:15 p.m. I hit a wall. I started thinking I’ve been in labour for more then 12 hours. I was very upset. I knew my mom was landing soon. I didn’t have a baby to show her yet. I was hungry because I was allowed to eat and I was in so much pain. I also started thinking the worst case scenario in my head. My husband was trying to comfort me but I was just so tired. The nurse could see it. She offered me the gas and I refused it. Then, she said before thinking about other options she will ask the doctor to examine me. She explained to me the doctor might break my water to accelerate the labour.
My mom arrived at 8:30 p.m. I always thought I will allow only my husband to be in labour and delivery room with me. I always thought I didn’t need other person like a doula. But believe me, I was very happy to see my mom. She is a very strong person. When, she entered in my room I told her I was dying. For a fraction of second, I thought she would start crying. But she rapidly took the situation in hand. She told me with humour that I will survive and to be strong. Because she was so laid back, it made me feel better. Having a third person to take care of me wasn’t too much. My husband was rubbing my back, the nurse was holding my hand and my mom was in charge of giving me jello, water, applying a wet cold cloth on my forehead and verbally supporting me.
At 9:15 p.m., the doctor broke my water. I felt such a relief. From that moment, everything went very fast. My husband recalled my breathing being like chanting. By that time, I figured staying in the moment and focusing on my breathing was the key. At 11:15 p.m., I felt the urge to push. The nurse told me to lie down on the bed. All the sudden, the room was full of people… an additional nurse, a resident and a doctor. I asked what was going on. The nurse said it was time to push to have my baby. Sixteen hours after the first contraction, I could not believe I would soon meet my baby. I was mentally very alert but also physically very tired. I had no strength. The medical crew, my husband and my mom were so good at encouraging me. At one point, I told myself to focus because if I didn’t do that, my baby will never come out. I don’t know where I found the powerful strength but I did. I pushed really hard and I felt the ring of fire. Oh my god… what a feeling. At this point, there is no coming back. I knew I could do it. After 45 minutes of pushing, I heard MON BÉBÉ crying. All the sudden, he was on me. What a feeling. I had never experienced something that strong. Wow! My voice was so loud and my legs shaking like crazy. I kept asking the gender because I couldn’t see it. Finally my husband confirmed it was a boy, like I had dreamed the previous night.
I kept my baby on me skin to skin for a long time. Being busy with him, helped me with expelling the placenta and getting treated after some minor tearing. I was so surprised when he latched onto my breast right away without any help. From that day, nursing has been very easy. The nurse finally took him from me for his exam. Zach was a very healthy baby, 7 pounds 11 ounces and 20 inches.
Even if it was a long labour, it was a very positive and powerful experience. I am sure the breathing and the relaxation technique made it possible. I feel very blessed. I wish every woman will have such a great birth story. Merci Marie…
Geneviève, Cameron and Zach.
If you enjoyed reading this birth story, you might also like this two posts.
After being in the hospital for an hour or so my contractions were becoming more intense and I couldn’t get comfortable. I was sitting on the edge of the bed using my arms to push down on the bed with each contraction, that was not working….then I remembered not to fight the contractions, and relaxing every muscle. With the next one I relaxed my arms and let the wave of the contraction come and go and I had an “Ah Ha”moment! I was like “OH!! That’s all I have to do, just relax and breathe and the pain goes away!! How easy!!” Keep Reading
Primitive or primal people the world over have seen birth as a celebration of life, a sacred expression of the divine power in nature. This is in sharp contrast to the early Catholic Church teaching that birth was a curse and a source of sorrow and suffering. If you believe as I do, that our thoughts and beliefs collectively shape our world, then it’s easy to understand why birth is so feared today. Keep Reading