*This post contains graphic content which includes talk of all things birth related. Please feel free to scroll down to the pictures and skip out on the details if you are squeamish!
I left you off last time with a bit of a cliff hanger. The doctor had instructed us that we could go to the hospital. To be honest, I was shocked. I had never done this before and I was sure that I would hear the words, “false labour”. I was sure that I would be told to go home and come back when things got worse. I was sure of this because to be honest at that point, it wasn’t that bad. Yes it was uncomfortable but very manageable It really is like a sharper version of a period cramp that I knew was going away in 1 minutes time and then I would get a break!
I have to admit, Ryan and I were very excited that we would be going to the hospital knowing that this was it….we were going to meet our child sometime soon! We stopped by the grocery store first to get some fresh fruit for our in room fridge and the pharmacy because I forgot contact solution!
I felt a little self conscious as we parked at the hospital and began carrying our bags up the stairs to our room. People were staring at us with a knowing smile that we were about to become parents. We got shown our big room right away and I was so glad to have gotten one of the good rooms! We were the only ones there that day in labour!
The very last belly pic! Also the outfit I wore pretty much the whole time!! I hated the hospital gown and the nurse allowed me to wear this instead!
As we settled into our room and unpacked a little (while having contractions) Ryan realized that he forgot to pack a toothbrush and a change of clothes! First time Daddy jitters? Probably! In between a contraction I proceeded to be the nagging wife telling Ryan to go get his supplies before things got too serious! So, off he went and I continued on by myself.
While Ryan was gone the hospital brought in my lunch which was roast beef and it was SOO good! I have to quickly say, I REALLY enjoyed the hospital food for my whole stay! And I am sure this big lunch helped my energy stay high throughout the long labour and delivery process.
In the weeks leading up to labour Ryan and I practiced what he needed to do. I think his quick trip to the store gave him a few minutes by himself to gather his composure and prepare mentally for what was happening because when he got back he was very focused. Ryan started religiously timing my contractions and was my voice to the nurses and doctors. He would tell them exactly how far apart my contractions were and he was vocal in not letting them check me while I was in the middle of a contraction. He also made sure I was 100% focused so that the pain would be minimal.
This is our “birth book” that Ryan used to write down all the contractions. While I was going through it I found the sweetest note he had written during the process (lower left). It reads, “Oh my Lindsay is doing so amazing. It’s like she is a natural. It is 5:55 pm and Lindsay is getting tired but she is tough as nails. I’m so proud of her on how well she is doing. Trish (nurse) just came into check the babies heartbeat and Lindsay’s as well”.
I was feeling pretty confident and proud when they checked me at 4:33 PM and I was already 8 CM dilated. Leading up to this point contractions were uncomfortable but certainly not something I couldn’t handle. The nurses kept coming in and were shocked by my progress because I wasn’t even showing signs of being uncomfortable. It was just a light and happy atmosphere just what I had hoped labour would be like but wasn’t expecting.
The other thing I wasn’t expecting were the positions I was in when I was going through a contraction. I had practiced with the birth ball and when it came to labour, I HATED the birth ball. It ended up my most favourite place to be was on the rocking chair rocking back and forth during a contraction. I think the rocking motion distracted me and helped me focus on something else besides the pain. When contractions got more intense, I preferred leaning on Ryan while swinging my hips back and forth!
When the doctor checked me at around 4:33 PM and I was 8 the intern remarked by saying, “At this rate, you’ll have the baby by 7 pm”….And that’s when things starting going down hill!
For the next 4 hours I continued to have back-to-back contractions that were very intense! The nurses would check me every hour and were shocked when I was still only made it to 9 cm and a lip. It was that “lip” that would not go away and was holding me back from starting to push!
This is when I was ready to throw in the towel. I was emotionally, physically and mentally spent! I BEGGED for an epidural! I pretty much offered everything in the world for someone to get me some drugs! The nurses gently told me that the anaesthesiologist was off for the evening and even if he was there there, I was too far along for anything. So, for the mean time they gave me some laughing gas.
The first few contractions with laughing gas were amazing! The contractions were bearable again. The only problem, the effects started wearing off. My body seemed to get immune to the gas quickly and after a few contractions the laughing gas did nothing to help with the pain. I ended up actually throwing the mask at Ryan and yelled, “IT’S NOT F**KING WORKING!!” Certainly not one of my proudest moments! Ha ha!
It was at this time that I thought I couldn’t do it. I was either going to die or they were going to cut this baby out of me. It was then that our delivery nurse came in and started stepping in over Ryan and it was actually exactly what I needed. It’s not that Ryan wasn’t doing a good job but he is a man (and him telling me to relax through a contraction almost made me stab him with a needle) and at that moment I needed a strong female (who has children) to talk to me and ensure me that everything is going to be o.k. She ran a bath for me, told me to get in and helped me through 2 contractions. By the time the 3rd contraction started I started feeling the urge to push, it was go time!
Stay tuned for part 3 next week!