I don’t think I ever wrote my birth story down. Yikes. What Mommy blogger hasn’t blogged about the most astounding, life giving, wonderful day of their life?! Me. Oops. So here I am, sitting down to tell you my birth story – 10 months later.
I have been so caught up in the wonderful life of Motherhood, that many things I once found time to do (blogging), I no longer have the same time for. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE blogging and creating new recipes to share..etc., Life just got busy.
So here I am, 10 months after my beautiful baby Norah was born, sitting down to share the fragments of my memory of April 4th, 2015, and the days leading up to her birth…let’s see how much I can remember.
Thursday, two days before baby Norah was born, I woke up and sat down to eat breakfast with Thomas. I can remember feeling mild cramping, similar to period cramps, and saying to Thomas, “Today is the day.” Or so I hoped…I probably said that to him every day for those last 2 weeks – hehe. But this time I meant it! It was 6 days before my projected due date, but I was convinced this baby was coming sooner.
I had a TON of Braxton hicks contractions in the 3rd trimester. I seriously could hardly walk. Every time I had a “fake” contraction, I had a sudden urge to pee like never before. It was not fun. I tried to do all those things people suggest…like walking. Nope. Wasn’t happening. I attempted to walk around my neighborhood one day, and ventured a new route (bad idea). Turns out there was a giant hill, and one that I decided would be “good for me” to climb. Nope. Not fun. I won’t be doing that again. Especially not pregnant.
Back to Thursday, April 2nd. The cramps I kept feeling were becoming more consistent. Very mild, and not painful. They felt different from the Braxton hicks contractions. Thomas went to the office, and I told him he better keep his phone close by, just in case.
I spent the morning doing things around the house. I can’t remember what I did exactly, but I’m pretty sure I cleaned like a mad woman, and started cooking soup. I was not “resting” as suggested by the midwives. I even made Thomas lunch and decided to deliver it to him at the office. If that doesn’t get me brownie points, I don’t know what does…
As we sat together and ate our lunch, the mild contractions started to feel a little bit stronger. Still not painful, but enough for me to eat and then drive straight home. Thomas cancelled his appointments for the day – Baby was most likely on the way. I was praying this wasn’t false labour. I wanted this baby to come now!
The day is a bit of a blur. I don’t remember being in much pain while there was daylight. I DO remember the pain throughout the night. The contractions weren’t strong enough for me to go to the hospital, but they were so uncomfortable and painful that I couldn’t get a wink of sleep. I did squats and danced all night in the living room (sounds fun, but I was dying). Thomas was able to get his beauty sleep while I was waltzing around and trying to rest in-between contractions on the couch. Around 7am, I went stomping in the bedroom saying, “OKAY GET UP. I NEED YOU.” He would have been useless to me during the night, and I certainly didn’t expect him to learn the waltz at 3am. I wasn’t mad at him for sleeping. I’m sure I was the one to summon him to bed. But it was morning now, and I was in PAIN. Time for a pre-birth breakfast and a back massage.
One of my midwives came to check how far along I was around on Friday morning, around 10am. Unfortunately I wasn’t in “active labour” yet, much to my surprise. Trying to deal with a lot of pain on zero sleep was exhausting. How much worse does this get?! I was advised to take some gravol and get as much rest as possible. I took gravol and tried to rest my eyes in between contractions. It didn’t go so well. I was tossing and turning in bed and could not sleep at all. If I did fall asleep, it would only be for minutes at a time until the next contraction hit. The bath is where I spent a lot of my time. It seemed to help a bit.
Friday evening around dinner time things were really getting painful. Thomas was getting hungry, and I knew he needed to eat something before we left for the hospital. I told him to order a pizza so he didn’t have to leave my side to cook something. Much to our surprise, one of the local pizza companies, cough, Pizza Hut, was not so friendly and told us we were out of their delivery zone. Thomas politely “begged” for them to make an exception, being that we live very close by. After much debate, he asked to speak with a manager. Keep in mind, they probably thought there was a murder happening if they could hear me yelling in the background…hehe. After explaining to the manager that his wife is in labour and he really needs the pizza, the guy on the phone says, “If your wife is in labour, why are you ordering a pizza? Take her to the hospital.” We couldn’t believe he said that. Pizza Hut has since lost our business. Too bad…we really did love Pizza Hut. However, we were thankful Dominos came to our rescue! We laugh about this now, but in the moment, we were not happy.
It was after dinner that my midwife came and finally announced I was officially in active labour, and that she wasn’t leaving my side until we had a baby. Yay! I laboured at home until around 10pm, and then we headed off to the hospital for the rest of my labour.
Here are the random things I remember since the night is a blur in my mind from this point on:
When we arrived at the hospital, the lady at the front door insisted I use the hand sanitizer before I enter. Seriously lady, ain’t nobody got time for that! hehe. I reached out my hand and put some sanitizer on. Onward we went to the birthing unit…
Thomas wheeled me into the birthing unit (which was very empty). There was a doctor standing by the front desk, who said loudly to my midwife that he is around if we need him. He was very obvious about the fact that he was talking about an epidural, which I already decided I did not want to take. This was a personal choice, and one that I was trying very hard to stick with. I don’t think it would have been a big deal if the doctor mentioned it to my midwife privately. But to say that in front of me was like waving candy in front of a kids face. What I needed was for someone to encourage me to keep going. The doctor telling me an epidural was close by was very tempting to say the least!! Thomas was amazing and encouraged me to keep going! Just what I needed to hear.
Once we arrived at the hospital, I was very slowly dilating, and at this point the Midwife decided it was best to break my water. This helped my labour progress quicker. I can remember saying, “I’m so scared. This is going to make it hurt even more!” I was right. But that was inevitable.
I remembered to pack some labour snacks and electrolyte drinks. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stomach any of it and was puking blue Gatorade all night. Sorry, but that’s the truth. Thomas was quick to give me water, even if I didn’t want it. It was a lifesaver having a cup with a STRAW. I will definitely remember that for my next birth.
I spent a lot of the night in the shower at the hospital, sitting on a labour ball. I think it helped, but at that point, no position felt comfortable, and I was ready to give up. This was during the transition stage – the most painful stage of labour. I vividly remember saying to Thomas, “I can’t do this. I think I need the epidural.” I am so thankful for my amazing Husband, who knows me so well and told me what I needed to hear. He was firm and strong when he said to me, “Melanie, you do not need the epidural. You are the same person now that you were before, and I know that you do not want this. Jesus Christ will give you the strength to get you through this. You can do it.” I needed those wise words of encouragement and a bit of tough love when I was feeling so weak and helpless. It was what kept me going.
The midwife decided I needed to get an IV to give my body more fluid since I was not able to hold anything down and was very dehydrated. I also had not slept for 2 nights and was very low in energy. I was so thankful she did this, otherwise I would’ve gave up. We are getting into the early hours of Saturday morning by this point. She also suggested I try the gas mask, which would help take the edge off of the contractions. The IV and gas was amazing for me. I felt more energized and no longer wanted the epidural.
I remember standing beside the bed, and all of a sudden my body started to push. It was totally doing it on its own. Isn’t that amazing?! Our body does all the work for us, we just have to suffer through the pain and breathe through it. It’s such an amazing natural process. I was created to give birth! And so was the lady down the hall..the not so amazing part was we decided to give birth at the same time. This lady was screaming down the hall pushing her baby out too, and my midwife had to run out to help her. I vividly remember hearing my midwife on the phone outside of our room calling the other midwife saying, “I need you here, like NOW.” It was scary. I was alone with Thomas, and I could feel my body pushing. Moments later we heard a baby cry from the other room. That sound put a smile on our faces. It was a bitter-sweet moment. My turn was next.
The midwife was in our room shortly after the other birth, and the back-up midwife arrived too. I was getting very close to having this baby, and they checked my cervix to make sure I was ready to push. I was laying down now, and the midwife had to physically push my cervix over the baby’s head so I could push her out. I started pushing at 4am.
I can remember through the pushing phase, Norah was kicking me in my belly. We could all see her feet pushing against my belly while at the same time, her little head was coming out. This baby was determined to get out. Everyone was in shock. The midwife was yelling at me, “STOP PUSHING!” But I wasn’t pushing. It was Norah kicking her way out!! She wanted out NOW. She literally “birthed” herself. But I still take most of the credit ;).
Words can not express the feelings I had when Norah was born an hour later at 5:01 am. Complete joy. I was still in a lot of pain after she came out, but it was much easier to deal with having my baby in my arms. Her head was a little odd-shaped initially, but she was beautiful all the same. I was amazed and so in love with this little person. She was a piece of me and Thomas put together in one little person. Words can’t describe what that moment was like for us…
I took a shower before leaving the birthing room, and was instructed to pee before we could leave and go to our new room. I was terrified by the thought…but there were worse things to come than a pee. For those of you who have experienced labour and birth, you know what I mean…I was happy to take the ducosate pills as instructed by the nurse. hehehehe
I could hardly walk after this whole experience, so Thomas helped to push me down the hall in a wheelchair, while I cuddled our new baby and gazed at her in awe. How wonderful she was, and how beautiful. LOVE in its purest form. Welcome to the world Norah Joy Faris.