I can't believe I'm writing a birth story. I love reading blog birth stories and I always have. It still seems so surreal to me that I am the one on the keyboard. I'm a mama!
This is probably going to be long because I want to remember absolutely everything!
Thursday June 16 (36 weeks and 5 days pregnant) was the same as any other Thursday. I was anticipating the weekend and couldn't wait to sleep in and give my back a break from cleaning teeth. Cody and I planned on visiting family for Father's day, and I was looking forward to attending a close friend's wedding. I got through the work day, with the usual sore back. It was one of my co-workers last days working at our office and we were all going to Earl's after work as a goodbye. It was great and I ate way too much, but was feeling awesome. I gave someone a ride home, and arrived at my place around 7:00pm. I FaceTimed my mom and showed her my bump, then proceeded to eat even more. I had a hot dog, and then was amidst a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal (the tacos I had eaten at Earls clearly weren't enough dinner.. :) ) when nature called, of course... only this time was different. I finished peeing.... but the pee wouldn't stop! TMI? No? It was the weirdest thing! I knew that people said that you lost control of you bladder sometimes toward the end of pregnancy but this was just too weird. I realized the fluid was very clear and panicked a bit. It seemed to stop so I thought maybe I truly had just lost control of my bladder, but when I stood up, the water began gushing again. I yelled to Cody that I was pretty sure my water broke. His response: "Are you just being dramatic?" When I told him I wasn't, he jumped up and started racing around getting ready leave for the hospital. I was in a bit of denial still, and kept telling him to just wait. Sidenote: I had the intentions of packing my hospital bag so many times, but in all seriousness, I had the bag open on my bed and was planning on packing it that very evening. How ironic. Anyway, I went up stairs, changed my clothes (I have no idea why I did that because everything was just getting soaked). By this point I remembered I was at risk for cord prolapse and I sort of panicked. I remembered that a nurse had explained to me a few ways I could check to see if there were immediate concerns and I needed to call 911, rather than driving to the hospital and I was all in the clear. I wrapped a towel around my waist and grabbed a phone charger and my wallet (necessities, right?) and we jumped in the car and headed to the hospital. I called my mom on the way to let her know, and still for some reason thought maybe the baby wasn't actually coming yet and said to her, "I don't know.. it might not be the real thing". I'm not sure what I thought was going to happen.
We got to the maternity unit around 9:00 and they told us that triage was full. I let them know my babe was breech and they put us into a little room and immediately checked the heart rate of the baby. She was totally fine in there, so we began waiting for a room. Because I had a breech baby, we got to skip the line of people in triage and I was taken into a room super fast, which was great! They put me on some monitors and started an IV and let me know I would be speaking with the doctor soon! I wasn't in any pain at this point, and I also think I was still just in shock. I honestly have no idea how much time had passed when the doctor finally came in. It was maybe around 10:00pm when Dr. Watson came in. He was the ob-gyn on call that night. I had never met him, but he was so so nice. He noticed in my chart I had discussed some options with another doctor, and asked if I had made a decision by that point on how I wanted to proceed as it hadn't been noted in my chart. I told him I had the ECV booked for the next Monday, and he told me that since my water had broken, they could no longer attempt that, which I kind of had figured. He did a bedside ultrasound to check the position of the baby, but since there was hardy any fluid in there, he could hardly see but baby was in fact footling breeth (Dr. Fahey, you owe me your house!) and I told him I had decided I didn't want to try a vaginal breech delivery anyway, and he said he didn't recommend it at all and agreed with my decision. He started reviewing the details of a c-section with me, and honestly I felt so calm about it. Any fears that I had, he seemed to put to rest. He asked when I had eaten last, and I told him it had only been a couple hours. Since baby didn't seem distressed, he wanted to wait as long we we could to give my dinner a chance to digest as it could create some complications if I were to get sick from the anesthetic, which is common. He then said around 1:00am we would do the c-section. It was just so crazy to me! To hear that within 3ish hours, I would have a baby. Her birthday would be June 17th. He then said that if there were any changes and if there were any risks for the baby, he would do take her out right away.
So we began the wait. My mom showed up around 11pm, and Cody went back to our place to pick up a few things. I started feeling some lower back cramping around this time but it was fairly minor still. I realized after a while that I was starting to have mild contractions. They got increasingly more uncomfortable and by about 1am I was needing Cody or my mom to apply pressure to my back to help. They were coming about every 5-7ish minutes. The pain was definitely manageable at this point. Unfortunately, the doctor was delivering a baby down the hall and so my c-section was changed until 2am. I spent this last hour getting prepped a bit and asking the nurse questions. Finally 2am rolled around. Cody had changed into scrubs, and we walked to the surgical suite. I was so nervous! But also so surprisingly calm. Finally the anesthesiologist came to get me. He, my nurse, and I walked into the operating room. Cody wasn't allowed to come in until I had my spinal block and we were closer to the actual surgery and all prepped. I sat on the table with my back toward the anesthesiologist while he explained what was going to be happening at this point. Everyone was so wonderful at talking through all the procedures. My nurse was so helpful during the spinal. She held my arms and kept my breathing. Not gonna lie, that thing hurt. The pain was manageable though but it was such a strange sensation that I kept twitching a little bit, probably as he was hitting a nerve or something. Anyway, when that part was done I laid down and I immediately started going numb from my chest down. I didn't watch while they prepped me for surgery, but it all went so fast! I guess it took about a half hour to have me all prepped but I swear it took all of 5 minutes. Suddenly they were hanging a big blue sheet up and Cody was brought in beside me and it was time! I was so torn between wanting to know exactly what was happening on the other side of that blue wall, and so desperately wanting to be distracted. It was such a confusing feeling. I ended up asking Cody to just chat about something. I don't remember anything that we said, but I remember hearing someone reviewing my chart and the procedure, and the surgeon saying "ready to open". It is SO weird to know someone is cutting open your stomach and being fully aware and listening to the sounds and feeling pressure but not being able to see anything or feel the pain. The nurse reminded me repeatedly that I would feel pressure and tugging but not to panic and that was normal. Well, she was right. I could feel them pulling on me and I assume that was them pulling her out. Definitely no pain though. I felt heavy pressure on my chest which was so weird. I asked about it and they said it was probably referred from my abdomen. I heard lots of loud noises but tried to block it all out because I was mostly weirded out by what was happening. I probably have watched way too much Grey's Anatomy. At 2:49am they announced that she had arrived! I didn't hear her cry, and they said they would need to work on her a bit but to look over to the right to see her. Someone walked past and I saw my little dark haired beauty with her eyes wide open staring right at me. I immediately started crying as I felt this overwhelming sensation take over my entire body. I can't even describe it. They took her to the warmer and she was immediately surrounded by nurses. I wasn't sure what was going on but my nurse reassured me that everything was okay. Cody went to be with her while they closed me up. I guess they were deciding if she needed to go to the NICU or not. I remember my nurse coming over to me and tell me that she was doing fine, but was just very "chill" and they wanted her to be "angry". After a minute or two, I finally heard a tiny little cry. They said she didn't need to go to the NICU and she was breathing fine on her own (I later found out that she wasn't breathing and they had to put her on oxygen and suction everything out a bit.. apparently she was reeeeally squished inside me and it was hard to get her out. I'm so glad they didn't tell me that until after.) Anyway, I heard them say she was 5lbs and 15oz, and 18.5 inches long which was impressive for not even being 37 weeks. I was so so grateful she didn't need to go to the NICU. They were closing me up at this point and I remember listening to the suction and lots of loud buzzing sounds, but I just kept my eyes on her little feet sticking up from the warmer she was on and it was the best distraction. They finally brought her over to me! My hands were shaking so bad I could hardly even touch her. Cody held her next to me and I remember putting my finger on her face and it was so so soft I could hardly feel it. She was perfect. Her eyes were open and she just kept looking into my eyes. It was so special to share this with Cody and I will never forget that moment.
They took me to recovery after I was all closed up and I was finally able to have her placed on my chest. She was just so tiny! I can not believe how much I was shaking! I remember seeing my leg for the first time since the spinal and being so weirded out that I couldn't feel it. It was over to the side further than I thought and I was so confused and felt so detached from my body. Such a strange sensation. Ivory's blood sugar was quite low so they had to do a couple tests on her, which was just as well because at this point I realized I was going to be sick. So it's a good thing we waited as long as we did for the c-section because there wasn't a whole lot in my stomach to come back up. Finally the anesthetic wore off enough, my stomach settled, and her blood sugar stabilized and we were taken back to our room. I had the best nurse named Rachael who was with me all of Friday and Saturday during the day, and also Sunday until I was discharged. It was actually terrifying for me to imagine not having Rachael take care of me. I was terrified to leave her! hahaa. My entire experience at South Health Campus was incredible and I was always so well taken care of. Ivory's blood sugar levels were stable throughout the rest of our stay, but she did have to have them checked every 3 hours for the first 12 hours and then every 6 hours for the next 12. That was a lot of little foot pokes. :( I was up on my feet by Friday afternoon and was able to shower by Saturday. I had heard so many awful things about c-sections, but when I heard other women labouring all night long, I was quite pleased with the way things turned out. Ivory only ever got down to 5lbs and 11 oz, which they said was only 4% of her birth weight or something which was so great because some babies lose up to 10%. On Sunday, we were finally allowed to go home!
Now here are some photos of the events.
Waiting to be admitted! I was surprisingly composed. Probably in shock.
Waiting for my dinner to digest so I could meet my little lady!
A snapchat Cody took of me walking into the OR with the nurse
Just a couple minutes old!
Getting her all bundled up so she could meet her mama
Meeting mama for the first time.
This was one of the most surreal moments of my entire life.
First family photo!
And another in the recovery room
I just love her squishy little face!
So tiny next to dads finger.
This is actually a photo from later but you can see her bruised little feet from being poked so many times to have her sugar levels checked. Break my heart!
Next to Grandma's hand
Daddy's little girl. You can really see how tiny she here!
This picture cracks me up. Such a little peanut!
Up next will be Ivory's newborn photos which were done by Photography by Kels. They are absolutely amazing and I have wanted to post every single one on instagram so hopefully putting them up on the blog will make me feel better!