Sunday, January 18, 2015

Prodromal Labor and then a Birth Story: Little H Finally Arrived!

So, the last month of my pregnancy was possibly the worst I have felt, physically, in my life.

I know it is nothing compared to people with chronic pain or migraines but let's be honest, I really do know how to whine.

As M was early, I was expecting this baby to be early too. Earlier than M, who came 2 1/2 weeks before her due date. I was due January 1st, so on Dec. 7th when I began feeling contractions in the middle of the night, I got very excited. They lasted a few hours, but when I went downstairs and walked around a bit they went away. Dejected, I kept waiting.

A few days later, December 9th, contractions started in the evening. They ramped up and got closer together and stronger. I though to myself, "This is it!" Then, in the morning, I got out of bed and they went away completely.

What on earth was going on? I had contractions for the entire night and I didn't have a baby. Plus we had cautiously texted people letting them know that it might be the day... and it was not. What a let down for everyone. Though it was good that I didn't have the baby that early, I wouldn't have been able to go to the birth centre as I was pre-term.

I googled and googled to see what was the matter with me. Of course, google obliged with: Prodromal Labor. I read a bunch of other mom's stories. What they had to say did not delight me. Some, (lucky ladies), had this false labor a few days before real labor. Others waited weeks.

Apparently, I fell into the "waiting for weeks" category.

My mom arrived on the 15th and every day we waited for the baby to come. I would have contractions all night several more times before Christmas, but no sign of any baby. We also didn't text anyone anymore, after crying wolf that one time.

The midwives were not that sympathetic. They told me everything was normal and that they wouldn't check me because there was really no need. They also let me know that my baby "wasn't small". Hmm... something else to look forward to, a giant baby...

Christmas day came. No contractions, but I did lose my mucous plug in the morning. A Christmas baby? Not ideal, but I'd take what I could get. I texted a friend who said she had lost hers weeks before her baby was born. Not what I wanted to hear.

(Un)fortunately, the baby had other plans and Christmas was not on the agenda. In other news, I was absolutely huge!! My stomach was like a beach ball and I was getting stretch marks all around my belly button because this baby wouldn't stop growing!!

Boxing day arrived and I lost more of the mucous plug. Still no contractions, and still no baby. I was really getting tired of the waiting game and nobody in my house liked me anymore. I didn't even like myself.

Then came December 27th. I didn't sleep all night. I was feeling super anxious. I was also not feeling any contractions, and I was pretty sure that this baby wouldn't come until after the new year.

And then in the morning, little M came in as per usual and nursed for a few minutes. I got out of bed and felt three very, very strong contractions, all one after the other. I went into M's bedroom to play with her, then felt my water break. It was 6:50am.

At last!

We called the midwife, who urged us to get to the Birth Centre as soon as possible. My contractions following the water breakage were very strong and every 2 minutes. We woke my mom up, got everything we needed together and arrived at the birth centre around 7:30 (it really isn't far from our house). The car ride was unpleasant as I had a few contractions in it, but at least we made it on time.

Our midwife wasn't able to attend the birth because she was already at one, along with our backup midwife, so we met two midwives whom we hadn't met before. Between contractions, we tried to get to know each other a little bit. Finally, I agreed to let them check me. It was around 8:30. I was 7cm! Not much to go.

I coped by pacing and rocking and singing to the music we had brought. Things were very calm. My husband's family had arrived and were taking care of M and enjoying coffee while I concentrated on birthing.

Not too long after, I felt like pushing. At 9:26, I was fully dilated and pushing like a fiend... and making lots of noise because it kind of hurt.

16 minutes later, my baby was born. Her shoulders got a little stuck, but my midwife was a pro with 25 years experience and got her out with only one tiny tear. The baby was put on my chest and instantly latched and started eating like the little piggy she is. Again, I asked everyone, "What is it???" My husband finally checked and told me it was another little girl.

Apgars were great, baby was giant (9 pounds, 0.5 oz), and I was ecstatic that it was over. It really felt like I pushed longer than 16 minutes, but for everyone else it seemed really fast. M came and hugged the baby and I felt like my family was complete.

Proud Dad and Big Sister