If you’re a momma-to-be you’re in for the most amazing experience of your life. I knew that being a mom was going to be amazing but this is 10 times better than I had ever imagined. Mind you… labour was 10 times WORSE than I had ever imagined. I promise you it’s all worth it.
For those of you that have been following along with my pregnancy journey thank you so much! We are so pleased to announce the birth of our baby girl “Evelyn Anne”. She was born on October 24th at 12:13pm weighing 6.11oz. Trust me, I thought she was going to be MUCH bigger than that (as I’m sure all the people who asked me if I was carrying twins did as well). The day I went into labour was the same day I wrote this post right here. Everyone kept telling me, “You’ll know when it’s the real thing”. Well guess what? I definitely didn’t. I was so frustrated that I kept having false labour and I really didn’t know if we would be heading to the hospital that night or not. In fact, even the app I was using told me I was going into ‘False Labour’ (I’ll tell ya about that in a bit) so how was I supposed to know?
7AM – 1PM
I woke up to contractions on October 23rd. One at 7:30am, then 8:00am, then 8:30 am and so on. In fact, these contractions were every half an hour up until about 12:30 in the afternoon when everything stopped. I had told my husband to be on standby (we knew that it would be about 8-12 hours before we would have to head to the hospital) just in case my water broke and I needed him to race home. My mom was in Ottawa and wanted to be home for the delivery, my sister was in North Bay and also wanted a heads up to drive home and my dad was about to leave for a business trip. There’s no way I wanted anyone driving anywhere if we weren’t going to the hospital for sure. So once all the contractions stopped I was really confused. Did I have another bout of false labour? I remember googling … ‘can your labour stall?’ It’s a thing! It’s actually a real thing that no one tells you about. Your labour can start and stall when you’re having real contractions. Well for me, it had definitely stalled and not just for 1 hour. It didn’t pick back up until about 6 hours later. I seriously thought I was going crazy.
Here we go again. My contractions had started again and they were about half an hour apart. At this point I didn’t know what to think. I had already had 2 bouts of false labour over the past 2 weeks. Once my hubby was home, we had a nice roast dinner that his parents had dropped off for us (with homemade horseradish… I’ll also get to this later) and we just kind of waited for things to intensify. Would we be going to the hospital? Was this just another round of false labour? I paced the kitchen trying to get through my contractions which were definitely painful but no where close to as painful as they were going to get. At around 9:30pm I decided it was time to have a bath. I hoped in and struggled through my contractions. I was still timing them using an app and noticed that they were now about 15 minutes apart. Was this it? This is what every textbook tells you will happen when you’re going into labour. When I got out of the bath my contractions had sped up to about every 8 minutes so I decided to give the hospital a quick call. We were heading to the Milton District Hospital that was about half an hour away so we wanted to know if it was time to make the drive over. It wasn’t. They told me to get back in the bath to help me with the pain and to wait until my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. Is it crazy that I still wasn’t sure this was the real thing? I hoped back into the bath (now 11pm) and continued to time everything. After about half an hour I actually had an alert from the app that read:
“Most likely you are experiencing false labor. Taking a short walk or a warm shower will ease the cramping. If contractions keep coming, continue timing them”.
Well of course I kept timing them and just half an hour later I got an alert saying:
“It’s time to get your hospital bag and documents ready. If the hospital is far away or this is not your first labour, now would be the perfect time to go to the hospital.”
So at this point it was about 12:30am and I was in TERRIBLE pain. My contractions were about every 5 minutes apart and it had been that way for just over an hour. I needed something for my pain STAT!!! It was time to wake Ryan and get to the hospital immediately. Of course, the car wasn’t packed, the car seat wasn’t installed and Ryan hadn’t even packed his hospital bag! Yes… I had asked him what seemed like a million times to do this but in that moment all I cared about was getting my butt to the hospital. I remember thinking, “I’m going to have 6 contractions on this car ride!” and freaking out a bit. At that point I was so nauseous that I was holding a bag just in case I had to throw up and I couldn’t move an inch when I felt a contraction coming on. If I moved even the slightest bit the entire contraction was 10x more painful. So the bumps and turns and stops on the ride there were excruciating. In my opinion, we couldn’t get there fast enough.
When we got to the hospital they put us in a triage room to be assessed. I remember walking in and telling the nurse I was in an extreme amount of pain. So much so that I saw the garbage can and vomited for the first 10 minutes we were in the room. Remember that homemade horse radish? Yeah… that was a bad idea. They told me that I was hyperventilating and that I needed to breathe through my contractions so that I wouldn’t fill my stomach with air and throw up (much easier said than done). When they checked me at around 2AM I said to the nurse, “Please don’t tell me I’m only 2cm dilated.” She replied, “Well… you’re only 2cm dilated BUT you’re fully effaced so you’ve done a lot of work”. In that moment I knew it was going to be a loooonnnnngggg night. I asked if there was something they could give me for the pain and the nurse had offered up Morphene and Gravol. I told her I wanted to think about it because I knew that whatever I took the baby would take too. My best friend (who had little Elliot just three weeks prior) was up in the night checking in on my labour. She also just happens to be a nurse so I was in luck because I wanted her opinion on taking Morphene. She advised me that they would only give me a very small dose and that they wouldn’t give me anything that would harm the baby. SIGN ME UP! My next contraction came and I couldn’t hit the call button fast enough. I literally grabbed it right out of Ryan’s hand. The nurse ran in to make sure I was ok and let us know that we would be admitted to the delivery room. They helped me get into a wheelchair and wheeled me over to the bed I would be in for the next 10 hours.
Once I was comfy cozy (and moaning in pain) the nurse hooked me up to my IV. The Morphene and Gravol was administered and I was in heaven. I was instantly drowsy and was able to sleep for the rest of my labour. Not even kidding… between contractions AND pushes (Now I can honestly say I can sleep through almost anything). The nurse shut the lights out and Ryan and I both got some shut eye. I did wake up to my contractions but I was so thankful to get hours of sleep before the baby arrived.
At 7am the nurse came in to check on us and I was in EXCRUCIATING pain at this point. I was so ready for my epidural. She checked to see how dilated I was and told me I was at 5cm. They said that there was a local anesthesiologist that could come in to give me an epidural but they would need to give him a heads up. That seemed like the longest wait.
Side note: I’ve always been terrified of needles, giving blood and epidurals. A good friend of mine has had several spine surgeries and the thought of her epidural always scared me. In this moment… I couldn’t get the epidural fast enough. And guess what? It didn’t hurt. I’ve heard so many stories about the epidural being more painful than the contractions themselves. Not for me. In fact, I was having a contraction while they were giving me my epidural and the nurse was scolding me saying I wasn’t allowed to move an inch (that was the worst)! Just 10 minutes in and I was asking the nurse if the epidural was even working. I was still feeling EVERYTHING. She said it would take 15 to 20 minutes to kick in so I waited… and I waited… and it never seemed to give me the relief I had heard everyone rave about. My legs would shake uncontrollably and I would have to hug the railing of the bed. Again, definitely not what I had pictured my labour being like. I thought I’d be using a birthing ball or pacing the room and instead I was bed ridden for hours and in more pain than I ever thought imaginable.
At 10am my mom arrived. She said she woke up to my text in what she calls a ‘Home Alone’ moment. You know the one where his mom screams KEVIN!!!!!! She told me there was a torrential down pour as she raced to the Milton District Hospital all the way from Ottawa (Sorry mom). The nurse asked me if I wanted my mom in the room and at that moment Ryan and I both agreed to have her with us. Truthfully, not sure what I would have done without her there. It’s not like the movies where there are a ton of doctors or nurses in the room (at least mine wasn’t). It was actually extremely calm. Just my hubby, my mom, the nurse and me in one huge birthing suite. By 11am it was ALMOST time to push. I could feel my body pushing which seemed so amazing. The fact that your body just knows what to do is pretty incredible. The doctor checked me and I was finally 10cm dilated! My mom said that I had the biggest smile on my face. It was such a relief to know that I knew that our precious little baby was almost here (and that my contractions were almost over).
When I got the cue to start pushing it was not what I expected. It was so frustrating!!! (TMI WARNING) I was told that you would have to push like you were trying to go to the bathroom but for me it was a very different kind of push. The nurse kept putting her finger in a spot and would tell me to push her finger. I just couldn’t figure it out and it was so frustrating. After about half an hour of attempts I finally figured it out and things went pretty quickly from there. The nurse called the doctor in and before we knew it our little baby girl was here. I have to say, pushing through the contractions was the best part of labour. I’m not going to lie, there was definitely a burning sensation but I think because I knew she was almost here it made it so much easier. Also, I was so happy to have my mom in the room. Ryan had one leg and my mom had the other. The nurse was so busy documenting medical information that she couldn’t be at my side to hold a leg up (I’m still not sure why they didn’t use the stirrups). I actually had to take a deep breath like I was about to jump off a cliff, hike my legs up in the air, grab the back of my legs and push (in the tricky spot) as hard and as long as I possibly could. In the very end, the doctor actually asked me to give her half pushes. What the heck!? I instantly understood that they would help prevent tearing so that’s exactly what I gave her. When Evie was almost fully out it was the most amazing 5 minutes of my life. The anticipation of not knowing what we were having was just the most exciting thing. The nurse said out loud “Dad, what is it?” and because the umbilical cord was in the way Ryan didn’t have an answer. Once they moved the cord he said “It’s a girl” and I just started bawling. I couldn’t believe we actually had a baby girl. It was the most magical thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. The most painful thing I’ve ever gone through and I’d do it all over again (and 10x over for this sweet little girl).
To sum things up:
- Labour was more painful than I had ever imagined.
- I didn’t deal with pain as well as I had expected.
- It wasn’t like the movies. Our room was quite empty and very calm.
- The pushing was the best part.
- Not knowing the sex made the last 5 minutes of labour the most magical thing I’ve ever experienced.
I’d love to hear from YOU. Did you go through something similar? Was your labour completely different. Please share in the comments below!