Born: Wednesday February 15th, 2012 at 7:42pm
Weeks of Gestation: 38 weeks, 6 days
Estimated Due Date: February 23rd, 2012
Weight: 8 pounds 6 ounces
Length: 21 inches
Labour and Delivery:
Tuesday February 14th, 2012 I “knew” that I had over a week left to the pregnancy and I was feeling impatient and bored at being home throughout the day. Especially because I was not able to accomplish nearly as much as I thought that I should be able to during the day due to over-all fatigue. I was compensating for the boredom by having reading marathons wherein I went through 2 – 3 books per day. My fairly extensive personal library allowed for this for a short period of time, but I eventually had to venture out to the library to replenish my reading lists.
Emmanuel and I had gone to the library the previous Friday and I had already read all of the books. Not to mention it was Valentine’s Day and I had no card or gift to get my husband. So I mentally prepared myself to go to South Common mall (literally one block away from our house) to visit the library and to get a little something to show my appreciation for what a wonderful husband Emmanuel has been.
Stubbornness dictated that I walk the block because how embarrassing would it have been to catch a bus for that short duration? Yes, in hindsight it may not have been the wisest course of action, blah, blah, blah. I still made there with relative ease. I had some sharp pains in my cervix as I went, but I merely slowed my pace and continued on. However, once accomplishing my self-assigned tasks, I really wasn’t up to walking back home. I may be stubborn but I am not stupid (I hope) so I took the bus back and spent the rest of the afternoon reading on the couch, barely able to get up and take care of my immediate needs because I was just so tired.
In this time (approximately a four hour span) I felt a lot of pressure on my cervix and abdomen but around 4pm I realized that I had not actually felt the baby moving in his usual, squirmy way since I got back. I took a hot shower, ate some food, had a glass of water and lay on my left side to see if he would start moving. I started to feel panicky because he never did begin moving the same way as I was used to and the tricks to make him move weren’t working. By this time, Emmanuel was on his way home, and frankly I just thought that I was worrying over nothing and that more than likely the baby was just sleeping from my earlier exertions.
Nevertheless, I told Emmanuel that I wanted to go to the hospital just to make sure. Not to mention that I was fairly sure that the pains in my cervix were indicative of possible dilation. I seem to be very sensitive there.
We got to labour assessment and they immediately strapped me to a fetal heart rate and contraction monitor. The baby’s heart rate was very strong which was reassuring and they gave me ice water which got him to give me a few kicks to the ribs; also reassuring. Emmanuel was amazing throughout the whole ordeal, he kept assuring me that everything was fine and that it was probably what I thought. It turns out we were wrong.
The doctor on call came to check me out before they released me and as part of the check, he manipulated my cervix. It turns out that I was already 2cm dilated although not particularly effaced. He sent me on my way with a warning that labour should begin any day.
Well by the time we got home and ate, it was 9pm. Before bed I had bloody show and lost great clumps of my mucous plug. We were fairly ecstatic because all the books indicate that bloody show predates active labour by twenty-four hours or so. Baby Carranza was on his way!
Emmanuel and I went to bed until 3am when I started to have pain severe enough that I could not sleep through it. I call it pain because it did not feel like what they have described contractions to be. There was no wave of pain with a crescendo and decrescendo, instead it was constant unending, although not severe, pain. I really did not know what it was and thus wasn’t sure if we should go to the hospital. There was no way to time these contractions because there was no ceasefire. Finally, around 7am I decided (with my mum’s help) to go in and the worst that would happen would be that I was sent back home to come back later.
I called my mum to let her know, Emmanuel and I ate, showered and changed before heading to the hospital. My mother had the day off because of doctor’s appointments and Emmanuel had scheduled his holiday to tentatively being that day also. Our child could not have picked a better day to come!
My mum actually got to the hospital before us and she was crying (as is her wont) as I went back into labour assessment. The nurse checked me and let me know that I was 2.5 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Ordinarily they would have sent me home to wait, but because I tested positive for Group B Streptococcus, they instead had me walk around for 2 hours before being checked again.
We walked for the whole two hours. I barely felt any pain, although my back had started to ache. I wasn’t holding out much hope for a fast delivery because I still hadn’t felt any contractions. However, once we got back and the nurse checked me (around 11am) it turned out that I had dilated further to about 4-5cm. That was that, I was staying. I immediately went to the washroom and as I sat down to pee I heard a pop. At first I thought it was a joint but I realized it wasn’t when liquid continued pouring into the toilet despite my not feeling like I was peeing.
I ran back to the nurse to let her know that my water had broken. She was shocked and asked if my mother had had a fast delivery as well. She didn’t. As soon as my water broke, I started to have real contractions, really painful contractions. And they were coming quickly, really quickly. They were painful enough that I was squeezing both Mummy’s and Emmanuel’s hands throughout each one. I also started calling for an epidural within an hour.
They kept telling me to take it easy because I couldn’t have the baby in labour assessment and they were waiting for a bed in labour and delivery. Emmanuel got very frustrated and went outside to tell them that whatever they said, this baby was coming now and for them to do something. They took him seriously and moved me over quickly. The walk to the next department was agony and I had to keep stopping to deal with the pain of each contraction. Luckily, the anesthesiologist came in fairly quickly kicked Emmanuel and mummy out or the room so that he could put in the epidural.
The minute that the epidural was active I felt immediate relief. There was a feeling of warmth in my legs and then all the pain was gone. Mummy had to leave to take grandma to an appointment which left Emmanuel and I alone in the delivery room.
The epidural made me sick to my stomach and I ended up vomiting everything that I took in, food or water. It also made me quite drowsy so in between vomiting I slept. Poor Emmanuel was left alone to pace and watch TV. Emmanuel was such an amazing help. He was so supportive and encouraging with me.
About four hours later I was ready to start pushing. I had actually been fully dilated two hours previously but they wanted time to allow the penicillin to take effect against the strep infection so they made me wait. The epidural suppressed any urges that I had to push so it was all well and good.
After that was three hours of pure and utter hell. I pushed on every contraction with just a few rests here and there. This is where Emmanuel really shone. He moved me into position for every push, held my legs back and pushed against my back all so that it was possible for me to continue to push. The baby’s head moved back and forth but never crowned properly. The first nurse just had me keep pushing but her replacement started stretching my vaginal passage with every contraction and after 20 minutes suggested that a vacuum intervention might be the best thing because clearly the child wasn’t coming.
At that point in time I was desperate because I was losing strength fast and we just weren’t progressing so Emmanuel and I agreed that something had to be done. Within five minutes the doctor entered and ten minutes after that Nico was sitting on my chest wailing. It was insane. The doctor had me keep pushing but he pulled on the vacuum as I pushed and all the talk about the ring of fire proved true. Even though I was completely numbed from my waist downwards I could feel every excruciating second of Nico’s head exiting my vaginal canal, worst yet was that it took two contractions to get him out entirely so while we were waiting for the next contraction to start I had to deal with incredible pain of having him half in and half out of my body.
But, oh my God, the indescribable feeling of seeing him for the first time, and having him laid on my breast, made it all worth it. I can’t begin to explain my emotional state. I was in shock that I was officially a mother and that this was my child lying on me. I was so busy examining him, sharing the experience with Emmanuel and trying to come to terms with the major change that my life had just gone through that I barely registered the delivery of the placenta.
The stitching required to repair my torn perineum, however, did not escape my notice. I do believe that it was more painful than the actual delivery.
Emmanuel had called my mother around 4:30pm that day to let her know that I was ready to begin pushing and that she could expect to see her grandson very soon. Unfortunately, the actual delivery was much harder than anticipated due to his size and positioning that it was not until just before 9pm that Emmanuel was able to go outside and inform Mummy of what was happening. I later learned that the hospital staff would not give my mum any updates at all, not even to let her know if I was still alive, instead telling her that she had to wait until Emmanuel came out to give her what news there was.
She immediately came into the delivery room to see her grandson, my baby boy. There were tears and she brought flowers and a stuffed teddy bear for Nico. It was all very emotional.
Within an hour I had been moved to a recovery room for the rest of the night, and the rest, as they say, is history.