But I digress. As usual.
My purpose of this post is to document my labour experience. It was exactly as I had hoped, but did not go according to plan! Are you ready? Here we go.
Thursday March 25 - I had some energy that evening, so I decided to get the house tidied up in case Handsome happened to decide to come over (we kept saying that we were going to get together but between him being sick, then BB being sick, and then me being sick, etc. it never happened, and I knew that this would be the last night until the following week that he would be able to drop in.) Also, I hadn't taken any baby bump pics since the night of my work Christmas party (posing for XH to take the pics was beyond awkward, so I hadn't gotten up the nerve to ask anyone else to take any more for me) and I knew that time was most likely running out, so I perched my camera on a stool that was perched on a chair and got a few baby bump shots. At 20:55 Handsome called and invited himself over. It was the first time I had seen him in three weeks, and it was clear that we were just friends now. But that was okay because I knew he was dating, and really, I'm not interested in being one of many. We had lots of laughs and a it was a great visit. It had been a while since I had last laughed that much... considering how bad the previous few weeks had been with BB being so sick, the laughter was much appreciated. Anyway, as he was leaving at 22:30, we hugged goodbye and he decided to try to pick me up to see how heavy I was. Pretty amusing, since I had only gained 27 lbs. (On a side note, I did nothing to assist him in his efforts to pick me up. If anything, I probably made it harder. At one point in time I probably would have had my legs wrapped around him if he had tried to do that.... Way to be strong, cuddles!) After he left, he did his usual calling me while on the road thing, and then I uploaded the bump pics to Facebook, and Handsome and I chatted on MSN until 01:00.
Friday, March 26 - After Handsome went to bed, I played around on the Internet for a while longer. Melissa and I exchanged comments on my bump picture, and I told her that I didn't think that the baby would be coming for a while yet as I was far too comfortable to be ready to go into labour anytime soon! At around 01:30 I realized that I should go to bed, afterall, if I were to go into labour within the next couple of days, I might regret missing out on that chance for sleep! I noticed that my back was hurting a bit, but I chalked it up to laying in a bad position with the Netbook and the belly. (It's not the first time I've done that!)
At 02:30, I woke up not feeling right. This had happened a few nights prior, and I used the washroom, then returned to bed in a different position and was fine. So I assumed the same thing would work again. But when I returned to bed I could tell that sleep wasn't going to happen the way it did the other time. Then I was suddenly hit with a wave of pain. I wondered if it might be a contraction (I was induced with Pitocin during my labour with BB, so I had no idea what to expect from a natural labour, and for the record, a natural labour was my goal. I'm not brave enough to do the home birth thing, but I did intend to be drug-free this time.) It passed after a minute and I breathed a sigh of relief. But then a few minutes later it happened again. I figured it must be Braxton Hicks, because it didn't make sense for real contractions to be happening so close together. After the third time I started trying to roughly time them... four minutes apart, lasting for almost a minute each. I went to the labour info website that my SIL/friend/labour support person had sent to me earlier in the week and it said that labour usually starts with contractions 30 minutes apart. I thought that it must be "fake" labour then and breathed a sigh of relief. However, by 3:30 it wasn't letting up. At this point I called my SIL to let her know what was going on. I played it down, since I didn't want to get everyone riled up over nothing and she said that if I wasn't able to sleep to call back in a couple of hours. I figured, "Hey, she's a nurse. She knows about this stuff." I was a bit disappointed that she wasn't jumping in the car to come to my place, but then again, it probably was just fake labour, right? As the next hour progressed I tried to time my contractions, but it was difficult to time them while dealing with them. I tried to distract myself by swimming in the pond (OMG, yes, I was in labour and trying to find a new man!), and looking at the labour website. One of the items on the website was a checklist of what to take to the hospital with you. It included warm socks in case your feet get cold. I hadn't packed warm socks, but there was a basket of clean laundry on my bedroom floor that had warm socks in it. So I laid on my floor, pawing through the basket of laundry while suffering through contractions, trying to find a warm pair of socks. *shaking head* I obviously wasn't thinking right at this point. I was becoming more and more scared. All alone with a 22 month old, outside of the city, and no support. And once again I was wondering, "How did this become my life?"
At close to 04:30 I went through the chart that outlined "real" labour vs. "fake" labour on the website... it seemed that I had all the "symptoms" of real labour. OMG. At 04:30 I called my SIL because the contractions were now two minutes apart and not pushing was becoming impossible. I think called XH to make arrangements for him to take BB earlier the next day than originally planned. Having to talk to him during all of this was murder. I had to deal with contractions while talking to him, and showing any signs of vulnerability to him was not something I wanted to do.
At around 05:00 help still had not arrived. I contemplated calling N to come over, but I knew that this wasn't something she would want to deal with (and really, we had made so many jokes about her having to deliver the baby, that it just seemed weird to actually suggest it might happen!) I even considered calling Handsome just to have him talk me down and tell me that no, I still had lots of time, be calm, etc. Instead I called my SIL again and demanded to know where she and my brother were. I wasn't very nice about it. (Turned out they weren't rushing as they thought they had lots of time... the took their dog out to pee, got dressed, didn't drive more than 10kph over the speed limit, etc.) They arrived at 05:15. I was standing at the island in my kitchen holding on for dear life, bellowing through my contractions. The look on my brother's face told me that he knew we all had to move quickly. My SIL asked me if I was nauseous (yes, I was nauseous and drenched in sweat) and then the realization hit her that this was the real deal. I managed to calmly explain to my brother which bags from my room needed to be loaded into the car, had him get me the garbage can from the bathroom to take with me in case I was sick in the car, directed him to find a pair of flip flops for me from my closet, had him grab my camera, etc. How I remained level headed to do this, I have no idea.... planning does seem to be how I react to a crisis though. Then we headed out to the car. The infant carrier seat caused the passenger seat to be pulled too far ahead for me to comfortably ride to the hospital, so I had to get back out of the car, remove the seat, let my brother know to move it into the house, and get back into the car. Once a bit of confusion over keys between my brother and SIL was cleared up we were finally on the road to the hospital.
I advised my SIL to pass anyone that was in our way. Luckily at 05:30 that only meant passing a couple of cars. Even on the way to the hospital, I was still worried they would tell me that this wasn't the real thing and would send me home.... all the while trying not to push in the car!
My SIL stopped at the ER doors and put my in a wheelchair and brought in my bags. She then ran into the ER to tell them what was happening. Then she went back out to park the car. While she was doing that, my water broke. (Next time you walk through the doors into the DECH ER, think of me!) She came back inside and again went into the ER asking for some help (you can't get up to Labour & Delivery after hours without someone from ER letting you through.) A couple of women sauntered over and looked at me through the glass, and eventually someone came out and started pushing my wheelchair. She didn't say a word to me, just gave the occasional order to my SIL. The ride was awful... the ceramic tiles on the floor are SO bumpy when you're in a wheelchair! We arrived in L&D at 05:50. One nurse checked for dilation and said that she could feel the baby's head, but that she would have another nurse confirm it. So the next nurse comes in, checks, says, "Yes, that's the baby's head. PUSH!" Eight minutes later at 05:58, BG was in my arms.
In all of the haste they didn't have time to try to drug me, catheterize me, or hook me up to their machines. One person did hold a fetal heart monitor to my stomach, but they didn't even bother trying to strap it on. They didn't have time to read my birth plan, but thankfully my SIL knew what was there and was able to direct them after the baby arrived so that all of my post-delivery wishes were followed. (All of my labour & delivery wishes basically revolved around not wanting drugs or interventions, so it seemed that I automatically got my way on those ones!)
After it was all over with I couldn't believe I had just given birth. I felt fantastic. When BB was born I felt like I had been hit by a train afterwards. It was the scariest 3.5 hours of my life (seriously, who wakes up an hour after they go to sleep with contractions 4 minutes apart?!) but I survived, and I'm happier it happened this way so I could have the birth go the way I wanted. When I started preparing for BG's arrival, I discovered that I had a lot of resentment towards the way my labour with BB happened. Now I feel that I can let go of that negativity because I've had the experience I had hoped for.