He’s Here! Baby Nolan’s Birth Story
It’s been just over a week since the man and I welcomed our son Nolan into the world. A week filled with seemingly out of body experiences, incredible firsts, and unconditional love. Mom and dad have been adjusting just fine, and our little bug is a happy, healthy, and calm spirit. It is such an honour to be able to hang out with him all day, every day – I can’t believe I get the privilege!
I wanted to share my birth story with everyone, as it was the most incredible experience of my life thus far. I feel so blessed to have been able to follow through with my ideal birthing plan. I never knew a hospital could cater so beautifully to the natural/drug free method (interventions were something I wanted to avoid at all costs), and have so many options to facilitate it. The staff was incredible, respectful, and impressively efficient – I couldn’t have possibly asked for more.
Saturday March 15th
I woke up after sleep accompanied by an ongoing tummy ache-like discomfort. Got dressed and ready as usual knowing full well that everything was starting (I did my makeup the way I’d want baby bean to meet me for the first time – it’s all about first impressions is it not?). As the man, mother-in-law and I set out and about grocery and furniture shopping, I started having ongoing cramps coming approximately every 8 minutes. Not uncomfortable or painful, but very much like a mild feeling you’d get during your period. We got home, and the sensations started to intensify. I made muffins (with jam in the middle!), and by 7pm was lying down trying to ease the now unavoidable discomfort coming every 4 minutes.
At midnight, we decided it was time to head to the hospital. Contractions were a very real thing at this point, and coming every 2-4 minutes (lasting 45 seconds each). We cabbed it there, and after two hours of monitoring and tests, were told I was not dilated enough to be admitted at only 2cm. Our options were to walk around the ground floor of the hospital for two hours and come back to be checked, or to go home. After our full day and no evening sleep, our exhaustion led us back to our place where we could minimally keep comfortable and conserve some energy.
Sunday March 16th
After being sent home, I was somehow able to lightly sleep in between my contractions (don’t ask me how). When things got a little unbearable, the man ran me a bath and the weightlessness gave me some relief. At 7am, with contractions steadily coming every 2 minutes with worsened pain, we decided to head back to the hospital in hopes that this time we’d be able to settle in and get on with it!
Around 9am, we were finally shown to our delivery room after the nurse noted that my water was bulging and would be breaking at any moment. I was 3cm dilated at this point. It felt so good to unpack and set up, and we were given a gorgeous, modern room with an incredible view. The sun was shining, the room was bright – my energy returned alongside the daylight. My nurse Rosa was an absolute angel, and my mom arrived shortly after we got in. All I could think of in the taxi going there the second time was how badly I needed her to be there.
Since little bug was slightly turned, I had a lot of lower back pain during my labour (think pinched nerves), and my mom, man, and the nurse used pressure points to nip the contractions in the butt and lessen their intensity. The birthing ball worked wonders to relieve a bit of the pressure I was feeling, and leaning over counters was pretty much my go-to position when a surge would hit. Shower jets on my back were a nice distraction, but didn’t do too much for the pain.
Progress came every hour to two – dilating a cm more, and getting me to the 7cm mark where I headed over to the jacuzzi room (luckily, the lady using it before me just finished up with it as I entered transition!). Before this point, my water had broken (almost right after I was admitted), but only on the side. There was no gush, just spontaneous drips (I made quite a mess on the floors). The doctor wanted to break it, but the man advised him on my behalf that I’d like to wait.
Here I am (above), in the tub, in the room with my mom, mother-in-law, and man. The water therapy did wonders for me (despite my “labour face” here), and at 7 1/2cm they broke the rest of my water to speed things up. The entire time, I was breathing in and out so deeply, my mouth became insanely dry (it wasn’t the most pleasant smell either – I hadn’t brushed my teeth or removed my makeup from the morning before). I had thrown up my dinner from the night before in the bath during the early morning hours before heading to the hospital, so major props are deserved by my support team for being so discreet about that (TMI, I know – the things they don’t tell you about delivery)!
The one thing that really made me feel better, was red Jello in the tub. I gobbled as much of that bad boy up as I could.
All of a sudden, I got the urge to push. The nurse wheel-chaired me back to my room, and it was go time. I was pretty adamant about not being on my back to deliver (especially with the pain being centred there). They set up my bed with a bar at the end to facilitate a squat position. It wasn’t helping. They switched it up and curved my bed up, coaching me to pull my legs in while holding my breath when I felt the need to push. It felt like a chin up/sit up position (chin tucked in, back rounded, legs in).
I want to make something very clear – everyone I asked about birth prior to doing it myself stated that the pushing stage was the easiest. I call bullshit. While it was absolutely amazing how my body delivered surges to push (exactly like going to the bathroom – but 1,000 times stronger), I was not quiet when it came to this stage. The beauty about not having any pitocin in my system (what they use to induce or speed up labour), was that my body naturally balanced out intermissions where I could recover from each of the pushing sensations. For two hours, I pushed when I felt the urge, learning to let go of pain, fear, and really trust my body. Focusing on the words and beauty of my mother beside me (and the thought of holding my son in such a short amount of time), I pushed and didn’t stop.
I felt everything and nothing all at once (you kind of go into a trance at this point). The burning, the rip (nothing big – no worries), and the slippery feeling that ensues after the head is out and his little body pulls out. Maybe the way I’m describing it comes off a tad horrific (I know the top-of-my-lungs yelling towards the end probably made it seem much worse than it was), but it was incredible. I could hear my man and the nurse encouraging me as he came out, and before I knew it my baby boy’s cries filled the room.
Then the moment I will never in my life forget came. My mom said “those are the cries of your son”, and I went into a state of hysteria. Not crying, just pure joy, happiness, and disbelief that I actually did it. We all did it! I’ve never felt more of a high in my life. They placed him on my chest, and I’m pretty sure my heart burst right then and there. It’s true what they say – no matter what your child looks like/is, they are the most perfect and beautiful thing you’ve ever laid eyes on.
I delivered the placenta with the same urge as baby boy, the doctor stitched me up (something I didn’t feel at all), and an IV was administered to address my dehydration. They swaddled little man after I attempted my first breast feed, and daddy got to hold him for the very first time. Later, I was told he came out with the cord wound tightly around his neck (despite the fetal monitors not showing any signs of distress throughout my labour). Thank god my strong little man was alright and delivered in time.
First thing he did while breastfeeding for the first time – hold mommy’s hand while looking right at me (I melted).
Mommy and daddy completely smitten just before being transferred to the recovery ward.
Our sweet boy in his first outfit.
We were released from the hospital on the tuesday, and have been enjoying home life with our visitors together since. As for me, I’ve been healing at a great speed (although I do admit, day 2-4 post were tough in the lady parts department – thank god for witch hazel). Getting increasingly used to my new sleep schedule, and slowly sorting out/practicing my breastfeeding techniques. My body felt a bit busted up throughout the first week, but is slowly allowing me more mobility and strength as the days pass.
Life changed! Just like that.
Thank you to everyone who has extended their well-wishes and congratulations. For more pictures, instagram is where I’m at for the moment (until a regular posting schedule returns). Soaking up this precious time as much as possible.
xoxPosted under Baby, family, Home, kids, Lifestyle, maternity, pregnancy, Uncategorized by Robyn