My Birth Story

While pregnant (and even before) I loved reading other momma's birth stories. I read a lot of momma blogs and loved pouring over their words as they welcomed new life and their life completely changed. It intrigued me and I told myself I would write my story so I wouldn't forget it. Yet, five months have passed and I'm just sitting down now.

There are a few reasons that I've hesitated writing my story down. One, time. For sure, I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and write. But mostly, because my birth story wasn't the birth story I was reading on average. My birth story was traumatic for me, it was tough and I needed a couple months to process it all. Having a baby was a life changing experience and I needed these months to fully reflect on it all. I am at the point now that I am not cringing, crying and upset about it all so I feel like this is the time to write. Months ago I couldn't even fathom the thought of Jackson ever having a sibling but now in God's timing I eventually could have another baby.

alright. oh one last thing. I am being honest so if you are about ready to pop or don't want to read about the details of how babies are born than please, no need to continue reading. Also, it is long so go grab a coffee and I'll meet you back here:)

My due date was set at May 2. I was so prepared by the middle of April with all of Jacksons things. His name was picked, the hospital bag was in the nursery and my bag had a sheet of paper with all the things I were to pack for myself when labour happened. But May 2 passed, and the third, and the fourth and the days kept getting longer and my heart kept getting more bitter. I started googling everything on how to bring on labour and I tried each and every one (except castrol oil because gross). I kept pacing each day having started my maternity leave. I just wanted Jackson out. People kept saying "enjoy the last few days to yourself and your sleep" but I resented those comments because I was ready and I was so uncomfortable and not sleeping anyway.

I had a midwife and had two stretch and sweeps both with nothing happening after. My midwife said that I could experience minor bleeding or a few contractions but nothing. Not even one braxton hick. Then Friday May 6 came along. I had contractions! I so thought I was finally going into labour but nope, just fake contractions. But it was a step in the right direction mentally. Finally something was happening and my body was doing something. Once you are a week over due complications can start and once you are two weeks over due the chance of something going wrong increases significantly so on average they induce approximately 1.5 weeks after their due date (at least this is the information I was told regarding my pregnancy...remember every pregnancy is different).

So May 10 rolled around and nothing, no baby. I was doing the midwife route and my game plan always was to have the baby in the hospital but to go natural, have the baby with the midwife and get in and out of the hospital as soon as possible. But if I was induced, my midwife couldn't be my primary care, I had to have an OB which was great...  just not the plan! Mark and I headed Monday morning to the ultrasound clinic and then on Tuesday to the OB's and my fears and frustrations were high. I told Mark that if I could just check in to the hospital immediately after this appointment and be induced I would and that is what we were doing. My OB appointment went amazing and he kept reassuring me that my placenta was great, baby was getting everything he needed and that the chances of a stillborn or complications seemed very low. He thought I could go the full two weeks before being induced if I wanted. I was still scared that something would happen to my baby and I knew he was alive in me at this moment so I just wanted him out but I also didn't want to be induced. I knew that going into labour naturally is always better than being induced but I was afraid of something going wrong. After much conversation with the OB we decided I would continue to wait until Thursday, then I would be induced. He gave me paperwork to call labour and delivery at 7am on Thursday May 12 to see if I could be induced. My OB was amazing and so beyond nice but I was exhausted, swollen and depressed Jackson was still inside of me.

My older sister Olivia was flying in the next day (Wednesday) to see her new nephew. We thought when she booked her flights that 10 days would be plenty of time. She was only staying the weekend and I was so sad thinking she might not get to meet Jackson. I wanted this baby out. All of Tuesday dragged on and Wednesday around lunchtime I started getting contractions. Note for pregnant ladies: use an app. With technology these days there is no need to try and write down contractions. Your app does it for you and charts it. The 4-1-1 rule was what I was waiting for. This means contractions are less than four minutes apart, lasting for more than one minute for over an hour. That is when I was suppose to call my midwife/go to the hospital. I continued my day on Wednesday charting every painful contraction. I had contractions from 1pm-10pm but still wasn't in the 4-1-1 rule. My contractions never got within four minutes of each other my entire labour. I called my midwife around 10pm explaining how long I had been having contractions for.. it honestly felt like forever. She reassured me labour is long and to not call her back until my contractions were shorter. 

I knew I needed sleep and that I was actually in the beginning stages of labour and this could be a long process. But how the heck do you sleep when you are hours away from meeting your baby? I was so excited, just starring at my hospital bag asking for more pain so we could get this show on the road! Mark decided to try and sleep a bit and I just laid there tracking my contractions on my phone. Around midnight the bed suddenly got wet. Sorry for the graphicness but I woke Mark up and was pretty sure my water broke. I knew that I automatically got to go to the hopsital if my water broke but I wasn't sure sure. You see, it wasn't a gush or anything crazy - just a couple tablespoons and it was orange (which was super weird). I called my midwife again and she told me to wait it out a bit longer. I was so frustrated but after changing the sheets headed back to bed. Around 3am my water continued to leak and when I got up and was walking around there was a lot more than a couple tablespoons. My midwife told me to get into the car and meet her at the hospital! This was it! I was going to meet my baby and I was hours from being induced! Thank you Lord! Mark was driving and we picked up my Mom on the way out of Elmira to the hospital. I really wanted my mom in the room with me along with Mark. The rest of the family would be in the waiting room when I was ready to push but I knew I wanted my Momma there with me. The whole car ride was like a movie. The contractions were so bad, every 6 minutes but lasting almost 2 minutes and just so painful I could barely breathe. I thought the baby was coming out ASAP.  

We got to triage and they confirmed my water broke (duh!). I had to have an IV put in me because I tested positive in something I can't remember and needed antibiotics. I had a student midwife as well and she was great but as she was trying to put the IV in she missed and blood started squirting everywhere. Then she tried on the other arm and missed a second time, again blood going everywhere. I don't care about needles as long as I'm not watching so I had my eyes closed the whole time. Mark, was holding my hand the entire time and was watching it all happen. He saw it all and passed out (it was a lot of blood in his defense).  I started freaking out that Mark just collapsed and my midwife was trying to help him from falling and my midwife student was trying to make the blood stop from squirting all over the floor and onto our stuff!

Finally, on the third try we got the IV into me, Mark woke up after a minute of being passed out and nurses looking after him and after 15 minutes I got to walk to my room. (ps. my mom was parking the car when all the triage stuff was happening) Another side note: I loved my hospital room. You have your own bathroom and bathtub, I had a large window and it was huge and comfortable. Perfect, I thought. Such a nice room to have a baby!

Even though my water broke, and I had been having contractions for 15 hours I was only 3-4 cm dilated. They hooked up the heart rate monitor and the contractions and we waited. I really wanted to have this baby naturally so I didn't want to use an epidural. I really didn't. Just my preference. I wanted to feel it all and experience it naturally. I wanted to get out of the hospital once baby was born because I knew that would make me the most comfortable. And I knew that labour often was longer once you got an epidural because the freezing slowed everything down. I took a bath, I loved the bathtub (that was the best through the contractions) and just tried to breathe through every contraction. My mom and Mark were beyond amazing through the most intense pain ever. 

By 7am (3 hours at the hospital) I was 8cm dilated. This is the worst pain but in a way it felt good because I knew things were moving along. I knew I was one contraction closer to meeting Jackson. My spirits were good (at this point) and I had worship music on and was so thankful for the care I was receiving. That is one thing that I can't speak enough of: our healthcare in Canada. It is amazing.

7am-noon were five hours that I really don't remember. The contractions were so painful. The most comfortable position I found was standing up swaying back and forth with my arms on the hospital bed looking down (maddie remember this for the next kiddo). I preferred moving through the worst parts of the pain.

At noon my midwife cheered and said that I was 10cm dilated. This means ready to push and meet the baby- the final stage. It also is when you actually have to push/ do something. All the contractions before 10cm are just painful but you can't push- you just have to endure. I was so thrilled to be fully dilated so I could actually feel like I was doing something. The second midwife came in and they rolled in a baby bed and everything to clamp the cord. It was one big happening production. I was so exhausted and excited at once. 

So with each contraction I started to push. I yelled, they told me to keep pushing.

15 minutes passed nothing.

I kept pushing. nothing

An hour passed. nothing

Another hour passed. nothing

I started crying. What was wrong with me? I was so discouraged and I was trying as hard as I possibly could. I am one determined woman and I was pushing as hard every single time. Typing this I can honestly write every push I gave it 100%. I never slacked once. Never took a break and NOTHING.

After two hours of pushing it isn't safe anymore for me or the baby and my care was transferred to an OB after all. 

I got a nurse and the OB chatted with me and told me I was to exhausted and needed rest. The baby needed rest. I had never slept and it was 2pm in the afternoon. He told me I needed an epidural so that things could slow down a bit, give me time to sleep and the hope would be for the baby to slowly make his way down.

After feeling like a failure I knew I was willing to do whatever the OB said. So I got an epidural (after enduring all that pain naturally). I slept, Mark slept, my mom paced around trying to look after everyone. Oh yeah. when I was ready to push at noon we called in the whole family - so everyone was in the waiting room for over 2 hours already! I felt awful for them too.

Around 3:30pm I woke up and we started again. I felt so good having slept but I couldn't feel my contractions as strong because of the epidural and I LOVED that. The epidural was so great. I really can compare the pain and if you don't like pain then honestly get one. They numb the whole experience so much, you actually can be quite comfortable. My midwives stayed, but my care had been transferred so I had a nurse looking after me (she was great!)

We started pushing again, I was even optimistic. The nurse told me while I was sleeping that Jackson had dropped down further and she could see his head! HIS HEAD! Guys, I was getting somewhere after 26 hours of labour! Let's do this I told everyone in the room. I started pushing, screaming, kicking anything to get sweet Jackson out.

15 minutes passed. nothing

I kept pushing. nothing

An hour passed. nothing

It was around 5pm at the time and we had to stop. I was exhausted and crying and didn't know why he wasn't coming. I was also getting worried and could hear the OB and nurse chatting like we had done all we could do.

The OB told me that I would need a C section. I was crushed. I thought to myself - why didn't I just have a C section in the beginning? This was stupid to go through so many painful hours to get nothing out of it. The OB told me that I was getting prepped to go into the OR room but once I was there he was going to try forceps first. I asked for him to do forceps in the my room now but he advised me that he didn't think they would work and the baby needed to come out asap so I needed to already be in the OR room, not still in my room if they didn't work. He left and I agreed to have the C section... cuz what other choice did I have. I asked him - this baby will be born on May 12 right? There's no way this is going to go longer than midnight? He assured me that with forceps/C section my baby would be here in the next couple of hours... I felt so much relief hearing that

He left the room and I started to tear up. I was so sad at myself and felt like I had failed. Didn't I push hard enough? What was I doing wrong that this baby wasn't coming? Mark is the best person in the whole world and was so supportive and super encouraging. He knows me and gets me and knew what I needed to hear. Same with my mom. Goodness, they were the best support.

I get all prepped to go into the OR. They wheeled me down and put my legs in the straps. The room is so cold and sterile and I could feel my epidural wearing off. The contractions were really strong again. By the time the OB came and everyone was ready to go it was shortly after 7pm. There could only be one person in the room so my mom waited outside and Mark sat by my bed. The nurses had heard he collapsed earlier from all the blood and were worried about Mark. Mark has never fainted with blood before (it was just cuz it was squirting everywhere - who wouldn't faint) and he reassured everyone he was okay but I was secretly worried he would miss the birth of our son with all the blood.

All ready to go AGAIN. The OB told me to push as hard as I've ever pushed (like I wasn't doing that for the past SEVEN hours)

He told me once, and again and then told me to stop, and then he got really loud and said PUSH.

I heard Jackson cry. 7:32pm

My baby, my sweet sweet baby was born!

The nurses immediately took him from me because he had pooped multiple times in me so they have to make sure he didn't swallow anything. Mark was looking at Jackson and holding my hand, both of us teary-eyed. I will never forget looking at Mark when we locked eyes. It was like we are saying "lets do this parenting thing." We were so full of love for Jackson and so in love with each other. I knew everything was going to be okay because of Mark.

I had ripped and had an episiotomy. The OB started stitching me up and I screamed. I could feel the needle. He thought I was still frozen down there and told me he was going to prick me and to let him know if I felt anything - oh boy did I feel it. Haden't I gone through enough pain already? He apologized, put a needle in me to freeze me and started stitching me up. At this point Jackson was brought to me for the first time. With my legs still in the air in the straps, an OB stitching me back together, nurses all around me - I got to hold my baby and all the pain was worth it 100000 times over. 

The world was right and I was so in love. I can't explain how much love I had for Jackson while he was in my womb, it was so much. But holding him on my chest, looking at my sweet little bloody, poop covered bundle I was so in love. I just started crying. God, thank you I whispered out loud. Thank you. 

After they cleaned Jackson up some more, they wheeled me back into my room out of the OR. No C section and not a mark on Jackson from the forceps. A total of 30.5 hours of labour, 7.5 hours of being fully dilated.

Everyone got to meet Jackson and I was just so in love. It's true that you get so much energy once your baby is born. The pain had purpose and now it was time to celebrate. I had to stay overnight because of my tearing and epidural and to make sure Jackson was OK. Mark and I tried to sleep that night but didn't. We were just too in love.

Early the next morning we were anxious to get out of the hospital. I wanted the comfort of home. I wanted my bed. After long hours of waiting, taking a breastfeeding class, getting his hearing test done etc we were finally discharged the next afternoon around noon.

I hold the record for the longest second stage at the St Jacobs Midwives clinic. I was so embarrassed when she first told me that because again, I felt that I wasn't a good mom, I didn't push hard enough, something was wrong with me. But now, almost six months after having Jackson I am proud of it. Yeah, I did that. I have the record. I endured the longest.  I am trying to think positively about it. 

I told Mark in those first couple weeks after labour that we were never having another baby, but God really is good in letting us Momma's forget the pain. And I've been told you only have the first baby once. My body is now prepared for baby number two and it will Lord willing go faster the next time.

All in all I am so blessed. So very blessed to have a happy healthy beautiful baby boy. Being Jackson's momma is the greatest blessing and I am filled with JOY every single day that God has entrusted him to me. And I must write that it is so worth it. Not even comparable. I would go through so much more pain in order to have my baby boy. So if you are scared from reading my story please know that the pain disappears and is only temporary anyways and it is worth it.

If you actually got to the end of this WOW! Good Job! If you skimmed, I 100% would have done the same- thats why I bolded and made the font larger for the good parts;)

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