16 August 2011

...and along came Izzy

So to those few who are following at this point, I am remembering and retelling my birth stories. I must say I am thoroughly enjoying it, as giving birth to my three girls has been three of my greatest accomplishments, and three of the greatest days of my life.

Today I a going to recount my pregnancy and birth story for Isobel.

Sometime in the fall of 2006 we had friends over for dinner who during the course of the evening shared the news that they were expecting their second child. The joy and excitement they felt was palpable and contagious. That night in bed I said to Jake in a very quiet voice just before falling asleep that I wanted to have a baby with him. I wanted to feel what our friends were feeling. I wanted to plan a pregnancy and with someone I truly loved, and who loved me (I was 12 years divorced and a single mom to Cait when I met him). We were not married and had not talked much about this, but we'd bought a house together and were making a life together none-the-less. Jake in a casual voice said 'sure' and I figured he was just appeasing me and that it would be a topic saved for another day. To my surprise as I was heading off to work the next morning, he took me in his arms and in the most serious voice I had ever heard him use said 'I want to have a baby with you too'. As I drove to work I pondered this with a grin that I am sure could be seen from miles away. So we were going to plan to have a baby...but when?

As we discussed the logistics of all of this, we did some research. I was on Depo Provera and had been for a number of years. All the reading we did indicated that it could be difficult to conceive after stopping the injections. I was gutted, but if we wanted to have children we needed to start this process sooner rather than later. We decided I would have a final injection in October and that would be finished in January after which we would begin the process of trying to conceive.

We got engaged that Christmas and when January was here, I got out a new calendar and noted everything on it...you know what I mean by everything...Jake was mortified, but I wanted to keep track so I could determine when my cycle returned to normal and when it was most advantages to try. I needn't have worried. I had a normal cycle in February and conceived in early March...wow. We thought it would be hard, but we were wrong.

Another uneventful pregnancy ensued and we enjoyed every moment of it. At the time we lived a hour north of my parents whom we visited almost every weekend. Towards the end of the pregnancy we decided it might be best not to be too far from home in case things started to happen, but one Friday after having been off work for a week or so, I was terribly bored and wanted to do something...anything. So we decided to go to my parents just for the night. We arranged to meet them for dinner and then went back to their place. We went to bed as usual, and everything seemed quite normal...until I woke up a little wet at about 5:30am.  As anyone who has been at the end of a pregnancy knows, a little wetness is not immediate cause for concern. I quietly went to the washroom to confirm my suspicions, and yes my waters had ruptured...not all the way I was sure, but this was indeed the start of everything. Of course we were an hour away from home and our hospital, but I knew there was no need to panic. I laid back down without waking Jake for another half hour when the contractions started to come. At that point I thought it prudent to make him aware and there was quick moment of slight panic for him before I assured him things were fine, but we'd best collect our things and head home. We woke Caitlin who could not at first figure out why we were waking her when she'd only just gone to sleep, but tell a dreary teen you are in labour and man can you get them to move fast.

driving home in labour
On our way home Cait timed the contractions from the back seat and they were coming fairly regular at 5 mins apart.
Once home we called the hospital and were told to come in as soon as we felt comfortable but not to wait too long. We only lived a block away so we organised ourselves, packed some time wasting things and walked to the hospital. A 5 min walk took a bit longer in between contractions, but was good for labour.
We wrote out a birth plan so that there was not a repeat of my first experience. In that plan we noted that it was imperative that I did not want any drugs...none. I wanted to be fully aware and feel everything throughout this process. The doctor did not understand why and kept telling me that I was not going to win a medal for doing this without drugs, but that is how I wanted it. One of the other stipulations I made was that I wanted a quiet birthing experience. I did not want cheerleaders shouting at me telling me to push or breathe, or anything else...I wanted it as quiet as could be...of course I was making lots of noise and at one point the nurse told me it was okay if I swore and that unleashed a torrent of curse words that my mother kept apologizing for in the waiting room.

We stayed around the 4 to 5 minute mark in between contractions for quite some time, and then my waters broke fully and things started to progress a little more. Everything went well until I stalled at 9cm...everything just slowed and the contractions were one on top of another and quite intense but no change in dilation. Our hospital is quite progressive in it's approach to childbirth and the doctor and nurses had me in every position imaginable to get things moving and to get the baby to drop and thin the cervix to it's 10cm. the final position was the squatting bar. The doctor told me that if this didn't work, we would have to do a c-section as the whole thing was getting hard on the baby. So squat I did with Jake by my side for every breath. Finally I remember crying 'I can't do this anymore' to which the nurses cheered...it seems that when a woman reaches that point it is time to go...to push. And this would be the case for me. The squatting bar worked, and I was now 10cm and fully effaced and ready to push. I remember the doctor slowly getting ready and me being consumed by the need to push but being told to wait. Caitlin who had been present for most of the labour had exited the room a little while previous as it got to be a bit much for her, but the doctor would have none of it...he ushered her in told her where to stand. Three good pushes and Isobel Grace was born weighing 6lbs 11oz 14 hours after my labour began. Jake would be offered the cord to cut, but he could not handle that, so Cait was pulled in and cut the cord and to this day she will tickle Izzy's tummy and touch her belly button saying 'I made that'. It makes my heart melt every time.

And so it is that almost 4 years ago I gave birth the another most beautiful, funny, smart little girl. She makes me laugh daily, and astounds me with her understanding of the world. It will be interesting to see the person she grows into...too bad I can't keep her little for a bit longer.

Thanks all...and I would love to hear some of your pregnancy or birth stories. It is such an amazing experience no matter how it unfolds.

1 comment:

  1. What a neat thing to blog about ... your kids will be SO glad you did!


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