Aren just turned 8 weeks this last Friday and boy can I tell you, time is flying by! I meant to get this post up weeks ago, but it really needed my full attention to write and let’s be honest, I’ve had no time!
This post needed to be done carefully because I didn’t want to miss a thing. And truth be told, I wanted to relive the moments a bit while writing it.
While I know birth stories aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, I definitely read my fair share in the weeks leading up to the big day. It was helpful to read other people’s experiences as it brought somewhat of a calming effect! Anyways I hope it does the same for you if you are expecting a little one in the near future! Read on for the details!
Our due date was Friday July 27th. You might remember that I was so nervous about having the baby early during our bathroom renovations that I never anticipated him actually being late. But there we were, on the due date with no baby! On my last doctor’s visit that Monday prior, we had seen that the baby was slightly engaged but I was still not dilated. I was told that all it would take was a few strong contractions and he could be on his way. Regardless that night was spent tidying up the house (we had literally just finished the reno the day before).
Monday July 30th
Still no baby so back to the doctor’s office we went to discuss options and see how the baby was doing inside! He still had plenty of amniotic fluid and really hasn’t budged at all. My doctor didn’t want me to be carrying longer than 41 weeks total so we were added to the induction list and told that we would most likely come in by the end of the week, if baby hadn’t come on his own that is! (For my American friends, the healthcare system here is drastically different with both pros and cons! Something I’m definitely learning along the way!! There’s a lot of waiting to be had, hence why we were put on a list)
Wednesday August 1st
After some back and forth discussion with the birthing center, it’s decided that we would head in around 9pm that evening to be admitted. So nerve wracking! I was a mixed bag of emotions, excited to meet my little boy but also nervous of being induced. I know inductions can go many ways and I had no idea what mine would look like.
We were admitted around 9 that evening and the waiting then really began. At 10 pm, seeing that I was still not dilated, the doctor on call administered a vaginal suppository that is supposed to help speed things along. But interestingly enough it takes up to 12 hours to work. So the waiting was really just beginning! The suppository was painless to administer, however it does create contractions. They started off slowly and were pretty mild but by 4am I was starting to get really uncomfortable and was administered a mild pain reliever by the nurse. At this point I was unable to get an epidural as I was still not in actual labour.
Thursday August 2nd
At around 8 am the doctor came to check on me. While my membranes had thinned out, I was still not dilated. Baby boy really didn’t want to come out!
So he did what he had to do and broke my water himself. And tbh, it hurt a touch; although more in an uncomfortable pressure kind of way. I felt pain until all of a sudden I just felt a gushing of liquid- finally my water was broken and it was go time!
But by go time, I mean go time in the life of a turtle. We still has a lot of time ahead of us!
Ara and I were both expecting things to escalate quickly by the time my water broke but that was certainly not the case. I was administered Pitocin, a drug commonly used when labor is induced. It essentially helps create contractions so that you can dilate faster.
By noon I was barely 3 cm dilated.
1pm? Not much more progress. I was told it could hours to get till ten. Not the news I wanted to hear!
The contractions were getting more and more intense however. I knew from the get go that I wanted an epidural so I wasted no time in asking for one.
From what I had learned prior to even being induced, the whole inducing labour experience could take hours. I didn’t want to get exhausted and tired for no reason so early on . Because I knew I wanted an epidural, it didn’t make a difference to me to wait on it. Why spend 4-5 hours in pain and then get an epidural? Why not just get it from the get go? That was my thinking and why I decided to get one early on.
And if you’re wondering why I got an epidural, well, I’m not really sure the reasoning but I knew I wanted one! While I do think our bodies were clearly made for labour, I personally don’t think it makes you less of a woman to have a little pain relief! We all have to just do what we feel is right! No judgement!
Speaking of the epidural, I was afraid it was going to hurt. A lot! I was also afraid a contraction would suddenly appear out of no where, I would move, and there’d be complications.
In reality it was 100 times better than I expected. You guys, I’m actually terrified of needles (something that made IVF kind of difficult!!!) But this was honestly no big deal! You’ve got to just relax and trust your anesthesiologist.
Almost immediately after I felt instant relief. It was so nice!!
But as nice as that was, we were still waiting. 1cm at a time, one hour at a time.
By 8pm I was finally 10cm dilated. Exciting right?! I thought this was going to be like the movies and that I would immediately start pushing and the baby would be here before I’d know it.
Well this was definitely not like the movies.
The doctor said the baby still wasn’t engaged enough and that it was too early to start pushing. He said he’d be back to check on me in an hour and a half. So not the news I wanted to hear. At this point it had been 24 hours that I had been lying in a hospital bed and I wanted out.
Around Ten he came to check on me and told me that it was still not go time . 11pm? Nope!
Ara and I were both starting to get frustrated.
It had been an hour or so that I had started to get the ‘pushing’ sensation . Everyone says you’ll know when to push and boy is that right! Even with my epidural I could 100 percent feel this and it was not comfortable! Even though I felt like it was time to push, I still had some waiting to do.
Friday August 3rd
Midnight rolled around and it was apparently still not time to push. At this point in time I had been dilated for four hours. I was ready, Ara was ready, our entire families were ready!! We thought baby boy would be born by now!
Finally at around 1am the doctor decided that I could start pushing. Thank god because the pushing feeling was intensifying and I was so uncomfortable. It was so strong that I could tell when my contractions were coming even though I had an epidural and couldn’t feel the actual contractions. (the pressure would rise and intensify) Was it painful? No. But it wasn’t comfortable at all. Some women who are administered epidurals apparently don’t feel this pressure and need to be told by the nurses when to push!
So I began pushing! For a good hour and a half. I’ll be honest again. I thought this part would be a whole lot faster. The pushing was getting exhausting but I was determined to make it through. I didn’t want the doctor’s to make a call for a c section because I had low blood pressure or because I just couldn’t push properly.
I desperately wanted to ask how much longer they thought it would take but I was afraid that I’d be discouraged so I kept my mouth shut.
Around 2:15 the nurse announced that the baby’s blood pressure was dropping slightly so they wanted to give me extra oxygen. This was exactly what I wanted to avoid! After such a long process the last thing I wanted was a cesarean.
So they gave me an oxygen mask and I knew I had to step it up with the pushing.
And so I did and a little after 230am baby boy Aren was finally born, all 8 pounds and 15 ounces of him! Luckily for me I only had to have two stitches which I later learned was pretty lucky.
I was exhausted but my heart literally just melted when they put him on my chest. I couldn’t really tell what he looked like and he was crying but hey, he was finally ours!
The next few hours seemed to just fly by. I don’t even really remember it. I was kept in the delivery room a bit longer because my color wasn’t very good and they wanted to monitor me. Finally I think around 5 we were wheeled into our actual room.
I remember thinking it was so surreal. You definitely get that ‘now what’ feeling.
And that hospital stay? It goes by so quickly! I really loved the stay though as I had a few amazing nurses that were a wealth of knowledge and really helped me tackle breastfeeding. I would have been lost without them (thank you Wendy and Diana from the Glen!!)
By ten am the morning of the 4th (about 30 hours after his birth), we were allowed to go home which brings us to today. Typing this blog post in bed , on my phone because I don’t want to wake up Aren!
It was definitely an exhilarating experience. Would I do it again? Yes. Would I do anything differently? Nope.
I feel so lucky to have had and to currently have so much support throughout labor and after. It’s definitely a mentally exhausting experience and you need all the help you can get, even if it’s just someone sitting with you and keeping you company.
In the end, as everyone says, it’s all so worth it and it goes by so quickly.
These days we are so smitten with our little boy, even if we haven’t slept in weeks. His smile honestly melts my heart and I would gladly go through it all again.
Scroll down for some more of our newborn photos with Lisa Renault Photographie. They were taken about 2-3 weeks after Aren was born!