The story of how my first baby came into the world. The moment I held baby Leo in my arms, my life truly changed forever.
So last week our baby Leo turned 3 months old. I honestly don’t know where these last 3 months have gone, but all I can say is that it has definitely been an adventure! Seeing as it’s been 3 months since I had him, and we’ve settled into a bit of a routine (although we’ve still got a ways to go!), I thought it might be nice to share his labour and delivery story for those of you who have been asking.
During my pregnancy, I honestly didn’t know how any of this labour and delivery stuff was going to play out. Leo was my first baby and I had absolutely no clue what to expect, other than hearing all of the traumatizing labour stories from other women who felt the need to inform me about their experience. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to get a bit of a heads up, but I was also terrified at the thought of a baby coming out of me. Like how the heck is that even possible?!
Well, it did happen…and it happened very fast, I might add. A little too fast for my liking.
My Labour & Delivery Story
It was early morning on Wednesday, December 20th when I went into labour. The funny part is, Tuesday had been a perfectly normal day. I went to the gym and did a workout, went to the grocery store to pick up a few items and whipped up over 100 Chocolate Mocha Snowballs for a potluck that my husband was having at work. Absolutely NO signs that I would be holding a baby in my arms the following morning. No contractions, no water breaking, the baby hadn’t dropped…. NOTHING.
After a long and activity filled day, I finally decided it was time for bed, although I was fully anticipating being up most of the night due to the pregnancy insomnia. I was 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant and I had reached the point where I was SO uncomfortable and was SO done with pregnancy.
Around 1 o’clock in the morning, I started getting this strange cramping pain that I had never experienced before and I tried to just roll over and brush it off. Yeah, it turns out these crampy pains were not so easy to brush off. After they continued to go on for about 20 minutes, I woke my husband Matt up and told him that I was getting strange pains and wasn’t quite sure what was going on. All I know is that they were happening every few minutes and they hurt like HELL. So I asked Matt to time them to see how frequently they were happening. They were about 5 minutes apart at this point, so I decided to call my midwife just to be safe.
Apparently I sounded pretty calm on the phone, because my midwife told me that I was probably only having random contractions or in very early labour that could go on for days or even weeks. She told me to take a bath and take some Tylenol and go back to sleep.
So as instructed, I popped some Tylenol, took a warm bath (which was not at all relaxing at all!), and the contractions proceeded to get worse and worse as it neared 3:30am. At this point, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even talk through the contractions. I said to my husband Matt, if this isn’t labour, I don’t know what this is.
I wasn’t quite sure if I should call the midwife again because I felt bad for bothering her in the middle of the night. But I was in so much pain, I didn’t know what to do and knew that I needed to get some relief.
So I called her back and after asking me a whole slew of questions, finally she asked if I wanted her to meet me at my house or the hospital. I immediately said the hospital because I knew I needed something for the pain.
At this point, my husband and I were trying to gather some last minute items for the hospital bag (like snacks…a Dietitian always has to have her snacks)! I don’t think my husband fully believed that I was in labour at this point because he was still kind of putzing around. I finally said, we have to go to the hospital NOW.
So we jumped in the car around 4:30am and luckily the hospital was only about 10 minutes away, but it still felt like an eternity because the contractions were now happening so frequently that I felt like the baby was going to come shooting out of me at any time.
We met the midwife at the hospital and she was also very chill and didn’t seem to feel any sense of urgency despite the fact that I was keeling over in pain. I immediately asked her if there was something I could get for the pain, and she said we could talk about it after she checked how dilated I was. I felt like saying, “What the heck are you waiting for???”
Finally, she checked and to all of our surprise, she said I was already 9cm dilated. Not really fully understanding what that meant, I once again asked if there was something I could get for the pain. I was banking on the fact that I could get an epidural or something that would help numb this horrible sensation I was feeling. She said unfortunately, it’s too late to get an epidural and that I would most likely be having the baby within the next hour.
I wanted to DIE. I had no idea how I was going to get through it.
She said the only thing she could give me was laughing gas which would make me feel more relaxed but wouldn’t mask the pain… and I was like, sign. me. up. All I remember is plastering the laughing gas mask to my face and as the minutes went by, I got more and more drowsy from the gas. I remember faintly seeing a whole bunch of faces and closing my eyes and having a nightmare that I was in labour. When I woke up, it turns out the nightmare was actually a true story. They actually had to take the laughing gas away from me because I was so busy suctioning it to my face that I wasn’t pushing.
At this point, the OBGYN had been asked to come in to assist because apparently the baby’s heart rate had dropped and he was in distress because the whole labour process had happened so fast, so they needed to get him out ASAP. Luckily I was so high on laughing gas that I didn’t really fully comprehend what was going on, otherwise I would’ve freaked.
Anyways, I just remember everyone yelling at me to push and threatening to suck the baby out with the vacuum if I didn’t get him out with the next push.
No pressure or anything.
I gave one last giant push with all my might and baby Leo came into the world at 6:44am.
He was 7lbs, 6oz. At this point, I was so traumatized and exhausted since I hadn’t slept all night that I didn’t even process what was happening. It took me a while to clue in that I had actually had the baby and to experience the joy of the whole process. Luckily the laughing gas wore off in about a half an hour and I just remember looking at this little baby on my chest and thinking, I can’t believe this is MY baby.
I can’t believe this little being just came out of me.
And that marks the beginning of my journey into motherhood. And even though it was the most intense experience I’ve ever had in my entire life, I would do it all over again for this precious little baby who I’ve grown to love more and more with each day that passes.
So as I reflect on this whole experience, there are three major lessons that I learned:
LESSON 1: Trust Your Gut
If I hadn’t gone to the hospital when I did, who knows what would’ve happened. Leo would probably have to be delivered at home and we wouldn’t have had immediate access to the OBGYN when he needed to be delivered immediately. It’s a scary thought really. So if something feels off, even if no one believes you, trust your instincts and go to the hospital!
LESSON 2: You’re stronger than you think you are
I was terrified about giving birth and to be honest, I was fully counting on getting the epidural based on recommendations from friends who had it. But because everything happened so fast, I wasn’t able to take anything for the pain since there wasn’t enough time for it to take effect. But, guess what? I survived. And at the end of the day, I proved to myself that I had more strength in me than I ever thought possible. And so do you!
LESSON 3: It WILL all be worth it
Despite all of the horror stories I heard about giving birth and the fact that, yes, it was the most pain I’ve ever experienced in my life, in the end it was SO worth it. All I know is that there is no greater joy than that experience of being a mother for the very first time and my life has truly changed for the better. So no matter how much discomfort you feel during pregnancy and labour, just keep telling yourself it will ALL be worth it!
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