17 May 2012

My Birth Story (part 1)

I'm very excited to finally share with you the story of how my little Zoey April came into this world.
Please note that this story may get a little graphic but I'm not going to hold back!

Throughout my entire pregnancy I always thought that my baby would be born early. It was definitely more impatience then intuition, because as my due date came and went I became really frustrated and was willing to try anything to start labour... even the dreaded Castor Oil (eww!)

On my 40th week and 3rd day of pregnancy (at 3:30pm) I headed to my weekly OBGYN check up. The doctor checked my cervix and I was disappointed to find out that it was still only dilated to 1cm which I'd been at for the last 2 weeks. The doctor then "stripped my membranes" and hooked me up a monitor for about 45 minutes to check for any contractions. After seeing no contractions at all and the nurse telling me that I was probably in this for the long haul, I scheduled another appointment for later in the week and left the doctor's office thinking "This is it, I'm just going to be pregnant FOREVER!"

hooked up to the fetal monitoring machine
Towards the end of the 30 minute drive home from the doctor, I started getting really uncomfortable and there was a lot of pain coming from my lower back. I figured it was just another pregnancy pain (to go along with the aching hips, sore ribs and throbbing legs and feet).
Around 7pm I felt the really bad back pain slightly coming and going and decided to start timing it using an app I had just downloaded onto my phone. I stopped timing because I thought I was just being ridiculous since only 3 hours earlier I had been told that labour was probably not happening anytime soon. I jumped in the bath tub to ease the pain and read my book to relax.

At 11pm my husband, Mike, came home from work and I told him that I was having a lot of back pain, but it was probably nothing. We resumed timing when the pain stopped and started even though I was still not convinced that they were contractions because nothing that I was feeling was the same as what I had been reading about in any pregnancy books.

By 1am I was in a lot of pain and after a lot of debating and feeling guilty for waking her up, I called the midwife (who was not delivering my baby but was on call that night) and described what I was feeling. Halfway through the conversation I was in so much pain that I gave the phone to my husband who carried on describing how I was having really painful back pain every 3 minutes but I still had my mucus plug and my water had not yet broken. The midwife told me that I was probably just cramping and I should wait until I see blood or my water breaks before heading to the hospital.
I was not convinced.

My back pain started spreading to the front on my belly, there was no way that I could sleep or even get comfortable and I was throwing up from the pain, so by 4am I told my husband that we should start heading to the hospital even though I was still in denial and I thought there was a big chance that we would get sent home.

At 5am on April 24th we arrived at the hospital and I was wheeled to the Labour and Delivery unit. I remember how amazingly smooth the hospital floor felt while riding in the wheelchair compared to the car journey before. I got put in a room with another woman and I started to feel silly about coming all this way in case this was false labour. When the nurse checked my cervix I had dilated to 3cm. She told me to walk around the ward for 45mins and when I got back she would check me again and if I had dilated anymore they would admit me and it was time to have a baby!

I hated walking, but standing or sitting didn't help either so I kept going in the hopes that I could get labour moving. I hunched over in pain with every contraction and at one point I couldn't stand it anymore so I sat down on a chair and the next thing I knew I felt like I had peed myself. It was the weirdest feeling! I ran into the closest labour room (luckily it was unoccupied) to use the bathroom since i was "leaking" everywhere and discovered that my mucus plug had come loose. I threw up a couple of times and when I was feeling a little bit better (as better as I could feel) I hobbled back to my room. The nurse began checking my cervix again and as she did I felt a gush as my water broke. I was so happy because now I was sure that my baby was finally on her way. 

Contractions! It was hard to breath through them.
I was admitted (signing forms between contractions) and at 9am they moved me into a private delivery suite. They discovered that I was going through "back labour" which I am told is more painful and is usually accompanied with slower labour and prolonged pushing. I had always planned on getting an epidural and had no doubts about it when the time came because it was really hard to deal with the pain. The anaesthesiologist entered the room and my husband had to wait outside until it was done. I bear-gripped the hands of my very kind nurse as they inserted the needle and I felt instant relief as the medicine trickled down my spine. I was finally able to talk and no longer felt any contractions. Epidurals are AMAZING!

The delivery room. Please note the smile on my face... this was taken AFTER the epidural.
 I was dilated to 5cm and was told that I would probably only be ready to push in about another 5 hours. They gave me a small amount of pitocin to try and help speed up labour but for some reason my body didn't respond to it. I started drifting in and out of sleep (both me and Mike were exhausted after being awake for over 24 hours) and we started making calls to tell our family that our little girl was on her way.

At 11am my doctor came into the room and expressed concern about the baby's movement and heart beat. She was not tolerating labour very well and at that point I knew that they were about to tell me...
I was going to have to have a c-section.

Read Part 2 here!


  1. Can't wait!! I love it!!

  2. Oh my goodness those look painful! In my head right now I would love to have a natural birth with no epidural one day, but I have a feeling once the contractions start coming I will quickly change my mind! Can't wait for part 2!


  3. Cannot wait to read the rest...

  4. Wow..the suspense!! I want more! So exciting... How did the needle feel like when it was going in your back? I def. want kids in life but I'm scared of that needle and even more scared of the pain of not getting that needle.

  5. oh my word - i am PETRIFIED and im not even PREGNANT!! well done!! :)