Ok, so she’s been here for almost four months… BUT! I haven’t done a blog post about it, so did it even happen?? If you love a good birth story, read on! Here’s how it all went down…
I went into labour in the evening on November 8 and had mild, regular contractions all night long. By the time Clinton’s alarm went off the next morning I was fairly certain that this was the real deal, so he stayed home from work. I lounged around and tried to rest as much as I could, knowing I would need my energy later on once things got serious. Clint got the boys ready for school and my mom drove them in. I had zero appetite, but tried to choke down a bagel (unsuccessfully…) and decided to get the heating pad out to help with some of the stronger contractions. It had started to snow and I was thinking to myself how nice it would be to give birth on a snowy day. My mom got back from dropping the boys at school and puttered around, helping with the younger boys (Rowan skipped preschool that day, much to his chagrin!). Clinton kept checking in on me and as the snowfall picked up he suggested that we leave for the hospital sooner rather than later. I absolutely HATE going to hospital too early in labour, but the roads were bound to be bad and Clint didn’t want to take the chance of getting trapped 30 minutes away from hospital. His parents live in Salmon Arm and offered for us to hang around at their place while I laboured, so we would be close by (and so I would NOT have to labour for hours at the hospital). I finally conceded and we loaded up the SUV with the car seat (after i fiiiiinally found the base. Forever prepared I am NOT) and my hospital bag around 11am.
You can see the snow starting to accumulate on the ground in this pic. Also, my puffy labour face lol.
Once loaded up into the vehicle I turned on the heated seat, which was an absolute life saver! Traveling whilst in labour is no fun at all, but the heat felt amazing on my back. We got to the hospital around noon and checked in at the maternity desk. My contractions were about 5-7 minutes apart, but not super intense. The nurse checked me and I was dilated 2cm (yawn) so of course we got out of there in a hurry. The snow had picked up BIG TIME by this point and the roads were an absolute mess. We decided to grab some lunch at McDonalds, the natural choice. I got an egg mcmuffin meal, which I hardly touched. I was pretty zoned in by this point and food just wasn’t appealing to me at all. We then headed to Walmart to buy another heat pad, because I had forgotten ours at home and it had really been helping. When you don’t use any drugs for pain during labour, you really need to take advantage of things like that! Clint ran in and bought the heating pad and we made our way to his parents house. Thankfully they were at work (no one wants an audience while labouring…) but their driveway was completely snowed in, so Clinton got busy plowing it while I made myself comfortable inside. I ended up falling asleep on the couch for a brief time, which felt heavenly – the heating pad was really doing wonders for me! Things (aka PAIN) started to pick up, so I started pacing and breathing through my contractions, which were now consistently 3-5 minutes apart. Clinton came in from finishing with the driveway (it’s a pretty big one so it had taken him awhile). He saw me have a couple contractions and said we should head to the hospital. I’m not great at gauging when we should head in, because I’m usually avoiding it, but I knew he was right because things had amped up pretty quickly. Around 3:30pm we headed black to the hospital and passed Clinton’s mom bringing the boys back to her house, as she had picked them up from school (so convenient!) It was still snowing like crazy so we took it nice and slow. I checked in at maternity again and they sent me right down to a delivery room. As I lay on the bed waiting to be checked I looked out the window and saw huge snowflakes falling – it was truly beautiful and I felt so peaceful watching them fall. What a perfect day to have a baby! The nurse checked me and I was at 5-6cm. Ugh. I was really hoping for more than that. She then asked if we knew what we were having and we gave her the abridged version of 4 boys, finally a girl, yadda. She asked if we were catholic when we told her the ages of our boys. Ha! I said no, not catholic – just crazy! She fetched two pink hats from a drawer and placed them on the warming bed/baby examination table – ready for baby.
I got in the shower and Clint plugged in the heating pad for once I was in the bed. I started to feel light headed and remembered that I hadn’t eaten/drank anything in hours. I asked Clinton to get me some cranberry juice and he quickly returned with some on ice. So delicious. I highly recommend drinking something very cold while taking a very hot shower. Amazing. He made many more trips to refill it for me – aside from being extremely parched, I knew I needed the sugar to give me a boost in energy. Things got more intense very quickly and I knew I was heading into the home stretch. The nurse asked me a couple times if I wanted anything for the pain (I’m pretty sure she thought I was crazy haha!) but Clinton politely asked her not to keep asking. I could tell that it was close to go time, but didn’t want to get out of the shower until I absolutely had to – the hot water felt so good on my lower back. I remember Clinton’s phone dinging and pinging with all manner of notifications and I told him to knock it off with the updates to family/friends. Once baby was out, then he could fill people in. For now, the noise was just an unwelcome distraction from the task at hand. He kept asking if the contractions were getting stronger (I get very focused and stay very quiet while in labour, so it can be hard for him to tell.) I ignored him for the most part, mostly because I was very zoned in by this point and wasn’t really capable of responding. Finally I whispered to him that they should get the doctor because I was starting to feel ‘pushy’. The doctor had been dealing with a patient in the ER up to this point, so they called her up and had me get on the bed (worst!) to be checked. The first thing I noticed when the doctor came in was how young she looked. I then turned to Clint and said “She looks young”. In retrospect, probably best not to insult your doctor before they deliver your baby, but hey – I was pretty out of it… Turns out she’s 6 months younger than I am, which had me seriously evaluating my life choices. Jokes!! But seriously, how anyone my age can already be a doctor is beyond me. Despite the chit chat, I was really struggling to keep myself focused and the urge to push was getting stronger. She checked me and said I was at 9cm, and told me to wait before pushing – even though I was ready to push like RIGHT. NOW. The heating pad was working it’s magic, but that still doesn’t cut through the pain of transitional labour with much efficacy lol. I breathed my way through two more contractions/pushing swells before I told her to forget it – THIS IS HAPPENING NOW. I bore down and gave it all I had and I vaguely remember them telling me to stop pushing, then Clinton yelled ‘Sarah! Stop!’ Apparently she was coming out with her little hand beside her face and they needed to adjust her. Clint later joked that she was coming out in a Superman pose with one arm out front. One more push and she was out at 5:48pm. I had been there less than 3 hours, but it truly felt like an eternity – those final hours are always so drawn out. The first thing I said was ‘Is it a girl??’ Still not ready to believe it. I felt myself sobbing, but the tears weren’t coming out – I think I was too dehydrated (despite the multiple glasses of cranberry juice lol). They put her on my chest immediately and I felt so at peace. My baby girl – finally in my arms.
She cried loudly and would not stop – I finally got her latched on to nurse because she was just not settling down! She nursed for ages and I only let her go very briefly to have her weighed/measured, which was really out of my own curiosity more than anything because the nurses were happy to let me cuddle her as long as I wanted. They both guessed how much she weighed and one of them got it exactly right – 6lbs 11oz! 20 inches long and so beautiful already. When they were done checking her over they wrapped her up and Clinton finally had a chance to hold her.
She took to the soother right away, which is amaaaaazing. Obviously I came prepared with the tether and everything- I was very determined to get her to take it! All the while the doctor had been poking around at me, coaxing the placenta out, checking to see if I needed stitches (I didn’t – woohoo!) and generally getting right up in my business. I thanked her for a smooth delivery and apologized for saying she looked young. I don’t think it bothered her though – she is young!! The nurses were all commenting on what an ‘ideal labour’ I had and how they were shocked that I hadn’t used any pain meds and still remained so calm. (I had a bad experience with an epidural when I was in labour with Desmond, so all of my subsequent labours have been completely natural). I think they were just happy that I hadn’t been bursting their eardrums lol! I try very very hard to keep myself calm and quiet during labour – it helps me feel in control. My goal this time was not to totally lose it once I started to push, and I think I was successful in that respect. Fifth time’s the charm I guess!
Things are finally settling into a routine and I can catch my breath a few times a day now. She is an INCREDIBLE sleeper and has been sleeping through the night since around 1 month. By 6 weeks she was sleeping 10-12 hours straight through and I still can hardly believe it. Obviously I now have no excuse for not getting anything done around here lolllllll.
If you read all the way to the end of that novella, I commend you! I personally loooove reading other women’s birth stories, so I figured I would throw mine into the mix. Being a mom of FIVE is exhausting to say the least, but sweet Eve truly is the pink icing on our very blue cake!