Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lachlan's Birth Story: Part One

We had been planning our natural home water birth for over two years when we learned that it was no longer an option. I was adamant about avoiding the hospital at all costs. My two greatest fears about labour were getting induced, and having a cesarean. So, when we found out we were pregnant we got two great midwives and started preparing for our private and natural home birth. The day after I finally finished getting together all our supplies I found out I couldn’t have my dream birth. I had suddenly developed high blood pressure which meant that there was a risk of pre-eclampsia and that we would have to deliver our baby in the hospital. I spent the next week watching my blood pressure and waiting to hear if I would have to be induced. Obviously I knew that with pregnancy things don’t always go according to plan, but the birth of our son could not have been farther from what we planned.

(We took this photo just before leaving for the party)

 On Saturday March 23rd I was exactly 38 weeks pregnant. Our next midwife appointment was scheduled for the following Tuesday and we knew that it would probably result in the scheduling of an induction as they had already let me go longer than the OB suggested. On this night, however, Andrew and I were going to a welcome home party in Vancouver for our friend Tim. I was determined to go out “one last time.” The hour-long drive out was very uncomfortable for me but the party was fun and it was nice to see all our friends. We ended up leaving later than we had planned at around 12:30am. It was funny; as we left the party everyone wished us good luck. I remember thinking that was so nice, like they were all rooting for us. We dropped our friend Jenna off at another party in Gastown and then made really good time getting home. We arrived home at about 1:15am. I went to the bathroom right away and while I was peeing I felt a kind of “pop” accompanied by some “extra” fluid. I wondered if it was my water breaking but wasn’t alarmed as I had periodically leaked tiny bits of fluid over the last few days with no outcome. We sat in the kitchen on our bar stools to have a midnight snack and talk about whether my "pop" was significant. I was eating Cheerios with chocolate almond milk while Andrew started making himself a bagel when all of the sudden I felt a warm gush. I said something along the lines of: “Ok…um yeah, my water is breaking!” Andrew got me a towel, I wrapped myself in it and proceeded to sit on the kitchen floor and finish my cereal. At this point I thought it might be my last meal before giving birth. (Little did I know I would have two more “last meals.”) Andrew stood there in a kind of daze so I ordered him to eat his bagel. We debated when/whether or not to call our midwife or doula. I couldn’t remember what to do if my water broke before contractions started, we hadn’t discussed it as it is somewhat uncommon. At some point I called my mom. I was shaking/shivering by then.
Eventually, we got in bed while I called the doula. She was already at the hospital with another client and said to definitely call our midwife. Our midwife told us to come to meet her at the hospital so that she could check to make sure that my water had, in fact, broken. We called Andrew’s mom to come get Jack the dog and off we went! I was damp and would randomly gush more fluid so it was pretty uncomfortable even with my entourage of chux pads and beach towels. It was a freezing cold night, there was frost on the ground and the hospital was deserted. We met our midwife in triage where she confirmed that I was leaking amniotic fluid . She brought up the fact that we hadn’t gotten my GBS results yet so we didn’t know if I needed antibiotics. The lab wasn’t opening until 8:00am so she sent us home to get some sleep and said she would call us as soon as she knew my results. If I was positive we would have to come back right away and get induced. If I wasn’t we could wait a bit for labour to start on its own but not long as the risk of infection would increase with time. We drove home; abandoning our 12 hour pre-paid parking spot and tried to sleep. I had started feeling some lower back pain in bed so I slept with a hot water bottle against my back. It never occurred to me that this pain, which I had been feeling occasionally for weeks, was actually contractions…

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