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Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Disappearing Act

Here is the long awaited post.
I'll try to keep it short but, that seems almost impossible considering this will be a birth story.

Lets's get down to it then...I'm now a mother of 2. A rambunctious boy, and an adorable little girl. Her name is Riley and she was born exactly on her due date of September 22, 2011.

It all started the day before Riley was born. I went to see the midwives for my 40 week appointment and was glad to find out that I was 1cm dilated. I felt good and went about my day which consisted mostly of cleaning and picking up after Pauly. I had been dealing with fatigue for a few weeks so it was no surprise that I was tiring quickly. As the day went on things started to change. I wasn't feeling as well and there was a persistent pain in my lower back. I started to think that maybe I was in early labour but, because I wasn't sure I kept this thought to myself. I struggled to finish dinner and was relieved when we all sat down to eat. The back ache subsided a little but I still wasn't feeling well. Soon after I put Pauly to bed and then sat infront of the boob tube to relax.

A few hours later Paul started getting ready for work and I was sure to ask if he had his charged cell phone with him. He did, so at 10pm he left. I decided that I should probably see if there was a pattern to the pain I was feeling and after an hour of monitoring I was sure I was in early labour. The pain was coming every 15-20 minutes and lasting 30 seconds. I then started to mentally prepare for the back labour I thought I would once again experience but, was happy when I started feeling the contractions under my belly.

The advantage of knowing what's coming is that you tend to be a little calmer and can make better decisions about what to do next. My plan was to sleep through early labour and hopefully Paul would be home before I needed his help. So at midnight I went to bed and tried to get some rest. I wasn't too bothered by the contractions and managed to sleep in 1 hour intervals until 5am. At this point I couldn't get comfortable in bed so I decided to get up and time my contractions again. They were now coming every 10 minutes and lasting for 45 seconds. I wrestled with the thought of calling Paul and came to the conclusion that he needed to come home. Even though I was still able to move and talk through the pain it would be 40 minutes before Paul got home and he still had to set up the dining/living room for our water birth. When I spoke to Paul he sounded excited and a little anxious about what was going on. After our conversation I went and sat on the birthing ball to try and relieve some of the pain but it didn't do any good. I just couldn't find a comfortable position. The contractions were now getting stronger but not closer together. I walked the house and tried different things but the only way I seemed to get relief was by slouching in the corner of the couch and breathing through the pain. I realized I should probably call the midwives too in order to give them time to get here. I had been hoping that Basak was going to be on call and was so happy when she called me back to say her and Adriana would be on their way in about 10 minutes.

When Paul got home he informed me that his mom was on her way to pick up Pauly and our dog. Before he started packing Pauly's overnight bag I had him attach a TENS unit to my back. I was a little skeptical about wether it would work for me but I was pleasantly surprised to feel that it took some of the edge off the contractions. As Paul went to work I concentrated on breathing through the pain and relaxing in between.

My mother-in-law showed up a short time later and asked how things were going. I wanted to tell her all about what was happening and how I felt but, I couldn't speak through the contractions any more and was forced to keep my answers short. She finished gathering things for Pauly and let me kiss him goodbye before leaving. I had really wanted him to stay but because he was still so young I knew it would be best if he wasn't home with us. After they left I told Paul that he needed to call our doula Jody. The contractions were getting stronger and closer together. He made the necessary call and continued to quickly prepare the birth pool.

At this point I was still on the couch breathing through the contractions and waiting for my team to show up. At 7:45am Basak and Jody arrived with Adriana following a short time later. The midwives began setting up all their gear and Jody came to my side to see how I'm doing. Because it was still early and Paul figured he had a long morning ahead of him, he decided to make some coffee. Although I didn't feel like having any, the aroma was somehow comforting and just the fact that he was able to do it was a little surreal.

Once the midwives were ready, Adriana offered to check me and I eagerly agreed. I wanted to know exactly where I stood and I wasn't disappointed. After 3 hours of painful labour, I was 6cm dilated and completely effaced. At this point I got the OK from the midwives to get into the pool and I absolutely loved it. The water combined with vocal toning really did help me get through the contractions. I had my eyes closed and was so focused on relaxing my body and resting between contractions that I can't tell you what was going on around me. I know someone was rubbing my shoulders and arms (I later found out it was Paul) and I could hear Jody guiding and encouraging me.

Then suddenly I had a few strong contractions, one on top of the other and there was no time to think. I started pushing. Basak got ready, my water broke and Adriana ran outside to get Paul because he was "making the phone calls". By the time he came back in Adriana was sternly telling me to stop pushing because things were going too fast. I tried not to push but with the next contraction my body didn't give me a choice. Riley's head was born. A few seconds later the midwives told me to stand up because Riley's shoulders were stuck. A few more seconds later and she was in my arms safe and sound. I sat back in the tub to keep her warm and waited for her to cry. It didn't take long for Riley to announce her arrival and Paul was able to cut the cord soon after.

Basak was concerned that there might still be fluid in Riley's lungs because things happened very quickly so she took Riley to the table to examine her. A short while later I was lying in bed with Riley in my arms again. I couldn't believe that I had been blessed with another little angel who was perfect in every way.

So I'm sure this new journey will have lots of sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and moments of pure chaos but, I'll also have twice the love, twice the affection and twice the amount of memories to cherish.