Timothy Edward (formerly known as Fwed) was born on 09/18/2008 at 1:48pm, weighing in at 7lb 5oz, and 20 inches long. My BIL was joking about how we talk about babies as if they're fish!
Here's how it all went down:
I first noticed contractions that felt different from the BH I’d had all along in the pg when Ant woke me up at 4am. They were about 3-5 minutes apart, lasting 15-20 sec. After a while when I couldn’t go back to sleep, I got up to finish up some last minute work stuff, and have something to eat. The contractions spaced out quite a bit, to about 10-15 minutes apart, so I figured we were either in for the long haul, or it was false labor. Until I went to the bathroom and there was some bloody mucus on the TP… I got a big smile on my face and thought that we probably would be having the baby that day. More than a week sooner than I had been anticipating (I was 39w6d).
By the time I finished up the work stuff at around 10am, I was having contractions that were 4-5 min apart, but only about 30 sec long. I hopped in the bath for an hour and only had 3-4 more, so in my mind more evidence that we were in for a long day. When I got out, they were 2-3 min apart but only 30 sec or so, so I thought they would space out... they also weren't that uncomfortable, I was just stopping and leaning on something through them, then getting on with what I was doing (which did include a little bit of packing, turned out to be a good thing). I started having to lie down for them at around 12:15 - and then my water broke at 12:20. Called the doctor, and they said, "come in RIGHT now". I still wasn't convinced because although the contractions were coming pretty quickly they were still fairly short, and I wasn't finding the pain unmanageable in the least. But I decided they were probably right.
We ended up leaving the house at 12:48. Got stuck in traffic on Storrow Drive (figures!), at which point Mark asked if he needed to flash his lights etc and try and get through. I said no, but did have him call smartraveller to find out how long we were likely to be stuck for. Fortunately it was just a short jam due to some road work, so we were on our way in about 5 or 6 minutes. We also discussed how we should handle the car – should we both go and park it, should Mark drop me off, or should we leave it out front? I said I didn’t think I could make it from the garage, so either he should drop me off or we should bring the car right out front. By the time we got there Mark decided on the latter based on his assessment of how I was doing. (I had started pushing out more gushes of amniotic fluid just as we were getting through the traffic jam).
We were actually treated as a medical emergency when we did get to the hospital; there were a couple of guys out front who helped me into a wheelchair, and got us an express elevator up to the L&D floor. The receptionist there didn’t seem to have quite the urgency that Mark and I were feeling, she was asking for our insurance info! I told her my contractions were 1-2 min apart, and finally she seemed to get it and got someone to take me into triage. Once I was up on the bed in triage after discarding my amniotic fluid (and meconium – the fluid was definitely greenish) soaked towel, I climbed onto the bed. Almost immediately, I felt my uterus starting to contract from the top and push down – without my doing a thing! I told the nurse that I had to push. A midwife came in, checked me, “yup, fully dilated +2 station” and rushed me to a delivery room. The pushing phase was nothing like what I had imagined, where I would get a break in between pushes to recoup, and wonder at what was happening. Even the pushing contractions were right on top of each other. At one point they had me try and push more slowly, until the baby’s heartrate started dropping, which for me was the best motivation EVER to push as hard as I could and get him out. He did come out, just one or two pushes later, and only 13 minutes after we’d entered the room. Mark said, “It’s a BOY!”. So Timothy Edward had made his appearance.
Because he came out so quickly I had a lot of tearing, so they spent about 3 hours stiching me up and trying to stop the bleeding (all of which was honestly way more painful and uncomfortable than the delivery itself), which was unsuccessful and I ended up in the OR for about 45 minutes at 7pm to finally get everything back together. Turned out I had a second degree perineal tear, labial tears, and a vaginal tear which was what had been oozing and they couldn't find until in the OR.
It’s funny how so few birth experiences seem to go as expected. I got to experience the natural delivery I was hoping / planning for – yet at the same time because it all happened so fast, in some ways I didn’t get to experience it. I had a Nora Jones CD I was planning on listening to while laboring in the hospital, to help me relax through the contractions. That never even made it out of the bag! As I mentioned, there was no time for me to think about, marvel or wonder at what my body was doing during the delivery because the contractions were so incredibly intense. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining – in fact I’m rather in awe of how it all happened. It just happened so differently from what I had imagined, since I started contemplating a natural birth when pregnant with Ant.