It's been 17 days since Elliott has joined our family and I have never been as happy and exhausted at the same time as I am now. The first week went by like a blur - sleep deprivation can really mess with one's mind and I lost count of what day it was, and often times decided to take sleep over eating, when there was time for it. I'm going to split the post up over a few posts as there is so much to catch up on.
So let's recap Elliott's birth story in this post.
I remember the night before Elliott was born, I said to DH as we got ready for bed, "this baby is coming sooner rather than later" as I felt a lot of pressure in the pelvic region that evening. Little did I know that it literally was just around the corner.
I woke up around 3:30 am for a pee (ended up being a poop too - hmm I wonder) - and as I was climbing back into bed I felt an intense cramp in my lower abdomen, very similar to menstrual cramps but much more powerful. I thought nothing of it really and went back to bed, only to be woken up 10 mins later with the same wave of cramp. At that point I tapped my hubby on the shoulder and mumbled "Honey, I don't think you'll be going to work tomorrow" - to which he woke up abruptly and said "you mean today? you mean something's happening?!"
He immediately jumped out of bed to grab his BB to start the timer/stop watch - while I lay in bed and waiting for the next one. From that point on until about 4:05 am, the cramps/contractions were coming very regularly, and no longer 10 mins apart but progressively closer and closer. I got out of bed at this point as I could no longer bear the pain lying down so we continued to do our breathing while I swayed my hips from side to side.
I decided to hop into the shower to see if the hot water would help (and oh boy did it) but every time a contraction hit I would yell out for DH and he would come running and and breathe with me. Once it was over, he would dash around the house trying to get my bags and everything ready - including calling our midwife to let her know what was happening. After my shower and blow drying my hair (yes, I did this in between contractions - don't ask - I just needed to!) - things really started pick up and here is where our birth plan kinda went downhill.
My primary midwife was unavailable, as she was out of town at a conference so we got my secondary (which is totally fine, I liked her too) on the phone. When we told her that my contractions went from 5 mins apart to more like 2 mins apart, she said ok - no time for her to come to our house and instead, to meet her at the hospital asap. We had originally planned to give birth at the hospital just 5 mins away from us - but the midwife called us back and said that the hospital was understaffed and we had to be re-directed to one 15-20 mins away instead (which I know doesn't sound far, but when your contractions are coming on top of one another - any drive that long seemed like an impossible task)
At this point I started to panic, that things weren't going 'as planned' and that the contractions shouldn't be this close together, this soon. DH and I stopped and said a prayer for God to be with us and with our baby - and then off we went.
My hubby never told me how fast he was driving, but thankfully there was no rush hour traffic that early in the morning (it was about 5 am now) going east on the highway so that was a huge blessing for us, looking back at how close I was. That car ride was one of the most painful car rides I have ever experienced. Every contraction my hands would be up against the ceiling of the car and my toes curled up as I tried to breathe through it. We got to the hospital only to find out that the area we ran into was the wrong one - DH practically threw me into a wheelchair and we dashed to the L&D wing - totally like how you would see in movies. A nurse was walking the opposite way when she saw us and basically ran with us, directing us to the right area as there were many halls and turns to get there. I can still hear her saying - turn right here! now left here! now through those doors! lol.
My midwife was already there in the room and was setting up - and DH had to go move our illegally parked car and grab the birth binder, and all of our stuff and to register me, so I was with my midwife alone for a short while. I threw on the hospital gown and she did a cervical check in a matter of minutes. I'm sure my face went white when she told me that she could feel the baby's head and that I was about 8-9 cms. I think I may have whimpered out "so this means no drugs?" in between my increasingly painful contractions.
My midwife tried to comfort me by telling me that I had been doing a great job and that I had already been through the hardest part - and that everything was going to be fine. In my head I was thinking are you crazy! I still have to get the baby out of me and I hear that's pretty hard too!
But no time to think, much less dwell on the fact that there would be no pain relief. She told me that I could go and sit on the toilet as it might make me feel a bit more comfortable so I spent the rest of the dilation sitting there. I remember my midwife telling me that it was time and to come off the toilet and get up on the bed - and as I did so (I was on all fours climbing up) I felt a warm gush going down my legs as my water broke. She told me to lie on my back, slightly on my left side and that we were going to start pushing soon. DH had come back in the room at this point - (he was with me while I was on the toilet) and was now by my side - I think I may or may have not broken a few capillaries in his left hand but he never let go.
The midwife then put a hot towel compress right in my perineum area and told me to focus on that spot and just push when my body was telling me to. So I did. I focused on this hot/warm area, and I pushed with every ounce of energy. It felt like I was trying to pass the largest poop I've every had in my life (thankfully, no poop came out during delivery). I stopped and caught my breath until the next one. I was told that I was doing great and that the next push to keep doing the same. And so I did. With that push, Elliott was crowning and oh boy that ring of fire people talk about, it ain't a joke. Most mothers say they don't remember the pain, well, they lie - because I still remember it, albeit, it's a bit fuzzy now but still. I caught my breath again but only for a short moment as the next push feeling came so strongly I just bore down and went for it and the next thing you know, the biggest whoosh feeling of relief and out popped Elliott and he was immediately placed on my chest. Holding that warm, wet and crying baby was just the most surreal and wonderful feeling in this world. I cried and kissed DH and we both just looked at each other in amazement at this tiny little being in my arms. The little bean, little sprout that we had so lovingly seen on all those ultrasounds was finally a realized dream. Funny enough, we were all so enamored with this baby that no one mentioned whether baby was a boy or girl. I think the nurse asked us, so do you know what it is? DH peeked under the blanket exclaimed excitedly 'it's a boy!' - I loved that moment and I loved hearing it from him.
I ended up tearing naturally and needed about 4 stitches - but all in all, both Elliott and I were healthy and after about 2 hrs, we were released to go home. I am over the moon that he is finally here in our arms, and life as we know it will never be the same.
More posts to come on how we've been adjusting and getting acquainted with one another...but for now, some more pics :)