If you enjoy reading harrowing, intense birth stories...
then keep moving. This one's happy!
Since my due date has come and gone, I was referred by my midwives to an obstetrician just to make sure that everything is progressing normally, and that the baby isn't in distress. I was really hoping that I wouldn't have to actually go to the appointment, that she would show up before Monday rolled around, but no such luck.
So I head to the hospital for my appointment, a forty-five minute drive.
We get to the hospital and I go to my ultrasound, the second one for my pregnancy, which I'm not too happy about. However, what I am happy about is that when I ask the technician if "She's still a girl?!!?" she says yes! I had two awesome boys already, but was pretty excited about PINK EVERYTHING.
As the technician does the scan, she asks, "When is your due date?" to which I begin to respond, "Uh, it was..."
"Oh!" she says, "you're overdue?"
"Yup. So ready for this."
All looks well with the ultrasound and I am shown to a hospital room to wait for the on-call obstetrician, Dr. Mukerghee. I wait for like a million years for it to be my turn.
(Is waiting for an obstetrician what it's like for a toddler EVERY TIME they have to wait for anything? Cause if so...that would clear a lot of things up for me.)
I wait and wait for the doctor, and as I do I'm realizing that this might finally be it. The contractions intensify and continue regularly.
I really, really don't want to be induced and tell him that. I tell him that I would like to have another home birth, so an induction would not work for me. I can tell that he is not comfortable with my decision, so I mention that I have been feeling regular contractions, and ask if he could just check to see if I'm dilated or anything. If not, maybe we could just go ahead with doing the membrane sweep thing then.
This compromise seems to perk up the problem-solver and he dons his gloves. No sooner had he checked me than he was tearing them off, declaring, "If you want your home birth, you'd better get home immediately!"
"Yay!!" I say, excited that I was not going to have to make any stressful decisions after all.
The doctor takes my joy for misunderstanding. He further explains the circumstances to me and then continues.
"You need to go home now! I'll call the midwives, you just get home!" He looks worried that I am not grasping the gravity of the situation.
The nurse tries too. "You need to leave within the next five minutes or we will have to keep you here!"
They rush out so that I can change and as I walk by their desk on my way out of the hospital, they wave. Dr. Mukerghee calls out, "Did you call the midwives yet?!"
"Not yet." I answer.
"Just go! I'll page them! Who is it, Suki?"
"Yes, please! Thanks! Bye!"
"Good luck!" they call behind me.
I get out to the car and tell Aaron.
"He said the baby's like right there...he touched her head!"
"Yay!" Aaron says. (See? Not a weird reaction.)
My contractions are stronger now, closer together.
As soon as I mention this to Aaron, he goes into Husband Rescuer Mode and starts speeding. We joke that we are going to get pulled over in that classic scenario where the husbands says the wife is in labour, only this time we're speeding in the opposite direction from the hospital.
As we drive, I try to get in touch with my friend Rachel, to see if she can take the boys who are three and one and a half years old. I call her phone, only to get voicemail over and over.
I call a couple of other friends. Either no one was home, or everyone really didn't want to watch our kids. Still not sure on that one...
Finally, I text Rachel's husband's cell phone, asking if he knows where she is so I can get in touch with her. She replies, as she had taken his phone with her and had gone out for supper in Pembroke.
Pembroke is the town that is 45 minutes away. The one that we just sped from.
She says she's on her way, she'll make it back to get the boys!
Note: Friend Rescuer Mode is also a thing.
We make it back home, and with contractions four minutes apart I vacuum the area rug in the living room. After all, the midwives will be here soon. Can't let my standards down just because I'm in labour!
Rachel comes by and picks up the boys, which is sad and weird for me because nobody just comes by and picks up my boys. But I know they will be so excited to play over there with her little one.
Aaron fills a warm bath for me, as it's looking like the pool won't be here in time.
Kilmeny, one of the midwives, arrives and soon after, a birth attendant whose name I cannot remember at the moment, but we thought she was wonderful.
Kilmeny informs us that the house needs to be warmer for the baby. Which makes sense since it is October 20th and our house has no heat. Yup, we were switching over to heating our house with natural gas and the company couldn't come hook it up until November.
So Aaron plugged in the space heaters, turned on the oven with the door open, and dried an invisible load of laundry. He even folded it later.
Unfortunately, the bath ended up slowing my progress so Kilmeny suggested I walk around for a bit. I think she was a little disappointed, after Tirian's super fast birth.
So Aaron and I paced around together upstairs, being silly and giggly. I don't even remember what we were talking about, but it was so exciting to know that our newest little family member was almost here! The thought made us so giddy.
Kilmeny let us know that the birth pool was on its way, and we were delighted to find out that I would get to use it after all.
I feel like, even looking back over this past twelve months of her life, she has always brought me so much joy. As a very small, baby she would often wake up laughing, and still does sometimes. When her brothers hear that she's awake and come running to her crib to greet her in the morning, she literally screams at the top of her little lungs with excitement! As though the most famous, amazing people just ran up to her.
But back to the ironic story...it's not over yet!
After a restless rest of sorts, I realized it was time for me to take some ibuprofen. The midwives had said to take it every couple of hours to stay ahead of the pain, which I had decided to do after suffering through crazy after-pains with Tirian.
I tried to wake Aaron up, but that was like... trying to wake Aaron up.
I tidied up the kitchen and dining room, and then feeling like maybe I had pushed it a little too far, I decided to take that medicine and lie back down to rest.
I looked on the counter and found a bottle prescribed to the midwives. This wasn't a familiar drug name, but it was the right dosage that I had heard them telling Aaron when they left, and it was the only bottle on the counter. I figured it must be a brand name or something and the usually doesnt-take-medicine-for-anything-Amanda took...two. Exactly as I had heard them say.
I lied back down and dozed a bit before waking up in pain, shaking violently. It was so strange, I felt so out of control of my body, just shaking and shaking, knees literally knocking together and teeth chattering. I feel like I'm freezing, I thought, but I don't think I am.
I worked much harder to ensure that I successfully woke Aaron up this time. Something wasn't right.
"Aaron, what medicine was I supposed to take?" I asked him, realizing I may have made a huge mistake. I gestured to the bottle I had taken which Aaron confirmed was not the right stuff.
He googled the drug name and discovered that his wife who had so resolutely refused to be induced for the past week...had just taken two tablets of oxytocin.
"So I induced myself after giving birth?!" I cried. "What does this mean?"
Aaron read some more and said apparently it was okay, it was sometimes given for clotting purposes. We debated calling the midwives, but decided to wait it out.
Eventually, after lots of blankets and some time, I settled back down and was able to sleep. It turned out that the midwives had pulled the bottle out while waiting for my placenta to deliver, just in case, and hadn't noticed it when they were packing up. But I definitely didn't have to take it! I still cannot believe I did that, I think I was just so ready to lie back down that I just decided that it was the right thing. I am usually very paranoid about that kind of thing.
Aaron brought the boys home and we excitedly introduced them to their brand new baby sister, Lilah. Our friends came over and we all enjoyed a breakfast of waffles and eggs together, which is a lovely memory for us.
and I wish you so many, many more!