On October 31 (Halloween) I woke up at 4am with contractions. I had been wondering and asking people how I would know when I was going into labor, and they always replied, "oh you will know when it's time." I knew that these just weren't cramps and that they indicated that labor was on it's way. I was excited and anxious. I went back to bed and tried to get some more sleep. I resisted waking Caleb to tell him, I knew he would probably need some sleep too! We woke up later, and I told Caleb that we would probably be having a baby soon. He was super excited, and we really didn't know what we should be doing next! I called my Mom and let her know as I wanted her to be at the birth. I told her we still probably had a lot of time, so she said she would get ready, pack, and then be on her way up. Caleb and I timed my contractions on my handy contraction app on my phone. I called my midwife when I had one every 5 minutes, and it had been going on for an hour. She reassured me that we probably still had quite a ways to go, and to call her back in a couple of hours. I did just that, and our midwife Wendy said she was in the area and would stop by to check on me. My mom arrived right after Wendy did. Wendy took me in the bedroom and did an internal check....not comfortable! She seemed suprised to learn that I was 4cm dilated and said i had been doing some good work.
She gave us the option of going to the hospital, or staying home and laboring for a bit longer. We chose to stay at home. She advised us to go take a long walk, and then come home and have a nap as i needed to get some rest as well. It was around supper time, so we went to Wendy's to eat. I had a spicy chicken. :) I remember feeling slightly embarassed having to close my eyes every so often as I had a contraction. I felt like everyone was staring at me, but I really don't think anyone noticed. There I was in labor eating at Wendy's. :)
After that Caleb took us to Nose Hill Park for our walk. Our walk turned into more of long hike! It was for me anyways. I would have to stop and lean on caleb every time i had a contraction. They were getting closer together and more intense. It was windy and cold, and i was done walking long before we were actually done. Caleb was a bit ambitious and took us further than we probably should have gone. Getting back to the car was such a relief!
When we got home I took wendy's advice to have a nap...although I didn't think I would be able to at that point and I was right....I did rest, but couldn't sleep through the contractions. A little while later I hit a turning point. I told Caleb that if I didn't go to the hospital then...I didn't think I would. I knew I could have the baby safely at home with our midwives, but the hospital was our plan and felt we should stick to it. We called our midwife Wendy, and she said if that's what we wanted it wasn't a problem. I have no idea what time we left for the hospital, but it was sometime in the evening.
We got there, Wendy was there as well as a midwifery student Babil. After we got settled Wendy suggested that I go for a walk around the unit. We walked out the door and turned right...inside the room that was there we heard a woman literally screaming her head off! It sounded like she was getting murdered! My midwife quickly redirected us, but caleb and i were both a little freaked out! ha. She checked me when we got back and I was at 6cm. So things were progressing.
The next 12 hours were not fun...although I was not screaming like that lady! My contractions were very intense. Wendy and Babil were great and really helped me through them. I tried to breathe and relax as best I could, but sometimes it was just too much. I think the worst part of the contractions was actually the break in between and anticipating the next one. That's not where my mind probably should have been...but for me the anticipation was the worst! I got in the tub for a while and labored in there...it was nice to be in the warm water for a bit. Caleb and my Mom were also a huge support. They were probably both exhausted too! but stuck with me through the whole thing. My mind had started wandering through this process to pain relief. It was never my intention to use any drugs, and i really wanted a natural birth...but after 24 hours...my mind was definitely going there.
At 4am...after 24 hours of labor, Wendy checked me again. I was hoping for some good news...unfortunately it wasn't. She said "you haven't progressed very much." I asked her how much? She again said, "you haven't progressed very much." I knew she didn't want to tell me. I was still at 6cm. I had been at a 6 for 12 hours. That was so discouraging...and on my mind was just wanting some relief for the pain. I asked her what my options were. She said there was laughing gas, which would not make the pain any less, but I wouldn't care as much about it...so pretty much I wouldn't be all there...and then there was an epidural. Neither of those options sounded ideal to me. Wendy told me that an epidural would allow me to get some rest, because I still needed strength when it came time to push. Wendy didn't push an epidural on me, but I could tell she didn't think it was a bad idea. I talked to Caleb about it for a while. I asked him if he would be dissapointed in me if I got one, he said he wouldn't, but he asked if I would be dissapointed in myself. He didn't want me to regret my decision. I knew it's not ideally what I wanted, but I didn't know if I could do much more without some kind of relief. After going back and forth for a while, I decided to get one. I was scared of the needle, but everything went well. After Wendy said to me "Kailey, when a midwife tells you to get an epidural, you get an epidural." That helped me feel a bit better about my choice, but at that point I was still just so out of it.
After the epidural, the midwives advised me to start on oxytocin, but the very lowest dose to help me dialate. This had already turned into the slippery slope I was fearing, but we did the oxytocin, as it was a very minimal dose of it. For the next while I was able to sleep and get some rest which was so nice. We sent my Mom home to sleep as well. The midwives reassured her that we would let her know when it was time to push and that she would definitely make it in time. One of the other midwives Luba showed up to relieve wendy and babil for a bit. She was my favorite midwife so I was glad she was there. She just has such a gentleness about her, and i always felt most comfortable around her. After a while my epidural had started to wear off and I was feeling contractions again. I got another internal check probably around 1 or 2pm and I was fully dialated! Which meant time to push. At this point I was feeling everything, so I didn't need coaching about when to push as I could feel my contractions, and was also feeling a bit of pressure. We tried a bunch of different pushing positions. At one point they even had a bar set up at the end of the bed so i could squat, it was pretty crazy. They checked where the baby was, and it seemed that the midwives had a hard time figuring out exactly what position his head was in. Pushing was exhausting! I was so so tired, and so I finally asked how long I had been pushing for...two and a half hours. I didn't think it was that long! But my body did...I was so tired.
At this point the midwives told me that they were going to have the OB come in to check the baby's position, as he was not coming down. I agreed, and in came a very young female doctor...i don't know why it suprised me so much! but then an older doctor came in and checked as well. He checked and said he was going to try and turn the baby's head as it was not in the right spot. Again, at this point I could feel everything and this was not very comfortable! He tried and he said the baby's head would slip right back after he turned it. He said that forceps or vaccum could have been an option, but that the baby wasn't low enough for him to do that. I was grateful, and I really did not feel comfortable with either of those. The doctor's left to consult, and at this point I felt myself almost losing control...I was in so much pain and so uncomfortable, I felt like screaming "someone needs to help me now!" But i was able to hold back, and the doctor's fortunately didn't leave for very long. They came back and said that they were going to recommend a c-section. I was upset and dissapointed, but to be honest at this point I just wanted the baby out, and I wanted everything to be over. Caleb was really upset as well..more for me than him as he knew I was so scared of the surgery, and it's not at all what I wanted.
We both were able to pull it together and knew as long as our baby came to us healthy, that was the best thing. It wasn't long before I was crying. I asked my midwife Luba "is this my fault because I got an epidural?" She was so understanding and reassured me that none of this was my fault, that sometimes births don't take the course we want them to, and that the most important thing was getting our baby to us. She said that it was ok to cry, and that it needed to be part of my process, and it was good I was doing it then and not holding it in and holding onto the guilt. She was so reassuring and really helped me work through the whole thing.
The doctor's explained everything to us, I signed some forms and within a few minutes we were in the operating room. throughout this whole thing everyone was so kind and so nice. The anesthesiologist was from Scotland, and his accent was so nice and calming, as my grandparents were from there. He was so kind and helped me through the process. While they were operating on me he would rub my head every once in a while and make sure i was ok...he was just so nice!
We got into the OR, Caleb was with me, and my mom was able to watch through a window...her dream come true! She loves watching surgeries! I was so afraid I was going to be able to feel what they were doing, but I couldn't. I could feel pressure, but no pain. I will have to give Caleb's account of the next part, as I was just laying there on the table. The anesthesiologist told Caleb if he wanted he would tell him when to stand up so that he could watch them take the baby out. Caleb told him that he wanted to watch. A bit later he told Caleb to stand up. The doctor was in the way with her back towards Caleb, and the anesthesiologist told caleb that she would move out of the way when they took him out. Caleb says that he was trying to figure out what she was doing, and that it looked like she was trying to open a jar of something as all of her back muscles were strained. After a bit she gasped and said "I can't do it." They doctors all quickly switched positions and Caleb said that things felt a little bit frantic. They warned us that the doctor's would probably be talking about golf....but this wasn't the case at all. Caleb said that at this point the two female doctors were putting all their body weight pushing on my stomach (i felt like my back was going to break!) and the doctor was trying to pull the baby out. Caleb said all this muscles were shaking. The male doctor couldn't get him out either, and they quickly moved to the vacuum. Caleb said he was vacuumed out by his head and it looked crazy, because the baby looked so big coming out of my stomach, it didn't look like he could have possibly all fit!
They finally had him out. We're still not sure why it was such a struggle for him to come out. I think he must have been stuck somehow in their as his position was off and i was pushing for so long. Also the cord was wrapped around his neck, which might have had something to do as to why he wasn't moving down when I was pushing. But everyone we've talked to has never heard of them using a vacuum for a c-section. He must have been really happy in there! He sure didn't want to come out.
I heard him cry and instantly started crying myself. When they got him out I heard everyone talking about how big he was and Caleb told me that he had lots of dark hair, which I couldn't believe! They weighed him, 9 pounds 8 oz! I heard someone say while they were checking him "he has two eyes, and two chins, two ears..." it was pretty cute. They gave him to Caleb when they were done and Caleb brought him over. What a surreal moment to be able to see my beautiful baby boy. He looked so swollen! But I really couldn't believe he was actually here, and ours. I couldn't wait to hold him. Also at this point caleb said they took out my uterus and it was on my stomach..crazy! They stitched me up and brought me to a little waiting room. They brought in Lucas and Wendy let him breastfeed for a little bit. Still everything was so surreal!
They brought us to our room...we were lucky enough to get a private room! The next afternoon and evening were a blur. I was so exhausted. My Mom left a few hours later, and Caleb stayed and held the baby while I slept on and off. I remember I kept apologizing, and I felt like I should be up with the baby too but I just couldn't help it. Caleb wasn't able to stay over, but I had a fantastic nurse that night. She said they were going to keep him in the nursery overnight, which I remember being a bit sad about, but looking back I'm so grateful they did. I was not with it enough to take care of him. They gave me a shot in my arm that night, and i only know that because of the bruise on my arm! No recollection at all. I do remember throwing up...a lot. Actually throughout my labor i was throwing up until I had nothing left. It just added to the experience. :) They gave me something before the surgery that tasted like concentrated Eno (it`s an antacid if you've never had it) to keep me from throwing up during the surgery...i thought I don't need this, there is nothing left in me! A few hours after the surgery I threw that nasty stuff up...thanks a lot! I felt naseous for quite a while afterwards.
I got a good night's sleep that night though, and they kept us another night. All of our nurses were fantastic...with the exception of one really weird/awful one. They were so helpful and kind. But I really wanted to get out of there and get home. They had a list of tasks I had to do before they'd release me, so I made sure I did them. I had to pee a certain amount, go for a walk around the unit, etc. The doctors stopped by the next morning and cleared us to go home. The next couple hours Caleb and I battled with picking out our baby's name. He was still nameless. We each had a name we were leaning towards, and it was so hard to pick one! We both wanted the other one to be happy, but at the same time were still hanging onto the name we liked best. In the end I won....Lucas. :)
His full name is Lucas Caleb Wilson Lee. Caleb has two middle names, so we wanted to make a tradition and give him two middle names as well.
It was a crazy adventure. When it was all over I told Caleb that Lucas will be an only child. Going through that once was enough! But my midwives reassured me that my next labor and delivery will go much more smoothly. I hope they are right!
I am so grateful that Lucas arrived to us healthy and safely. I am so grateful for a husband who was there and present with me the whole time. Luba commented what an amazing job he did, that most husbands would be passed out sleeping at that point. Luba had to forcefully tell him to go get something to eat after i got the epidural, because he didn't want to leave me. He did such an amazing job and was such a support. I'm also so grateful to my Mom who was there for me as well. I think a lot of the time she was in the corner crying. :) It was hard for her to see me go through everything I did, but I am so thankful she was there and I think it brought us a lot closer.
It was a crazy ride, but well worth it. We sure love our little Lucas and he was worth every second of everything I went through. He is such a good baby and I feel so lucky to be his mother.