We are so thrilled to announce that our first daughter, Rosalie Joy, was born on Friday March 8th.
Here is her birth story.
After being induced with my first born and getting an epidural, I was really hoping to experience a natural birth this time.
On wednesday (march 6th) just before going to bed, I felt that my mucus plug was coming out. I tried not to get too excited because I know that it can still take a while for labor to begin after this happens. So I went to bed and around 4am I started feeling light contractions. They were quite regular already, happening every 15 minutes or so. I tried to sleep through them, which I was able to do for the most part, but they would often wake me up and so I did not sleep soundly from then on. Hubby woke up around 7:15 and so I told him "Today is the day". "Really?" he said. I waited about an hour to let our parents know. I wanted to give them plenty of time to get here since it is a 2 1/2 hour drive to get to us and I wanted to make sure my mom would be there for the birth and that my in-laws would be here to take care of Dawson. This was also my friend Renee's birthday, so I let her know that this baby might be born on her birthday :)
Everyone showed up around lunch time and my contractions were still pretty much the same, not much stronger or longer or closer together. So we waited. My mom and I stayed home while everyone else took Dawson out for lunch and the library. I took a bath, chatted with my mom, laid down for a bit. When laying down, the contractions would get stronger, so I didn't fall asleep.
I started writing down my contractions late in the afternoon and they were not regular yet and always only 30 seconds long. I'd get one, then 3 minutes later, I'd get another, but then it could be 12 minutes before my next one. I figured it would be a while before this baby was going to come out. So I had a regular supper with the family and just breathed through the strong ones at the table.
The contractions started getting stronger and closer apart in the evening and I decided I wanted to go get checked out at the hospital around 10pm. We live about 2 blocks away from the hospital so I knew it'd be easy to just come back home if I wasn't far along enough to be admitted yet. My FIL dropped us off and in we went. My labor slowed down a bit after arriving at the hospital, which I wasn't surprised about. We went in to see the triage nurse and I was 2-3cm dilated. She suggested that I walk around for an hour or 2 and come back. Since we live so close, I decided that we should just walk home. Well, I didn't realise how WINDY it was! What is usually a short walk home took us about 45 minutes with me having to stop to breathe through every contraction which were quite strong at that point. I would lean into Phil for each one, which helped with blocking the wind too.
We got home and I got on the elliptical machine for a little while then went to the bedroom to do some squats and sit on the exercise ball. It's in the bedroom that the contractions really started to get strong. I couldn't even jot down my contractions any longer. I wanted an epidural. I didn't care about having a natural birth anymore. Hubby rubbed some essential oils on my lower back to help with back pain, which did help. More than 2 hours had passed since being at the hospital, so my FIL drove us back. I got checked around 1am and was only at 4cm. That confirmed that I wanted the epidural. I thought I was going to labour for a lot longer still.
The anesthesiologist was in the O.R., so I had to wait. I had an IV put in (which took 3 tries before getting it, another painful experience). I thank God that my mother was there because she started coaching me through breathing exercises while we waited, which helped a lot. I laboured on the bed on my knees for a while and when I stretched my legs out, they were totally asleep. The tingly feeling was painful enough to get my focus off of the contractions...probably a good thing :)
I had brought some essential oils with me and my mother put Peace & Calming on my feet which really relaxed me between contractions. I was amazed how fast it worked too. I instantly felt like I could've fallen asleep. With Dawson's birth I had been given the drug Fentanyl (sp?) which is supposed to relax you during contractions and the Peace and Calming oil had a similar effect but much better. The drug would knock me out way too much where I couldn't prepare to breathe through the next contraction and so I had started to hyperventilate. But the essential oil blend was great. It didn't knock me out, just made me relax the right amount. I tried a bit of laughing gas but it didn't work well for me as it takes about 30 seconds to kick in and my contractions were still only averaging 30 seconds long.
I then had to go empty my bladder. The bathroom was a few feet away from me but it took about 10 minutes to get me there and then another 10 to get me back...lol. The contractions were very close together now. While in the washroom, I felt an urge to push. So I told the nurse and they got me on the bed again to check me. I was at 9cm!!! I couldn't believe it! Too late for the epidural. I had gone through transition without realising it. My water hadn't broken yet but the nurse said it was bulging out. Another nurse touched it and it burst! The 1st nurse asked "Is it clear?' and the other nurse said "No, it has meconium". I remember saying "Oh no!".
My Dr was called in and I just remember that when she came in I had a cold facecloth on my eyes and so I never actually saw her until a little while later. They got me set up to push by holding onto a sheet tied up to the squatting bar, but I felt that I was too much on my back. I asked if I should be more upright and my Dr said "You can squat if you'd like, that should get things moving faster." Ok, I was in! After my first squatting push, the nurse said "Well, I've never seen anyone squat like that before". I don't even remember what I did...lol. But I figured if she had never seen it done that way, then I was probably doing it wrong. So I tried different squatting positions, bending my knees deeper or just slightly. But my legs were giving out (Reminder to do more leg strengthening exercises for my next pregnancy!).
After a few pushes, the Dr. said that we needed this baby out asap, which I figured was because of the meconium, so I then laid down and pushed HARD for about 4 pushes. I had so many people around me telling me to push, but the voice I remember hearing was my husband's. His voice was shaky. He told me afterwards that he was afraid that they were going to have to do a C-section. Then the Dr called in an obstetrician and said that if the baby didn't come out after the next push, we'd have to put the vacuum on to help. She gave me an episiotomy and I pushed while a nurse pushed on my belly and the Dr. tried to pull the baby out. I screamed my head off! I have never screamed like that in my life! Both my mom and my husband were crying. But the baby was out and whisked away to the examining table. It was 4am. 24 hours after I had felt my first contractions. We didn't know yet if we had a boy or a girl. Hubby went over to the table and told us we had a girl. I just remember smiling. I heard her cry and they brought her over to me. She was perfect. She had dark wavy hair and was covered in vernix. I was able to hold her for a long time. I remember looking at Phil and saying "Are we naming her Rosalie?". "I think so" he replied. "Me too", I said. She is named after 2 women on both sides of our family who loved God. My aunt Rose, who passed away last summer and had an impact on my spiritual growth, and Phil's grandmother Rosella.
After she was born, Phil turned on some praise music that I had prepared for the birth (which we forgot to turn on during labor). I remember the first song that played was very calming: "You" by Hillsong. Having praise music in the hospital room was great. It was very peaceful and helped me to focus on God who gave us this gorgeous little girl. Once the Dr. left, my nurse drew me a bath and Phil got to have some skin to skin time with Rosalie. It was great to be in the tub after all of that. After getting dressed, I was wheeled into my new room by 6am. The drive in the wheel chair was also great :)
We only stayed 1 night at the hospital and were able to leave by saturday at noon. I was feeling good and there were no medical reasons to keep us there longer. It was nice to come home so soon with our sweet baby girl :)
God was merciful to me. I now see His hand of mercy in having the anesthesiologist not being available right away and that labor progressed much faster than I anticipated once we arrived at the hospital. I was able to experience a natural birth which I have always wanted. Even though it was not what I had imagined, God was in it. Having my mother there was a huge blessing to help with breathing, applying oil and having her support. I loved having Phil there to hold his hand, lean into his shoulder and have him change the cloth over my eyes and forehead. My support team was great!