I guess no delivery ever goes exactly according to plan, and mine was no exception.
My water broke Friday morning (July 23). I was standing in the babies’ room putting away some clothes when I suddenly felt like I had peed my pants (not a nice feeling).
But I wasn’t feeling anything else: no contractions. I already had a scheduled doctor’s appointment later that afternoon, so the obstetrician on call at BC Women’s told me to go to the appointment and they’d do some tests. But, she told me that if I felt any contractions at any point during the day, to go to the hospital.
2:30 pm rolls around, time for my doctor’s appointment, and still… no contractions.
The doctor did some tests, and told us to head to the hospital to confirm that yes, my water had broke.
We were at the hospital by 5 and I was hooked up to a million machines being induced by 7pm. 8pm, 9pm, 10pm… no contractions.
11pm… HELLO CONTRACTIONS! Thank goodness for Mark and Sarah (our doula http://www.prenataltoparenting.com/) rubbing my back constantly.
The contractions intensified and by 4 am I was pretty tired, and still drug free. The doctor offered me some gravol and morphine to help me so I could sleep for a bit. Well, the gravol worked and made me even more exhausted, but the morphine didn’t kick in. So then I could barely keep my eyes open, but I still felt every contraction. Not fun.
So then we moved onto the epidural* (*insert angels singing here). It was a whole new world after that!! I managed to get some pain free sleep, and in 3 hours went from 2 centimetres dilated to 8 centimetres!
By about 10:30 Saturday morning I was 10 centimetres dilated and they were gearing up to move me into the operating room to start pushing.
Then everything changed.
The obstetrician came in and said she wanted to discuss our last ultrasound (it had to be sent to Women’s Hospital from another clinic and Women’s didn’t get it until Saturday morning). She didn’t like the size difference between Baby A and Baby B. The plan all along had been to have a vaginal birth. Baby A was in the right position to come out first and then they were going to do a breech extraction on Baby B (literally reach in and pull the baby out by its feet- didn’t sound pleasant, but I knew I’d have an epidural).
But the doctor felt Baby B was too big (compared to Baby A) to do this safely. Her concern was that the baby would get stuck half way out (at the chest), and that wouldn’t be safe for baby or for mom.
So… onto Plan B!
They still wheeled me into the operating room, but this time it was for a c-section. It threw me for a bit of a loop (especially after going through all the contractions and the labour), but I trusted her judgement. After all, she’s done this more than I have!
And at least this way, I knew there would only be “one exit.” That was part of my birth plan: one exit, no vaginal/c-section combo (who wants to recover from both?!?!). I made sure everyone around me- my husband, my doctor, my doula, every nurse and doctor I encountered in the hospital- knew that I wanted only “one exit.”
And thanks to the c-section, that was guaranteed.
Once we were in the operating room, everything happened so quickly. There were so many people in the room, and it was a flurry of activity.
Soon I was totally frozen from the chest down and the c-section began. I didn’t feel any pain, but I felt the incision. And I felt a ton of pressure and tugging. Within minutes, the doctor said they were ready to grab Baby A.
Mark and I were so excited to find out whether the babies were boys or girls.
The doctor announced “It’s a girl!” and held her up so Mark could take a picture of her. I barely had time to process the fact that I now had a daughter, because two minutes later the doctor announced “And Baby B is a boy!” A daughter and a son within two minutes.
The nurses placed the bundled up babies on my chest while the doctors sewed me up. Talk about a good distraction. J
An hour and a half later, I was wheeled out of the recovery room with the babies, ready to introduce Lucy Emma and Samuel John to our families and the rest of the world. J