Hello Fellow Mom Bloggers, Mommies and Friends,
So before I share all of the pretty things like my favourite baby girl outfits, baby items or nursery decor I wanted to share the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me: the birth of my daughter, Madison.
I was due at the end of March and I had finished working on a Monday mid-March (I know, I got the “why a Monday” question A LOT!!!). I blame my baby brain for not just taking the previous Friday as my last day. 😛 I took those days to pamper myself with a mani/pedi, lunch/walking/movie dates with my girlfriends, celebrating a friends engagement, meal prepping and religiously attending my birth and baby classes (shameless plug for the Alberta Health Care Birth and Babies Class (BBC) – it was such a great resource and we’ve made so many friends in the process – I would highly recommend it to any new parents).
So for the last month of my pregnancy I was basically chugging Raspberry Leaf Tea. I bought a box at Superstore (I remember they only had one left, so I had to go out and buy another box on my due date – which I didn’t end up using as my contractions started the next day – but now I’m getting ahead of myself!). I also used my yoga ball a lot to bounce around on. I feel like the last few days of my pregnancy solely consisted of sipping on tea and bouncing on my ball.
We had packed our bags pretty early so we would be ready at any given moment. In hindsight I didn’t need a whole lot and I definitely overpacked (shocking, I know, just like any vacation I’ve been on). I will do a separate post on what I packed in my hospital bag. 😉
a.m. Just eating breakfast in bed and binge watching Gilmore Girls.
Woah, I forgot how huge my belly was!
Business as usual, still no sign of baby. I did have a routine Doctor’s appointment the day before, and she did happen to mention that it didn’t look like Baby A would be making her appearance any time soon since I was only 1 cm dilated. I shared this news with Mike. We were both convinced she would come the following week, easily pushing her birthday into April. (Boy, were we wrong – as in Mike left his laptop at work wrong.) We attended our BBC class on my due date from 7 to 9 p.m., and reported to the class the news from my Doctor and that I wasn’t experiencing any signs of labour. We went home, I chugged some raspberry leaf tea and bounced on my yoga ball before bed.
Labour – Day 1 (after due date) @ 1 a.m.
I was awoken to abdominal cramps. Since this was my first pregnancy (I had no idea what a contraction felt like) – I woke Mike up, we loaded our stuff into the Cube and we headed to the hospital. We arrived at around 2 a.m. and I was monitored and baby was checked for about an hour. I was officially having contractions! I was still only 1 to 2 cm dilated though, so I was given a shot of morphine and sent home. Mike had to head to the office because he left his laptop at work (never gonna live that one down babe ;D). The majority of the day I spent sipping raspberry tea and bouncing on my yoga ball. The contractions were bearable and I was able to breathe through them.
Six o’clock rolled around and I couldn’t stand the pain any longer, so back we went to the hospital thinking that I HAVE to be dilated enough. WRONG, only 2-3 cm’s. So yet another shot of morphine and back home we went. I think I spent 2 hours in the bath labouring. I remember refilling the bath with hot water and Mike asking me how I was doing. We tried to get some rest but the second shot of morphine didn’t really help all that much.
Labour – Day 2 (after due date) @ 12:30 a.m.
I woke Mike up and said I couldn’t cope with the contractions. So off we went again, for the third (and thankfully last) time. I was finally 5 cm’s dilated. I remember telling Mike on the car ride there, if they don’t admit us I would just be beside myself, I would refuse to leave. The intensity of the contractions really did mean that Baby A was getting ready to make her way into this world, our world.
I remember walking the long corridor to our room and pausing every time I felt a contraction come along. They set up the epidural as soon as I was admitted. It stung a little, but once it was all set up I felt GREAT! (Mike recalls the anesthesiologist yawning – a truly frightful sight for him). I really struggled understanding her instructions to hunch forward and sit still. Surely she was aware of my giant belly and continuous contractions right?!
Since we were admitted during the night and once I got my epidural the nursing team pretty much just allowed Mike and I to both rest. Yes, you read that right, Mike too. We delivered at the South Health Campus Hospital, so we got our own private room with a little cot for your partner. It was hard to rest as I still could feel the contractions (the epidural was great – I still had feeling in my legs and was able to know when to push).
At around 10 a.m., the nursing team said I was at 10 cm, which meant it was go time! Except my doctor was pulled away to the OR last minute so the nursing team asked if I could wait. LOL. Imagine that right? I was in a pretty comfortable place and Baby A wasn’t too stressed out so we were fine to wait. Noon finally rolled around and the Doctor arrived. Everything got going really fast at 12:15 p.m. Mike was such a great support and the nurses were my private little cheer squad. At around 1 p.m. Baby A was getting a little agitated and they needed to get her out. I remember overhearing vacuum and that’s when something in my mind clicked – I went into Mommy Beast Mode. I bore down and started pushing. I said to Mike, “this chick doesn’t need any vacuums”! With the help of Mike and the delivery team cheering me on, Madison was safely delivered at 1:34 p.m.
They did warn me that I may not get to do skin-to-skin with her right away as there was meconium (aka poop) in the amniotic fluid – hence why they needed to get her out asap. They advised that if she came out and didn’t start crying they would need to whisk her away to the baby checking station (which was still in-room thankfully). This was pushed on us (skin-to-skin) from everywhere – class, books, other new parents. I really, REALLY hoped I would get to hold her right away. We got to hear her cry right away so I got to hold her. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing that felt, holding her for the first time. I’m actually tearing up right now typing this…
We decided to do the delayed cord clamping and Mike cut her umbilical cord. We held off on the eye drops for about an hour (as we learned in baby class this can cause their vision to be blurry) so we could both meet her. She received her Vitamin K shot (this helps with blood clotting). We took turns holding and getting to know her. She is the best gift we’ve both been given.
A few things we’ve learned:
- I didn’t think I could love Mike more than I did before Madison. Seeing him with her though? My heart doubled in size and my appreciation for him cannot be measured. He truly is the better half.
- We were both VERY terrible with swaddling her – swaddling the doll in class is nothing like the real thing.
- Breastfeeding is NOT easy (I will save my breastfeeding adventure for another post). The movies and t.v. make it look so easy! It didn’t come naturally to me and most moms I talk to concur.
- You think you know your carseat… until you have to put your baby in it. I think it took us an hour to figure that shit out.
- Meal prep before baby gets here. We made a whole bunch of freezer meals (spaghetti sauce, slow cooker meals, shepards pie, etc). This saved us the first month with a new born.
- Definitely limit visitors (at the hospital and at home). You will want that down time to bond with baby and figure out breastfeeding. Don’t feel bad either for telling people you want privacy, you just brought a life into this world after all, it’s hard work! ORRRRRR if people truly insist, tell them to bring food, and lots of it (see prior note above). 😉
Until next time!