Before you read William’s birth story you need to know my labour was exactly how it was meant to be. Although, it was not my birth plan, not even close… my plan was not God’s plan.
My birth plan: Home birth, water birth. Delayed cord cutting with baby (we didn’t find out the sex) put immediately on to my chest for skin to skin. No drugs or intervention and we were going to save my placenta for encapsulation. That was my beautiful, beautiful birth plan. I know you can’t plan out a natural birth so I made sure to write in “hospital as back up if mom (me) or my midwife feel it is necessary.” And yes, in the end the hospital was necessary.
The night that we found out (May 5th) we were expecting our little babe I put What to Expect When You’re Expecting on the TV so naturally that is what I watched the night I went into labour, right? In this case, heck yes. (Why didn’t I try that earlier?!)
I went to sleep around 11:30pm at my parents house the night I went into labour. Michael was out of town and for the first time I thought it would be a good idea to stay at my folks place… you know, just in case! At 12:45am on January 5th I woke up in pain. The pain was not braxton hicks, I’ll tell you that right now! I never thought my contractions were braxton hicks but that might be because I was experiencing braxton hicks since I was 16 weeks pregnant. After many trips back and forth to the bathroom (yes, I went there) I finally went to wake my mother up at 1:30am.
When we started timing my contractions they were already 2-3 minutes apart lasting between 50 seconds – 1 minute. All I could think was “you’ve gotta be kidding me” but it was no joke! Labour came on fast and it came on strong.
We called my midwife just after 2:00am and my mom was on the phone with her when my water broke. My midwife decided to head over to my parents because I was Strep B Positive and I needed to be on antibiotics. She could hear me during my contractions and she really believed I was close to delivering my baby. She asked if I needed to push and if she should call her backup midwife to get her to come. I said no because I knew I wasn’t ready to push yet…..
I WAS ONLY 2-3 centimetres when she got there. “NO (flippin) WAY.”
We made our way to my house where the planned home birth was going to take place. I called Michael and he woke up and started his 4 hour drive home. My contractions got worse and my mother had to push on my back for every contraction. That was the start of my back labour….
At 8am, and no sleep later, I had to stand for all of my contractions. Each contraction got worse, as they do. My back labour was worse because William wasn’t descending. With every contraction he was pushed harder against my pelvic bone, intensifying the back labour. I needed my mom to push on my back during each contraction, someone to push my hips together and someone to hold my hand during my contractions. I swear to you, all I said is “this is horrible” for every single contraction I had. I tried to cry, I really tried. I couldn’t. It sucked. I wanted to cry. So much sucked. Not all labour sucks. I just kept thinking WHY DID I GET A SUCKY LABOUR?
I took way too long of a shower before (I actually don’t remember showering at all) and used too much hot water so Michael started boiling water on the stove and it took hours. When I was finally able to get into the pool it felt so friggin’ nice. I fell asleep…. well, in between contractions. Generally the pool speeds up contractions but my contractions actually slowed down when I was in the pool. I was so comfy (and obviously William was too!) so they made me get up and do stairs. BOOM the contractions came on fast. I was practically running up the stairs, in between contractions, in hopes to get my baby out of me!
My support team would say “each contraction is getting you closer to meeting your baby”. No. No it wasn’t. Call it ‘maternal instinct’ but I honestly didn’t think this baby was coming out the way it was supposed to. It wasn’t supposed to be how it was… it was not supposed to be that hard.
By 5:00pm I had been in labour for 16 hours and it was time to go to the hospital and get pitocin because my labour needed to progress and I was only 6 cm dilated.
I thought I was screaming when we got into the hospital, like a labour scene in a movie screaming but I guess I was actually pretty quiet. (Any other moms think they acted worse than they did?) HAHA.
My midwife looked at me and told me I needed an epidural. I was the 4th mom she has told that to out of all of her moms in labour… just to paint the picture for you.
The pain was so bad. William was posterior and hitting my pelvic bone. The back labour was excruciating and he wasn’t descending. So I decided to get the epidural…
The epidural kicked in and my contractions picked right up. I was having 6 contractions in 10 minutes. THANK GOD for modern medicine… My body needed to relax to get the show on the road. I was able to do my makeup, laugh, listen to music. I was so thankful that I could enjoy a bit of my labour… dream, pray, wonder if I was about to meet my son or my daughter.
After a few hours of easier labour I was nearly 10cm. I would get to 10 cm then I would go back to 9.5cm… it was a “fun” little game my body was playing on me! Finally I reached 10cm for good and was able to push at 1:20am. By this point I was in labour for over 24 hours. Longest and hardest day of my life! I pushed for 2 hours and he still wasn’t descending. I had both of my midwives pulling my pelvis apart in hopes to get him to move down. Seriously, thank GOD for modern medicine because I wouldn’t have made it through all of this pain. With each push the midwives and Michael could see his head coming closer but as soon as I stopped pushing any progress I had made went away. It was good news that I could push… I knew what I was doing. I felt confident. It came naturally to me and I seriously wish I could have pushed him out. But he just wouldn’t fit.
The OB came in and talked to me about my (our) options. William’s head was too swollen so the vacuum wasn’t an option. The OB checked and said the forceps were not likely to work. He said my pelvis was so small he wasn’t confident William would be able to come out with forceps. He said if we tried the forceps there was a chance he would get stuck, I would have a 4-5 degree tear and I would end up in a c-section. SO. I decided a c-section was the safest option for William and I.
At this point, my epidural was off. They had to turn it off in order for us to decide what option we were going to choose… Once I chose the c-section route they called the anestisiologist to come back in. I tried not pushing till the epidural kicked in again… but when a contraction comes there is no way in the world you can NOT PUSH.
William’s heart rate kept dropping and we had to prepare for an emergency c-section.
I felt so messed up from all of the drugs. They said I would feel a lot of pressure and I did. It didn’t hurt but it felt so weird… At 4:25am Michael stood up and yelled “It’s a BOY”. I heard my new baby cry that is like music to your ears. My son was born! But I felt like I could hardly comprehend it… I was about to throw up, my hearing was going and then they handed me William for skin to skin contact and I could hardly hold him because I was so weak.
William 20.8 inches long and weighed 7lbs 13 oz when he was born, 1 day before his due date.
A while later (because really, I have zero clue how long they took to close me up) we left the OR. Michael and I spent the next hour in recovery, cuddling the crap out of our new born son. We were parents. He was ours. He will always be our little baby.
• • • • • • • • •
I didn’t want a c-section. I didn’t want an epidural. But without a doubt I wanted a healthy baby. This wasn’t my birth story, it was his birth story. It was how it was supposed to be. I don’t regret getting a c-section or an epidural now… I absolutely without a doubt hit my max.
This will mould him to be the man he is supposed to be. As the song in William’s birth video says “it’s the ups and downs that turn you into the man you were born to be.”
This is just the beginning. His beginning.
You can watch William’s Birth Story
by Kristina Nichol @ Sonetto Box Photography here:
by: Kristina Nichol
I wait another day
Just to hold you in my arms
It’s never easy waiting for the things we love
I—wait for you
Now that you’re here
We’ve latched on and wont let go
There’s a light that burns inside you
That we want the world to know
I am a Mother to a dream maker
I am a Father to a dream maker
You have a good strong heart
Just like your Mama
And may you grow up to be a Gentleman
Like your Papa
Cause it’s the ups and downs that turn you into
The man you were born to be
You had us
You had us
You had us from the first breath