2 am Thursday July 7th, 2016, it started with a gush. A sleepless night with a consistent irritating back pain .. not truly painful but dull. The gush should have been expected but was still a surprise. Labour symptoms were googled until the dull pain calmed. Little did I know, it was the calm before the storm. By the way, storm is the most appropriate term as it definitely did not feel as though I peed myself .. as many had said it would. Having had a somewhat easy pregnancy and an even easier last week (40th week), I jumped out of bed as if I wasn’t pregnant in order not to ruin the bed or sheets. Reality hadn’t set in that my body was gearing up .. it’s go time .. you are becoming a mother.
I laboured for a half hour at home while hubby got ready for the hospital. I can only imagine what was going through his head .. being woken from a sleep that took forever to obtain. I hadn’t spoken about my feelings that night to him but something kept him from enjoying sleep as he usually does. I was a week overdue to the day so perhaps internally, he just knew it was the night.
After arriving at the hospital around 3am, and waiting in line behind 2 other mothers to be to check in, I was placed in an exam room and checked. Being a first time mom, I had no idea that the colour of my water was not consistent with a healthy natural labour. I was advised at that point that my little one had possibly swallowed Meconium and that labour needed to be brought on quicker than my natural plan to ensure her safety.
FYI – Meconium aspiration occurs when a baby breathes in amniotic fluid containing meconium (the baby’s first stools).
I have heard horror stories about hospitals pushing for non natural births and even read a book on having a natural birth in a hospital (Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel).
Unfortunately, when in the moment and hearing that pushing for an all natural birth might cause stress on the little one, you don’t really stop to think about anything except “Yes, let’s do it. Freeze me and let’s push along this labour.”
I was given an epidural which I 100% stand behind after also hearing those horror stories from many. It was a quick procedure which, yes, hurt .. but not as much as the contractions I was enduring throughout the procedure. After that, I was feeling nothing and didn’t even know when I was having a contraction.
Hours passed and by 11am, I was fully dilated. I had a wonderful nurse named Adrian who praised me and made the process easy. She informed the doctor and 2 resident doctors that we were ready. WRONG! I was ready .. but Miss Claudia Rose was not. Well, maybe she was .. but that head .. oh boy .. that head would not budge! Hours of pushing and pushing .. and unfortunately pooping ( yes .. you poop because in case no one has told you, the person reading this, the same muscles you use to poop are the same you use to push).
3pm came around .. and the look on the doctors’ faces were not pleasing. They began to worry that she was not budging and her heart beat was lowering during each push. So, what’s the plan now? FORCEPS! Yes, oh yes .. how exciting! *eyeroll*
Everything progressed quickly soon after.
I was moved into an operating room as if the forceps did not work, there were no more options and a C-Section would be performed. Was I scared? I have no clue! I want to be able to remember that moment and my thought process but I can’t. It is all a blur.
My epidural was increased, I was given an Episiotomy and in a room full of 8 people (my doctor, 2 residents, Claudia’s doctor and nurse, the anesthesiologist, my nurse Adrian, and an extra nurse), I was set to deliver. Push Tara push! NOPE .. no baby. PUSH TARA PUSH … HARDER .. and voila, there’s the pressure, there’s the congratulations, and there’s MY BABY!
She was born into this crazy world at 3:35pm with tears flowing from mommy and daddy’s eyes. Adrenaline pumping .. I was unable to hold my little one properly due to the immense shaking my body was going through. A quick hi/bye and off she went to clear her lungs of that nasty Meconium (yes, she actually had swallowed it). Other than that, she was healthy. As they say “She had ten fingers and ten toes ..”
Fast track to our first night because I don’t need to bore you with tales of family visits. I will say though .. she latched like a natural once back in our room and we haven’t had a problem with breastfeeding, EVER!
So, I was told to walk around once my legs were fully “thawed” .. in hopes I could go home the next day. Us being new parents, we started working as a team and decided to take on our first night together. We would trade off when we could sleep and go from there. First shift was hubby’s so it was just her and I for 2 hours. She slept as I updated social media and walked around. Nearing 2am, I decided she should eat so I made my way back to my bed. Well .. in an effort to explain myself correctly in writing with no visuals .. what happened next was truly a freak occurrence.
I positioned myself by the bed and shifted my body to sit. My body knew what my mind wanted but my right knee had another plan. It decided to stay put and as my weight shifted to sit, my knee stayed in position and then dislocated from the weight on the movement. Whatever pain I had EVER experienced in life was no match for the traumatizing pain I began to feel. I fell back onto the bed and started screaming for hubby to wake up. He took the baby as I was frozen in my position. I could not move other than to look down at my knee which was not where it should be. Long story (as yes you probably are bored of reading now) short, I waited until 6:30am to have my knee popped back in by the Orthopedic Surgeon that was called in. What fun that was!
Telling my story to others, I cannot help but laugh. Even as I was going through it all, I joked that labour was not enough of a challenge. I clearly needed a more elaborate story of when little Miss Claudia Rose entered our lives.
And with that .. I now have a beautiful little mini me.