Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kalia's Birth Story

Yesterday Joanne, our doula, came for our post-natal visit. One of the things we chatted about was our different perspectives of Kalia's birth and we went over the timeline. I was really happy that I recorded Logan's birth story; it's been good to reflect back on, I've shared it with people who wanted to hear more about my hypnobirthing experience and I think it's really important that there are positive birthing experiences out there for women to read.

When I got pregnant, we knew that we wanted a Doula and I was going to do hypnobirthing again (see here and here). Based on our experience with Logan, we tweaked our birth plan slightly. I added that I didn't want them to ask me to rate my pain and that I didn't want any coaching for pushing, as I would do it according to my instincts. I also explicitly highlighted that I would be using hypnobirthing methods.

So here's the very short timeline of Kalia's birthday...


Jan 6th, 2011


3:30 am: I wake up to pee and feel a bit "different". I have a bit of a back ache and a mild tummy ache. Instead of going back to bed, I surf the net for a bit and check my email.

3:49 am: I change my Facebook status to: "ready, set..." I have a gut feeling that I'm going to start going into labour sometime today.

4:00 am: I email my Doula to give her a heads up --no need to call as I'm not in real labour yet. I decide I'll just let her and Allan sleep.

4:15 am: I head back to bed but then think it might be a good idea to time things. Contractions seems to be about five to two minutes apart and only about 30 to 60 seconds long. So nothing consistent and technically not in labour yet.

4:30 am: I can't sleep so I take a shower, shave my legs, put in my contacts and start collecting things for my bag.

4:50 am: Hmm, maybe this is going to go faster that I was expecting. I decide I should wake up Allan: "Allan I need you get up." Allan mumbles and rolls over. "Allan, it's time. I need you to get up" His eyes get big and he's ready to go! He takes a shower and gets his things together.

5:10 am: I get Allan to time my contractions on his phone and they are still irregular -between two to four minutes and still only around 30 seconds. Regardless I feel like it's time to go to the hospital --we are only like five minutes away and worse is they could just send us home. While I don't really meet the criteria for going to the hospital yet, Allan trusts my instincts and is supportive of the decision. He calls the hospital and let them know we're on our way.

5:30 am: Luckily my parents were still at our place -they were planning on leaving after morning rush hour. I realize I don't have any recent belly shots so I ask my mom to take one before we load up the car. Ohhh and check out the baby mobile --I made that!! This facial expression is me listening to Logan, who just woke up, saying a billion and one things to me, while I simultaneously wonder why it's taking two minutes for my mom to press the button on the camera. LOL



5:50 am: We get to the hospital and call Doula Joanne from the parking lot and ask her to join us. For each contraction I stop and hug/lean on Allan, I picture my beach from the hypnobirthing CDs very vividly and when the contraction is done, it's like it didn't even happen -I feel refreshed, happy and excited. I remember having one contraction as we pull into the parking lot, one in the parking lot and one just inside of the emergency/after hours entrance.

6:00 am: We go to the triage room and I'm told I'm only 2cm and "paper thin". The nurse asks me a few questions about hynobirthing. She says if I want to avoid interventions, I should just walk around and come back in a few hours to be checked since I'm really only "borderline" for being admitted at this time. I just know that this baby is going to be here before lunch and asked to be admitted --I'm GBS positive and although my water hasn't broke yet, I want to get in some antibiotics.

6:40 am: In our room and waiting for the nurse. Here I am putting my hair up and getting ready to go! I've got my "birthing outfit": (1.) My own pjs; same ones from Logan's birth, although with Logan I had time to change into a gown when I knew it was time to start pushing. And (2) slipper boots which were really handy ---they kept my feet warm and I could go from bed to floor without them falling off or loosing them. As you can see things are going good and very relaxed!

All set!

Girl power!
Allan practicing his breathing techniques! LOL
6:30 am: Our nurse arrives and I feel sick. I ask Allan to get me something to throw up in. I hate throwing up and am a bit annoyed that this stage is here again. Last time I threw up so much and so hard that I burst a whole bunch of little veins in my face and had tiny red spots all over my face for two days. But this time I throw up twice and it's done. Things feel like they are getting a little more intense and I lean on Allan for each contraction and sort of walk in place until it passes.

6:50 am:Still feeling good! The nurse is now ready to give me my antibiotics since I'm GBS positive. I get our nurse to give me hep lock IV for my antibiotics -totally recommend this as then once you're done you don't have a pole attached to you.

7:00 am: Joanne arrives! Just in time too since I feel like I'm really in labour now. Joanne helps to adjust the lighting so it's dim and cozy. I have a bit of an achy feeling in my lower back so I ask her to push on it as we had discussed -counter pressure on my hips. I'm leaning on Allan for each contraction, which I know is going to get tiring for him. I ask Joanne for suggestions for something else. She gets us a birthing ball and I sit on it and lean on a pillow on the raised bed. This is very comfortable and lets me stay rested between contractions. When a contraction was on it's way, I would just say Allan's name and he would place his hands on my shoulder or stroke my hair and Joanne would apply the counter pressure and help keep me focused on my hypnobirthing imagery.

7:30 am: I tell Joanne and Allan that I'm "transitioning to the next stage" and want to be checked. Just as I tell them this, Dr. Hall walks in for my first checkup. He said that he was guessing I was around 8cm but checks and I'm "only 6" or a "tight 7" cm. He says my membrane are bulging and asks if I want them ruptured. "No, thank you", Allan and I both say, so off the doctor went. Joanne praises us for advocating for ourselves and helps me get back to focusing on my imagery.

For the next hour Allan and Joanne keep me very focused and relaxed. I actually find myself dozing off between contractions! Allan gives me a few ice chips after each contraction and Joanne rests her hands on my back or shoulders which feels very "grounding". I feel very well taken care of. I mention a few more times that I feel things are "transitioning", although I don't know what they are transitioning to. This hour seems really, really short. When we were going through the timeline in our meeting I was confused since this hour felt like maybe ten or fifteen minutes to me. Hypnobirthing really helps make time feel very different for you.

8:30 am: My water breaks. I think: "Oh, okay. So that's what I was moving towards". With Logan's birth my water broke as the first indication that labour was starting. And it was a small leak last time and really uneventful. This was very different. I had a contraction and it felt like a water balloon exploded between my legs. I had another contraction and felt the same feeling. This was actually a pretty cool part of labour and I was actually kind of excited that I got to experience my water breaking this way. LOL And I thought I was so smart the day before wearing a maxi pad for our walk around Ikea "just in case my water breaks". Gosh, I'm so glad this didn't happen in public. Allan said as soon as it happened a nurse was there to clean it up. I just remember opening my eyes, seeing water going across the floor and thinking 'oh, neat!' and then going back to my focused hypnobirthing imagery.

8:45 am: I start to feel a lot of pressure; like some one has two hands inside of me and are pushing down. It doesn't hurt but it's hard to stay focused. This time after my water breaking is the hardest part of labour for me. It took a lot of focus to 'breathe the baby down' and stay relaxed. "Joanne I need you help", I say a few times and she knew just what to do --telling me to focus on keeping my jaw relaxed and helping me with my breathing. Allan was fabulous too; I felt really connected to him and after every contraction he had something positive and encouraging to say. I tell Joanne and Allan that it's happening really fast and intensely and that I think Kalia is coming soon. I was pretty vocal at this stage and perhaps a bit bossy but Joanne said afterwards it was just me being very in tune to my body and knowing exactly what I needed --a few things I remember saying: "Push lower, Joanne", "Push harder please", "Allan put your hands on my shoulder". Joanne said later when I asked her to push lower on my hips it was because Kalia was dropping lower.

8:55 am: I can feel Kalia pushing down on me. I really focus on just relaxing and let her and my body do the work. I don't push or bear-down; I just relax and breathe. I remember thinking that I don't know how anyone without putting in the pre-labour hypnobirthing work could do this. "I'm crowning!" I announce to the room. It feels completely different than Logan's birth and I'm surprised that I know. With Logan I was all silent and zen and then Logan crowning knocked me out of that for about thirty seconds. This wasn't painful at all but surprising. I think -"I'm not even in the bed yet! I haven't listened to my ipod or spontaneously pushed. Already?!?" Joanne and Allan help me up off the birthing ball and into the bed as they call for the doctor. I hear Allan say they can see the head already. There's a lot of activity around me but it's like there is a mute button on. I feel relaxed and don't feel the need to push at all. I can feel Joanne to my left and Allan on my right. Allan touches my arm gets my attention and tells me that I have to push because of the shoulders. Dr Hall is there now and says something about getting the shoulders unstuck and I give two short pushes.

9:02 am: Our daughter Kalia is born.
They place her on my tummy right away and Allan got to cut the cord.



9:30 am: I had some pretty intense "after pains" after breastfeeding Kalia. This happened on and off for the next hour. It felt like really bad menstrual cramps and I was so cold that I was shivering. This didn't happen with Logan and I was a bit mentally unprepared for this. I remember straight-up saying to Joanne; "I'm scared" Instead of saying something like it's "it's normal, don't be', she acknowledged my feelings, told me what was happening and then gave me some options to try to help deal with it. These after pains would return a few times over the next week, especially after breastfeeding and Allan was really great dealing with it in a similar way -"Remember what Joanne said, you're breathing is just as important now as it was in labour" and he would hug me and help me get through it.
10:30 am: My birthing team! The four of us worked excellent together to create a focused, pain-free, and super fast hypnobirth.
Our Doula Joanne was truly a blessing during pregnancy, labour and postpartum. 12 noon: Allan goes with Kalia to another room to get some blood tests done for her. I'm glad that Joanne is still there with me so I don't have to be alone. Before she goes, we take a few more pictures...




12:30 am: I'm ready to go home but we're told our family doctor wants to see the baby before we go home -she's off at 3:30 and will come afterwards. The nurses and the peditritian that comes by all say that normally you should stay for atleast 24 hours and maybe even 48 hours but we live so close and I want my own bed and to see Logan. If nothing is wrong, I want to be home for supper. I'm determined to get my timeline.


1:30 pm: Kalia's Auntie Steph is at the hospital picking up paperwork for her nursing placement and stops by to say hello. I eat all my lunch that they bring to me, text message friends and take a bit of a nap.

3:30 pm: I get changed and get Allan to put our suitcase on the bed and pack things up. I want it very clear when our doctor comes by that I want to checkout as soon as possible.

4:30 pm: Our doctor checks Kalia and she is perfect. She says we can go home if come back to the hospital the next day for blood work and see her at the clinic in a week.

5:30 pm: The nurse offers to help us with a bath and go over some baby care refresher information. We decide to stay a bit longer to give Logan a chance to come home from school, eat and settle in before meeting his new sister.


6:45 pm: We wait around for all the paperwork to be finished and finally we're ready to go home! :D

1 comment:

Kyle said...

That's a really great story, sis! Thanks for sharing :)

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