A year ago today, I gave birth to our 2nd bundle of joy. Here’s the low down on how it all happened…
December 6 2012. It was 0600 and all was quiet in the house. Everybody was still asleep except for me and I thought I would seize the opportunity to go have a quiet hot bath. I was 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant with a sore back so this moment was golden. As I was relaxing in the tub, I started having contractions. I had had Braxton-Hicks on and off for some time already so I wasn’t really worried at the beginning. These contractions however, were slightly stronger than my “usual” Braxton-Hicks so I got out of the bathtub and started the timing app on my phone. They were all 30-40 secs long and were all 5 minutes apart. I figured I would wait until our appointment with our doctor that same morning to see what she would recommend. We got through our normal morning routine with me having regular contractions every 5 minutes until our 0900 appointment with the doctor. As she was going through our appointment, I had to stop to answer her questions whenever I would have a contraction, but I was fine afterwards. She strongly recommended we go back home, grab our stuff and make our way to the hospital without any delays.
I was in labour! Naturally! I was thrilled my body had know how to start labour on its own, without needing to be induced. I was a little less thrilled that my bag wasn’t even packed! I threw some stuff together quickly (much easier to know what to bring the 2nd time around) and we drove on to the hospital. It was the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE CAR RIDE EVER even if it was only about 10 minutes! I was glad to be able to get our of the car and get moving through the contractions. We were admitted quickly and I was place in a room with all our stuff.
I got examined throughout the day, but I wasn’t dilating very fast. I remember being at 5cm for most of the day. I kept labouring with consistent contractions every 5 minutes ALL. DAY. LONG! Ben was with me as well as Rina and Aunty Sandy came to visit too. It was nice to have them all there, but during the contractions, I just wanted some silence so I could focus on my breathing and it was hard to achieve with all these people in the room.
Around dinner time, Ben went back home with Rina to figure out a sitter for Rina for the night. That was a bit stressful as Aunt Sandy was working a night shift and we had nobody to help out. Since we live in the main floor of a house, we asked our landlord (who lives upstairs) if she didn’t mind keeping an eye on Rina overnight. Ben left her with the baby monitor and promised to be back in the morning to get her up. That took about 4hrs as Ben had to give Rina some dinner, bathe her, put her to bed and come back to the hospital. I was lucky enough to delay my epidural and was allowed to labour in the shower. That was a true godsend! The hot water was constant and I could just sit there with the hot jet on my back. I had a family friend visit with me and she stood in the doorway of the bathroom. We chatted for a few hours, with me going quiet only when a contraction would come. I have to say, that was the best part of my labour. I just wish Ben could have been there with me.
When Ben finally came back to the hospital (around 2100), I stepped out of the shower and after discussing with my doctor, we decided to get the epidural in so she could go and rupture my membranes to try to speed up the process. I got the epidural in around 2200 and the doctor ruptured my membrane. The labour progressed rapidly from then on. At this point, I had been labouring for 15.5hrs. That was already 3.5hrs longer than I had with Rina and we still had no baby 😦
The epidural wasn’t really effective and the pushing was a lot more painful than it had been with your sister. I think I started pushing around 2230 and I could feel EVERYTHING. I will admit to letting a few swear words out in French to blow off some steam and some of the pain, but I was still wanting to see everything in the mirror they provided. Ben, on the other hand, just kept focusing on me, not wanting to peek at all! I didn’t care, I just wanted him to be there, next to me.
After a very long day and 18hrs of hard work, you finally appeared in our lives. You were born December 7 at 0030 and will forever share a birthday with your big sister! You were perfect and we were thrilled to finally get to meet you. Your Dad and I debated for a little bit about whether your name should be Béatrice or Zoé and we quickly settled the issue. You were a Béatrice and Zoé became your middle name. I even got to give you the breast for a little bit before the doctor had a serious discussion with us. Once again, my placenta wasn’t coming out and she didn’t want to delay the extraction as I was already bleeding a lot. I remember asking the doctor if it was serious and she replied with no muss nor fuss a very resounding “yes”. I knew from her answer and the frown on her face that she was getting worried and I passed you along to your Dad. I had to focus on trying to push that placenta out.
After 20 minutes of unsuccessful pushing and bleeding, she called in the OB/GYN and I was wheeled into the OR for a manual extraction. The OR was literally across my room in the hall and while I was being wheeled away, I felt 2 huge gushes of blood run out of me. Now, I was getting worried. I said goodbye to Ben and once in the OR, I just mentioned to the OB/GYN to do his thing and get me back to my husband. I could feel the blood pouring out of me and I just didn’t want Ben to be alone with the girls. The OB/GYN just replied that I was in good hands and not to worry, I would be back with Ben shortly.
I was given a lovely sedative and quickly drifted off to the wonderful la-la-land of conscious sedation. I woke up in time to see the OB/GYN showing me my mangled placenta. I will spare you the details, but it wasn’t pretty to look at. He had managed to remove it all and gave me 7 spanking new stitches while I was under to repair the tear I had endured during labour. I was grateful for that.
I was then wheeled over to the recovery room and I was not feeling good at all. I was dying of thirst like I had never been before. I found out later on that I lost over 2 L of blood, hence why I was so thirsty. My blood pressure was very low and I remember seeing it plummet at 82/44 at one point. I was given fluid replacements and I needed supplemental oxygen as well to keep my saturation up. I could tell Ben was getting worried next to me. It was now 0430 in the morning and he needed to go back home to Rina, but the LDR nurse told him he couldn’t leave me alone on the Mother-Babe Unit. I told him they had nurses there to take care of me, that it was a load of BS and to go home and get some rest and take care of Rina.
I finally was better enough to be transferred to MBU and I sent Ben back home. I couldn’t get up to feed you, but I couldn’t get up to feed you throughout the rest of the night so I rang my bell whenever you wanted to be fed and a nurse came and handed you over to me. Breastfeeding was established quickly and without any hitch and I was so happy for that. I don’t remember much from that day, other than I was not allowed to get up until that evening because of my low blood pressure. I also had a low hemoglobin (83, my normal was 140) so I was dizzy a lot and slept for most of the day when you didn’t need to be fed.
The next morning, I was finally allowed to get up for longer than going to the washroom and I had a shower on very wobbly legs. I was faint, but I was alive and we had a perfectly healthy new baby girl. We were now a family of four and Ben had his girls with him!
To be completely honest with you, I don’t remember much of your first 4 months of life. With my hemoglobin so low, the night feeding and Ben being back at work full speed, it was extremely hard to get through the days. Every day that ended was a blessing as we had made it one more day without any incident. The past year hasn’t been easy at times, but I wouldn’t change any bit of it because of the family we have.
I can’t believe you are already turning one! I truly don’t have a baby anymore: you give me “high fives”, you are “furniture walking” and pulling yourself up like it’s nothing, you have 5 teeth already, you love to dance, you are a beautiful darling girl and when you set your mind on something, you are very determined. I love your smiles and giggles, I love how you could eat the house down, I love your hugs and kisses and I am totally smitten with you. The same goes for your Dad. He truly adores you and you just ham it up for him!
Happy birthday my sweet BeZU! Take your time growing up, I feel like I can’t keep up with how fast you are turning into a little girl. I love you with all my heart and cannot imagine our lives without you in it.
P.S. You can read all about Rina’s birth here.