It has taken me longer than I expected to get back into writing after giving birth. Mind you, giving birth is a herculean task and I have to manage my ridiculous expectations of myself every now and then.
On Monday November 5th I woke up around 5am to intense contractions. My contractions were quite painful, 6/10 on the pain scale. The contractions were coming every 5-6 minutes or so and lasting at least a minute, some lasting longer. I called my midwife and made plans to meet her at the hospital to get things checked out.
Most women have the option to stay at home and labour a bit longer. I did not have that choice as I was attempting a VBAC- a vaginal birth after a c-section. On May 12, 2016 I had to have a scheduled c-section to deliver my daughter Seraphina. She was a breech baby, with her bum being the presenting part for delivery. That was obviously not happening!!
No room at the Inn
My husband and I made our way to the hospital only to find out they had multiple sick calls that morning and the maternity unit was pretty much closed; it wasn’t safe for me to labour there. My midwife gets on the phone and calls 2 other maternity units to be told a similar story.
After a few more calls, we end up at a hospital that wasn’t even on our list; The Scarborough Hospital, General Division. We were pleasantly surprised by the welcoming and knowledgeable staff. The OBGYN that was on call, Dr Venka, was amazing. The labour and delivery and postpartum nurses that cared for my baby and I were stellar! The Maternity unit at the Scarborough General Hospital is a lovely and bright unit with amazing staff. I cannot sing their praises enough for the quick and professional manner in which they handled the delivery of our baby.
Forgetting to expect the unexpected
Labour pains is a different level of pain!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHH!!! I engaged all the techniques I could to overcome the pain. My husband, Courtney, was truly an amazing coach; he helped me remain focused with guided imagery, reminding me to breath, made sure I was hydrated and my lips were moisturized (hate dry lips!).
The contractions got to the point where I saw white, everything went blank. It took every shred of my being not to go running around the place to “get away” from the pain. I requested an epidural at 5 cm dilated. I had to tap out. Kudos to the mamas that deliver without any epidural or other forms of pain management, that path is certainly not for me and I am VERY much ok with that.
With the lovely tingle in my legs and the pain now under control, I start to relax. About an hour after my epidural, my baby starts to show signs of distress; the heart rate was too low. Dr Venka informs me that baby isn’t doing too well and we will have to do an emergency (crash) c-section.
Cue the waterworks!!!! I was a mess! I’ve always had the possibility of the c-section in the back of my head but things were progressing so nicely that the notion of a repeat section had disappeared. I was looking forward to a vaginal delivery and a fast recovery. No such luck.
I had a panic attack in the operating room, I had never had a panic attack before. Things were happening very fast. With my experience as a labour and delivery nurse, I understand the urgency with which an emergency c-section occurs but it’s a whole different ball game when it’s you on that operating table. Being told about the section to the delivery of our baby was about 10-15 minutes. Yea… very quick!
IT’S A BOY!!!!!
Jeremiah Joshua Scarlett
November 5th @ 17:45
8lbs 9oz 52cm long
Jeremiah was in distress because my very strong contractions were trying to force him down into the birth canal but he wasn’t fitting. I was not dilating past 5 cm. Getting to 10cm was not happening. I’m also only 5ft and petite! He wasn’t going to fit anyway.
I hope sharing my birth story is a source of information and encourages strength in women. A lot of women are fearful of getting an epidural or being delivered via c-section. Both procedures are extremely safe in Canada and have come a long way. Of course this safety is based on the expertise of the practitioner. As mentioned above, I’m a registered nurse with 2 years of experience as a labour and delivery nurse. I can chat more about related topics if requested. Leave a comment below and feel free to ask any questions you may have.
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