If you aren't into all the wonderful happenings that normally accompany a labour and delivery, this post ain't for you.....this is the story of Paisley Joy's birth.
We will begin the telling one week and a day before, on the 23rd of September. I had my regular 39 week midwife visit and asked my mom to come along, just in case Trevor wasn't able to make it, as I wanted someone there to take Denay out of the room because I was going to ask to get checked and have my membranes swept. We had a full room, as Trev was able to come, and after the routine chat, my midwife asked if I wanted to get checked. I was 2cm dilated and still about a centimetre thick and baby was very low. She gave me a sweep and sent me on my way, hopeful we'd have a baby over the weekend.
We called Trev's parents who then packed themselves up and, along with their new home on wheels, came out late that night.
The next day went by as normal but later in the evening I was feeling a lot of very low pressure so I paged the midwife on call and she came over and checked me. Needless to say, we were a little bummed to find out I was only 3cm and still about a half centimetre thick.
And then, life went on as normal......for a week. I walked, I bounced and may or may not have accelerated over the speed bumps at Walmart. On Tuesday morning, the 28th, I realized that baby's movement was noticeably decreased. I paged my midwife and she set up a NST (non stress test) which showed that baby was perfect and doing wonderful.
Then on Thursday, the 30th of September, I went in again, with mom in tow for my weekly midwife visit, planning to get swept again, only to find out that the on-call midwife had been up all night at a birth and called in to tell the my other midwife not do to anything to put anyone into labour. Bummer.
Just before Trev got home from work that evening I paged the Kate (the on-call midwife) to ask her to come over and check and sweep me. She suggested we do it in the morning but I asked to have it done that night. At around 6:00, she arrived and announced that I was still 3cm and not fully effaced. Bummer.
She gave me a good sweep and told me that if she looked, she could easily see that baby's head, that's how low she was (good sign). It was Trev's parent's anniversary that day (yes, they hadn't given up on me yet and were still in town) so we were to meet them for dessert downtown. I opted to walk, hoping it would encourage something to happen. We enjoyed dessert and then ended up back here for a movie. At around 10:00pm, I started noticing tightenings that were very mildly uncomfortable. I began timing them but there was no pattern at all. We turned in shortly after and I had a very interrupted night of sleep, with the contractions continuing.
The next morning they were still going but still very irregular and not at all unbearable. I enjoyed a lovely chat with a good friend while our girl's played and just as she was leaving, my mom showed up and dragged me out for an hour long walk, during which I had to slow down every 5 minutes to let a contraction pass.
By the time we got home, around 1:30, I was contracting every 3-5 minutes but they didn't seemed to getting more intense and were very sporadic in their length. I called Kate and let her know what was going on and she said to call her back when things get more intense and regular. My mom helped me clean up and get Denay to bed then was off to get groceries, with the promise to come check on me after she was done. I called Trev to tell him what was happening and he was on his way home.
I retreated to my bed with a watch, some Gatorade, a pen and notepad and proceeded to try and time my own contractions. Not easy, in case you were wondering. Trevor got home around 2:30 and jumped in the shower. Just after he was done, Kate phoned to check in and said she was in town and was going to stop by.
When she got there around 3:00, she checked me right away and to my surprise, I was already 7cm. We called my mom, Trev's parents and our birth photographer.
By 4:15 I was on the ball, in the shower; my mom and photographer had arrived, Trev's parents dropped by to take Denay and we were all in the throws on preparation.
I felt cool as a cucumber, alone in the shower, not really needing attention or support. I drained the hot water tank and got into my bright pink birth shirt, and was right back on the ball in my room. Sometime in there, Kate checked me again and I was 8-9cm with bulging membranes.
By 5:02, the second midwife had arrived and that's when things really started to move. My midwife suggested that I use the washroom quickly and get into bed. By now I had gone from cool, quiet and controlled to overwhelmed and in increasing pain....transition.
At 5:11 (and I know all this because our alarm clock in the background of a bunch of the pictures) I was making my way into bed and had another very intense contraction. My mom brought the ball up onto the bed for me to lay over and just as I got settled, I had another crippling contraction and started to break down. I had my "I can't do this, it hurts, make it stop, it hurts, I don't want to anymore" moment, all said in between gasps for breath and sobs. It was during that contraction that my body decided it was time to start pushing. When the contraction subsided, Kate asked me if that's the position I wanted to deliver in to which I responded with a panicky "No!". So she suggested that I lie down. That was around 5:14 and once I was lying down and settled, she asked me to grab behind my right knee when the next contraction came. At 5:15 my water broke and that's sort of the last thing I really recall clearly. Paisley came so quickly the next two minutes blurred into a fog. I remember my midwife grabbing my hand and putting it on her head and holding it there. I remember holding Trevor's hand with my free one, looking away with my eyes clenched closed and hiding my face in his arm. I remember being told to breathe, that I was already holding my baby, that I needed to slow down. I remember not being able to. I remember saying that "I can't, I can't" and right near the end, begging someone to get her out. I remember lots of voices trying to soothe me and comfort me.
All this in just less than two minutes and one long push.
Then I remember Selina, from some where in the room, saying "Christy, grab your baby!"......that snapped me alert very quickly and I reached down and pulled my baby up onto me with a huge sigh of relief.
The only thing I remember after that is relief and my wonderful husband, face streaming with tears, leaning over and kissing my forehead and telling me that I was his hero.
Miss Paisley came out very "dusky" and the midwives worked for a couple minutes with oxygen and suction to get her to pink up with no success. My mom cut the cord and they took her to the table and worked with her for another couple minutes before she finally spat up a small clot of mucus and was nice and rosy in no time.
I remember the air of joy and peace and love in the room.
The placenta was born without complication and I was very happy to find out I hadn't torn at all.
After a weigh, a measure and a little look over, Paisley nursed like a pro and that's when Denay came in. Trevor lifted her up onto the bed and without a stitch of hesitation bent over and gave her new baby sister a big kiss. It still makes me tear up thinking about it.
The rest of the evening was filled with tearful and joyful phone calls and really excited grandparents playing pass with their new granddaughter.
I got my proofs from our photographer early last week and will totally admit that I've looked through them at least a dozen times now. What at gift to be able to see Paisley's arrival from a third party perspective!
Now, almost two weeks later, it feels like forever ago but also just yesterday.
Paisley is such a sweet and beautiful baby.
Our first week home alone went much better than I was anticipating thanks to friends and my momma and I'm trying to be positive about going into week number two.
Oh, and as a side note......how do all you momma's with three or more kids DO it????