Shannon’s Labour Experience: True Story…

This article is much different from what you have been used to here with the Alive, Morning Sun and Supplements Plus Blog.  I tend to stick with articles telling you about different products, specific health concerns and how to treat them or I put recipes up on the blog to share with everyone.  I try not to get too personal I guess you could say.  BUT over the last nine months of pregnancy I have had a blast.  I really enjoyed my first experience of being pregnant and now I am absolutely amazed at how wonderful motherhood can be.  I want to share with you my labour experience.  I would like to tell you right away that this is a positive article!  Not an article telling you how awful the pain was, or about everything that went wrong, but instead an article to help women as well as men who may be anticipating a baby some things they can expect.  Therefore, I should mention this is not a scientific article, it is merely my experience of what happened and the things that I am soo glad that I thought of and did as well as looking back some things I would have done differently OR better yet will do for next time!  Honestly, the whole experience has been so wonderful I am very excited to have more then one if its meant to be!  Hope you enjoy the article…

 

My Little Girl Danica!

June 30th 2011 I go in for my weekly Dr. appointment.  I notice that I have had clear discharge, but very little.  However, just to be safe I asked my doctor if it is possible that my water broke.  (In prenatal classes you learn that to go into labour your water doesn’t have to be the first sign.  Also you learn that when your water breaks it is not like the movies! It is not necessary a huge water fall.)  Mr Dr. suggested we air on the side of caution and so she sent me to the hospital to run some tests on the fluid and to check if the cervix was open.  So at around 11am we went to the hospital and long story short, no sign of baby and the fluid was not from the water breaking.  They said I probably will not deliver early most likely late.  My due date was July 6th, roughly a week away.  So I went home with my husband.  We made plans for the weekend to see some friends since we figured this will be our last chance to hang out without a little one around.  We had a relaxing day and we were ready to go to bed at 11pm, just turning off my side table lamp and then gush… (this time my water definitely broke!)  I was laughing and ran to the bathroom trying to prevent the water from getting on the bed.  I was fairly successful.  Right away I had very weak contractions; the early phase of labour had began!!  Remember there is no rush to go to the hospital when your early phase starts (this is assuming you have had a normal pregnancy throughout and that you are not delivering twins.  Most times it is best to stay home in the beginning because you are more relaxed to get labour going and you have your own food, comforts of home and a shower which is a huge help by the way!)  The next step is to call the hospital and your Dr. to let them know your status.  This way they can be expecting you in the next little while…

So the night goes by and it is now July1st! Happy Canada Day!! I have had contractions all night at this point, but they have been irregular and they have been mild.  Slightly stronger but nothing to really get this party started!  However, I still call the doctor at 8:30am because in this situation my water has broken.  What this means is usually they need the baby to come out within 24 hours of the water breaking.  If my water had not broke and I was just having contractions, sometimes they will let this part go on much longer.  The goal is to try to get your body to go into labour by itself.  BUT if there is one thing I can pass on it is: “At the end of the day all that matters is HEALTHY BABY HEALTHY MOM, it doesn’t matter how the baby gets in your arms, all that matters is the family is united at the end of it all.”  So many women have an idealized plan in the mind of how their labour will be perfect or just the way they planned it.  The sooner you let your stubbornness go the easier your labour will be.  Know your options before you deliver.  Meaning: know the pain meds, know the methods of delivery etc, but don’t write a script if you can help it.

Ok where was I…. so my water had broke and it was 8:30am and I called the Dr. and she said that if I do not go into labour on my own, with 411 which mean 4 contractions 1 min apart within 10 minutes of each other with some hefty pain, then they will have to induce me around 7:00pm….

Waited all day, and somewhat regular contractions started in the evening and I ended up going to the hospital at 6:00pm.  They looked at me, heart, blood pressure, position of baby which was head down, cervix open and I am ready to go!  Induction started at 8:00pm!

What is being induced?

Induced is when you need to go into labour faster than your body is doing it.  So they hook you up to an IV and start pumping in Oxytocin a hormone that induces (starts) labour.  Oxytocin is safe, it is literally a hormone you produce.  The interesting thing about being induced is that your contractions become like clock work.  It is a much faster process and labour doesn’t take as long, however it is intense! My Dr. warned me that I may need an epidural because the pain becomes so intense, rapid and strong quickly.  When you go into labour on your own it is more gradual.

What I personally did to cope with the PAIN and make labour easier!

  • I had a private room, lights were dim…
  • I had a exercise ball that I sat on and bounced around in (helps relieve the pressure down below)
  • Remembered to sit tall, but sit relaxed, don’t tense up, let your body relax… makes labour easier and shorter!
  • I did not sit on the table except when the nurse needed to put my IV in etc, the rest of the time I wanted to be free to walk around
  • I did visualization, tried to think of positive thoughts… trust me it is very easy to slip into “Why am I doing this, the pain is too strong, I want to give up, never again…” use the power of your mind and just keep repeating POSITIVE thoughts.  I am a strong women, I am meant to do this, I am going to be a mother soon, my baby is counting on me, I have the power to bring this little one in the world, the pain will pass and the baby will last my lifetime…”
  • I had the support of my husband.  Make sure you have some sort of coach or support in your room.  There are Doulas or you can have a friend but make sure they know what they can do to help support YOU!  They must be strong, not freak out and remember they can’t fix anything i.e. your pain, but they should be positive reinforcement that you are strong and amazing!
  • I had music!  Such a help, I got lost in the positive motivational words!
  • DEEP Breathing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a help!
  • Low tones……. instead of high tones I made low tones.  Some studies show that the baby feels more calm when the mother has low moaning verses screaming. It also calms you and reduces the perception of pain.
  • SHAVE ahead of time… this is a weird tip I know, but one of my girlfriends told me, shave before you go to the hospital otherwise they will do it for you.  I know personally I would rather do that myself down there.  It is one less thing for them to have to do and it is one less reason that they have to go poking around down there.
  • I kept telling myself that the contraction only last 1 minute!  I can do this, then I will have a break.  (Remember the contraction will not last forever! AND remember the contraction is helping you it is getting that baby out!)
  • DO NOT watch the clock or the minutes going by! It makes the labour seem much longer.  I watched the level of the contraction.  That number on the monitor helped me know when the contraction was coming on and it allowed me to time my breathing better.

Story continued…….

Close to the end I needed something to help me with the pain.  I knew I was very, very close, so I went with the laughing gas.  Benefits are: it is safe for the baby, it helps you focus on breathing.  Downside: it can make you throw up!  BUT I discovered how to make it not do that.  At first I was afraid of the laughing gas and I wasn’t taking a deep enough breath and I was stopping half way through the contraction etc.  Then I would throw up because I had the after taste of the laughing gas.  The nurse said sit tall, relax and fill those lungs, take a deep breath and also remember to blow out completely afterwards.  Once I started concentrating I was off to the races!!

At about 1:00am I turned to Nelson and said: “I am not sure how much more I can take…” I may need the epidural.  This is where I had to be realistic.  I didn’t want to have the epidural because you can’t feel when to push and sometimes it slows down the labour, but I was prepared to change my plan.  We decided to page the nurse.  The nurse came in and said: “Do you feel like you want to push, do you feel like you want to take the biggest bowel movement ever?!  I actually laughed and was like YES!!!!  She said well then get on this table she checked and I made it I was 10cm ready to get this baby OUT!! I was so happy no epidural for me!

BUT you know how I said she was head down… well somewhere during labour she turned and feet were coming out.  This means she has breached.  This is not good, but not life and death either.  These days it is completely easy to get that baby out so that the baby and mother are safe, but it just means a rapid change in plans.  Head always first, you can never deliver safely with feet first, so the nurse said: “Hun, good news you made it with out meds, but we have to do an emergency c-section.  Therefore we need to do a spinal (full epidural) and get the baby out, so STOP pushing and BREATH.”  They are very efficient and I felt completely looked after and safe.  I was very scared of a c-section, but I knew that the best thing to do was to surrender, healthy baby, health mom and trust the professionals.  They were so amazing.  I delivered at BC Women’s Hospital and honestly I am very thankful to the whole staff there.

10 minutes later…. baby is in my arms.  We made it!! Danica was born at 1:30am! Healthy as ever!  Again it was different than I had imagined my delivery to be.  Instead of soft lighting and having my husband beside me, I went to bright lights, people in surgical masks, a curtain in front of me, 10 people in the room and my husband coming in after.  So yes the mood changed and it wasn’t intimate, BUT it was still beautiful to see our little baby girl enter this world!!  Now that almost two weeks have gone by I couldn’t be more happy, she is amazing…

Also remember how I said to shave down there!  Well I am sooo happy I did.  In the frantic moments of… “Hurry we need to do a c-section, let’s shave her!” They looked and were like, never mind, she’s good to go.  Trust me at this point you just want the baby out so any little thing you can do to speed up the process is good.

Lastly some things I would do Differently for NEXT time:

  • Have the nurse check more often to see if the babies head is still facing down
  • Have my water ready and my puke bowl ready for when I throw up
  • Prevent throwing up by using the the laughing gas correctly
  • Bring photos that make me happy, maybe a baby picture of myself with my father holding me and maybe my favourite picture of my husband I and a picture of my family dog since he is soo cute and lovable
  • Start putting nipple cream on weeks before the pregnancy so that they don’t get so irritated.  Try to stick with it, mine did crack and even bleed a little bit the first week, but it does go away once you and your baby figure things out, (Also buy a BREAST PUMP!! Great way to get your milk out if your nipples are sore.  Gives you a fighting chance to breast feed.  BUT don’t beat yourself up if you can’t breast feed)

Well sorry it was a long article for a blog post.  Hopefully you got something out of it.  I realize that this pertains to a small audience, but hopefully it helps someone you may know.  As always I truly love helping people as well as the staff at Alive health Centre, Morning Sun and Supplements Plus.  If you have any questions feel free to email me at shannon@alivehealthblog.com and if you have questions there is a toll free number 1866 499 9546.  I will not be there because I am working from home now looking after the little one.  However our staff are all pretty well mothers, so if you have questions find a location near you.  Our caring staff would love to be of help!

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