Isaac’s birth story

July 5, 2008

Isaac’s birth was everything I had hoped for and more. After much discussion during the early phases of the pregnancy we decided to hire a doula; Donna was a labour and delivery nurse in Barrie for years before moving to Kingston and starting her prenatal classes and doula business. She proved invaluable during the birth and afterwards. Isaac was born on the 16th of June, which was a full moon; the delivery floor was HOPPING and the nurses were so busy that we were lucky Donna was able to stay with us after the birth and do the observation of us both while the nurses ran to deliver the next baby who wouldn’t wait. But I’m getting ahead of myself, lets start from the beginning.

I woke up at 2h30 and was laying in bed thinking of getting up and going to the bathroom when I felt a little gush; I was certain I hadn’t peed the bed (which remained unprotected) so I rushed to the washroom. I woke Jason up and told him my water had broke. ( Aside: I have to thank Eva here for a comment she left on Lisa‘s page about using a maxipad when her water broke…I swear if I hadn’t read that the idea NEVER would have occurred to me at 3h00 in the morning…I would have been sitting in the bathroom going now what?!?!). After a few minutes of scrambling in the bedroom and collecting our fuzzy early morning thoughts we woke up my mom and Jason called Donna. Donna said we had some options, she was willing to come with us to the hospital, but since I wasn’t in labour yet and it could be as long as 24 hrs before it began she said we could go to the hospital and ask to come back home until labour started after being checked. I saw no need for Donna to join us just yet so I told her we’d call when we needed her and after a little more scrambling we headed out the door (only about 40 or so minutes after my water broke…it was a good thing we weren’t in a Of course (for those who know my husband) we stopped at Tim Horton’s along the way.

Since it was after hours we found street parking and walked to the main entrance; since it was after hours the guard at the main entrance didn’t know what to do with us and sent us to emergency (on the other end of the large hospital); since we had pre-registered, emergency didn’t want any thing to do with us and sent us up to labour and delivery on the fifth floor. Thank God I wasn’t in labour yet!

When we finally got to where we wanted to be they hooked me up to the monitor and did a 20 minute strip to check my contractions (or lack there of) and baby’s heart beat. The doctor came in and took a swab to ensure my water really did break (because I’m sure alot of women make that mistake??? not sure, but I guess it might happen). She said I was not dilated at all and they would have to send me to a seperate section of the hospital until I was further along. Also since there were no private rooms available Jason would not be able to stay. Thanks to Donna having planted the seed I asked if I could go home (since I was GBS negative), it took a few minutes of deliberation, but they said we could go if we came back by 17h00 whether I was in labour or not.

So we headed home and even though I knew better we decided to have an early morning pancake breakfast. Then I decided I should try to get some sleep before labour started. I had been having Braxton-Hicks the entire time, but no pain yet. I lay in bed for about half and hour and the contractions started to have some substance to them. Just enough that it was not fun to be laying down. So I got up and had a shower, then headed down stairs to sit on my ball and watch a movie. I was having a bit of back labour and found the ball was helping a lot. As the contractions got worse I applied the heat pad to my back for relief. At 7h00 I called Donna to let her know we had come home, again she asked if I wanted her to come over, but Jason was sleeping on the couch and things weren’t that bad yet so I told her to expect a call in the next hour or two.

As the contraction got stronger the ball was no longer working and I needed to move when they were coming. I had been timing them on the ball to see if they were a minute long (as they didn’t seem that long) and they were getting pretty consistent so I decided to call Donna at 08h00 and ask her to come over; I figured if I waited until I wanted her it would be too late (since she lives on the other side of town). By the time Donna got here I was pacing constantly through the contractions. As long as I was moving I felt alright. Donna timed the contractions when she arrived and they were a minute long and about three minutes apart. I told her it was hurting in my back and I felt rectal pressure, she thought the baby might need to turn so she had me put one leg up on the coffee table and lunge to the side for the next three contractions, then I had to walk again. I was getting very warm and starting to feel nauseous, Donna had me sit down and try deep breathing, Jason turned on the AC. I got sick (yep if you’re wondering the pancakes were worth it) and felt much, much better. I asked Donna when we should think of heading to the hospital and she said it was up to me. I was really dreading the car ride, when I wouldn’t be able to move during contractions. As the contractions got worse I couldn’t keep walking, but I couldn’t sit or lean on the ball either. I really found ‘slow dancing’ with Jason helped a lot, for the rest of the birth I wanted to have my hands over my head for contractions. Shortly after I couldn’t keep walking I decided we should head to the hospital; I was still really dreading having to sit through the car ride. In fact it wasn’t that bad, I remember three contractions and I held the headrest through them (to keep my hands over my head).

We knew where we were going this time so we got up to labour and delivery quickly. Mom parked the car while Jason got me checked in. They put us in a room to wait for the doctor to check me. While we were waiting I jumped in the shower and made it as COLD as I could since was heating up again and starting to feel sick. Donna came in and Jason went to go put my stuff in the fridge (we’d brought juice  and popsicles). When Jason left I turned to Donna and said I was considering medication (actually I think I said ‘ I think I want drugs’). When we were discussing the birth with Donna she has a pain scale for the mother to look at and give her an idea of what they are expecting for the birth. I looked at her chart and was a -3; that was I wanted a natural birth, but wasn’t opposed to medication if it was needed. It also said that when I asked for drugs to ask me to try three more contractions before I made my decision. Donna suggested I wait until after the doctor had checked me then we’d try the shower again before we went for the drugs.

The doctor came and said I was eight centimeters, Donna said that I was in transition and the pain wouldn’t get any worse, so I said I didn’t want the drugs. I was so elated to be that far along, I thought I was maybe three or four cm and the pain was going to get way worse. They wanted to get the baby’s heart beat before they let me off the table so I was on the table for two more contractions then I had the uncontrollable urge to push.  Donna talked me down for the next contraction but called to get us the doctor right away to check me again. I was at ten centimeters (in less than three minutes from when I was at eight). They said I still couldn’t push since we were not in a labour delivery room that was set up to receive baby. They got me dressed and moved me down the hall to room number 6 (my lucky number).

KGH has a (usually) strict rule of two people in the birthing room, but Donna had worked with our nurse Joy before and she said that my mom could stay. There was also two student doctors in the room, but i was pretty oblivious; I remember saying they could stay but then my eyes where closed for most of the pushing. I kept jason’s hand the whole time and sqeezed the snot out of his fingers. It felt so good to push!!! I was pushing for only thirty minutes when Isaac arrived. I was seconds away from needing an episiotomy since Isaac’s heartbeat had dropped to 90 bpm. He wasn’t in distress yet, but the doctor said he couldn’t keep it up for long. Thankfully I got him out (or he decided to come out) in time. Once he was born and I remember saying ‘that was easy’ and getting laughed at…but seriously I thought I’d be pushing for so much longer…it really felt like three contractions and he was out, but I suspect my sense of time was more than a little skewed by that time.

Donna had let Joy know that I wanted skin to skin contact for as long as possible after the birth before they took baby to weigh and treat him. When Isaac was born they put him on my stomach right away and toweled him off. Jason cut the cord and they told me he was a boy. I remember asking if he should be crying (he wasn’t) and they said he would right away, then he was put on my chest and I said hi to Isaac James for the first time. It was the first time my mom had heard the name (we kept it a secret) I’m so glad that she was allowed to stay in the room. They left Isaac on my chest for some baby led latching while they worked on birthing the placenta, I didn’t have to push or anything and I didn’t even see the placenta as I was staring at my new little man. We got to stay in the room and cuddle with Isaac (while I cuddled with him for most of the time) until 14h00 (he was born just before 11h00), only then did nurse Joy take him and weigh him, then Jason went to the other end of the room while they gave him his vitamin K and eye drops. It was everything I wanted and an absolutely wonderful birthing experience.


4 Responses to “Isaac’s birth story”

  1. jermangirl Says:

    Wow Jackie! That is an absolutely beautiful birth story! I’m sure the fact that you were very calm and relaxed had a lot to do with how smoothly things went for you! Down the road as the details start to fade a little I’m sure you’ll be very happy that you have recorded it!

    Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 I’ve been waiting somewhat patiently! LOL

  2. eva Says:

    Sounds like everything went perfectly and you did a great job of dealing with the pain! Good for you for providing all the not-so-gory details. And yay for eating pancakes during labour – I ate too. And puked. And agree it was worth it:)

  3. Gillian Says:

    Great story Jackie! Sounds like it went just fabulously! I like hearing great birth stories so that I won’t be too terrified to have a baby of my own someday! lol

  4. lisalou Says:

    i love this story and happy 3 week old birthday Issac!

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