Monday, December 7, 2009

Labour

Labour.

I've been through it 3 times. All different experiences. All distinctly unique.

With Little Miss Sunshine's impending arrival, I have been thinking a lot about the birth of my children. Flashing back to some of the most beautiful moments of my life.

Overall I have been pretty lucky in terms of labour and giving birth. Our oldest son was born 2 days after his due date, on December 10, 2003 (yes, he will be 6 on Thursday! Unbelievable). I had been into the hospital several times the week before for non-stress tests on the baby as my OB did a little more prodding than he should have done during my last exam. On the evening of December 9, I remember walking the hall from our master bedroom down to the guest room in considerable discomfort for several hours. My husband was "busy" watching the hockey game and assured me that he could watch the end of the third period before we had to make the 3 minute trip to the hospital. So much for first time daddy jitters! Turns out he was right. I laboured/slept after an epidural, for 8+ hours before our first beautiful red head was born. I ended up pushing for over an hour because the OB was too busy to come and give me the "snip" I so desperately needed.... that's all it took and out he came. Because he was stuck in the birth canal for so long he swallowed some mecconium and was taken directly to the Special Care Unit for oxygen and antibiotics. I remember overhearing the nurses questioning whether or not they should take him.... I just screamed "if there is ANY question, then please take him". I was heartbroken that I didn't have that instant contact with my baby boy. I saw him briefly and then he was gone. The only thing that made me relax is that my husband went directly with him and my mom stayed with me. He was in the Special Care Unit for 2 days and responded well to treatment. The image of seeing him in an oxygen tent with tubes and monitors hooked up to him haunted me for the longest time. Little did I know we would experience much worse.

Our second son was born in February, during the Olympics of 2006. I woke up at about 5am feeling somewhat uncomfortable and assuming that it was the 'start'. I got up, walked around, called my mom to let her know she was needed on 'standby' and then jumped in the shower. In the shower my contractions jumped from 8 minutes apart to approx. 4 minutes. My husband called my mom back and scratched the 'standby'... we needed her now! We arrived at the hospital at 8:30am and I had him at 11:30am. Quick and very easy.

Nicholas was induced at 35 weeks and it was, by far, the most difficult and long labour experience of them all. For obvious reasons, I was a disaster which didn't help labour progress. My body, my heart, my soul, didn't want to let go of our third baby boy. My body wouldn't relax enough to allow contractions... my heart wouldn't stop hurting enough to let my body do what it needed to do. We went the entire afternoon, evening, night and next morning without much movement.

Pure torture.

Quite possibly Hell on earth.

The doctor gave me an epidural as soon as they started the induction process so that I wouldn't physically feel any more pain than I had to. They gave me my own dosage pump, which meant I could press a button if I felt anything and I would automatically be injected with more medicine. I remember dozing in and out of sleep from pure exhaustion, my husband sleeping and holding my hand the entire night. I remember every so often waking up and thinking that I should be pushing this self medicating button right now.... the contractions were becoming stronger.... but on some level I wanted to feel them... I needed to feel the pain. I owed Nicholas that. Something. Anything. I felt like I wanted to remember his birth, wholly. I refused any kind of relaxant medication. I needed to be aware. To be alert and ready to love our son when he was born. And so, for the most part, I let the epidural run thin. I honestly don't remember much physical pain. The emotional pain of knowing our son had already passed overtook any other feeling I could have felt at the time. My mind was numb, my body was numb and although my heart was in a million pieces, I still, undeniably, felt that unconditional bond with our baby boy. That love that is the strongest in the universe. The love between a mother and her child.

I can only anticipate how Little Miss Sunshine's labour will progress. I have a strong feeling that she will make her debut early... and she will make her debut quickly. I have been having very intense braxton hicks/false labour contractions for the last couple of weeks, which, to me, is a signal to be ready any time now. Who knows, maybe it's wishful thinking. Now that we are past the premature stage I may just be getting selfish. I want our new blessing here. In our arms. Strong and healthy and wailing her lungs out. Is that too much to ask?

13 comments:

Bree said...

This brings back all those memories for me. I can only hope that next time is easier and has a better ending. Praying for Little Miss Sunshine to arrive safely. Praying for you, too.

The Blue Sparrow said...

No that is for sure not too much to ask! I will be praying for a healthy delivery! Reading your account of Nicholas's delivery brought back alot of those memories, I too dont remember much pain. I think I was too out of it emotionally to care. I labored for 56 hours to deliver B and I think in some way that I somehow made it last that long so I could have him with me for a bit longer. *HUGS*

margaret said...

It's definitely not too much to ask Lea, I'm hoping she arrives healthy, quickly and within the guidelines for fullterm. Wishing you a peaceful, purposeful labour. Hugging you

Missing Kasey said...

I hope that she will enter this world quick and easy, but most importantly screaming her lungs out!!! Sending you lots of hugs!

croleyc69 said...

Praying for a happy and healthy delivery.
{{HUGS}}
Caroline

Courtney said...

Brings back memories as well. I was heavily medicated and I could not have an epidural. I remember being terrified beyond words and tense as well. I didn't want to let them go.

Oh Lea, thinking of you!!!

Andrea said...

Thinking of you and Little Miss Sunshine and wishing you well :) I can understand your being impatient and wanting to hold her in your arms...I would be the same way.

Love and hugs

Kelli with Love said...

Oh, I hope you are correct about her arrival! Quick and easy! You deserve it. Praying for you both!

Heather said...

Not too much to ask. At all. You deserve that and much more.

Emalee said...

I hope she enters the world soon and quickly for you....Can't wait to see her....

Nan said...

Lea you are going to do great and so is LMS :) I have every faith in that! I am getting so excited for you and I agree with everyone above that you deserve every happiness and that you are not asking for too much...praying for you and your family :) Love, Nan xo

Lesley said...

It is not too much to ask.

I thought I was strange for wanting to feel every pain of Cameron's labor- I remember just wanting to feel- anything, even if it was pain. Pain had to be better than the numbness that was taking over. No pain could compare to the pain in my heart, there are no emotional epidurals. I felt I owed it to Cameron to not get the epi for her delivery.

I am wondering what Quatro's birth will be like- part of me fears the flashbacks I have of Cam's delivery. I just want a healthy baby to take home- it is not to much to ask with all that we have been thru! Hugs!!

Holly said...

Not too much at all. I hope that her labor goes smoothly.

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