In labour in the birthing lounge at the hospital.
During a contraction.
I have never publicly shared Tutu's birth story, which is odd since I am the first to share my experiences but his was unique. I have it written out what happened written shortly after his birth but this rendition will be how I remember it now.
When I got pregnant with Tutu was a very stressful time in our lives, my FIL had just passed away after spending months in and out of the hospital, my MIL wasn't well and we decided to sell both our place and her place and move in together, and we were renovating both places in order to sell. Also in the midst of this Rock and I had decided that we would have no more children. While I wanted more, Rock was done and we compromised that until action was taken on the matter I could pray for a miracle. I ended up getting pregnant 4 days before Rock went to the Dr. to ask about a vasectomy. Since we weren't trying it was weeks before I even figured out I was pregnant but once the morning sickness hit there was no doubt.
As with the other 2 I had a week of pre-labour, it usually lasts about 2 weeks so a week into it I figure all was good I still had time. I was schedule for an induction the following week due to my insulin-dependent gestational diabetes. I woke up on March 25 and the contractions were different. I went in for my OB appointment that morning and I told him that I might be in early labour. He checked me and I was 3 cm along. He told me that because I tested GBS positive this time I need to go home have a good lunch and then go to the hospital to be checked because once labour is established I need to get put onto the IV antibiotics rights away. He said I should go in about 1-2 hours.
I went to work to tell Rock and to see my co-workers, they had a shower for us the day before but we weren't able to attend as we spent the day at the hospital with MIL. I caught up with co-workers and then was shooed out of the office because they were scared that I was going to give birth in the office. I told them not to worry we were still in early labour. Rock and I went home, had lunch and packed up the last minute things and headed out to the hospital.
When I got there was checked out and confirmed that I was about 3 cm but that they didn’t' want to admit me yet to go walk around the hospital for about 1-2 hours and come back and be checked again. And so 10 hours of torture began, I walked, I contracted, and I walked. We visited just about every nook and cranny in the hospital. I got checked; we were about the same maybe slightly more dilated. Again we were told to walk, we repeated this process for the 10 hours but threw in some dinner and labour in the labour lounge a bit. This is not how I wanted to have my labour be. I wasn't admitted so I couldn't get comfortable somewhere I felt like a gypsy. I wanted to go home but they were reluctant to do that because of the GBS positive.
My mother joined us around 10pm, I ran into my midwives at one point when I was getting checked and they had high hopes that things were progressing so that they could support me at birth (once I was diagnosed with the insulin-dependent gestational diabetes my care was transferred to an OB but the midwives could still support me during the birth) however at that time things weren't progressing.
Finally around midnight I consulted with the OB on call and not the resident. It was a hallelujah moment, the OB on call was my OB from Muffin's pregnancy, it was someone who I knew and she knew me and what I was capable of. I told her that I felt I wasn't progressing because I wasn't able to relax and get comfortable and I wanted to go home to labour (this was strongly discouraged before because to the concern of the GBS). She agreed to let me go home and rest with the promise as soon as anything changes or my waters break I was to come back immediately.
I breathed a sigh of relief and went home. I ate a quick bowl of soup and went to bed to rest. I didn't get to rest long because an hour later my water broke. This was a weird sensation for me because I have no gone into labour naturally, my previous 2 births were indication with my waters being broken at the hospital. I swear I was resting when it felt like there was a karate chop inside (more likely a kick) and my water broke.
I went into the bathroom and leaked a trail of blood and water there. I didn't realize at the time that blood in the fluid was bad. I had never had my waters break naturally and it made sense to me that there could be blood because well that's what supplies the embryo through the pregnancy. I take a quick shower to clean up, get dressed and get Rock to get some dark towels to take with us.
I'm trying to get dress, I keep falling to the ground in pain with the contractions and I keep vomiting. Rock is freaking out and wants me to hurry up and get to the hospital because he promised the OB we would get there right away and I just want to feel stable enough to travel. In the midst of this my father is called to watch to the 2 sleeping children and Rock, my mom and I head back to the hospital.
The contractions are kicking in pretty hard once my water breaks, at this point I am emotionally and physically exhausted from spending the whole day of the 24 at the hospital with MIL seeing specialists, who at the end of the day ended up getting admitted, and walking around at the hospital for 10 hours in early labour. It's the middle of the night so we have to enter through the E/R the admitting nurses saw the bloody waters and whisk me into a wheel chair and wheel me up to L&D. I insisted I could walk up on my own but apparently I was over ruled. When I got upstairs the freaking out continued even though I tried to tell everyone that it was ok. I got whisked into a room, examined, the OB came in to check and chat. There was concern about the amount of blood. I was put on monitors and at this point I asked for an epidural.
Rock was shocked because he knows how much I want to do it naturally but like I mentioned earlier I was mentally and physically exhausted at this point and I needed something to take the edge off. The funny thing is the epidural didn't work completely. I still felt the contractions but it did take the edge off. I just needed not to feel things as intense, sometimes things happen as they are suppose to. As I was labouring I asked the nurse when shift change was because I wanted to make sure I gave birth before then. The next OB coming on was my current OB but I wasn’t comfortable with him as I got transferred later in this pregnancy and didn’t develop a report with him. There were concerns throughout about the amount of blood and the fact that Tutu’s heartbeat slowed a few times. The OB didn’t let me know there were any concerns; she let me labour without panicking me unless it was going to become a problem. I trusted her and she trusted me to birth, as I needed.
About 2 hours later my body started to push on it’s own. The nurses started to yell at me not to push yet. I told them that this is what my body does as I transition, they checked me as they were checking my body did it again and they felt the cervix dilate more. They let my body do its thing and the Dr rushed it to deliver. The team was all dressed in scrubs for an emergency c-section but they needed to be in with me as well. Thankfully it was a quick push period with Tutu like with his sister. With Muffin I pushed her out with 5 minutes of pushing, Tutu took 8. He was healthy, safe in my arms. It turns out after I birth the placenta I had a partial placental abruption, which explained the blood loss. The Ob thanked me for being so quick and whisked off for the c-section. Rock said the birth was scary, that there was a lot of blood in the room and that it was bloodier then the first 10 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. All I cared was he was here and we were all safe.
By birth number 3, both my mom and Rock knew not to touch me or talked to be as I pushed that I just needed to do my own thing and I just needed their presence in the room. I was grateful to have them with me.
Little Tutu all blue after flying through the birth canal.
After I was transferred over to the maternity ward, I was blessed with the midwives coming to visit with me. I didn’t have that with Muffin’s birth. She talked with me about the birth and told me I was lucky he came 3 weeks early because the partial placental abruption could have been bad news for both of us. The talk freaked me out because I didn’t realize the danger we were in, I further got freaked out when we got home and I goggled it and realized that it was my actions that caused that by lifting my MIL the days and weeks prior.
The after care with the midwives was amazing and everyone woman should have that experience. It’s sad that midwifery care isn’t readily available for all women. It’s also sad that because of my insulin-dependant gestational diabetes I was considered high risk and not eligible for them to be my primary care givers during the birth and that they were not there. One of the nurses I was speaking with after didn’t understand why they don’t’ change those guidelines that we could give birth with the mid-wives if in the hospital because there is an OB on call if something goes wrong but there is nothing different about the births themselves.
Thankfully with Tutu we were able to go home the next day, his sugars were good unlike his sister’s, which had us stay a few days in the hospital. We went home and had follow visits with the midwives. Because of all the stress I was under my milk was having a hard time getting established, I ended up having a lot of midwife visits and having to take herbal supplements to get it to come in. We also ended up back in the hospital a few days later because Tutu had a very bad case of jaundice, and was required to stay 3 days under the lights and the blanket.
I am sad that Tutu is my last baby, but I am grateful he is in our lives. There was nothing easy during his pregnancy and birth but we were both safe and healthy in the end. I truly believe that Tutu came into our lives so that I would be home that year, so that when my MIL’s cancer was determined to be terminal I would be able to fulfill her wish and take care of her at home her final days. Had I been working that might not have been the case. Everything happens for a reason. My little miracle baby turns 2 today.