Well, shit, it’s taken me a while to do a new post. My lil guy is keepin’ me busy! Recently I was asked – actually, I’ve been asked several times since I gave birth to tell my birth story. Figured why don’t I share on my blog!
How was labour you ask? Well, how I went into labour in a nut shell right here and, shit, just for you, I’ve done it as a song for you!
Picture me singing this paragraph in the same tune of 12 days of Christmas and starting from 5 Gold Rings – which I always actually though was golden wings HA!
” On the 39th week my true love sent to me, Some scaaarry symptommmsssssss!
2 days of constant headaches,
Spiked high blood pressure and,
my placenta was expiring!”
Clever right since Christmas is just around the corner – 14 days to be exact! Do you love or hate Christmas? Well, I love it. Okay, side tracked there.
In all seriousness though, let me tell you Ryo’s birthday story. My beautiful baby boy, Ryo, was born on Friday, October 5, 2018, 9:29 PM, at the General Rockyview Hospital in, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
The Wednesday prior to that Friday, I had a terrible headache. I’ve never had a migraine before so I wasn’t sure if that is was what I was experiencing so, I just dealt with it. Thursday I had some blurred vision along with the headaches – which freaked me out as these symptoms are of pre eclampsia but, I continued to just wait it out. The headaches were so bad by that Friday, early morning 4 AM, I was being waken up by it.
So I called my midwife at 8 AM explaining my symptoms and she said she would come over to check my blood pressure at around noon. Despite my midwife being calm, I was pretty anxious – especially because I, of course, consulted with DR. GOOGLE – I read in detail about Pre-eclampsia.( Even if I tell you not to do this you will regardless because I sure fuckin’ did) I didn’t want to wait for 4 more hours so I told my midwife I will just go to the nearest Shoppers Drug Mart and use their blood pressure machine – she agreed and asked me to call her as soon as I knew and, again, she didn’t seem too concerned which kept me calm. Somewhat.
I drove to the drugstore, a beautiful Friday morning and, I was enjoying the nice warm sun beaming through my windshield. I arrived and put my car in park, opened the door, stumbled out with my huge belly, hitting the steering wheel and, tripping out of my car like a clumsy fool that I am – no one saw, phew.
I walked into the store and b-lined it to the machine, speed walking right pass the nice, beautiful lady at the Beauty counter (who always seems to be there everytime I go that Shoppers Drug Mart to greet me with a “Hello”). Anyhoo, I got to the machine, rolled my sleeve up so my arm was bare, then shoved it into the machine (you know the circle thing). Pressed the button and waited patiently for the cuff to blow up and squeeze my arm. As the pressure cuff slowly blew up and got tighter and tighter I was shaking my leg like a Nervous Nelly, then the results came out, it was high, really high!
So keep in mind – pre pregnancy I always had normal blood pressure, which is 120/80, however during my pregnancy my blood pressure was low, so low that I even took an early leave because I was constantly lightheaded and sometimes near fainted.
OK so Back to how high my blood pressure was – it read at 140/100 – HIGH!! I was like okay, maybe the machine is wrong so, I took it again. Same thing, High. This time the reading was 138/104. I’ve been told that the second number, called diastolic blood pressure if its high, its concerning. I’m like shit I gotta call Nancy (my midwife). I immediately called her and told her my results. She advised me to go home grab my hospital bag and meet her at the hospital – again she was super calm and didn’t sound concerned, nothing like “OMG WE NEED TO YOU CHECK OUT ASAP“, so yeah, I was like okay, I’m sure its nothing and we’re just going to make sure and confirm its nothing. Right? Sure.
My heart raced as I called Ken right away and told him Im going to pick him up and I explained everything that had just happened and that we’re going to the hospital!
Truly, I was nervous and excited to meet our little baby but, I really didn’t believe I was going to give birth that day and, neither did Ken.
So, I picked up Ken, chatted him up, (because I am the Chatty Cathy in this relationship) he just listened and didn’t say much (he’s a man of very few words – I mean, I guess one of us has to shut up so I can do all the talking…haha ).
We got to the hospital checked in and we were placed into one of the rooms in triage. My midwife hooked me up right away with all these wires that monitors my baby’s heart rate and other stuff that I’m honestly not sure what its called but it monitored my activity/contractions because, apparently, I was having contractions, “HUH I was having contractions?” – YA! thats what I said!
A blood and urine sample were taken then we waited for the results – took forever – like everything does at a hospital. While we were waiting my midwife explained that if my liver, kidneys or urine results came back with anything abnormal she would have the OB thats on call review my results. So of course my kidney results came back with some abnormal readings so she went to talk to the OB.
Ken and I are waiting, i’m all hooked up with wires, i’m on the bed and i’m so uncomfortable. The baby has officially taken up all the room in my body thats left. While Ken’s pacing back and fourth, the door opens and the OB walks in – Let me tell you, when the OB walked in I thought he was a porter who mistakingly entered our room to move a bed or something cause he was this young asian guy with a messy head of hair, goatee(am I spelling that right) and was tatted up like an asian triad member.
“Hey guys!” The OB says super enthusiastic, smiling at us with his surfer guy like vibe, ” So, after looking at your results, it seems like your placenta is expiring. I’d like to check your cervix, okay?!” 〜 my placenta is expiring ? I questioned inside my head, okay?
“Okay sure, Do whatever you need to do” I respond. Im on the bed already so he kindly asks me to spread my legs placing them down in a frog leg position and relax – oh you know, just like the many times I have been asked in my life, pre Ken- kidding (or am I? You’ll never know). I cringed knowing he was going to insert something inside of me. There’s a time and a place to when I enjoy having anything inserted in my vagina and this was not that time. He then puts the lovely purple glove on. “SNAP”- the glove is on.
“OWWW oooooo mmmmmmmhmmmmmm uh hahaha oh dear!!!!!” I laugh uncomfortably- anddddddd his fingers are inside my vagina – yep – that fuckin hurt – I definitely wasn’t ready!
The doctor feels around. His face had this shocked but, he looked happy. Hethen he looks at me and says “Wow your cervix is very favourable right now and your 3CM dilated. Hmmm, well you’re 39 weeks and 2 days right?”
I replied “Yes”,
“Okay, lets induce you today”.
He stood up with his goofy smile and bobbing head, removed his glove, throwing it into the garbage then left, leaving us with a big smile with saying” Lets have a baby today!”. He looks at Ken for that confirmation, Ken shakes his head – okay lets do this excitingly and the doctor leaves the room.
As soon as the OB left Kens face lit up. I’ve never seen such a happy man. It was like a little boy just received his most favourite toy. I guess, in away, Ken was getting his most favourite little buddy!
Moving forward, after waiting for a couple hours they transferred Ken and I to the labour and delivery room. We arrive in this beautiful bright room, with big windows and this really pretty wall that had a cherry blossom tree painted on it. Not an intimidating room like I expected. It was warm and welcoming, considering we were in a hospital. So I lay on the bed and the same OB comes back in and explains he’s going to check my cervix again. He checks it,(not uncomfortable this time – by this point i’m so used to having my vagina out for viewing) he then tells me ” Im going to break your water okay”. So I anxiously prepare myself, because look, I have no idea what that feels like – and i’m thinking theres going to be pressure or what not. As our lovely OB is down there playing around, all of a sudden I feel warm water at my feet. Then the OB says ” Woah! Woah! Get suction!” the two nurses rush to grab the suction. Apparently this doesn’t happen often but I had a shit load of water when they broke my water. I could see at the end they had two canisters of liquid that was suctioned up. They removed me from the bed so they could clean it up.
So afterwards I am, again, linked up to a machine with a bunch of wires monitoring all that they need to monitor. We actually had troubles monitoring Ryo’s heart rate so they had to insert this wire up my lady part and literally hooked this coil onto the top of of his head ( you could see the two scabs after he was out on his scalp as they had to do it twice). Once we got the heart rate monitored they had to give me oxytocin, also known as pitocin. Its a medication they give you to cause contractions to start labor. I was advised that it may increase the speed of labor ( oh boy did it ever). It’s also used at the end once you have given birth, if you chose to have it, to stop bleeding. They start with giving you a low dosage then they continue to up the dose every so often. This drug is known to give you contractions fast and the contractions can also become very aggressive. Which in my case, yes.
At first I said to myself “Im going to try and do this with out a epidural”. I started to walk around the hall ways (which by the way is awkward with the wire inside my vagina monitoring the heart rate of baby and, worried I would accidentally pull it out all while walking around with your IV pole ).
I get back to the room and the contractions start to hit me. At first they’re mild like period cramps. Whenever they came I became really silent and would bend over the bed grieving in pain. However, I was still down to go through with out an epidural. This lasted maybe an hour. I was okay until the most excruciating contraction came and I couldn’t breathe. I had to lay down. I physically couldn’t hold my body up. I was holding kens hand, squeezing so hard. Just like you see the women in the movies squeezing their husbands hands so so so hard. The nurses were amazing they were doing everything and anything to help. At one point I was on my side and they had a exercise ball that was the shape of a peanut in between my legs – nope did nothing except irritate me that I had some large object in between my legs while I was in pain. In between contractions I noticed how hard this was, I was sweating, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, then I started groaning in pain. I told myself I would never be that woman who screams while giving birth. Then the nurse offered me laughing gas – immediately I took it and I hated it. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The nurses kept telling me to take long deep breaths. I couldn’t even do that, I was breathing heavily and small short breaths, then, finally, I looked up at the nurse feeling defeated and I said, “Epidural please!”.
20 minutes have passed and finally the anesthesiologist arrives, announcing his arrival – Ya, okay great, now give me the damn drugs okay -. At this point i’m still in pain and I was shaking so badly I wasn’t even sure I could hold still for the needle but I did. I didnt see what the needle looked like and I wasn’t planning on looking at the needle – knowing its long and, well long. Need I say more. The anesthesiologist rubbed my back locating where he was going to inject. He placed a sticker on my back that has a clear window on it (a guide? I’m assuming) and did his thang. There was some pressure but with the pain from the contractions it was nothing in comparison. It was kind of a blurr. I dont remember much around this point as I was so focused on the pain.
It took about 30 minutes for the drug to work. 30 min felt like 1 hour. Now, after that it was smooth sailing. Once I was no longer in pain this new OB came in, it was a young woman this time, she checked my cervix and at this point I was 5CM dilated. My girlfriend Kristina arrived as well. Everything was calm and nothign exciting was going on at this point so her and Ken decide to get some coffee. They leave. In the 10-15 minutes that they were gone my cervix was checked again, and I had went from 5CM to 10CM. So I had to start pushing!
I noticed after a few pushes I the one nurse wiped something down there (my ass I thought) and I looked at her and said laughing “UM, did I just shit ?”
She’s quickly said “Oh no your fine Hun!”
”No. Really, you can tell me Hahahaha”
“Yes you did, but that’s okay!”
So yes, guys it happens, I pooped! BUT don’t worry not everyone shits LOL.
Ken and Kristina came back, and there I am with my legs up on the stirrups pushing. Ken was like ” WOAH Your pushing?!?! What did I miss!” – haha
I actually felt like from this point on it was fun. We had a RnB playlist playing off of Spotify, which everyone enjoyed very much. The songs all reminded us of our clubbing days when we were young adults drinking our faces off til the early mornin’. We laughed and chatted In between contractinos. I was having, and I say this honestly, fun. The conversations with Kristina, Ken, the nurses and my midwife Nancy was good it made me feel really comfortable.
Now the fun is over, The nurses notice babys heart rate is dipping so they call the OB in. OB calmly explains we need baby out fast and gave me the options of vacuum assistance, forceps or a cesarean. I did not want a cesarean so that was a no, (on my way into labour and delivery, in the hallway I saw the forceps – they looked like huge ass metal shoe horns) that also was a no for me. The OB explained to me there’s a 85% chance the baby will come out with the vacuum. 100% chance with the forceps but there will be tearing and obviously 100% chance with a cesarean. (Even tho I work insurgey – I’m completely afraid of having surgery myself ) so that was a no.
I went back and fourth thinking “ugh should I just do the shoe horns in case the vacuum doesn’t work I’ve wasjted time?” I was scared so I quickly decided vacuum.
So the medical staff prepared for a vacuum deliver. It was quick- they have everyone literally ready to go for any situation. The vacuum, by the way, looked like a toilet plunger haha. So that was inserted into my vagina and around the crown of Ryo’s head, as soon as my contraction came she advised me to push. So I pushed. I was pushing hard before but this time I pushed like I have never pushed in my life. I wanted to make sure I made the right decision.
I forgot to mention I had my legs up and Kristina was holding one leg back and Ken was holding the other and I leaning up and into my pushes as if I was doing an aggressive sit up (ab crunch) with my legs spread, vagina open to everyone and my legs up in the air. We tried multiple positions ( on my side, on my knees, using a bar to pull myself up rather than hold my legs) but this was the best with Ken and Kristina’s holding my legs.
“PUSHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! they all cheer me on”. I took a breather and then the last contraction came and I pushed and pushed and then she shouts ” HEADS OUT! She’s crowning”.
“Okay, one more good push Liza, the shoulder need to come out” – Im like OKAY I got this, I can do it, and I pushed like i’ve never pushed in my life and I could feel Ryo’s head come out. It felt like a burning feeling- I’ve heard people say this is the ring of fire. It wasn’t super painful – I’m sure it’s because I had an epidural. It really wasn’t bad.
Yes, I tore – 2nd degree tearing I was told. I did not feel tearing happening so I’m glad for that. After the the fact ? That’s another story. I had also torn labialy(think of lips but just down there) on my right and has to have stitches there as well.
I let out a big sigh and with that sigh tears came to my eyes. Happy tears, tears of joy my baby is here!
Everything happened so quickly. As soon as Ryo came out they placed him on my chest for that skin to skin moment. I thought he would be super white and bloody however, he was pretty clean considering – he was pretty glossy haha. I didnt even know what sex he was. I was just so excited I didnt care! After they had ken cut the umbilical cord. They took him away to clean him up. There is this bed they have ready and warm for the baby where they clean him up, measure him and weight him. Ryo was 6lbs 6oz, 50cm long.
The obstetrician firmly advised me to not move my legs as she was going to stitch me up.
“CAN I GET A Four Oh vicryl?!” – The OB asked the nurse. I knew exactly what that meant. Stitching up my vagina. I didn’t feel any pain but I was anticipating the pain as I could feel her pulling the suture through each stitch. Over all, it wasn’t Painful-just weird. SIDE NOTE: my midwife told me that she sutured me tightly “wink wink” Extra stitch for hubby ? Haha! Actually , no, it meant it might actually hurt the next time I have sex because, its too tight. I bet any man reading this may say to himself ” never too tight”. How about no.
My midwife then plopped Ryo onto my chest and he looked up at me…
(i’ll also add, my midwife shoved his mouth onto my nipple and Ryo, like a champ, started sucking, getting his first meal – Thats my boy!)
All in all, I had an amazing experience. The nurses and doctors were amazing and, the support from my good girlfriend Kristina and my loving husband Ken made it all fun- yes fun.
I will say this : breastfeeding is much harder than giving birth. That’s in my situation. Breastfeeding is also another story I’ll get into for ya.
I know that was super long but, thats my story! If you have any questions about my labour feel free to leave a comment and i’ll reply !
– Mama Out