How she got here...

Following are the details of Ruby's birth. I've tried to "water it down" as much as possible but there are still some gory details - so you've been warned.

~~~

We left our house at 7:30am on Thursday to head to the hospital for our 9am NST. The hospital is downtown Vancouver and we're out in the burbs so at that time of the day we wanted to leave early enough so that we'd get there on time no matter what traffic was like. Also, I wanted a muffin and a chai tea latte.

Got to the hospital and parked - parking attendant asked how long we'd be parked in the lot for and I told him that it shouldn't be longer than 2 hours. Pfft!

Went to the maternity ward and was hooked up on the NST by 9am. Had fantastic service and an NST nurse that knew her stuff. (Thank god.)

So after being hooked up to the NST for 45 minutes with constant monitoring and some worried looks by the NST nurse, she told us that there were some unusual accelerations and decelerations in the baby's heart rate. She said that she needed me to go for an ultrasound immediately. Previously, I couldn't get in for an ultrasound at the hospital for this day because they were booked until January - which is why I had been scheduled for an ultrasound the following day at a clinic. The NST nurse said that it couldn't wait until the next day.

Of course Steve had a big panic on his face while we were waiting for the ultrasound but I reassured him that it was nothing, and baby is fine and that I probably shouldn't have had the chai latte before I went in for the test. I seriously thought that the bit of caffeine and spices might have made things appear odd on the NST.

We had the u/s which was totally casual. We were told that the baby was about 8lbs6oz and still sitting really high up - against my bladder. After that we were told to bring the results back up to NST.

The NST nurse ripped open the sealed envelope and said, "JUST AS I THOUGHT! Your amniotic fluid is low. You stay right here, I'll get the OB and she'll give you a consult as to what needs to happen next."

Ha - obviously I've spent too much time with midwives as I thought "consult" meant they would tell me what's going on and then give me some options. Not so much. The OB came in, looked at the test results and said, "You're not going home. Your fluid is too low. We're going to need to do a mock induction on you to see if the baby can handle labour. If she can handle it, we are going to induce you, if not you'll need an emergency c-section."

And that was that. The end of my life as I knew it.

So Steve went home, grabbed the hospital bags, took Quincy to the babysitter, locked up the house and by the time he got back, I was admitted into my *room, showered, gowned and ready to start the "Oxytocin Challenge" (IV drip that induces labour and contractions while they monitor the fetal heart rate to see if baby can handle labour.)

One of my midwives was there by then and she told me that there was a very slim chance that I would be able to deliver the baby normally. She said that the baby's apparent size and high location were not good indicators for me. She said I could skip all this testing and labour all together and go for the c-section if I wanted. I declined and said that I at least wanted to try.

We passed the Oxytocin Challenge with flying colors so I was given a Cervadil suppository to soften and dilate my cervix. They said that they would put in a new Cervadil every 12 hours until something happened.

The first Cervadil did nothing. I slept through Thursday night fairly easily. The next day they put in a new Cervadil at about 11am after checking my cervix to see minimal progress. I spent Friday bored out of my skull and getting irritated and anxious. Nothing was happening. My other midwife popped in and we had a good heart to heart about the c-section option which I was starting to think about since there seemed to be such minimal progress. We made a game plan that if my next Cervadil still showed no progress within the next 12 hours, I would opt for a c-section on Saturday.

However at about 4:45pm I started to get crampy. Then the cramps got kind of rhythmic. I ate some dinner around 7pm and was told that they would give me a shot of morphine around 9pm to help me sleep through the night. The pain got stronger and stronger, but I opted to wait for the morphine until 11pm when they were putting in my next Cervadil so that it would last me longer through the night.

When the Cervadil was inserted at around 11:20pm, I was fairly uncomfortable and looking forward to the morphine. At that point, I was about 1 1/2 cm dilated. I got my morphine shot and was told to stay sitting for the next hour to try to help the baby come down into my pelvis. The sitting up lasted about 10 minutes - when I had to lay down on my side because I was in full labour and feeling an intense amount of pain. The contractions were pretty much right on top of each other.

My nurse came and got me out of bed to get me to pee at around 1am and my water broke.

The midwife was called and arrived shortly after.

I laboured for a couple of hours with the aid of gas for **pain relief.

At about 4am I said that I needed to barf. The nurse said that this was the 4cm barf. Apparently most people barf when they get to 4cm dilated. This made me feel happy that I must finally be making progress!

At that point the midwife did a cervix check... and Steve tells me that he will never forget the look on her face. Her jaw dropped and she exclaimed that I was fully dilated! She jumped up from my bed and ran for the door, saying that she had to go get an OB for a second opinion. She almost made it out the door when I said, "I NEED TO PUSH!!"

So she came running back in the room, and I started pushing immediately.

Steve's face was about 2 feet from Ruby's "entry way" the whole time. He was in complete and utter awe of the whole experience. I pushed for 28 minutes - 9 pushes. And then at 3:48am, Ruby came out. They gave her right too me and I held her to my chest and said "Hello Ruby!" Steve was overcome with emotion and needed a moment in the corner. Then he got to ***cut the cord.

Ruby weighed 7lbs12oz - not exactly the big bruiser we were told to expect.

I held her for a few minutes until they took her and cleaned her up and handed her to Steve while I tried to deliver the placenta. I was always told that this was the easy part. Not so much. It wouldn't come out and I started to bleed. Every time I pushed, blood gushed out. Steve said it was like a waterfall off the end of the bed. They had to induce labour again (oh god no!) via an Oxytocin shot in my thigh, and I pushed and pushed but for over 30 minutes but only ****blood would come out.

Just as the OB was called in to intervene, it finally came out (to my great relief). The OB saw me and the baby and initially thought he was in the wrong room. He had just been in a few hours earlier to insert my Cervadil and to check my cervix which had showed minimal dilation. He couldn't believe that we already had a baby.

The midwife tells me that if I ever have any more babies, I should go to the hospital immediately upon feeling labour as this all happened so quickly. She said my body is made for having babies - how ironic considering the difficulties of Ruby's conception.

Also - so much for all that c-section talk. I'm very glad I persevered and did it on my own with as little medical intervention as I could get away with considering the induction.

Steve said it was the most amazing experience he's ever had. Me too.



*The night Steve and I got married, our hotel room number was 414. Two days later we landed in Mexico for our honeymoon and our room number there also happened to be 414. Oddly enough, my hospital room was... 14

**The next day I felt like someone had punched me in face. My jaw was so sore from bearing down on the gas mouthpiece.

***Steve says it made him feel bad to cut the cord. He said it was holding her and I together and he didn't want to "disconnect" Ruby from me.

****I was told later that I lost a lot of blood and it was on the very high end of being "normal". They told me it was very close to being a hemorrhage. This explains why I've been so weak and shakey - sometimes nearly fainting, over the past week.