My Non-Scary Non-Gory Labour and Birth Story – Part II

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You Can read My Non-Scary Non-Gory Labour and Birth Story – Part I here.

At The Hos­pi­tal, The First Assessment

There was no traf­fic on the way to the hospital—the city was still asleep. I didn’t want to be alone so I went with Feng in the park­ing lot and we walked from there to the obstet­ric unit, instead of him drop­ping me off, park­ing the car and meet­ing me there. The walk was slow and painful but I was grate­ful we were together.

The nurse on duty was the same one I had called ear­lier. She was very wel­com­ing and reg­is­tered me, then put me in the exam room. At this stage, I still wasn’t sure whether I was in labour.

A quick exam later—blood pres­sure, baby’s heart­beat, every­thing was fine—and the nurse asked me to take off my clothes and went to get the doctor.

Unfor­tu­nately, he was busy some­where. I waited in the exam room, cold, tired and in pain. The nurse kept on apol­o­giz­ing and even­tu­ally decided to assess me herself.

Yep, you are four-centimeter dilated and your waters are burst­ing,” she announced. “You are hav­ing that baby today! I’ll get you a room.”

I was the first one shocked. Seri­ously, already four cen­time­ters? And seri­ously hav­ing the baby today?

The Birth

Feng and I were brought to one of the nicest hos­pi­tal room I have ever seen. It was huge and bright (bonus for the sun­rise view!), with a big bath­room attached, com­plete with a Jacuzzi and tub. It didn’t feel medical—I love it. Again, I felt grate­ful for the Cana­dian health care sys­tem and pub­lic hos­pi­tals! We had access to a small kitchen and lots of food. I helped myself to half a chicken sand­wich, fig­ur­ing I’d need the energy.

I needed antibi­otics because I had tested pos­i­tive to the GBS test. More nurses were called because appar­ently my veins were too small for the catheter and IV. Mean­while, I wasn’t being too helpful—I was tired and the con­trac­tions were strong.

Feng went to get the bags from the car and some break­fast was brought. I found very funny that it included maple syrup—only in Canada! Yes, in between con­trac­tions I was tak­ing pic­tures. Go figure.

I was going to hop in the hot tub after my IV went through—40 min­utes, I had been told—but I never had the chance. The con­trac­tions got stronger and stronger. I was cold and tired—but trust me, you can’t really sleep between contractions!

The nurse and the med stu­dents I had allowed to stay were try­ing to make con­ver­sa­tion and I was try­ing to sound nor­mal. Mean­while, the ob-gyn on duty and his team of interns came by, as well as a sub­sti­tute nurse when mine went on her break. “I’ll be your doc­tor if you have that baby before 4:15,” the ob-gyn announced. I glance at the clock. 9 a.m. It felt unreal.

Even­tu­ally, the pain got bad, so bad that I was scream­ing on top of my lungs on the bed, under lay­ers of blan­kets. It felt like my insides were melt­ing and push­ing out—not a pleas­ant thought or feel­ing. “Don’t push” advised the nurse. “That’s the baby’s head you are feel­ing in your back, it’s okay.”

She had me change posi­tion on the bed: on the side, on all four, on my back… I just obeyed.

The nurse kept on check­ing on me. “You are five cen­time­ters dilated… six… You will have this baby in the after­noon,” she said.

I couldn’t think straight. Could I stand that much pain for a few more hours? But get­ting an anaes­the­sia team for the epidural, and then wait­ing for it to work, seemed too much hassle.

Come on Juli­ette, take the drugs,” Feng begged me at one point.

You are eight cen­time­ters dilated,” announced the nurse. When I heard that, I thought I could do it with­out painkillers. I told myself it was the hard­est stage and that it would be fine.

More pain and more scream­ing. Like, scream­ing. No swear­ing though.

Get the doc­tor, the baby is com­ing!” singsong the expe­ri­enced nurse.

I felt  a warm rush of liquid—my water break­ing, finally. “My waters broke,” I said, almost incred­u­lous. “That’s right, and the baby’s head is com­ing!” added the nurse.

The team came, and encour­aged me. “Push!”

I had energy but push­ing seemed counterproductive—I was scared to do so because it was painful. It was a strange feel­ing: I knew I had to push but couldn’t help hold­ing in.

But I still pushed—and screamed. And at 11:04 a.m., much much ear­lier than I had expected, baby Mark came out. They showed it to me and I heard it was a boy while see­ing it for myself.

I heard the team encour­ag­ing Feng to cut the cord—he did—the baby was cleaned up very quickly and handed to me. I was cry­ing and laughing—easy, the pain had stopped! “We made that!” I said to Feng. “We made that kid!”

I had a second-degree tear and was stitched up by two med students—again, no pain—while the baby was weighted and taken care of under Feng’s watch. Mark was 6.1 pounds and 45-centimeter tall—no a big baby, like all the doc­tors had said, but healthy and doing fine.

The pla­centa came out and I asked to see it. Yeah, I don’t find that kind of things gross and I was curi­ous. Fas­ci­nat­ing thing actu­ally. The baby’s umbil­i­cal cord was very short, the doc­tor explained, unusu­ally so. Weird. “You aren’t going to bury it under a tree?” the nurse joked. “Nope,” I con­firmed, “no tree in the backyard.”

Last Pic Preg­nant? Arriv­ing in the room, in pain

Our Med­ical Chart

Room 8, Where Mark Was Born

Maple Syrup at Break­fast, Only in Canada!

Hav­ing Break­fast While in Labour

With Baby Mark

I Didn’t Look Too Bad 40 Min. After Giv­ing Birth!

The Birth Timeline

Room 8, Where Mark Was Born

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

31 Comments

  1. Every­thing went very well, con­grats!! When I arrived at the hos­pi­tal I was dilated at 7–8 cm, I have never beeen hap­pier to heard that num­bers! But still it hurst! :)

    • Same for me! I remem­ber read­ing all your preg­nancy posts archives when I was preg­nant this sum­mer, they helped a lot No epidural either, right? I had such a great expe­ri­ence, I feel very lucky.

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