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.

33 Comments

  1. It looks comfy in there! You look absolutely beautiful and happy on the photo with Mark.
    It’s so moving to see this little boy, the living proof of your love for each other.
    Congratulations again, and your little Mark is the cutest ever 🙂

    • It was a really cool room, it didn’t have that cold hospital feeling. Lucky us! The Civic Hospital was a great place to give birth, I’d recommend it (*wink wink*).

  2. Congrats! Wow you look amazing for just giving birth. I know that each birth is different for sure. Mine was 3 days long and very painful but like you, not much in the way of drugs.

    Was wondering how long do you think you were pushing? My report said at least 2hrs. I’m sure your little guy will be so much fun. Enjoy the tininess of him! He’s so adorable. I love his lips..

  3. It hurts so much just reading it. It’s a truly vivid story you’re telling us, and I’m grateful to read it, even if I’m close to have a panick attack. Giving birth, as for pregnancy, not sure it’s for me!
    Most women say that as soon as the baby is born, everything about the pain of the pregnancy and the birth is gone, that you almost forget it. Would you be ready to experience it another time?
    The last thing I wanted to say is that you’re one hell of a writer, and secondly, oh my god you look so great.

    • Seriously, the pain was gone very quickly and I don’t particularly have a high tolerance for pain either. I would do labour and delivery again, not sure about the nine months of pregnancy… that was the toughest part for me, or sure.

      Thank you for the double praise, as a writer and a woman! 🙂

  4. Yo Zhu…I remembered my water burst during my second pregnancy and reading your posts reminded me of my labour pain before the C-section 🙂

    Love the burst of energy there pal and wishing you all the best 😀

  5. Yep. I expected you to take photos between contractions ^_^ And, yes, you look pretty good at the 40 mins after giving birth point.

    Lol @ Maple syrup 😉

    • Thank you… and yeah, give me a camera and I have to take pics, regardless of the situation! Feng did an awesome job taking all the pics though, I’m glad he did. These are precious to me.

  6. You look great and Mark Floyd is a beautiful boy. He is on track to be the most photographed baby in the world. Keep them coming. Congratulations to the three of you. Your lives are changed forever. Uncle Bill

  7. Wow! Congratulations! You really look beautiful as does little Mark!

    I know I’ve been MIA lately and busy with school but wanted to check in with you to see how you’re doing. I’m so glad it went well!

  8. 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.

  9. I’m nearly crying now! You look so cute in the pics in the park and not “traumatized” at all after giving birth lol and that first picture is so touching. Thanks for sharing your experience!
    And I love the title of your blog posts haha Glad you had a happy (albeit painful) experience 🙂

    • Totally not traumatized! I was so sick and tired or hearing about terrible labour and delivery I just wanted to share that sometime, it’s really not that bad. Yeah, okay, some pain. Then it’s OVER and no, you aren’t scarred for life. I didn’t even get stretch marks (but I got… a Mark :lol:)

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