This is very late, but now is when I have finally found the time to update.
This is extremely long, and I don’t expect anyone to get through it, but writing out the events of the day allows me some clarity and closure.
(let me know if they don't work)
Due Date: May 15
Arrival: May 21
Length: 21 inches
Weight: 8lb 15oz (after a poop so he would have been at least 9lbs)
Name: Maddex Levi Strength Chaloux (named at 5 days old)
Thursday May 20th I had lost my plug in the morning during my shower and I self checked my dilation and was at 2cm. I spent the day like any other but eagerly expecting labour that night. I was already 5 days late at this point and my sister in-law was visiting from the states so watch the birth so I was more than ready to go into labour.
5:30pm I was sitting in the car about to go my nephew’s school event when I had a strong pain and was kind of like "hmm?" I wonder what that was?! So for the next 3 hours at the event I walked around trying to ignore the mild contraction that were finally coming in rhythm (I don’t know timing I tried to never pay attention because they felt deceiving). By the time I got home I folded some laundry and as I walked to the washroom I felt some liquid and wondered if it was my water but it wasn’t much so I didn’t want to assume anything and I held of doing the test stick as to not waste it on discharge.
8:30pm I walked upstairs to my bedroom where in a gush with a contraction my water came out. Luckily I was wrapped in a towel around my waste anyway. I sat down on the towel to let the water continue to gush out with the contraction that had all of a sudden increased in timing and intensity. I laughed hysterically though with each one because I thought it was so funny that my water was gushing... or maybe I was just really excited. At this point it is my mom and husband who are home with me.
Contractions really picked up and were quite uncomfortable in my mind (I was a first timer so I had nothing to compare it to). I went to the tub to sit for a while because I was chilled and uncomfortable and I love the water. The rest of the labour team (my two sister in-laws and one sister) were already on their way to hang out for the evening and during labour. The midwives were called to be informed my water had broken and contractions were strong but still 3 plus minutes apart.
11pm or so the midwives arrived to check my dilation and vitals. I was still only 2cm which was the most annoying news ever since I had been 2 all day and felt like the contractions I had been enduring were a lot of work for nothing. They also discovered that the baby was posterior at this point... and that I better work my butt off getting it flipped. This is what had made my contractions so intense feeling even though I was still only in early labour. The midwives suggested everyone get some rest while we could before active labour. . They said to call when it got more “intense” and I asked “More intense?! How could it possibly get more intense?!” this is where I cursed and searched all the women’s faces for some answers and no one had the heart to tell me that it really does get more intense.
12:30am midwives went home and we all tried to rest. To my amazement I was actually able to rest between contractions...
1am-4am or so I had actually slept between contractions and moaned a lot during.
4am I had to finally get up and move around some more... eventually I picked the position of sitting cross legged beside my husband’s side of the bed where I puked and moaned while he slept soundly. My one sister in-law came down from bed to sit with me around 4:30 and convinced me to start working on the baby flipping. I started using the birthing ball to lean over on to encourage the flip. We would also take little walks around the house.
6am or so I ended up in the bedroom again on the birthing ball on my knees. This part was kind of a blur and I felt like I was actually sleeping between contractions. But the truth is that this is when contractions kicked it up a notch and I started pulling on my mom’s leg while leaning on the ball during contractions and they were a lot closer together... the tone of my moans apparently increased at this point as well. This is the time where we all expect that the baby had managed to flip and I entered active labour.
We did some more walking around and side stair steps (though I didn’t actually climb the stairs because just putting my leg up two steps was painful enough). I randomly decided I needed to go to the bathroom where I peed and had a few contractions.
7:30am (my best guess) – While on the toilet still, suddenly one contraction ended in a random thrust of the body muscles and with the next contraction that ended the same way I felt the baby push through my cervix stretching it. I kept looking at my sister in-laws to tell me that they knew what I was feeling – that my body had started to push. I started saying “I’m not ready!”. The rationale behind this was that I felt like my cervix wasn’t dilated enough which is likely true since I felt the baby stretch through it. I had probably been at 9 and the baby stretched it to the final 10. I also had not been in the birth tub at all yet and I had felt the pressure of the baby’s head on my perineum and I feared that without the water, my skin wouldn’t be softened enough to avoid tearing.
I had reached down and could feel the sac around the head really pushing against the opening. One sister had timed me since I had the intense contractions in the bathroom and they could tell that they had really picked up so the midwives were called where they then listened to me through a contraction on the phone and decided they definitely were on their way.
I begged them to let me in the tub (I wasn’t allowed to go in too soon because of water breakage and possible infection due to unknown GB status – not impressed) so I laboured standing beside the tub while everyone took the cold water out and added hot water to the tub.
8am I entered the tub where I breathed through the pushing contractions so that I wouldn’t tear. I massaged my perineum hoping to help guide the head and avoid tears as much as possible. I KNEW however, that there was nothing I could do; I was definitely going to tear UP because of the pressure that was already present, and just the positioning. With each contraction my body would push more and more and I desperately tried to control them and slow them down. I wanted to be welcoming of the event, but I had so much fear each time knowing that I was about to tear badly. With one contraction I felt a slight tear already.
8:05am midwives arrived. I continued with contractions and the bearing down. Head started to crown about half way down his face and randomly went back in which did not feel good. The head finally fully immerged and I had definitely felt the tearing and was in slight shock from it so the next few contractions weren’t even memorable. 4 contractions or so had gone by and finally at the end of the 5th the body just floated out painlessly.
8:13am I looked down and saw my baby underwater. It felt like a millisecond and the midwife was already telling me to reach down to grab the baby. I must have been stunned because I wasn’t exactly sure how I would grab him. Together the midwife and I pulled him up in to my arms. He cried almost instantly. He was blue and swollen and beautiful.
I repositioned myself so I was sitting leaning instead of squatting. I stayed here for about half an hour. The cord was cut by my husband after the cord stopped pulsing, and when the 30 minute mark was nearing the midwives warned me that I had to start working on getting the placenta out or I would get the oxytocin shot to help.
I climbed out of the tub and sat on a birthing stole where I actually had to ‘push’ for the first time to get the placenta out, which it did thankfully after a few attempts.
9:00 or so husband, son and I climbed into bed where we snuggled and cried and nursed for the first time. He latched amazingly and had a nice long snack of colostrum.
Eventually the midwives inspected my tearing and found that one large tear occurred on my upper right side of my labia minora near the clitoral hood. There were also minor tears on the bottom perineum and slightly on my left inner opening area. Because of the fragile, sensitive and delicate area of the tear, the midwives agreed that they would rather see me worked on by a skilled surgeon’s hand than their own. It was up to me in the end, but I agreed that the area was delicate and if they weren’t comfortable doing it then I should go somewhere skilled. Unfortunately that meant getting dressed and driving to the hospital right then.
This is where the rest of the story just really sucks and I’d rather not tell it, but this is the part about birth no one ever likes to tell but should be told more often. This is where my birth goes from beautiful and humbling to depressing and traumatizing.
I sat up to get dressed and I said “I feel faint”. Next thing I know I am being woken up from passing out (thankfully still on the bed) and they are giving me shots of oxytocin (to help my uterus clamp down which at this point was getting ‘boggy’), and they are getting an IV prepared, and they are massaging my uterus... At this point I have emotionally given up, because it is quite clear that the rest of the events are out of my control, and the birth experience is not guided by my strength but instead it takes all my power away.
They called an ambulance to transport me to the hospital instead of us driving so that I would be both more comfortable and also so I would be monitored. Although the passing out does not surprise me at all because it is something I am prone to, it made the midwives feel uneasy and felt better having me monitored in an ambulance.
So I was carried out from the bed on a stretcher, taken to the ambulance where I endured uterus massages the entire ride which made me scream and cry because it was seriously painful and my body was sooo sick of being touched and I didn’t want to experience any unnecessary contractions.
At the hospital they hooked me all up, gave me a new IV line, (the third that day since the first went through the vain), and then they started preparing for a catheter which I begged the midwife not to give me. Because of the area of the tears, the catheter was the last thing I wanted happening down there. I screamed and cried again... I made a young woman who was there to hold my hand cry as well because she felt so bad for me.
I tried so hard to breathe through all these pains like I had for the entire birth... I kept telling myself that if I could go though the birth then I can just stay strong for a little longer... but it was so hard. I felt like my body was being abused. My uterus was constantly being massaged until my surgeon was ready for me, and so the massaging lasted from 11am – 3-4pm. I sound like a baby, but the massaging was seriously painful and really truly hard for me to convince myself to get through them. I just kept my mouth shut and the midwife would just continue to apologise. It had to be done.
Finally my husband, baby, mother and mother in-law all arrived to wait with me for the surgery. I nursed him, and lay there silently.
Then finally I was being prepped for surgery in a different room and the anaesthesiologist was preparing the mask for me to be put under. I saw the surgeon preparing the local aesthetic (needle) and I quickly asked “I thought I was getting general, I thought I wouldn’t have to get local?” and the midwife just shook her head and shrugged because she also didn’t know why he was about to stick me with a needle. (I should note that the surgeon had come in to inspect me earlier and all agreed that I was too sensitive from the tears and birth to get local and to be properly cleaned and inspected, so general aesthetic was definitely the way to go). The anaesthesiologist had noticed this so he quickly put the mask on me and said here, that is what this is for breath quickly (he wanted to beat the surgeon to it so I wouldn’t have to endure more pain)... However, the surgeon was not as kind and sensitive to this and begun doing full sweeps both inside (his entire hand and cleaning swabs) and outside, with full pressure and force. He touched me very roughly in an extremely sensitive, raw and wounded area. I screamed and squirmed and then yelled “why?” because I was so desperately confused to why he couldn’t wait 5 more seconds for me to be asleep. Both the midwife and anaesthesiologist said “just breath really deep” so I would pass out quicker.
I woke up an hour later and was shortly later wheeled to my own room where my family met me. I was given morphine and had to wait there until 6pm or so before being allowed to leave. I refused to sleep because I felt like I had already missed out on being with my son too much.
We drove home and I had a snack and quickly settled in bed where we attempted nursing and sleeping.
End of birth story. Life continues.
How do I feel about it?
Still traumatized to this day from the entire post birth experience. I feel like my body was tortured and touched beyond my control after an already exhausting 15 hours of labour and birth. It weakened me when I could have felt liberated.
However, I am very proud and happy with how the actual home birth went. I had amazing labour support from my sisters and couldn’t be more thankful that they were there for it. I would have been a little lost and wouldn’t have worked so hard at forcing the baby to flip if they hadn’t of been there. I am very thankful for the water birthing tub. I wish I had been in it sooner but even for the 15 minutes I was in it, it brought amazing relief.
Now I have an amazing little baby boy who has been a blessing from the start by being easy and content and sleeping though the night which allowed me to focus on recovering and getting the sleep I needed.
Welcome baby Maddex Levi Strength Chaloux, what a strong manly name mama, welcome to the world baby boy!!!
Enjoy your babymoon, mama! Thank you for sharing all of this. I am glad you are slowly making peace with at all and so glad you are holding Maddex in your arms.
congrats mama! what a story!
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