Saturday, May 12, 2012

labour of love: part II

Yesterday I wrote all about my labour story with Joelle, my first born. Today it's all about Malia - the girl who completed our family!

On Friday, September 30th 2005 - 4 days past my due date - it all started. We had just sold our house in The City 2 hours prior to the contractions starting. I think my body was waiting until the stress of house-selling was over before bringing a newborn baby into the mix! I also had been playing a bit of light volleyball in the backyard with Les right after we got the news about the house sale going through - so that might have played a part in getting things kick-started too.  :)

It was around 7:00pm when my contractions started and they were 7-10 minutes apart. By 9:00pm we had my parents come over to pick up Joelle to bring her to their house. It wasn't like we needed to head to the hospital yet at this point, but if this was in fact the real thing and not false labour (something I thankfully never had to deal with!) we rather wanted Joelle settled for the night instead of having to deal with anything in the middle of the night.

After she was picked up, I remember sitting on the couch to watch TV and pigging out on one of my favorite snacks - Bits and Bites. I wanted to make sure to not go into this being hungry since they don't let you eat anything during labour. And with my first labour being just over 20 hours...well, I wanted to be prepared!

By 11:00pm things were getting more painful and by midnight the contractions were consistently 7 minutes apart and increasing in painfulness. I decided I was ready for the epidural at this point so we headed off to the hospital. The contractions very quickly went to 5 minutes apart and by the time I was admitted into triage (at 1:00am) they were 2-3 minutes apart and I was 4cm dilated. Things were obviously moving quicker than what they did for Joelle's labour!

By 2:00am I was in my labour & delivery room and FINALLY by 2:45am I got my epidural, when I was 6cm dilated. It was just in time too, because I was ready to to lose total control from the excruciating pain. However, they didn't give me the same kind of epidural as the one I had my first time around. With the first one, it was an all-out epidural. I needed a catheter because I would be completely numb and wouldn't be able to get out of bed for anything. This time, however, they didn't insert a catheter so I was confused. But in so much pain that I didn't say anything about it.

After 10 minutes or so from getting the epidural, I asked the anesthetist, "So when is this going to start working?" because I was not getting the relief that I got from my first labour. He looked at me and said "Whatever effect it's going to have will have kicked in by now." Great. I'm assuming I got a "walking epidural" and not the full-out one. It took the very slightest edge off, but it hardly felt like there was any change. This was not the same experience as my other labour by any means! Oh my goodness, I tell you, I can still remember the searing pain. I wanted the REAL epidural and was so upset that that's not what I was given.

I remember getting mad at Les at one point. He was trying to make jokes to get me to laugh. Not making jokes about  me or anything - he was actually making fun of the nurses when they weren't in the room. He was timing his jokes for my contractions in the hopes that it would take my mind off things. I know he had great intentions, but I was in no mood for laughing. I finally squeezed his hand really hard and said "Please...SHUT! UP!" Not very kind of me, I know - but a woman in a painful labour sometimes says things she shouldn't.  :)

Anyway, by 4:20am I was fully dilated and once again they had to break my water. They wanted me to hold off on pushing though until my doctor got there. Uh, how exactly do you expect a woman who is fully dilated and can feel her baby's head *right there* to keep from pushing? SERIOUSLY?! Finally by 5:05am (that's FORTY-FIVE minutes of trying to not push!) they let me start. I'm telling ya, during my first pregnancy I switched from my GP to another doctor in the same office who did deliveries. I thought it was important that the doctor who saw me throughout my pregnancy would be the same doctor who would be with me in the room when I delivered my babies. But when it all comes down to it, I didn't give a rip who was in the room with me. It could've just been those two nurses or heck, even a brand spankin' new doctor who had never done this before. I. Didn't. Care. I just wanted this baby out of me at this point.

A few minutes after I started pushing my doctor finally showed up (I don't remember why she had been so hard to get ahold of but I was pretty ticked at her that it was because of HER that they made me wait so long) and after only about 15 minutes of pushing (and only minimal tearing - no episiotomy this time, YAY!), at 5:22am on Saturday, October 1st 2005 my sweet Malia Jade was born! She was 8lbs 11oz and measured 21" long. My second beautiful daughter!

I had always dreamed of having 2 girls but I wasn't actually expecting that dream to come true. I was already shocked with Joelle that I had my girl - but I was fully prepared (and even excited) to have a boy the second time around. So when the doctor said those three words to me yet again - "It's a girl!" - I could hardly believe what I was hearing. They placed the dark-haired beauty on my chest and along with my feelings of shock that I had another girl came feelings of complete joy that I was no longer pregnant! I kept saying over and over again, "I'm not pregnant anymore! I'm not pregnant anymore!" Malia's pregnancy had been more difficult towards the end than Joelle's and I was just so happy that I wasn't going to go through another pregnancy.

I did have some post-pardum hemmorhaging again but it wasn't as bad. They were prepared for it, but it only took my doctor and ONE nurse to get things under control and it was over much quicker. And I was much calmer about it too.

I love noting the similarities and differences of my two labours.
1. Joelle's was 20.5 hours and Malia's was only 10.5 hours
2. But Joelle's was much easier due to the epidural; Malia's was harder and much more painful
3. Both labours started on a Friday evening
4. They were both born on the following Saturday
5. They were born in the same city, but in different hospitals
6. Joelle was a baldy and Malia had a full head of dark hair

 And those are my labour stories! I love looking back and re-living the experiences. They were the most difficult experiences of my life but of course also the most rewarding.


pam said...

Another beautiful story. :) Isn't it amazing how differently it can happen?
Happy mother's day to you!!

Rose said...

Thanks for sharing your labour stories. I really should write mine down in great detail before I start forgetting stuff. Both mine went completely "non-textbook" and I bet it would be therapeutic to process...

Jackie said...

Thanks for sharing Andrea! I don't know if I could write down the story with Olivia's birth...just still so traumatic and emotional on how horrible it was! I still get teary and upset about it all. Sophie's birth was such a better experience.