At my doctor’s appointment on the 26th, we decided to be induced the following morning. We arrived promptly at 7am and were ushered to the induction room where I was strapped up to monitors then given breakfast (score!).
At 9am we were told that the hospital had become a zoo of birthing mothers, and we were asked to go home and return at 1pm. ANTICLIMACTIC!
We took the opportunity to have a snooze and take the pooch for one last baby-less walk. (note the nasty cankles. It looks like I'm wearing an ankelet...but I'm not).
We returned at 1pm for the big induction! At 1:30, the gel was inserted, and I began experiencing random (and relatively minor) contractions with associated back/hip/leg pain. We took this opportunity to walk about, explore, and take some silly pictures. Clearly we had too much time on our hands…
Can you spot the bump?
There I am!
Lethbridge is a very windy city and it was all I could do to keep my gown from blowing off...
My Mom came to join us, and she was impressed by Lowell’s soothing powers (as taught in prenatal classes).
By 4:30pm, Carlynne traded places with my mom, the doctor came and broke my water, and things got intense fast. Contractions came every 1-3 minutes and lasted about a minute each time. UNFORTUNATELY, I got to be one of the UNlucky types that experienced back labour. It HURT…especially when I was confined to the bed attached to monitors.
Finally the monitors were unhooked and I was free to cope with the contractions standing. They hurt like stink, but I still managed to laugh it up with Lowell & Carlynne between contractions… and sometimes during. (Yep.... experiencing a contraction here...)
Carlynne is soooo sympathetic...
I also overheard Carlynne apologizing to the nursing staff for the CHRISTMAS MUSIC on my labour mix. What???!! Christmas music makes me happy (specifically of the Celine Dion and Amy Grant variety), and I wanted to be as happy as possible during labour!
Carlynne and the family were busy texting/updating each other, and our nephew Ty sent an encouraging little video...
At 7pm we FINALLY had access to the birthing room with a shower where we spent the next 4-5 hours (while Carlynne sat directly outside the bathroom reading her book and using Lowell’s iphone app to keep track of contractions every time Lowell hollered from the shower “CONTRACTION!”and “AALLLLLL DONE!” We're kind of losers that way).
The contractions were becoming almost unbearable, but Lowell and the shower were my saving grace. Lowell has since commented that he’s really glad he built tons of muscle doing P90X because he needed every ounce of strength as he contorted himself in the shower, pushing against the walls, massaging me, applying pressure where I needed it AND holding the shower head so I had a continual even distribution of hot water on my body. By 12:30am, I was still ripping off intense contractions every 2 minutes but wasn’t dilating more than 7cm, so the doctor decided to put me on the drip. With the knowledge that things were about to get even MORE intense and I was already exhausted and barely conscious during the brief breaks between contractions, I opted for the epidural. This is one of the barely conscious breaks JUST before the blessed epidural...
Going into this whole experience, I had really hoped to avoid an epidural… but I had also hoped to avoid induction, so things weren’t going according to plan A! Good thing we were open to plans B, C, D & E. I’m soooo happy I went for the epidural… for my sake as well as Lowell and Carlynne’s. It gave us all a break from the insanity so we could sleep for an hour and build up some stamina to help Fraser with his final descent down the birth canal!
Shortly after 3am the pushing began, and at 3:49am the doctor announced “IT’S A BOY!”
The emotions that tore through us at this announcement… shock, disbelief, elation, relief, and gratefulness. Lowell promptly grabbed my hand and sent a tearful little prayer of thanksgiving heavenward… WE GOT OUR SON!!
For the first five hours of his life, he was wide awake and stared directly in our eyes. So precious!
We thought that he was hanging out in my womb all that time getting fat, but he surprised us all by only being 7lbs 9oz. Turns out that he was spending his sweet time growing LONG. Long body, limbs, fingers, toes, and hair. (I’m predicting astronomical grocery bills in the future. This kid is going to be HUGE!) And it's a dang good thing he wasn't any bigger because I ended up with level 3 tearing as it was (ouch)!
I am SO HAPPY Carlynne could stay for Fraser’s birth (she changed her flight to the 29th). It was so special having Lowell and Carlynne cheering me on for 15 hours. It must’ve been nearly as exhausting for them as it was for me, and I was SO SO grateful for their support.
Little Fraser is perfect. Absolutely perfect.