For Unto Us a Child is Born

Zoe Ruth was born on December 3rd at 12:33pm, and weighed in at a chunkalicious 9.1 lbs.

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After all my whining about being overdue, this post is overdue by about 7 days. Maybe there’s a pattern in my life/womb that I need to examine…

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Zoe’s birth story – Part 1.

** disclaimer for my brothers: don’t worry. I’m not going to get all graphic on you.**

When I hit 10 days past my due date, my obstetrician told me that he wanted to induce labour. Induction was something that I had been dreading since I hit my due date. While I wouldn’t describe myself as being rigidly “natural,” I was looking forward to a natural birth experience. We had hired a doula, and I assumed that I would follow in my mother’s footsteps, and have a straightforward labour experience. While induction doesn’t preclude this, it does increase the possibility of medical interventions, which I didn’t want. My doctor wasn’t comfortable with letting my pregnancy continue, though, and told me that I would have to sign a form waiving him of any liability if I chose to keep waiting for labour to start by itself. Todd and I weren’t prepared to ignore our doctor’s advice, and I was also starting to have serious doubts that Zoe would ever arrive on her own. So we checked into the hospital on Monday night to start the induction process.

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Getting ready to leave. When you’re overdue, you have time to add a ridiculous amount of extras to your hospital bag.

I was given a low dose of hormones overnight, in the hopes that, at the very least, they would prepare my body for labour, and hopefully even trigger regular contractions. I had several random contractions that night, but nothing that indicated real labour was on its way. The next morning, I was hooked up to several monitors so that the nurses could observe my contractions as well as Zoe’s heart rate. After an hour of this, my doctor decided to start me on a Pitocin drip. Most women respond to the drug quickly, and it tends to trigger intense, regular contractions. When our doula, Catherine, heard that we were about to start Pitocin, she got to the hospital as quickly as she could. I was nervous, but excited. Finally, I would get to experience REAL contractions! (any woman who has given birth is probably rolling her eyes right now) After two hours of pleasant chit-chat with Todd and Catherine, interspersed with mild contractions, I was starting to wonder when things would actually get going. So were the nurses. When asked, I told them that my pain level was at a 3 or a 4. They responded with “We want you to be at a 10, ka.” Much as I wanted to believe that I have an exceptionally high pain tolerance, it was clear that something wasn’t working. And then Zoe’s heart rate dropped dramatically three times in a row, and I had an oxygen tube strapped to my face. Before we really knew what was going on, my doctor had arrived, and was recommending an immediate c-section. We were in shock by this point, but agreed to go ahead with the procedure.

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Waiting for the Pitocin to kick in.

I don’t think surgery is ever pleasant, but trying to mentally prepare so suddenly for it was tough, especially when I was so scared for the safety of our baby. Fortunately, I had a great doctor standing by my head explaining each step of the procedure to me. I was given an epidural, and as it took effect, I lay there praying and telling myself to be strong. Before the surgeons began, Todd came in and held my hand. By this point, I was feeling so woozy that it was all I could do focus on one spot on the sheet hanging in front of my face. The surgeons pummelled my upper torso so hard that I thought my ribs would break, and through the numbness of the epidural, I could feel Zoe being squeezed down my torso. Before we knew it, we heard her first cries, and we both immediately started crying as well. That is my favourite memory of our birth experience – hearing our daughter for the first time. She was immediately taken to a table in a corner of the operating theatre to have her lungs vacuumed. I couldn’t see anything, but Todd described her to me as he watched the procedure. A nurse brought her to me, and pressed her against my cheek – I wasn’t able to move my arms. I was barely conscious at this point – the only thing I remember is thinking that she was beautiful. She was then taken to the nursery, and I told Todd to follow her. As soon as they were gone, I passed out.

More to come when I get some sleep.

12 thoughts on “For Unto Us a Child is Born

  1. Oh goodness. That is quite the birth story. I am so glad that it has turned out alright and your sweet baby daughter is here in the world with us. I think you probably made the right decisions. Well done on being a good team!

  2. Ruth and Todd,
    She is absolutely beautiful. What a blessing. I’m so happy for both of you. Congratulations and hurry home so we can all meet her!! So glad she’s finally arrived safe and sound.

    Lynn M.

  3. She’s a beautiful baby. Congrats to you and Todd. Sorry to hear the birth experience wasn’t what you had planned or envisioned but she’s here safe and sound. I had a Csection with Liam n Jake as well! I remember when Liam was extracted but have no memories of Jake coming out as there were some complications that arose. Welcome to parenthood…it’s a remarkable journey 🙂

  4. A wonderful blessing in time for Christmas. Congratulations to you both. I have been reading your blog for quite a while now and during the last month or so every time I click on your address I kept on hoping to read some baby news but boy she took her time! Our first was also a girl and also 10 days overdue before being induced. She ended up being 9 pound 6 oz! Once again – well done and now the fun and games and pure love begins!

    • Thanks so much for reading! And yes, she sure did take her time – in retrospect, I’m happy that she was born during the Advent season, but it felt like an eternity at the time. Wow, 9 lbs 6 oz is a big baby! I just wonder why these fully grown munchkins don’t get the message that it’s time to come out!

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