Sunday, June 23, 2024

Raeleigh Laine’s Birth Story (Part 1)

I have to start with a few more pics my amazing Aunt took right before baby came! There’s a lotta skin here, so be warned! But she did such a beautiful job I had to share a couple.

Gosh, I am having a hard time even typing these first few words because I can’t believe she’s here! It seems so crazy… 10+ months of being pregnant and feeling her (not knowing she was a her) moving around in there for so long… and now she’s here. We can touch her, cuddle with her and watch her sweet facial expressions. It’s pretty crazy! Also, just a disclaimer — there are no bloody or gross pics in this post, but I am pretty open about talking about details – so be warned! hahaย 

So lets see. It was last Friday I posted the 40+ weeks update, sharing my thoughts and how I had been feeling. It was a few hours later I went into labour… go figure! Friday night, Greg was in Buffalo with his business parter, and the brewer for Counterpart (his brewery, opening in a couple months!) He got home around 11pm, and we sat up and chatted for a little bit. It was funny because we still hadn’t nailed down a boy name that we both really liked… so we talked about that and decided on one we felt pretty good about, had I popped out a boy. We also reviewed some of the hypnobirthing techniques we learned, just to be sure we were on the same page! Funny we felt inclined to do that on this specific night, but we did, and it’s a good thing!

So Friday we went to bed fairly late, around 1am, and I woke up around 3 (like I usually do to pee) but this time it was contractions that woke me. I had experienced some earlier in the week, so I figured it was nothing and went back to bed. Around 4:15 I woke up again because they were getting closer together and more intense. I wandered around the living room for awhile because I remember the midwife saying if you get up and move, and they’re false labour contractions ie: braxton hicks, they’ll go away. They did not. So I woke Greg up. In true Greg fashion he sprung to action! haha OK what do we do? Do we call the midwife? Should you get in the bath? Didn’t they say that was good to do? What about going for a walk? When exactly do we page them ? haha Also we had to call my sister who lives in Mississauga (about an hour away from us) because it was part of the birth plan for her to be there! 

We timed the contractions for a half hour or so and decided it was best to page. The midwife was amazing (more on this later) and asked us a bunch of questions and told me to get into the bath for a half hour to see if contractions slowed. She said call her back after my bath and update her. We did just that, and after more questions, she decided it was best to come and do a home assessment. So our 2 midwives showed up about 40 minutes later and checked things out. They said things were progressing nicely, but that I was about 3ish CMs dilated, and the hospital won’t admit me until I am at least 4. It was such a cool experience being at home for the first little bit… I literally had Pedro at my side through the beginning of labour. It was so special ๐Ÿ™‚ (ya I’m a crazy dog mom!)

Drinking my shake between contractions because God knows I didn’t want to be hungry during labour!!!

So we stayed at home for another couple hours, until I was at 4cm’s and it was go time! 

Michelle, Greg and I made our way to the hospital and the midwives were just ahead of us. They set up the room with all the things we could possibly want! It had a bathtub, birthing ball, birthing stool, private bathroom etc. It was wonderful. While they told me that labour was progressing nicely, it honestly seemed to me like time was standing still! haha 

I bounced all over that room! I was in the tub for a while, I was on the toilet for a while (yep, apparently that position worked well for moving baby down effectively for me!), I was on the birthing ball, and I was on hands and knees on the bed. It’s funny the things I thought about before I actually experienced labour, the things I thought about throughout that whole day, and the things I think about now looking back on it. For example, I was concerned about being covered up… I didn’t want all my parts exposed … boy did that change quickly! haha as contractions got more intense and harder to manage, I really couldn’t care less if my butt and boobs were out for all to see! After all, it was just Greg, my sister and the midwives in the room anyway… but I’ve never been a walk around naked kinda girl. I remember lots of my friends that have had kids saying that labour makes you realllllyyyyy not care about those things – and they were right. All dignity seems to just go out the window haha, but it is such a beautiful and magical experience. 

At about 4ish hours of active labour, I remember Michelle leaving to go and get food with my mom. I felt so defeated. I was so exhausted at this point, and I was thinking/hoping we were getting close to pushing time. But when Mich left, I thought, there is no way we’re that close. While she was gone, I muttered my first ‘I can’t do this’. One of my midwives was pumped to hear this! haha She said it’s super common and most women will say this in their ‘transition’ phase, which means pushing is right around the corner. But she didn’t share this with me at the time. She just said ‘but you are doing it, and you’re going to continue doing it because baby is coming out, we have no choice’! They were so encouraging and honestly so positive. I kept looking to them for a hint, or a suggestion how much longer it might be. But they have to be so careful what they say, right?  I could be fully dilated, but it still be hours and hours because of an unforeseen problem! 

ANYWAY, as it turns out, I was close!! Thank goodness. There was a point, while Michelle was gone, right before it was time to push, that I looked at Greg and I was scared. He said I had ’empty eyes’ and it broke his heart because there was nothing he could do to make it better. I was SO exhausted and I just honestly didn’t know if I had the energy to keep going – especially because I had no clue how many more minutes or hours it would be til we met our sweet babe. Honestly, the hypnobirthing course that we took really helped me to focus on my breath, my mindset, and remembering I CAN do this… it’s just hard!!! haha There were some great techniques we learned like keeping my noises deep and low (this keeps the body more relaxed allowing baby to move down, VS tensing up like I would if I was yelling in a higher pitch).

Finally… after about 5 hours of active labour, my breathing and my sounds started to change. I couldn’t control it, it just automatically changed to more of a low ‘moan’ vs breathwork. The only thing was, I was about 9.5cm dilated, but my water hadn’t broken yet, so the midwives were discussing options with us saying if it doesn’t break soon they may have to manually break it. This means baby comes quicker, but because it’s not letting things happen on their own and is a form of ‘augmentation’, the contractions would be quicker and more intense. I didn’t really want them to break my water, but of course if it was better for baby then that’s what we’d do. Just as I was shifting positions, my water broke – like a shot from a gun. It was honestly like a movie. One of our midwifes ended up wearing it…. All over her face + hair. OMG the poor thing. She took it like an absolute CHAMP I must say… haha but holy smokes. I will never forget that (nor will she I’m sure! haha)

…. to be continued tomorrow…. just to keep post length manageable! LOTS OF PICS in tomorrow’s post too!ย 

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