Alright – here we go! (I’m going to scatter pics throughout this post to break up some of the writing, and because I have so many pics I want to share -Many of which aren’t uploading for some reason, so while there’s a ton here, there’s a bunch missing – sadly!!)
After my water broke on it’s own…the midwives started to prepare for pushing – they said the transition in the sounds I was making meant that baby was coming! It was a crazy thing too, like quite involuntary… I just stopped feeling contractions and more felt the urge to push. I remember the midwives saying that the pushing phase tends to be easier than transition because with pushing although yes, you feel that ‘ring of fire’ with stretching and burning and sometimes tearing… but you can also feel the baby coming! Like you actually feel things happening. Where in the rest of labour you just feel contractions, you can’t feel baby moving.
So while there was definitely still an element of pain during pushing for me (absolutely!) it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Something so magical about knowing the harder I pushed and the more I fought through, the sooner sweet babe was coming. It was a workout like no other. And if you’ve been following me a while, you know I am no stranger to intense workouts! haha I couldn’t believe the exhaustion I was feeling but the anticipation to meet baby was so great it helped. We got to the point where they could see the head! I remember them telling me ‘okay Andrea, there’s this much of the head out’ and she showed me with her fingers maybe an inch. I yelled back ‘THAT’S IT!?!?!?!,…. are you effing kidding’!!!!? haha I thought it had to be almost all out by that point. We progressed on, and they told me ‘okay, once the head comes out, we’re going to change your breathing. You’re going to slow it down and do shorter breaths to push the shoulders and the body out. Once the head was out, I put my head back to rest for a second in prep to push the body out, and little Raeleigh didn’t want to wait… it seemed she just slid right out! haha the midwife delivering her seemed a little surprised, and I KNOW Michelle, Greg and I were all shocked she came out that fast with no additional pushing for the body.
Before I really even knew what was happening, they plunked her right on my chest and I swear that was the most amazing moment I have ever experienced in my life. Michelle managed to get a video of this moment and I will be forever grateful she did! (I couldn’t upload it here for some reason, but I did post it on my instagram and facebook)
The next several minutes seemed like a bit of a blur. I remember the midwives checking her heart, and breathing, and checking a bunch of things on me – all was well. Raeleigh came out at 6lbs 3.5oz, which is considered on the small side – so it was recommended we stay at the hospital for 36 hours so they could do a foot prick test on her every 4-6 hours. This was to test her blood sugar levels to be sure all was okay (she passed with flying colours and we left after 24 hours)
Anyway, Raeleigh laid on my chest for a little while and then started bobbing her little head. It was time to try feeding! While I was doing that (which seemed to go quite well) I was also being assessed. The midwife told me it was time to birth the placenta, which I didn’t even realize was a thing until a couple weeks ago – and that felt like nothing compared to what came out minutes before then! haha Following that, I got stitched up. Only a couple very minimal tears – lucky me! (hey, I told you the full story was being posted….)
They also do this thing where they press on your uterus every 15 minutes or something like that for the first little bit after delivery. It was highly unpleasant. Things seemed okay, and then I was told there was too much bleeding and I needed a shot of oxytocin to slow the bleeding. They hit me with that in the leg, and checked me fairly often over the next little bit… but apparently it didn’t slow things down enough. In the midst of all this, I got up to use the washroom and was sure I was going to pass out. I was SO hot, super dizzy, and greeeen. Poor Greg was having a tough time with this – he said I looked reaaaalllyyyyy green and he was sure I wasn’t going to make it back to the bed. At this point, my mom was in the room too and didn’t like the looks of me either.
The midwives started discussing options. There was a drug they talked about (the name is escaping me right now) but it makes you feel terrible – nauseous, shaky and gives you diarrhea – PERFECT! I really didn’t want that, but of course, I was losing a lot of blood at this point so I was willing to do whatever they suggested. They settled on giving me more oxytocin, this time in the form of an IV, as well as some extra fluids. Luckily, this worked. The bleeding slowed over time and I started to feel WAY better. But holy hell, taking a hit like that has stuck with me all week! The blood loss with a normal delivery is fairly significant, nevermind when things go a little sideways. I was so appreciative my midwives acted quickly and did their best to keep things as natural as possible for me to keep me from feeling awful. Side note: all the fluids they pumped in me as well as the pushing (I’m guessing) caused my face to swell up like a BALLOON! My brother took some super cute pics the night she was born and I couldn’t believe the size of my face compared to only 12 hours later the next day! So crazy!!! (exhibit A below)
We had lots of visitors that first night! Of course my sister was already there – my mom came in as soon as she was able (and we later found out she was listening to 90% of the delivery with her head on the door haha). My dad and brother in law Brian came in, and Brian went to get us food which tasted like the BEST THING EVER btw. (it was an A&W Beyond Meat burger, so it pretty much WAS the best thing ever!) My mum and pa in law came in shortly after that and delivered some essentials we forgot (robe, slippers and sleeping bag for Greg!). And at the end of the night, my brother and his fiancee came in from Toronto. This little gal is so spoiled already!!!
I can not say enough about the hospital staff that was with us that night. We had a nurse named Tessa who was absolutely wonderful. She eased any concerns and answered questions we had about baby, and she was so helpful. The next day, we had Megan who was also fabulous. These girls deal with newborns all day every day, and it amazes me how effecient they are at doing things! Changing babies, feeding them, bathing them… so impressive!
To anyone on the fence about having a midwife or an OB. It is a NO BRAINER in my books. Honestly, I cannot say ENOUGH about our team. They were absolutely incredible. We lucked out and had an extra because one of our gals was taking over a mat leave so she was learning the ropes at the hospital we were at. They were so amazing throughout the entire day. They honoured my birth plan knowing I would ultimately do whatever was best for baby at the end of the day. I planned a natural delivery, and that’s exactly what we had. Even though at the very end, I probably would have accepted any drugs they offered me, they didn’t offer, haha and I appreciate that very much. They made me feel so empowered throughout the whole labour, were SO supportive and were so great once Rae was born and we had a million and twelve questions like I’m sure most new parents do. Not to mention they now come to visit me and baby Rae for the next few weeks to follow up on us and any questions/concerns we may have. You don’t get any of that with an OB. I feel so passionately about this and I would LOVE to answer any questions any mamas-to-be might have about the whole process with midwives. Incase anyone local is reading this, we were with Renaissance Midwives in Niagara Falls (they do cover surrounding areas though too, I am pretty sure) – You can check them out here! We were part of Team D, so we had Magen and Jen that were there from start to finish for Rae’s birth!
It was such a blessing having my sister be a part of Raeleigh’s birth. I know they’ll always have a special relationship anyway, but the fact that she was there from beginning to end to watch her come into this world is such an amazing thing. My sister has such a wonderful energy about her and was an amazing support person to myself and to Greg during labour. I love you and I am so grateful you wanted to be a part of it.
Lastly, oh my goodness, my amazing hubby – where do I even start. You were an absolute ROCK during our baby girls birth. I know it was hard for you seeing me in that much pain for that long, and not being able to fix it. You held your shit together so well and you kept telling me how strong I was and that I could do it. It really does take your relationship to a whole new level, doesn’t it? Seeing your wifes butt hanging out while she waddles to the washroom wondering if she has to pee or poop or just sit there for a while waiting for baby haha (yep, that’s what happens!) and watching allllll kinds of fluids come out with baby I’m sure wasn’t the most attractive thing, so I’m sorry about that. But I am so glad we shared that and watching your face as they put her on my chest was perhaps my favourite part of the whole thing. Truly amazing. I love you so much, and I can’t wait to see you grow as a daddy! Watching you this last week with her has melted my heart more than I could have ever imagined. It’s truly incredible.
If you’re still reading… WOW, thank you 🙂 haha Apparently I had a lot to share. I know there are things I’m missing and they’ll come to me later. But for now, this is what I’ve got! This was the most amazing experience of my life thus far, and while I can’t speak for Greg, I am sure it’s right up there in his books, too! I shared my whole pregnancy journey, so I’ll definitely be sharing post-partum too. As well as life with Baby Raeleigh Laine. Stay tuned!
Oh – before I got… Of course, my Aunt took newborn photos for us already… THEY’RE SO GORGEOUS!! Like, have trouble believing she’s our little babe, gorgeous! Because I’m having trouble uploading photos right now (Likely due to the horrific wifi here), I am going to hold off on posting those. But oh my goodness, they’re fab! … Okay fine here’s 1… because It uploaded quickly and it’s one of my FAVES!!!!
So much love from our little family to yours! XOXO