Friday, December 26, 2008
Kyan's Birth Story
**as a disclaimer I am candid about bodily things in this post. For those who do not enjoy reading about clinical details of birth...proceed with caution.**
My pregnancy was good. I had a few hiccups: nausea, extreme fatigue early on, and near the end I could not get rid of a yeast infection. That was the hardest part for me, it was so uncomfortable and I cut sugar out in a effort to stop it; which was really hard. The risk to the baby was that he/she could pick-up thrush. An annoying mouth affliction that we could have passed back and forth. Luckily he did not get it. Now onto the birth story...
Christmas eve 2007, began like any other evening. I had cleaned and prepared most of the day for our annual xmas eve gift exchange/eating extravaganza. We had moved into our new townhouse the month before. I had finished working on the Friday the 21st and planned to have three weeks to clean, nest and prepare for our first baby's arrival. The baby was due on January 15th. I was nine months pregnant, so there was only so much that I could scrub and do but I bustled around and made it as nice as possible. The party began at 6pm and we had the usual chaos of food preparation, laughter, kids playing and jolly-merry making. I ate as much of the lovely food as I could fit into my tiny stomach, and even indulged in a piece of chocolate cake despite my sugar restriction. Unknown to me, Heidi told Matt that she thought I would give birth early. Something about my overall look and vibe. I can remember being very impatient, tired and uncomfortable. I did have some false contractions (or I thought they were), but I had no idea that anything was happening. The week before at my midwives appointment they had had a hard time finding the baby's head. They thought it was low, so Janice (who ended up delivering Ky) did an internal exam to make sure the head was down. It was, and she actually touched his head and he moved. I was 1 cm dilated. I was excited to hear that, but you can be 1 cm dilated for weeks so I did not assume that I would be early.
Everyone left our place around 11pm. Dave and I cleaned up and went to bed around midnight. I noticed as I was getting ready that I was having mild contractions, I remember saying to Dave that I understood why some women throw-up during labour because of how the contractions pulse through the abdomen and the stomach is squeezed right in there. I tried to sleep, but 15 minutes later I had had two steady contractions and they were strong enough that I knew I could not sleep through them. Both of us were in denial and were sure it was false labour. Dave started a bath for me and lit a candle. I willingly rested in the bath and breathed through the contractions. Dave decided to write down the time intervals. I kept remembering our birthing class and how the teacher had said that it wasn't real labour until contractions were 60 seconds long. Here I am sitting in the bath and some are 60 seconds, some are 20, some are 45, I have no clue if this is the real thing. I had no concept of time but around 2:30am Dave told me that they were steady and I got out of the bath. We were debating whether to call Heidi, who was going to be with us for the labour and birth, and then I noticed bloody show(the mucus plug coming out). This was when I realized that it was happening for real. We called Heidi shortly after. It took several tries to get through to her. Luckily her partner is a lighter sleeper than her. She arrived around 3am and after one last head shake Heidi assured us that I was in labour and we should call the midwife.
We had planned to have a home birth. A rule in British Columbia is that you must be 37 weeks or more to have a home birth. Midnight (aka Christmas Day) was exactly 37 weeks to the hour. Janice went to the clinic to get my files and then headed over. I did talk to her on the phone, I know that Midwives use this time to assess if the labour is in fact active. I talked to her between contractions and then passed the phone to Dave because I was unbelievably nauseous during the contractions. I held this blue plastic bin in front of me while riding the waves. It seemed unfair to have to ride two at once. Heidi would always take the bin away from me in between contractions and I would beg for it back as soon as one would hit. Finally I stood up for a contraction and I vomited. What a relief that was. I have never felt such relief from puking. Now it was only one wave to deal with.
Janice checked my dilation after she had set up all of her supplies. In my mind the number 8 was repeating itself over and over. She smiled and told us that I was 8 centimeters. I'm not sure what I would have done if I wasn't at 8 cm, I may have thought that I couldn't keep going. But that number was what I needed to hear. The whole time I laboured I was in a small area at the end of our bed in our bedroom and to the connecting bathroom. Probably a span of 10 feet, back and forth. I spent most of my time on the floor, knelling, rocking and moaning. My hips ached as Ky moved down the birth canal. My water broke when I was on the toilet. It felt like a pop, but I could not feel much water coming out. Somehow Janice was able to see that the water was nice and clear. How? I have no idea. Things got very intense after that. I expected to go to "Labour land" as our birthing teacher had called it. During contractions I did, but in between I stayed very alert. Pushing was hard. I did not want to be on my back, but I ended up propped up on Dave. I was so tired by then that I didn't care where I was, or how I was. I just wanted to get the baby out. I pushed for an hour and a half. My vulva was not very quick at stretching. I muttered about giving up several times. In between contractions I would pass out with the fatigue. They tried to use a mirror to encourage me, apparently it helps some women be more motivated in pushing, but I involuntarily closed my eyes when I was pushing. The sensation was so overwhelming, it took over my body and I had no control. I think I touched his head during the time he crowned. Once his head was out it only took one small push and there he was. Janice put him on my belly. I remember feeling Dave shake with sobs as I pushed Ky out. I always thought I would cry, but I think the shock and exhaustion made that impulse delayed. Ky was on my stomach while we waited for the placenta. I could not pull him up because the umbilical cord was short. Heidi said "it's a boy" first. Which was fitting because I said "it's a boy" when her son Sage was born. I stroked him, and remember thinking that he looked like his Daddy. He was born at 7:17 am and 7 lbs, pretty good for 3 weeks early. He grunted a bit after birth. But otherwise he was so perfect and healthy. We only had one boy name picked out. Kyan(pronounced like Ryan), which is a Celtic name and means: ancient. After my placenta was delivered and Janice had sewn up my tear, she encouraged me to go to the washroom. She passed Ky to Dave to hold and seeing the two of them together welled me up. Heidi helped me get cleaned up, and then I had some tea, and just marveled in the fact that it was over and I had done it. Dave and I were so lucky to have such a great team with us, and a healthy baby. The total labour time was 7 hours 17 minutes for me. I was really happy with that. It seems the number 7 is going to feature in Ky's life, or maybe it is our number together. I don't know much about numerology.
Yesterday was Ky's birthday party. We had a wonderful day with family and friends. It was small and simple and Ky was so relaxed he took a nap before cake time. I wish you a happy second year of life my son, your first has been the greatest of my life and I am so lucky to be your mom. Happy Birthday Kyan. And I will wish myself a happy birthing day, time flies... and I'm trying to make the most of it.