One Little Bean

A voyage to birth and beyond...
Lilypie 2nd Birthday Ticker

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Our Little Bean is born

Liliana, our Little Bean, was born at 4:02 a.m. on August 2nd, after 26 hours of labour (not fun). She weighed in at 3.66 kg (8 lbs 1 oz. ) and is 52 cm long. She is alert, healthy and adorable (of course).

Labour started at 2 a.m. on August 1st. I found that my contractions were hitting me worse in my lower back than anywhere else, and of course, any sleep or rest seemed impossible. But, Tomek (who was an absolute ROCK at my side the entire time) and I did manage to catch a bit of shut-eye, in the bathtub.

My contractions stayed steady (coming every 8-10 minutes) and painful till 10:30 pm the same day. Then they kicked it up a notch. I laboured at home until this point, keeping in touch with our midwife on the phone. She came and checked on me at 10:30, and found that I was a lot further along than she thought—I was 7.5-8cm dialated. So it was off to the hospital downtown. I had three contractions on the drive, but fortunately it was late enough at night that traffic was light. I cannot imagine what I what I would have done if we had had to drive in rush hour. Probably hollered a lot more.

Signing into the hospital was not pleasant—everyone was so damn bored. You’d expect maybe a kind smile or something, but I got nothing. Not even a wheelchair. There were two long corridors to walk down to get to the maternity ward, and that had to be the longest walk of my life. I was worried that LB might start coming before I could get settled into a room and be in a position to safely give birth. Little did I know, I still had a long way to go.

The maternity warn nurses were all wonderful—my midwife, however, seemed to have some lapses of competence. The first being after she inserted my IV for an antibiotic I needed to get into LB before birth, the tube caught on her pants and when she got up, she pulled it out of my arm. She let the nurse put in the next one. Getting an IV put in between contractions was a trick. But it got done and I just had to take it one minute, one contraction at a time.

I had no idea that I could deal with as much pain and utter exhaustion as I did that evening/morning. There were times when I could feel myself just wanting to float away, wanting anything given to me, anything done to get it all over with. I felt no excitement about meeting LB—all I wanted was sleep.

A few hours after the IV was given to me, I had a reaction to it. I thought I would, since I rarely take any kind of antibiotic. Fortunately, the extent of the reaction was fluorescent green puke, which I successfully got all over Tomek’s foot. He never even left my side long enough to eat, pee or change his sock. He’s told me it was heart-wrenching watching me go through what I did—and right now I can’t even begin to express just how absolutely steady, loving and unwavering he was by my side. I mean, I was caught up in the throes of labour, not exactly alert to who was around me or what was being said or going on, other than when my mid-section felt like it was being gripped by the mother of all vices and all the breath was being forcibly yanked out of me. He had to endure standing there hour after hour, watching me suffer in a way I’d never suffered before, in a way he’d certainly never seen me suffer. He was there through it all, trying to get me to drink water, keeping my hair off my face, cooling me when I got hot, covering me when I got cold, keeping an arm around my shoulders or behind my back, telling me how great I was doing, letting me knead him, bang my head against him, clutch him as much as I needed. I really don't believe I could have had LB as healthily as I ended up doing without him being there.

In the final (finally) hours of labour, my progress really slowed down. My body was just totally done. I had no strength to hold onto a squatting bar, or to even squat. My midwife had me try being on my hands and knees to relieve the excruciating pressure on my lower back, but nothing was helping. And at this point, my water had yet to break. So the midwife broke it for me, hoping it would speed things along, and relieve some of the pressure in my back. I thought “speed things along” meant I had less than an hour to go.

Wrong. The contractions just kept on coming, and it didn’t feel like LB was getting any closer to being born. I asked for something, anything, for the pain at that point, and they offered me the laughing gas. The nurse took care to explain to me that I was the only one who could hold the gas, and what I needed to do was take one or two deep inhalations of it right before my contractions, because the gas would kick in fast, and fade fast. I didn’t have any mental or physical capacity left in me to even try to follow those directions. I took one random small gulp of the gas and that was it.

So, through it all, no pain killers for me. Looking back, I’m definitely impressed with myself, but I honestly am not ready to even think about going through it again—Tomek and I have had trouble even talking about those 26 hours before she was born.

The position I ended up in was that of an accordian—on my back, with one foot up on the midwife’s shoulder on one side of the bed, the other foot propped on a nurse on the other side of the bed, and Tomek’s arm around my back, curling me forward with every push I gave. I found out later that they had hooked me up with an IV of just sugars and water to give me the final boost of energy I needed to get through. So I felt very thankful that I had that IV in me from the beginning.

In the final hour, the midwife kept saying she could see LB’s head, and there was hair on her head, and after every contraction she’d stick the heartbeat monitor on me to check LB’s heartbeat. Hearing the heartbeat had always been my favourite part about the midwife check-ups, but towards the end of labour I was SO sick of feeling the cold goo on my belly that I could have screamed.

So, the accordian position went on and the midwife got worried because my uterus wasn’t working as well as it should have, and I was having to do way too much pushing. Tomek asked her about forceps or a suction and she mentioned the risks… which included tearing. A lot. I don’t know if she was trying to scare me out of it or what, but either way, I just kept going without saying yes or no to either of them.

LB’s head finally crowned around 3:30, and half an hour later, she came out without me tearing at all. Turned out she had her hand up beside her head, and the cord around her neck, so that was holding her up a bit from coming out (in addition to my lame uterus). But when she did come out, it was the most bizarre thing to watch my belly deflate like a balloon. She didn’t cry at first, but they did put her right up on my chest, so we were chest to chest. Her eyes were wide open and her head was just winging around, this way and that, taking it all in. She cried soon after and cleared her lungs out nicely. Then she was just murmuring and grunting and checking everything out.

Funny thing—once they put her up on my chest, I got the most enormous surge of energy. I felt no fatigue, I was wide awake, coherent, and nearly felt well-rested.

Tomek, LB and I came home at 2:30 the same day, 10 hours after she was born. We are all doing well, and so far he and I have been able to do a pretty good job of following the mantra “sleep when the baby sleeps”. I still feel like a deflated balloon, and all my innards feel like they are slowly working their way south back to where they belong.

But we did it. Me, Liliana and Tomek. And we’re quite the family already. But poopie stories will have to wait for another time.

And now, here she is, our Little Bean:

She's got her eye on her daddy already:Getting a kiss from daddy:Here she is in my lap soon after birth--she came out so clean!
What's life without a Little Bean burrito?

At home, sleeping:

posted by Krista at 11:59 AM


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