I love birth stories. I love to hear other women’s stories, and I love telling and re-telling my own. Usually, I’ve written out the birth story in the first week, but we are over 3 weeks now (ahem… he’s over a month now…), and I’m just now sitting down, hoping I haven’t already forgotten any little detail.
I’m glad I wrote out my other birth stories. It’s amazing how quickly the mind glazes over things, or lumps details all together. I’d be visiting with a friend and we’d be talking about birth and I’d be wracking my brain trying to remember if a certain situation had happened during which birth. I like that I have a written record.
My pregnancy with Silas was my first ever “normal” pregnancy. I only went to emergency once in the early months, as I had some light bleeding (on Rory’s birthday, of course). That was my only emergency ultrasound and obviously, everything turned out fine. I very nearly made it the whole pregnancy without being admitted into the hospital. Seriously, I was so, so close. But I ended up with the flu, which led to dehydration, which led to contractions, which led to me spending a night in the hospital hooked up to an IV. That was the week before I had Silas. See? SO CLOSE.
My pregnancy, though free of the scares of the previous pregnancies, was still not my favourite. I love babies. I could have twelve babies if I could just make them magically appear instead of actually having to grow the little humans. My hips love to loosen off very early in pregnancy. That’s quite irritating as one, I don’t need them to loosen off until closer to delivery, and two, I ended up with a c-section so they didn’t need to do anything, actually. I had hip and back pain for the majority of my pregnancy. I did try the chiropractor multiple times and even massage therapy, but as that only helped for a few days, I didn’t like spending the money for only a short time of relief. So I just continued in my misery, waddled, and generally moved about like a 90 year old woman.
I did not have any gall bladder attacks like I did with the first two pregnancies, as my gall bladder has gone the way of the dodo bird. That did not stop me from having heartburn however, and I lived off of tums, zantac, and milk. So yes, I was miserable, tired, and in pain, but it was all “normal” stuff, so even though I was an emotional basket-case that was either crying or yelling most of the time, I was also thankful I wasn’t going in to emergency every couple weeks or being whisked somewhere in an ambulance or having dozens of ultrasounds.
Previously, I had only made it to 37 weeks. Let me tell you… when your babies usually come early, those last weeks are torture. I have a weird shaped uterus which only gives my babies about half the room (or womb, if you will, HAHA, I slay myself). So discomfort happens fast. This little one, like his brother before him, decided to get stuck upside down, so I had a head nestled nicely in my ribs and wonderful kicks to my bladder. My body started practicing for labour a few weeks before – which is totally normal – I just wish I could send my body a memo saying, “Thanks but no thanks, body, we don’t need to practice contractions as we are having a c-section due to this directionally challenged baby. Have a nice day and knock it off.” Alas, this was not the case.
The morning of January 23rd, my friend Lyndsey and I were commiserating in our misery (she being pregnant as well) and bemoaning the horridness of Braxton Hicks and false labour – which I had been experiencing since the night before.
My whining changed slightly when my “this isn’t labour” turned into “Um, this might be labour”. However, my confidence was shot, as I had thought I was in labour the week before when I’d had the flu, so I rather meandered about getting ready. Packing the boys’ things, calling the clinic, packing up my last minute things, until Sheldon finally intervened with a “WOULD YOU HURRY UP.” Lyndsey graciously took me to the clinic to get checked to confirm I was actually in labour as I didn’t want Sheldon to have to leave calving if my body was just being silly and practicing again. However, as I started needing to breathe and focus during contractions that were coming every 5 minutes, I figured that was probably a precaution I hadn’t needed to take.
Sure enough, a quick check at the doctor confirmed I was dilating. It was around 3:30 then, and the doctor told me to head over to the hospital to get prepped as “cut time” was 4:15. Yes. Cut time. Such a lovely way of putting it.
Lyndsey took me to the hospital and stayed with me until Sheldon showed up. Time was moving quickly and slowly at the same time. 4:15 wasn’t very far away, but when the contractions picked up quickly and intensified, I was increasingly thankful I didn’t actually have to do all the labouring and a spinal was on it’s way.
By the time I was sitting on the operation table getting my spinal, my contractions were on top of each other. The sweet relief of numbness was very welcome. The room seemed crowded, I had two doctors working on me, and another doctor standing by to take care of the baby. Now all there was to do was to wait and see who this little person would turn out to be.
I was hoping for a girl. But before I went into the OR I had a strange feeling that this baby would be another boy. Silas was breech and pulled out by his feet, so I heard the nurse say, “Uh-oh, it’s another boy!” before he was technically born.
I muttered “seriously?” and looked at Sheldon, who shrugged and whispered, “Sorry.”
I took a deep breath and had my moment of disappointment… and then it passed and I anxiously awaited seeing his little face. They actually had a bit of trouble getting my little guy out. He was wedged in quite tightly with his arms over his head, so he made my doctor work to pull him out of his cozy, snug abode. Silas was a very passive little thing, and it took a bit to get him actively breathing on his own, but once they made him upset enough he was able to clear his lungs and tell them off. Then he was wrapped up and brought over to Sheldon, who in turn showed me our newest addition.
I was thrown off when I first saw him. His features didn’t instantly scream HI I AM A BLUM like his brothers did. He had his own look. Any trace of disappointment had disappeared completely. He was perfect.
I was also ridiculously proud of having a normal sized baby. Clocking in at 7lb 5oz, he outweighed his brothers by two pounds. He skipped the preemie size of diapers and clothes; clothes his brothers had stayed in for weeks.
He’s followed in Kadon’s footsteps (thankfully) and has been a content, happy baby since day one. If I could have a guarantee that all future babies would be like him, I’d want twelve. I absolutely love the newborn stage. That is, after that first week is over. Afterpains, milk coming in, and my body getting used to breastfeeding are all horrid things, but oh so very much worth it.
Somehow my Silas is already a month old. Kadon and Eli adore him. He fits so perfectly into our family.