We now have a daughter! Avery Rose born Nov. 17th, 2014 at 5:19pm, weighing in at 7.5 pounds and 52cm’s long. To say it was a dramatic birth would be putting things lightly; although I didn’t realize how dramatic it all was until she was in my arms in the recovery room and my husband and I were putting the pieces of her story together.
Weeks ago, 3, I had my first sweep, lost some plug, and thought for sure she was coming two weeks early. I had contractions on and off for the next week. Then 2 weeks ago I had the second sweep, 2cm dilated, lost more plug, had more contractions. They were consistent this time, 3min apart for one hour and twenty seven minutes. Then, they just stopped cold turkey. Due date rolls around, third sweep, 3cm dilated, lost lots more plug, had plenty more contractions. 3min apart for an hour then nothing. Then a break for a day from contractions, then a day filled with contractions, then no contractions but bm’s and nausea setting me up to believe my body was getting ready, and on and on until I was five days over due. I honestly never even considered going late. So every time contractions would start I’d beg myself not to get excited, but how can you not when you’re thinking you’ll get to meet your baby soon? Then I would experience disappointment and frustration with myself and my body. I remember telling K I was starting to think there must be something wrong with my body. Would I ever just get to experience a normal labor and delivery?
Then, Monday morning it all began, and so slowly. 5:45am-3pm I had consistent contractions 10 min apart. After contractions had continued for three hours I figured that maybe this was really it. So I cleaned up, spent lots of time playing trains with C right down on the floor, did laundry, made sure I had everything I would need. Prepped D that if contractions got to 3min apart I would call him home from work and we could go to the hospital and ask to have my water broken. Prepped Mom and told her that “today would be the day, I’d call her when D was almost home from work”. Then I put C down for a nap and decided to relax in the tub. But immediately, contractions went from ten min apart and mild to 8 and much more intense, the next one was 6, the next one was 4, and then all of a sudden the pain wasn’t stopping. It was just waves of cramping.
I called D, told him he better come now. Called Mom, told her I needed her now. Got out of the tub and started trying to breath through the pain with my knees on the ground and arms on my Dad’s exercise ball (which I had borrowed for that exact purpose). 4 o’clock rolled around and neither of them had arrived. I was barely able to control the sounds I was making in an effort to not wake C from his nap. But I was starting to get pretty scared. Not of having the baby in the living room. But of having her all by myself, knowing I would likely be screaming awfully and freak C out and traumatize him for life!
Then, as always, the feeling changed. I could tell my body had switched to pushing, but I was so confused because it didn’t feel like there was anything to push. I literally picked up my phone to dial 911 and get an ambulance when D texted to say he would be there in five min. Directly after the front door called me and I buzzed my mom up. I couldn’t even talk to her when she walked in. Standing to put on my shoes was crazy hard. I didn’t know how I was going to make it to the parking garage to get to the van. I maybe made it 4 steps when the pain was so bad I couldn’t move. It was like I was paralyzed leaning against the wall, hips wide apart and my back was just killing me. My legs were shaking so badly but I couldn’t take a step, sit, or go back. I was frozen. Mom came into the hallway, asked something about how I was going to get out, and then pointed out D coming down the hallway. He went into the apartment to change, if he had known how bad I was, if I had been able to speak anything I don’t know what I would have said. I was so shocked he didn’t just pick me up and run me downstairs! He grabbed the van keys and diaper bag and said he would pull the van up to the building entrance. But I literally could not take one step. Then, brilliance hit him, we had just bought a chair with wheels from a friend and it was sitting in our entrance. He told my mom to wheel me down! As soon as I sat I felt so much better! Poor apartment complex kids and at least one other woman in a van must have been shocked to see me screaming in a chair while my mom pushed me to the door. D got me in and told me the drive to South Calgary hospital would be too long with traffic so he was taking me to the Rocky View. I disagreed with that decision but still couldn’t speak so just let it go.
Man that drive was so hard! Poor D, I was screaming up a storm every contraction, so scared that I would have another baby in the vehicle on the way to the hospital. I dropped a few F-bombs, and told every car at the stoplights that I hated them (for not allowing my husband to just run through the red lights). Oh man, I thought I was going to be able to handle the pain but I wasn’t. Well we finally made it to the hospital, then the maternity ward by 5pm.
Then another contraction hit and they decided to skip all the admissions garbage and just get me into a room. D left to go park the van and get my hospital bag. The doctor introduced herself, told me to drop my drawers and she would help me move to the bed so she could determine where we were at. At the same time another woman was trying to hook me up to those ridiculous baby heart monitor straps which are so incredibly painful to add on top of contractions.
Now this is where things start flying all together. The nurse on my left was unable to find babies heart rate. The doctor down below said something along the lines of “I’m not sure what I’m feeling but her head isn’t down”. I was waiting to hear how dilated I was so I asked, she said “7cm, but I think I’m feeling a hand so were going to have the ultrasound tech come in right away”. I asked if my water had broken yet, nope, no dice. Same time I want to punch the lady with the heart monitor straps, I tell her they always find her heart rate on the other side so she moves things over causing even more pain, I ugly cry/beg her to stop, but of course she doesn’t. Then ultrasound tech is on my right. “There’s the head she’s transverse but her hand is up and in the way, we will need to do an emergency c section”. I turn to my left “Did you find her heart rate?” “Yes, baby is perfectly fine”. I turn to the ultrasound tech “This is the only way? There’s no way of turning her?” “This is the only way, her life is in danger.”
At that exact moment D walks into the room. Through the six or so bodies in between us I lock eyes with him. “We’re having an emergency c section. Call mom, your mom, and at least text Tamara and Julie and have them spread the word that we need them to pray.” He hears me, grabs my phone, and leaves the room. Now the ultra sound tech is talking to me, trying to explain what’s going on. All I understand is that she is sideways and they don’t want a contraction to push the umbilical cord out. I nod because honestly I don’t care what’s going on. I’ve always said that I would trust the doctors if they told me it was what I needed, I was busy praying. Nurses are telling me something about needing to hang on because they’re not good at wheeling people through the hallways. What?! I still don’t know what point she was trying to make. Then a different male doctor comes in as they are wheeling me out. He’s the drug guy. Honestly wasn’t listening to him either. He was telling me step by step what was going to happen and again I didn’t care, I trusted them to do their job. I was needing to pray. I did find time to ask them to remind D to bring the real camera in, we needed good pictures. They laughed at me and one woman said “only a woman going into emergency surgery would find time to boss her husband around!”
I find it so interesting how my mind handled what was happening and all my emotions. I think I prayed once “Lord keep us safe”, but I felt no fear. None. No anxiety, no worries that either of us wouldn’t make it, I even knew that if one or both of us didn’t make it, everything would be fine. I just kept repeating a statement about God. I really hope I remember what it was I kept repeating so calmly and trustingly. But it was an aspect of who God is. Along the lines of “you are the God of ….. Grace? All good things?” I just can’t remember. But I know that I just kept repeating that truth of God’s character. Calling Him by that specific name in power.
They got the spinal in, and right away I had another contraction. They told me I needed to lay down and I remember crying again and asking them to wait, at that point I still didn’t realize why it was so important they deliver her before another contraction. There must have been three of them, drug guy on my shoulders and probably a nurse to each arm who pushed me to a laying down position. I asked where D was, they said just putting his mask on. The drug guy asked if D was a fainter, I laughed and said “no, he’s delivered lots of animals, like cows”. I may have been slightly dopey at that point haha. They washed my belly, put some stuff onto it, put up the curtain, put an oxygen tube into my nose, the doctor asked anxiously again “where’s her husband?!” And the nurse again said just putting on his mask, and then there he was, by my side.
I asked him if he got ahold of everyone, he said yes, sat down, brushed the hair off my forehead and said “I’m glad we made it in time.” I’m not sure if he was worried or not, but I replied with confidence that “we were both going to be just fine”, and I believed it. Then *poof* there was the baby crying!
A nurse said “it’s a girl!”, no surprise there. I smiled at D and told him to “go LOVE her! And bring the camera!”
So D went and met our daughter. He did a great job getting pictures of her and the scale. He brought the camera over to show me 🙂 Then went back and got to hold her. He brought her over to me with this great smile on his face, so then I took the camera and grabbed a few shots of him holding her. Then he sat down by my head and put her forehead up to mine. She was perfect. I kissed her brow and was already amazed at how much she seemed to look just like C! D took a few pictures of me with her and then a nurse came to take her and finish the measurements.
D sat with me as they stitched me up. Probably the longest part, taking about 2 hours. What an odd feeling the whole thing was. It was like my whole body from the neck down was numb, but the tingly numb where you are still aware of all your limbs. And it was like C was jumping and bouncing on my stomach! It felt rough, but not painful, and the stitching felt similar. They stitched my uterus up in two layers, and told me that I had a very good chance of delivering vaginally again as there was no extra damage done.
Then they wheeled us over to the recovery room and I got to hold her! Oi she was beautiful and I just couldn’t wrap my head around how fast it had all been. Part of me so relieved that after the spinal there was just no pain, that was a good different! But then my heart rate kept setting off alarms so we had to stay in that room for a while until I stabilized. Then D and I were able to talk about what had just happened.
All of a sudden it made sense why my body was pushing but I felt no pressure. Her head hadn’t been engaged, she had tried to come into the world in a pretty rare position. It was so important that I have her immediately, because even at 7cm, thanks be to God, my water hadn’t broken yet. If it had, the umbilical cord would have been the first thing out and she would have suffocated to death before they could cut her free! Now it made sense why no one would let me just BE while having a contraction. That nurse with the baby heart rate monitor had to get her rate fast, I had to get the spinal fast and then lay down immediately, they would have taken her without D being in the room even but he made it just in time. It’s an amazing string of miracles how things occurred.
I was in active labor for one hour when we made it to the hospital, and Avery was born 19 minutes later!!! I am so thankful that everyone was as fast as they were. I am so thankful I was able to get so many people praying before she came. I am so grateful for once that my water never did break! I am so grateful God saw fit to keep my heart completely calm from the moment I heard the words emergency c-section until she arrived. And I am so grateful to have had D by my side.
I will always tell Avery that she came into this world fast, and passionately praising Jesus with her fist pumping the air! Thank you all who prayed for this little blessing every step of the way.