Our labour and delivery story started on Monday, January 12th. I had a scheduled OB appointment and was to get the details on our induction for that week due to another raging case of Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy. Essentially, I was itchy all over with no relief. At my appointment that morning my blood pressure was quite high and debated whether or not I should be induced that day but as the day went on, it lowered. Our induction date was Wednesday, January 14th. I spent the day before cleaning house, packing a bag and barely coping with the anxiety about the next day.
We got up early morning of January 14th at 36 weeks, 6 days pregnant. I was annoyed that the OB pushed me to hold out that week to make sure baby’s lungs were mature yet all through the pregnancy I told myself I was going to get to 37 weeks to try to avoid the NICU. I was miserable so it was hard to stay rational about everything. We got the kids cleaned up for the day and kept the boys home from school so that super-Grammy, who was holding down the fort, had less to deal with during the day. We arrived at Peter Lougheed Center at 9:15 AM for a 9:30 AM induction but things got off to a slower start because the doctor was in surgery and I had to be monitored first. Around 10:30 AM the doctor came in and inserted cervidil to get things going. With Belle, it took two hours before things were in full swing and she was born so we assumed it would be the same scenario: not so much. This little boy was in no rush to get here and my body was just not ready. After a bit more monitoring I was moved over to antepartum unit while we waited for things to happen.
We got settled into our room on antepartum just after 11:30 AM and just hung out, played scrabble, and watched Jon eat and drink coffee. I wanted to eat but was too afraid things would move fast and I would get sick. Mom was waiting outside the unit and was finally allowed in. After we saw that nothing was happening quickly, she went out for a bit to pass the time. As the day went on the most that I was feeling were cramps and mild but irregular contractions. I walked the halls which helped to get contractions going, but before I was even officially in labour the monitors were showing decels in his heart rate. I think it was definitely his time to be delivered and that we had good luck with timing. I was kept on the monitors the rest of the evening with a short break for a walk, and had an IV started. At this point I had moments of panic and anxiety over what was happening which continued all through labour. If I wasn’t exhausted from pain and contractions, I was drained from anxiety and being scared.
In the later part of the evening I was begging for an epidural, only getting short breaks from contractions and not coping. I was only two centimeters but the doctor removed the cervidil and they started prepping to move me over to L&D. By the time they were ready for me and the anesthesiologist showed up, two hours had passed and I was not happy. Baby was still having decels and I was terrified. While I was getting the epidural is when I finally lost my cool and started getting mad, yelling, and dropping a few swear words at Jon. I think he enjoyed it though. I have a love-hate relationship with the epidural. It takes away the pain but then it made me feel numb into my chest and like I couldn’t breathe. I also had hoped it would relax me enough to make things move faster but at this point we were getting past midnight and I was a disappointing 3-4 centimeters. They broke my water and placed a monitor on the baby’s head to monitor the decels better. The doctors all assured me this was normal despite having fast deliveries with the other kids. The night rolled over to January 15th and while I had relief from the epidural, we all dozed in and out of sleep for an hour or so. Jon and Yvonne who was our virtual presence, kept us laughing most of the night.
Mom assumed we had lots of time to kill and went to find a couch to sleep on and in that hour things changed fast. The epidural had stopped working on my right side, and no matter how many times I pressed that useless button to bolus, it didn’t help. They called the anesthesiologist back for a top up and I got a lecture on slowing down the amount of times I pressed that button. Whatever buddy, give me drugs that work then. By now it was too late and the top up didn’t work anyway. Baby boy also had his worst decel which involved moving me from side to side and calling in for other nurses. The doctor came back and I progressed really fast in that hour to 9.5 centimeters, and he wasn’t comfortable just watching that monitor for much longer. It was time to get him out. I was afraid I was going to be knocked out for a C-section if he continued to have decels. Jon texted mom to come back, after having missed the most dramatic part of the night: we are all laughing about the whole thing now.
Baby was born really fast. Literally about two minutes and little Chase Alexander entered this world pink and crying at 3:40 AM in a room full of doctors, nurses, and child nurses. As soon as we saw he was fine, people fizzled out and we did skin to skin right away for a while. Everyone commented how he was just a little guy but he felt just right to me. Chase was rooting and looking to feed almost immediately. First the nurses took him to the warmer to check him over and take all the necessary measurements. His birth stats were:
Weight: 5 lb 11 oz
Length: 18.5 inches
Head Circumference: 32 cm
Head full of blonde hair
We were moved to postpartum over an hour later. At that point I had a terrible headache and Daddy was in charge of Chase while I rested. A pediatrician came in to look him over and Daddy gave Chase his first feeding. I pushed to be discharged home that day, and finally at 10:00 PM we were walking out of the hospital with our little boy. He hated the car seat and protested until we got moving. A shower and fresh clothes at home has never felt so amazing.
We were welcomed home with balloons, flowers, art work, and wine from the kids and the granny squad. The kids were so happy to meet their little brother and had lots of questions. They all took turns holding Chase and treated him like he was a new pet.
Our first few days were a little dramatic with vomiting and formula troubles. He dropped to 5 pounds 4 ounces and struggled to keep much down. Naturally we were panicked after experiencing a similar rocky start with Belle. We were advised to go to children’s hospital where they did an x-ray and looked him over, and then we changed his formula to lactose free. Now he is on Zantac for reflux and it seems to be helping quite a bit as well. His growth is slow but he is looking much better. He spends his days eating, sleeping, and being cuddled by all of us. We are really enjoying Chase.