A note before I begin my birth story: I’ll be posting my birth story in multiple parts, because TL;DR. While I’ll try to avoid the grossest details of my birth for the sake of family members who don’t need to know about my vagina, there will be some TMI shared in this post.
Also, even though my baby has a real name, and that name is not Lil’ Ziggy, I will still refer to him as Lil’ Ziggy, Ziggy, or Zig, on my blog going forward. I hope that by doing so, I’ll be protecting his identity until he is old enough to create his own online presence. Plus, I don’t know if he’d appreciate a prospective employer Googling his name and seeing a bunch of baby pictures! I’ve shared his name on my personal Facebook page because my profile is kept very private. Also, I still call him Ziggy from time to time. Old habits die hard.
6:00 a.m. Saturday, March 7, 2015
I had to go to the bathroom.
Not exactly out of the ordinary for this 9-month (feeling like 9-year) pregnant woman. I may have been blessed with kegels of steel, I never really got to that pee-every-hour stage. But nature called early that morning.
With the grace of a turtle flipped upside-down, I rocked myself into a sitting position. Then I felt it.
That was different.
I waddled down to the washroom, sensing a trickle that I KNEW was not pee. Kegels of steel, remember? This girl doesn’t wet herself. With a rush of excitement, I knew in that moment that my water had broken.
But it wasn’t the dramatic gush that other moms describe, no puddle on the floor like in the movies. This was… small. Confused, I called the maternity ward at the hospital, who advised me to come in and get assessed. My exact words: “um… so I *think* my water just broke”. Rather than making me feel stupid for not being 100% sure, they told me not to panic, and that they would do some tests to confirm a break. I then proceeded to call my mom and my doula, both of whom were very excited at the prospect of Lil’ Ziggy being on his way.
I took my time, had a shower and a bite to eat before packing my hospital bag. That’s right, I didn’t pack my hospital bag until the day I went into labour. I wasn’t having any contractions by that point, just a constant crampy feeling. Once we loaded everything into the car, off we went!
A slow start
After getting registered in triage, I was escorted to the maternity ward and set up in a room for the assessment. Things got a little weird at this point. The nurse performed a test that detects amniotic fluid… and it came back negative! What? I felt the pop. I saw some stuff that wasn’t regular stuff. I asked her to test the pad I was wearing, and that one was positive. She asked the OB to come in and perform a test that took a deeper sample, and that one was negative. Finally, they brought out what I guess is a more expensive, but more definitive test, which came back positive. It was declared by the OB that my water had indeed broken. I was still only 1 cm dilated, the same as what I was at my OB appointment earlier that week.
While I was very excited that we were on our way to finally meeting Lil’ Ziggy, my second thought brought me down to Earth.
Crap. That just threw a big wrench in my birth plan.
You see, once my water had broken, I was put on a timeline. At 18 hours, the OB wanted me to start rounds of antibiotics, and if we made it to 24 hours, she highly recommended oxytocin to progress the labour. The reason for this, of course, was to prevent infection. If you read my birth plan, you’ll see that I was fine with this. Infection is not something I wanted to play with just so I could have a completely intervention-free birth. For the time being, though, we were given the ok to go home with the promise to return at 6:00 p.m. for another assessment.
The waiting game
The afternoon went by without incident or interest, really. We ended up not getting back to the hospital until closer to 7:00 p.m., at which time I was fitted with a creepy saline lock. I suppose I could have just not had the lock inserted at that time, but it wasn’t really that big a deal to me, even though I’m not a huge fan of IVs. I tend to flail, and every time I bonked my hand against something I worried I had torn it out.
When I was assessed again, I was disappointed to learn that I hadn’t dilated since that morning. Although I was admitted to the hospital at that time, we chose to go home again. I wanted to be at home, where I had longer hallways and a huge donut-shaped underground parking lot to do laps in the hopes of kickstarting labour. I walked around that parking lot so many times with my friend Ashley. Afterwards, the crampy feeling I’d had all day was a little more sharp, but still not the characteristic waves of contractions.
Finally, at midnight, we had to return to the hospital. This time, I wouldn’t be leaving until my baby was born.
Stay tuned for my Birth Story, part 2. In the next post, shit gets real.
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