after i had ben, i never wrote down "the birth story" because i figured, how could i possibly forget any of this. this time, i'm writing it here. it's long - i understand if you would rather just jump ahead to the photos.
last wednesday (about a week before my due date) at my doctor's appointment, my doctor was surprised that the baby was sitting SO low and he gave me the impression that she could come any day now. trying not to get my hopes up, i responded, "ben sat really low for like over a month though..." and dr. said, "first babies can sit low for a long time but it's rare for a second baby to be low for very long because your body knows what it's doing now and it will trigger labour."
for the next 4 days, i wondered, "maybe this is it!" at every pain. by saturday, i was so annoyed at myself for having switched my mindset from "she'll be late" to "maybe this is it" that i told myself i needed to go back to NOT expecting the baby. it's a much easier state of mind.
sunday morning, we headed to church. i was having some pains but nothing unlike the ones i'd been having all week. i chatted with people about my due date and joked about hopefully having a baby for next sunday. after church, we headed to white rock as usual. i was having these cramps still and i laid on the couch for a bit after lunch but then thought of a couple things i needed at walmart so my mom, ben, and i went over there. i had a couple pains that i had to stop walking and wait them out but overall, not too bad being out and about. by late afternoon, i was moaning and groaning but kept thinking, "i'm probably just being a big baby - these probably aren't anything." we ate dinner at about 6pm and i wasn't feeling like eating so i mostly had salad. at this point, i had to leave the room for each contraction. i was starting to think that this could be labour. halfway through dinner, the contractions were hurting enough that i needed to lean over a chair or table and have tim press on my back to help the pain. at 7pm, my mom put ben to bed and i went in to sing a song and pray with him before he went to sleep. we started timing the contractions and they seemed about 8 - 10 minutes apart. and then the next one was closer and the next was closer - but i couldn't quite tell when they were ending so i thought my timing must be off. at 7:30, my mom found the langley hospital phone number and called. they said that i could come and get checked and if i wasn't dilated, they would just send me home. i figured it couldn't hurt to get checked and know what was happening.
tim and i got into the truck at 7:55pm - i was having such painful contractions that i couldn't get into the truck. tim's saying to me, "as soon as this one ends, you have to get in quick - we need to get to the hospital." i got in and we started our half hour drive to langley. (we have our doctor in langley which is why we thankfully were not driving to abbotsford) of course, there were many a slow driver in front of us and at one point, we almost hit a deer that jumped across the road! every contraction, i'd start to scream a little but then would tell myself that screaming doesn't help. i'd start trying to breathe and tim said i talked to myself the entire way to the hospital. i remember saying things like, "i can do this. i've done this before. i'm going to have a baby at the end of this. i can do this." etc etc. we pulled into the parking lot at 8:25pm and i had three contractions from the truck to the front desk. there, they got me a wheelchair and tim zoomed me away. hospital hallways are confusing and nurses who are exiting an elevator but don't hold the door for the obviously pregnant woman in the wheelchair are frustrating but when we got to the third floor, all the nurses jumped up and got us straight into a room. it was 8:30pm.
now, flashback to being at this hospital for ben's birth. when i got to the hospital that time, they put me in the triage room, hooked me up to monitor and left me for two hours, writhing in pain in a terrible position. i would tell tim to go find a nurse and tim would come back saying, "there's no one out there," because 4 other women were in labour that night.
THIS time, as they wheeled me straight into a room, i was thinking, "oh no. aren't they going to check me before they give me a room? what if i'm not even dilated yet and these contractions are actually not that bad? i'll look like such a wussie." i got on the bed and found out i was already 7cm dilated. phew. not a wussie.
i had 4 or 5 contraction with laughing gas which was more helpful this time than last time and it also muffled my screaming which i'm sure everyone appreciated. because of the gas, i couldn't barely open my eyes so people were talking to me but i don't think i was responding. definitely still self-talking though. my water broke during one of the contractions and one of the nurses said to me, "if you need to start pushing, that's okay. we've delivered babies before." then my doctor walked in. phew. he didn't have time to get a gown on so he's in his shorts and t-shirt and saying to me, "don't push yet, rebecca. i just need to get my gloves on." 9 minutes and some wild screaming later, avery was born at 9:02pm. wow. my doctor declared that it was definitely a girl and i was so thankful.
tim cut the cord and they put the baby on me right away which was something that i didn't get to experience with ben because he wasn't breathing when he was born. it was an amazing feeling to get to watch this purple baby turn pink and start crying right before my eyes. a few minutes later, i sent tim to go get our bags which had the camera in it. i joked with the doctor what a great patient i am to have my baby on a sunday night - not messing up anyone's appointments during the day or waking him up in the middle of the night. he said, "yeah, i got the call at 8:32 and you had this baby at 9:02 - if i go home, my wife won't even believe that i delivered a baby that fast!"
my mom came out that night. we spent a couple hours reliving our experience, marveling at avery's dark hair, tiny hands and feet, and long fingers. tim and i stayed overnight obviously but had a terrible sleep. i seem to have pulled some muscles in my legs because i could barely walk or even roll or in bed. just when i'd get to sleep, a nurse would come in or avery would make some noise. i couldn't remember how to swaddle tight enough and she didn't seem too happy about that. at about 6am, we gave up trying to sleep and tim and i just sat there looking at each other for awhile. he went to get coffee eventually and breakfast was delivered. our doctor arrived at 8:30am and asked when we wanted to go home - we said, "right now". so he said he'd come back at noon to discharge us. tim and i wondered what the heck we were going to do until noon but thankfully tim's parents showed up and stayed for a long time and then my brother and sister in law came (with frap in hand). when ben finally came with my parents, all his favourite people were already there.
ben walked into the room very tenatively as i'm sure he was expecting the doctor to be there. (he's quite scared of the doctor despite me having the friendliest, nicest doctor ever) i wasn't holding the baby so i was able to have him come over to the bed (which is scary looking in itself) and hoisted him up to sit on my lap. he looked at each person in the room and i told him that baby avery was here. we'd been calling her baby avery for about a couple weeks so e knew who i was talking about. my brother brought her over and he checked her out. he seemed happy about meeting her. i told him that we had a present for him and he sat on my lap and opened up a set of Thomas trains that i'd bought him. he was pretty happy about that and quickly got of the bed to play with them. the apprehension was gone and he was more at ease being at the hospital.
at about 1pm, we were discharged and off we went home. i rode in the backseat with avery - i couldn't help myself. once at home, we had this feeling of, "wait a sec...how do you look after a newborn again?" we're slowly re-learning the art of baby calming and straining to remember if ben was like this in his first week. but mostly, we are excited to have our family of four home.