On Tuesday, February 14th my alarm went off at 6am, though I was awake long before I heard it. When I finally rolled out bed, I realized that I had slept maybe 2 – 3 hours.
And still no contractions.
The Hubster and I got ready, made plans to have my parents meet us later, then it was off to the hospital. We walked in together, very aware that the next time we left our little family would have grown from two to three.
We arrived at the maternity ward at 7:30am. We were shown to our room by our nurse (whom I came to love), then sent to another wing to register and be officially admitted. Twenty minutes later we walked back and I was relieved to see Olivia (my midwife) waiting for us. At this point the OB was no where in sight.
Olivia began explaining how the day would unfold. Before the OB could begin the induction, they wanted to make sure that all was well with the baby and I. I changed into a stylish hospital gown and she and the Hubster helped me get comfortable in bed. The next hour was spent hooked up to a fetal monitor listening to the wee-bean’s heart beat. She was still dancing away in my belly, so we kept having to move it around to try and find her. When Olivia was assured that the wee-bean’s heart rate was strong, she called in the OB to begin the induction.
At 9am he arrived with a slew of nurses. My little room was suddenly full of people, and everyone seemed busy with a different task. My nurse explained a little about what was happening, but before I knew it the OB wanted to examine me and get things going.
It was at this moment that I began “affectionately” calling him Dr. Evil.
The 9am examination was extremely uncomfortable. I lay on the bed with my eyes squeezed shut chanting my mantra for the day over and over in my head: “It’s just one day. It’s just one day. It’s just one day.” He let me know that I was still not dialating, and that the baby was actually sitting at -3cm… 3cm further back than where she should be. He then did a “Search and Sweep” (ow.) and inserted the prostaglandin gel to try and stimulate my body and get things moving. He let me know that he’d be back in 6 hours to check my progress.
After he finished and the whirlwind of nurses left the room, I was again hooked up to a fetal monitor and had to lay still for another hour while they monitored the baby’s reaction to the gel. My contractions during that first hour were very painful, but they were still sporadic and I could talk through them. The Hubster and my mom kept me company while Big Dad camped out in the waiting room with Suduko and a book. I don’t know what I would have done if they hadn’t been there–sadly my little hospital room did not have a TV so there was precious little to pass the time and help distract me from the contractions.
Shortly after 10am I was finally allowed to leave my bed and my little hospital room. The nurses encouraged me to walk as much as I could as it would help bring on contractions and ease their pain. The Hubster and I established a little route around the hospital and began doing laps. I had to return each hour to check on the baby’s heart rate, then we’d be off again. Shortly before lunch I decided to try and rest a little as I had barely slept the night before.
My contractions at this point hadn’t really increased in frequency or strength, but it was still difficult to try and sleep through. Laying quietly for a few moments helped me finally accept that even though this wasn’t how I had imagined having our baby, she was finally on her way. Something inside me switched, and I was able to let go of a lot of the negativity I had been harboring since I realized that the induction was actually happening the day before.
We decided to walk to the cafeteria to see my mom and dad, and as I paraded into Tim Horton’s I realized that I was the only one in the entire cafeteria who was wearing a hospital gown. haha! What can I say, I like to make a statement. I picked at a few things for lunch, then we headed back to our room. The nurses had suggested that I try taking a jacuzzi bath to help relax, so after a few more laps around our route I decided to give it a whirl. Even though the tub was in the bathroom in my private room, it felt weird to have a bath in such a public place. Everyone told me that you let go of your modesty when you give birth–I wasn’t there yet.
Just before 3pm I made my way back to bed, ready for my next visit with Dr. Evil. The six hours had finally passed and I was beyond ready to see if I had progressed at all. My contractions were still irregular, but it felt like they were getting a bit stronger.
Well, 3pm came and went, and there was no sign of the OB. The Hubster and I chatted with my mom to try and make the waiting seem a bit more bearable, but I felt like I was watching the clock constantly.
As 4pm ticked ever closer, I felt my frustration level go through the roof. The Hubs went off to find our nurse to see if she knew where he was, and we found out that he had been called for some emergency in the ER but would be with us very shortly.
At 5pm he finally arrived with another tornado of nurses… and that’s when my labor really began.
The beginning of the wee-bean’s story is a little bit sad. I want to be completely honest about what I experienced before and during labor which is why I’m including it.
Seven weeks ago today I was already several days past my due date, and I confessed my anxieties and reservations about being induced to you. Time continued to pass, and by Friday, February 10th it looked as though the induction was happening. My midwife booked an appointment for me to meet with an obstetrician for the following Monday, though we both had our fingers crossed that I would go into labor naturally over the weekend.
Well, the weekend came and went and the wee-bean still rested comfortably in my belly. The Hubster and I woke up bright and early on February 13th to begin our day of appointments–the OB, the midwife, then another ultrasound.
I was really nervous to meet the OB. Here I had spent months developing a close relationship with my midwife, whom I love, thinking that she would be the one to deliver my baby. Now I was faced with the idea that some strange man would be the one do it. I wasn’t terribly impressed.
The Hubster and I arrived for the appointment and I immediately got the impression that this doctor’s office was not a fan of midwifery. As the nurses began my check-in, there were continually comments like: “Did they have you taking prenatal vitamins?” or “We’ll just get you on the scale. I know midwives don’t check things like that.”
…umm, thanks, but my midwife was very thorough and followed my weight at every visit.
I returned to my seat and waited to meet the almighty OB. After the attitude of the nurses, my nerves were even more raw than they had been before though I tried hard to cover it. Finally the doctor came out and invited us into his office.
He seemed nice enough, though he had a strange sense of humor and his attitude was a little brisk. We quickly covered the basics, then went over how I would be induced. He then confirmed that it was time for the wee-bean to be delivered and booked me a check-in time at the hospital for the following morning. The Hubster and I looked at each other and realized that our little girl would potentially be with us the following day.
As we began grasping this new reality, the OB asked me to jump up on his examination table to see how far I had progressed. He left the room for a moment so I could get ready, and my anxiety level flew through the roof.
Not that anyone enjoys it, but I hate being examined. I am extremely shy / private and even had a hard time letting my (female) doctor or midwife do it for my yearly tests. As they themselves are both female and understand that it’s an uncomfortable procedure, they both take their time and are very gentle.
This doctor was not.
As I lay in utter discomfort on his table, I prayed that this would not be a glimpse of what I faced tomorrow. He revealed that I had still not dilated at all, and began making jokes that I would definitely need the epidural the next day, and commented that a c-section was still on the table.
As he left so I could redress, I felt my anxiety level rise and my emotions began to bubble over. It took everything in my not to cry in his office. I didn’t really want to have the baby this way, and I wasn’t 100% comfortable with this new man delivering it. Still, I knew it was the best option for the baby so I pulled myself together and agreed to check in to the hospital at 7:30am the following morning.
The rest of the day was hard for me, and even seeing the wee-bean’s cute face during the ultrasound did little to diminish my fears.
So, after all our appointments the Hubster and I headed home. He had a few tasks to finish around the house before the baby arrived, so I slipped upstairs for a few quiet moments in our bedroom.
And I cried.
I wanted to be excited so badly, but all I felt was… loss. I felt like I had lost the calm peace I had felt throughout my entire pregnancy knowing that Olivia was delivering my baby. I felt like I no longer knew what to expect, and the uncertainty was devastating to me. And most of all, I felt that not going into labor naturally was my body failing to do what it was supposed to, and I lost the confidence that I’d had. I no longer felt like I could do this.
I curled up into a ball (a big ball) on my bed and wept for a good half an hour before I picked myself up, called my sister, then cried some more.
It was the first time I really let myself be scared about what my body was going to go through in just a few short hours. The Hubster came upstairs and found me, and bless his heart he did his best to console me. Knowing that he had absolute confidence in me helped a little, as did knowing that we’d have our sweet girl at the end of the experience.
But I still felt like I was missing out on an experience I had imagined for months… you know, the whole waking up with contractions and trying to decide whether or not this was real labor thing. I had imagined myself curled up at home, doing housework or watching movies as I endured the early hours of labor, not being cooped up in a hospital room.
But, c’est la vie.
By the early evening I had accepted my new reality and my parents arrived to help distract me. We spent a few hours visiting with them, then it was time for bed. The Hubster and I curled up and again he tried to reassure me. After letting him know that I’d be okay, he rolled over and fell asleep, trying to rest up for our big day tomorrow.
Sadly, I did not.
Who knew a world could change so completely in six short weeks.
Granted, some of those short weeks had some incredibly long days, but when I look at my little Ruby I can’t believe she’s already been a part of our family for that long.
Shortly after she was born, everyone told me that things seem to take a corner by 6 weeks, and that things would get a little easier. They were right. Not that Ruby has been a difficult baby–it couldn’t be more opposite–but she does need my attention much of the time, and I happily give it to her.
(She’s simply too cute. I can’t say no.)
However, that being said, I am enjoying the little routine we are slipping into. Ruby now only wakes up once (maybe twice) a night to eat, then usually falls back asleep immediately after. She loves to nap in the morning and will usually sleep in her bassinet for an hour or two after we snuggle in my rocking chair.
The rest of our days are spent going for walks, watching hockey with dad, and she’s beginning to spend more and more time awake and alert… and she is now beginning to smile.
Be still my heart.
There is nothing cuter than when she smiles at you. I melt. She smiled at me once and I cried.
Yup. I’ve become that person.
Life is pretty good these days. We just had a wonderful visit with the Hubster’s parents who flew in to meet her for the first time. It was a busy few days, but it was so good to see them and Ruby definitely enjoyed spending time with her Grandma. We held her baby blessing on Sunday and a huge troop of family and friends came down to see and support her. The Hubster and I hosted a “little” lunch at our home afterward, and by the time everyone arrived we realized that we had 31 people in our little house. It was busy, but glorious. Ruby had all four of her grandparents there to spoil her, and they all took turns stealing her and hiding in various corners of my house to have a quiet snuggle.
(She is very snuggly. I love it.)
Things have settled a bit and I am loving our little home life. I finally feel like I’m beginning to get the hang of this whole motherhood thing, and I’m finding a bit of a balance between caring for Ruby and keeping my home in a socially acceptable state. My next goal is to reincorporate writing into that equation.
And date nights.
(Wanna babysit? She’s pretty cute…)
It’s a bit easier now that she’ll sleep on her own… right now she is curled up in her little blue bouncy chair next to me while I write. I can’t promise that it’ll be every day, but I am hoping to ease back into a better writing schedule.
Once every 3 weeks just isn’t doing it for me.
But for now I see two very cute eyes looking at me and two very cute cheeks that need to be kissed.
Woo wee! I really didn’t mean to let three weeks go by between posting, but it’s been a little busy around here. :)
If I am able to turn my computer on once every few days it’s a miracle, and even then it’s usually just for a few minutes before something else requires my attention. So, I decided to get creative. I found a handy little wordpress app for my phone, so I’m going to try writing from here for the time being and see how it goes!
As I type I have a (not so) little wee-bean snuggled against my chest. She is nearly 4 weeks old, and for the time being loves to be held while she sleeps. She is very cute and snuggly ,but it makes it a bit difficult to get anything done. She will take short naps if we put her down, but if we want her to get a good sleep one of us needs to hold her… Hence my lack of writing time. :)
But let me backtrack for a minute. I last left you with my anxieties about being induced, and I actually have another post about this… But after all that our little wee-bean finally arrived on February 14th at 10:56pm. I am writing out the details of that day, and if you’d like I can post them here– it was a wild day!
The Hubster and I had been debating back and forth between two names for months, but as soon as we met her we knew who she was. At long last, our little Ruby* was here!
Most days I wake up and I can’t believe she’s finally here… And that the Hubster and I made something so perfect. She has been a wonderful baby… She doesn’t cry much and really only fusses when she really needs something. We’ve had a few rough nights, and she has a verrrry healthy appetite (which means there are days where it feels like she is permanently attched to me) but for the most part Ruby is settling into our lives like she has always been part of our family. Life is definitely a little different (finding time to shower is beyond exciting) but it has been a wonderful adventure.
As I figure out this phone blogging thing I hope to get back to my regular writing… I’ve really missed it!
Thanks for all your kind words and patience… I hope that I’ll figure out this blogging / parenting balance soon! :)