On Thursday February 14th at 8:00 pm, Shawn and I arrived at Southlake Regional Health Centre to begin the induction process. I was 39w3d, 0 cm dilated and 0% effaced when first checked at triage. We started with our first dose of cervidil and we were then admitted for the long haul. I remember the first OB we met came to our bedside and immediately noticed how much stuff I had packed. He asked how long I was planning to stay and I said I had a feeling it would be a while. Our Doula came to check in on us but we all decided sleep would be key and she would come back in the morning. 12 hours later, on Friday morning, I was checked and I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I was excited there had been some progression and the new OB gave me a second dose of cervidil. The next 12 hours went by fairly slowly. I started to have light contractions in to the evening but the worst part was they were all in my back. I couldn’t lay in the uncomfortable delivery bed so my Doula kept me up and moving. I was on the stability ball a lot and we did some laps up and down the stairs of the hospital. I was checked again Friday night around 8:00 p.m. and I was still only 1 cm dilated but was now 80% effaced. I was frustrated but also knew the process could take some time. I was finally able to get to sleep that night around 2:30 a.m. with the help of some light sleeping pills but woke up to more contractions around 6:30 a.m.
Saturday morning we had another new OB who came in to check me. At that point I was only 2 cm dilated and they decided to break my water and would then put me on pitocin. I asked for some time to shower and go for a quick walk before I was given the pitocin because I knew once that happened I probably wouldn’t be getting up for a while. The breaking of my water alone started speeding things up for me and my contractions were getting closer. I was also aware I was now on a 24 hour clock to get this baby out. One thing the OB had let me know was when they broke my water there was some meconium that had come out. They then prepared us that once baby was born, he or she may have to go to NICU and that Shawn would go with the baby. This mildly terrified me but it was good to know there was a plan in place in case we needed it. At 11:00 a.m., after my shower and walk, we started on the pitocin drip. It wasn’t long after that started that I went in to active labour. My contractions became more intense and closer together and by 2:30 p.m. I had an epidural. The anesthesiologist was great and I guess the good thing about having intense contractions while having it put in was I didn’t feel a thing. We were checked again at 5:30 p.m. and I had only progressed to 3-4 cm. I was exhausted and frustrated and it looked like we would be having a Sunday baby at this rate.
Much to our surprise when the night nurse came on at 7:30 p.m. I was 7 cm dilated. At 9:00 p.m. I was fully dilated and was told I’d be getting ready to push within the hour. That’s when shit got real. We were going to meet our baby and maybe even that night! At 10:00 p.m., with Shawn and our Doula by my side, I started pushing with one of our favourite albums – Secrets by Ian Fletcher Thornley – playing in the background. I highly recommend having a Bluetooth speaker at the hospital. Music kept us happy as we opted to not have TV while we were there.
It was harder to push than I thought especially since it took a couple tries to figure out exactly how to push. One thing that happened, which I did not find out until I saw myself in a mirror in my postpartum room, was I pushed in to my face the first time and burst almost every blood vessel in my face as well as my eye. I didn’t even know that was a thing. After 70 minutes of pushing our sweet Elton Shawn Michael was born. My entire world stopped in that moment and nothing else mattered. We were also very lucky that he did not have to go to the NICU.
Our parents were in the waiting room but given how late it was they were just waiting for news of his arrival and would come back Sunday morning to meet him. Shawn and I just took the time as a new family of 3. We were moved in to our postpartum room around 1:30 a.m. and our Doula finally headed out around 3:00 a.m. after being with us for almost 48 hours straight. We were so thankful to have her through labour, delivery and the first few hours of Elton’s life. Not only was she so super knowledgeable about the whole labour and delivery process, she also helped Shawn to understand what he could do to help me through contractions and any other pains I was experiencing.
Seeing Shawn as a father makes me heart explode. He is so hands on and helpful and Elton loves him so so much. He had to go back to work the day after we got out of the hospital to finish our home so we could move in a couple of weeks later. After we moved, he started a brand new job and has been working his butt of 6 days a week but the first thing he does when he walks through the door is makes sure that Elton and I are okay and if I need a break, I take it.
Elton is now just over 6 weeks old and we are learning something new every day. There is no handbook on this parenting thing but we are slowly working through it day by day.
Our Long road to baby was filled with ups and downs, heartache, loss and wondering when we would ever be parents. Elton has lessened all of those feelings but we will never be able to forget just what we went through to get here. We are just so grateful that our story had its happy ending after all these years. To everyone who stuck by us through thick and thin, we love you and Elton will know just how much each and every one of you means to us and how much you love him. As always, much love to you all.