I am happy to report that I made it to full term this time (38 weeks) and delivered a happy and healthy baby girl. I am not going to lie; this pregnancy was a nerve racking experience! Back in January, I had started to feel some pressure in my pelvis so I went to the hospital for a check up and was admitted. They monitored me and decided to do a cervical cerclage (stitch) to keep the cervix closed. I was taken down to the ER for the procedure and given spinal anaesthetic. I was very nervous as I had never been in the ER before and there was a slight chance that the procedure could trigger early labour. Luckily it was a fast procedure and the only bad part was having to be upside down for the duration of it.
My doctor was amazing. He put me in the high risk clinic, although he told me that I am “low-high risk”. I had to go for appointments every 2 weeks and have an external and internal ultrasound. My walking was limited to household distances, which was the hardest part. I was sitting on a couch or chair all day and walking minimally for 4 months. Gosh was it ever hard to sit still! I missed going grocery shopping, meeting people for social outings, friend’s birthdays, trips and more.. but it was for a good reason, I was growing a baby. I had wished for this baby for such a long time that I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize this pregnancy. So, I was a good girl and followed strict doctor’s orders.
The downside from my modified bed rest, or “house arrest” as I called it, was that I got so many ailments from not being able to walk or exercise. I had sciatica, sacral issues, swelling in my legs, pulled muscles and knots in my upper back, and I gained almost 40 lbs. Another downside was the constant fear that with every stomach pain, gas pain or ligament stretch, the same thing would happen as last time and I would lose the baby. Although I remained positive throughout this pregnancy and gave myself lots of reiki, there was always that fear in the back of my mind that I would go into early labour. Luckily that didn’t happen and I gave birth to a healthy full term baby girl, who we have affectionately named Squeakers because of the cute squeaky noises that she makes.
The birth of Squeakers was like something out of a sitcom. I spent the night before she was born attempting to sleep in my reclining patio chair in my bedroom. However, despite changing positions, walking around the house, and feeling exhausted, I was unable to sleep all night. I felt a lot of cramping in my stomach; but chalked it up to my usual digestive disturbances. Cubby came to sleep in my bed around 5:30 a.m, so I thought that perhaps I could get some sleep in her bed. At around 5:45 a.m I felt a “pop” and a gush of fluid down both legs and realized that my water had broke. I ran upstairs to wake up my husband, and told him to call our doula and the hospital downtown Toronto where I was supposed to deliver.
While he ran around the house frantically calling his brother to come and watch Cubby, I felt intense cramping and my contractions started. I timed them and they were 5 minutes apart. I was yelling to my husband to call an ambulance as I didn’t think that we could make it downtown as morning rush hour was starting. My husband called 911 and the dispatcher was speaking to me as I was attempting to pack my toiletries and last minute items in my hospital bag. She was timing my contractions and soon they were 3 minutes apart. She asked my husband to get towels and put them on my bathroom floor. She asked me to lay down on my bathroom floor, to which I replied “I am not having this baby on my bathroom floor!” As I continued packing, the voice on the phone kept saying: “I need you to lie down on the floor. I can hear you moving around”. I refused to lie down on my bathroom floor and thankfully, the paramedics arrived.
My contractions continued to get closer together as we were leaving the house and I was gathering last minute items like coconut water, energy bars, fruits, filtered water, and healthy snacks for the hospital. The paramedics emphasized that the baby was coming soon and I needed to get to the hospital. I was loaded into the ambulance with onlookers in my neighbourhood peeking out of their windows at me. The siren started and the race was on to the hospital. During the ride I called my parents and my manager in between intense contractions to let them know that I had gone into labour. Luckily I was taken to the nearest hospital and within 15 minutes, I was on the labour and delivery floor and in an examination room. My doula found her way to the hospital and met me there. The nurse checked how far I was dilated and I was already 8 cm. She informed me that there was no time to get an epidural as the baby would arrive in 15 to 20 minutes. Squeakers arrived at 7:31 a.m.
Although Squeaker’s birth was fast and my labour was short, I quickly learned why they call it the “ring of fire”. At one point I remember screaming “I am going to die!” However, when they placed little Squeakers into my arms and I looked at her little face, I was instantly in love. I had forgotten about the “ring of fire” and the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life. On a side note, my doula was absolutely wonderful and was a great coach and source of support throughout my delivery. I would highly recommend a doula!
Squeakers has been doing great. I can’t believe that she is already 7 weeks old and weighs almost 10 lbs. She is feeding constantly and growing. We couldn’t be happier. Our little family has now grown to four people. It has been an adjustment for Cubby, which is to be expected, but she is enjoying her little sister and exclaiming “she is so cute!” about 100 times a day. I look forward to the adventures of Cubby and Squeakers!