Friday, November 27, 2009

"from his mother's womb/ Untimely ripped"

The story of Cyrus Elijah Wolgemuth-Lamb's birth (with pictures)...

I (Jenni) started feeling contractions around 7 in the morning on Friday 20 November, 2 weeks before my due date. I had my ''show" that morning and told David on our way to work that I suspected we'd be having the baby in the next couple of days. But I didn't tell him about the contractions -- they weren't that strong and I thought they could be Braxton-Hicks.

At work I started timing the contractions and, sure enough, they were regular -- every 6 minutes. I spent the morning wrapping up a couple of things and then went to have coffee with my friend Karen. On the way, I stopped by David's office, "Don't get excited, but I think I might be in labour."

During coffee I kept looking at my phone and, not wanting to appear rude, explained to Karen I was timing contractions, which, at that point, were getting stronger. So we quickly finished our drinks and went on a short walk. I think the reality of the situation still hadn't set in because I went back to my office and helped a co-worker do some data analysis and sent out a couple of final e-mails. It was then I told David we should probably leave. Of course this was my last day of work before my scheduled maternity leave and the office had planned an afternoon tea for David and I... so I discretely let a co-worker know I was probably in labour and David and I got in the car and headed home. We were both very excited and at that point the contractions were painful, about every 3 minutes, but definitely not unbearable.

"Yea, I'm in labour! This is going to be great fun."

The cats were excited too.

We laboured at home for a little over 2 hours. David and I had taken a couple antenatal classes together and one thing I kept stressing was that I would need him to do a lot of massaging. I even asked him to do hand exercises during the pregnancy and to practice often. So of course when the time came, I couldn't stand to be touched. So David timed my contractions and kept me company and distracted. The contractions were between 2 and 3 minutes apart and getting stronger. The hot shower really helped -- until we ran out of hot water. That was when I decided it'd be best to go to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital: "Ouch, ouch, ouch..."

The Birthing Suite: Still smiling
(ha ha ha... little does she know)

And about here is where the story changes from a nice tightly woven narrative to an indescribable escalating series of events and images that led to the single greatest moment of my life. Or, for those who would rater skip the details, after 7 hours of sheer bliss, Cyrus took his first breath.

Here are the highlights:
  • 4 cm dilated when arrived at hospital at 2.30
  • 3 hours later I was 7 cm dilated and the doctor said, "Your cervix is thinning nicely. I imagine you'll be pushing by 7pm."
  • Nitris oxide is my best friend, David starts rubbing my back (which now helps) and talks me through each contraction, f*#k is my favourite word
  • Midwife asks if I have an "uncontrollable urge to push" to which I respond, "I can't stop my uterus from pushing if that's what you mean."
  • Midwife inspects my cervix... "You are only 4 cm dilated and your cervix is still very thick. I don't know what the doctor was talking about. You still have a long way to go."
  • Baby shows no signs of distress, mother plenty
  • I request Pethadine
  • Pethadine doesn't help
  • I whimper, "Is it too late for an epidural?"
  • Midwife calls doctor who arrives way too late for my liking (the anesthesiologist will do the same thing)
  • Doctor confirms my cervix has actually become swollen and therefore is constricting, rather than dilating, but apparently this hasn't been communicated to the rest of my uterus that is trying to push the baby out of a 5 cm opening
  • Doctor says baby is stuck and recommends an emergency Caesarian Section to which I beg, "Whatever, just get it out of me!"
  • The anesthesiologist replaces the nitris oxide as my new best friend
  • Doctor wouldn't let me watch the procedure, but David put the camera above the curtain and took a couple photos:
And then David and I couldn't take our eyes off this perfect little one who stopped crying as soon as he was placed on my chest.

Our little Macduff.

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