Posts Tagged "birth story"

Amelia’s arrival

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in family, Life in Writing, pregnancy | 5 comments

Amelia’s arrival

Sometimes I mix up reality and fiction. I get thinking that if something is going really well, then something purely awful is bound to be just around the corner. I think this about everything, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s not really a surprise that I was kind of dreading childbirth for this reason. Don’t get me wrong–I had a wonderful pregnancy. I loved every minute of it, actually, and it was an easy pregnancy, too. Something about that made me think that the actual labour and delivery part of it was going to be the worst experience of my life–something not only painful, but possibly traumatic. I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels this way. The “something must go wrong because everything is going too well” mentality is very real. So, naturally, with such an easy pregnancy, I thought I must be in for one whopper of a labour. I was prepared for this. I hired a doula and the two of us wrote up a birth plan together. It was pretty basic, but I did have an idea of things I really didn’t want to happen, if I could avoid them. I tried to be mostly loose on those conditions, in case I changed my mind, and in case my pain tolerance wasn’t as high as I thought it would be. My doula, Elise Fougère, is someone I’ve known for several years through university, and someone I have come to know as a friend. She recently completed her DONA training and the two of us met to discuss the possibility of me partaking of her services. This was really very late on in my pregnancy–we met up at something around 36 or 37 weeks. On New Year’s Eve, when I was partway through my 38th week of pregnancy, I started noticing that I was having a lot of contractions. I started timing them and I noticed that they were coming closer and closer together–around 7 minutes to start with, then 5. I got ahold of Elise and she came to keep me company and, kindly, cleaned up after me when I threw up on the floor–the first time I was sick the whole pregnancy. She massaged my swollen feet, helped me work on the nursery, and we called Brad to let him know what was happening. When he came home from work, we prepared ourselves to have to go to the hospital at any point. We rang in the New Year by playing Pokémon and watching Community. It was the tamest New Year’s Eve I’d ever spent (“says the woman in labour!” scoffed Elise). I went to bed that night, fully expecting to wake up with painful contractions, but the next morning, we were back to inconsistency. We were all pretty disappointed. Elise headed home for the time being, and checked on me repeatedly for the days to come. Brad and I spent our time playing video games, marathon-ing Community, and hanging out. I was incredibly uncomfortable, because the baby’s head had dropped, and moving around had become a chore. We tried not to think too much about how ready we were for our baby girl to get here. By the evening of January 3rd, I said to myself “it’s okay if she doesn’t come tomorrow. I will find something else to do–I’ll cook us a nice meal. It’ll be fine.” Naturally, I was awoken by my water breaking at 8:30 the following morning; it was the first thing that happened as I got out of bed. “Good morning!” I texted to Elise. “My water just broke!” Mildly painful contractions started up immediately, and Elise met us at home before we headed to the hospital. By around 11, we were told that I was almost completely effaced, and that I should come back as soon as I started feeling particularly miserable. I had suggested around 8 PM, thinking my labour would take much longer than it was about to. Both Elise and the nurse laughed at my naïveté. We went home, where...

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