Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pearl's Birth Story...Finally

Pearl was born almost four months ago and I'm just getting to this.  Better late than never though, right?

Also...this is long.  If you just want to look at photos, they are near the end.
Pearl's due date was October 7th.  I had a feeling that she would come early.  I started having daily irregular contractions around the weekend of September 24th.  By that point I was so ready for her to come.  Jeremy and I went on multiple walks around the Glendoveer trail trying to induce labor that weekend.  There seemed to be no new progression so I went back to work on Monday and started preparing for my design review that Wednesday.

We had an appointment with a midwife earlier in the week.  She said I was dilated to 3cm and was 40% effaced.  I was having a ton of contractions every day, but nothing regular and nothing painful so I knew it wasn't quite time yet, but it must be getting close.

I worked hard that week to prepare for my meeting on Wednesday.  People on my team would periodically come by just to make sure I was still at my desk and not at the hospital.  We were all hoping I could at least make it until after the design review.
I made it to the meeting.  I started having regular contractions about 7 minutes apart while we were presenting.  This was around 5:00pm on Wednesday September 28th.  I sat in the meeting and waited for everyone to finish.  The contractions still were not very painful, but I was starting to feel super hot and I think people could just tell by looking at me that she would be coming soon.  After the meeting, I was convinced that I would not be back to work the next day.

I drove the 45 minute commute back home and continued to count my contractions which were still about 7 minutes apart.  We had dinner and I made sure my hospital bag was ready to go.  The contractions became irregular again at about 10pm.  I assumed it must have been a false alarm.  We went to bed.  I was disappointed.

I woke up around 2am on September 29th in pain.  My contractions were starting to hurt and I had a strange pain in my back that I didn't really expect.  The contractions were still completely irregular.  I was confused because I figured they would at least be close together when they started to hurt.

I got out of bed and went into the living room.  I started doing some of the positions we learned in class to get through the contractions.  I decided to let Jeremy sleep for a while.  He had no idea that I was even out of bed.  At around 2:45am I felt some wetness during one of the contractions.  I remembered learning that when your water broke, it could be in a "trickle or a gush."  So I thought maybe it had broken, but I wasn't positive.

I called the hospital.  The nurse told me that it may have broken and if I felt more wetness to give her a call.  It happened again with the next contraction.  I called back and she told me to eat something, take a shower if I wanted, and to come in to the hospital.

I woke Jeremy at about 3am.  He was completely confused.  He thought I was waking him to get ready for work.  The guy isn't very alert in the morning.  He took a shower and I ate some cereal.  Once he was out of the shower I fully explained to him what was going on.  He decided to dress for work just in case this "was a false alarm."  I kept telling him that if your water breaks, it's definitely going to happen, but he put on his polo shirt anyway.

We got to the hospital a little after 4am.  It took a while for us to get into the triage room and the contractions were really getting to an uncomfortable point.  I was also losing more fluid with each one.  It was pretty gross to be honest.  It would have been nice if it had all come at once.

They did a test to confirm that my water had broken.  It had.  Jeremy asked if we were going to be admitted or sent home.  The nurse said "you are definitely having a baby today."  I think he finally believed it.

They don't like to check you much once your water breaks because it can introduce bacteria so they did an ultrasound to check Pearl's position.  She was occiput posterior which explained the back pain.  The midwife said not to worry about it too much because they generally end up turning themselves at some point.

We were admitted into our nice room and I ordered food knowing that pretty soon I would be in so much pain that I wouldn't want to eat.  My family showed up around 6:30am which was about the same time my food arrived and I decided there was no way I could eat it.  My contractions were finally regular, about 2-3 minutes apart.  There was only one position that I wanted to be in during contractions.  We had the back of the bed up and I would just lean over it looking at the floor while Jeremy rubbed my back.  The pain was so terrible.  With each contraction I felt super nauseous and thought I might pass out.  In between contractions I paced around the room like a crazy person.

I needed to know that I was making progress so around 8:30am I asked for the midwife to check me.  Keep in mind that I had been dilated to 3cm all week.  I thought for sure I was at least 6 or 7cm.  Nope, 4cm.  I cried.  I couldn't believe there was such little progress.  I really didn't want to get an epidural that early because I was afraid it would slow progress, but since I was having very little progress anyway I opted to just do it.  I had my epidural around 9am.  It was so hard to sit still during contractions while she put it in.

Once I had my epidural, I watched "What About Bob" and could not believe how different labor was with and without an epidural.  There was definitely good and bad associated with it.  I was glad to have pain relief, but was bothered that my legs were completely numb at first.  My body started to finally make real progress after that.  This is the opposite of how people said it would happen with an epidural so maybe I was just lucky.  I was glad that I didn't need pitocin.  I was checked at around 3:45pm.  I was fully dilated.
Once we found out I was ready to push
I started to push around 4:00pm.  By that point I could feel my legs enough that I could move them around on my own. That made me really happy because I didn't want people to help me with that the whole time.  I could also feel my contractions enough that I knew when to push.  I liked knowing that I was still in control of my body enough to know what to do.  I was afraid I would need people to move my legs around for me and that the only way I would know when to push was to watch the contractions peak on the screen.

I pushed for 2.5 hours.  It was my favorite part of labor.  It was nice to feel like I was consciously doing something to get her out.  The midwife would count while I pushed and I kept asking if I could get one more push in during each contraction.  I really wanted to keep going.  I found out later that the pushing took so long because she had her fist up by her head making it more difficult to get her out.
At 6:29pm Pearl was born.  They put her on my chest and she just stared at me.  It was an amazing experience.  We just looked at each other.  She was so beautiful.
There was a lot going on around us.  I was bleeding a ton and the midwife couldn't figure out why.  She called for the surgeon to come in to assist her.  My mom told me later that the midwife was kind of freaking out.  I really didn't know that was going on.  I was just looking at my girl.
They finally got me stitched up, Pearl latched right on when we tried breast feeding for the first time, and I ate a big plate of food while the family came in to meet her.
The nurses were absolutely amazing.  All of the midwives I worked with were great too.  The staff was so encouraging and helpful during our entire stay.  I'm so blessed to have this experience and most importantly my healthy baby girl.


  1. as soon as i got the epidural i could not believe the difference! i literally went from feeling like i was being tortured to feeling like i was on vacation. it was amazing. i'm glad everything went so smoothly!

  2. I love the picture of you two right before you gave birth to your sweet baby girl! You look so happy and excited! You did so great, and I look forward to hearing about all of your fun times ahead as your family grows! Yay!


  3. Wow. You sound like you had a great experience. I'm SO nervous for the labor part (if/when) it happens.

  4. Great story! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  5. Thanks for sharing! Ever since having Blake I love hearing other peoples experiences. Such an amazing thing!

  6. Woah! I love your new banner!!!

  7. You wrote it beautifully. It's so important to get it down in writing because time has a way of making you forget, unfortunately. She will love reading this when she is older.

  8. Oh my gosh Kira those pictures of Pearl laying on you just looking at you had me bawling! She is so precious!


  9. So sweet Kira! And I love, love, love your new banner!

  10. Beautiful story. Glad everything went so well for you! Love the pictures.

    Also, just tagged you in an "11 Random Things" post if you want to do it sometime. If not, no worries. ;)

  11. Just beautiful... There is nothing else to say.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your story! The pictures are beautiful and your writing is great, this was a joy to read. I can't even begin to tell you how scared I am of giving birth and the fact you included "my favourite part was...", I think it really switched something in my brain, and I see it differently now!

  13. Such a sweet story! I teared up when I read that you were just enjoying looking at your baby girl, not even knowing about all the bleeding and the freaking out midwife. What a beautiful story and beautiful pictures!


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