Today is Alexie first birthday! I am so excited to be able to celebrate this milestone in her life. I have been truly blessed with an incredible baby girl. In honour of her birthday, I thought I’d share with you her birth story!
I had a glorious pregnancy. Seriously. It was wonderful. One of those mythical, unicorn-type pregnancies. I never had morning sickness, backache or really any symptom other than being tired in the first few months and of course a growing belly.
As we got closer to our due date, the mid-summer heat started to get to me. I spent most days in my parent’s pool and was swelling like crazy. I actually gained most of my baby weight during the last month, purely due to weather-related swelling. I was big, hot, tired and wanted this baby out!
We tried walking to coax her out, but it didn’t work. In the days leading up to her delivery, I walked and biked 5 km each. Every day!
I was 4 days over my due date and getting impatient. I had an appointment with my doctor on Wednesday. If our little one didn’t arrive by Friday we would be sent for a non-stress test and ultrasound and would have been induced the following day. But our doctor, a truly wonderful OB, gave me a sweep. She also mentioned that she was working at the hospital the next day and that she might be able to take pity on me and have me induced while she was there. That idea really appealed to me. I would have been induced two days later and I wasn’t fond of the idea of being at the mercy of whoever happened to be on call, especially over the weekend. So we agreed that we would wait for a call the next morning to possibly be induced (providing that they had room in the ward).
We decided to make the most of possibly our last day without kids. We did some shopping, grabbed some dinner out and even took in a movie (Ant-Man, which was great!). We headed home, went to bed and anxiously waited for a call.
The call came around 5:30am. We could come in around 8am. Considering we lived almost 40 minutes from the hospital, we started getting ready. Showering, last minute packing and I even ate some breakfast.
As I sat there eating my toast, I felt the tiniest little cramp on the top of my belly. It was a little strange but I didn’t think much of it. That is until I felt it again about 10 minutes later. Maybe this was the start, I thought, as we drove to the hospital.
By the time we arrived and were admitted, I was having these little cramps every 10 minutes, like clockwork. But they were very light, more like a little muscle twitch.
The doctor came in to check me before starting the Pitocin and starting the induction. She was surprised that I was already 4 cm dilated. So we opted to just break my water to see if that would be enough to move along the contractions. Sure enough, it was.
I walked the halls for about 45 minutes. By then, I was having contractions every 2-4 minutes and they were long and painful. Several times my husband asked if I wanted my epidural (which was the plan) but I refused. I think pain does something weird to your mind. I couldn’t walk, talk or stand anymore but was still refusing the epidural. I’m pretty sure he left the room and talked to the nurse because she showed up and offered it to me.
I finally accepted and by 12:30pm I was feeling great. No pain and feeling great. I took a nap for about an hour while my husband (the active busybody that he is) went for a little walk. When the nurse checked me again, I was fully dilated but felt no pressure, no urge to push. So we waited for another hour to see if I would get that feeling.
It never came.
So we decided to try pushing based on the monitors and see how that went. I pushed and pushed but never felt anything (hallelujah for the epidural!). We kept having to watch the monitor to see when I was having a contraction. Eventually, I got a little Pitocin not because I while I was having strong contractions, they were about 5 minutes apart. And occasionally I would miss one, (again because I couldn’t feel it) and would be waiting for 10 minutes between pushes. After about an hour, the doctor came in and things started to move.
I was pushing every minute or two and she was on her way out. The nurses and doctors kept playing with her hair, giving her little mohawks and curls. I just kept pushing when they told me to. The doctor said, “One more and she’s here.” I actually thought she was joking. I thought for sure that I would feel something. But on the next push, they pulled her out, plopped her on my chest and I was a little surprised. But there she was and I couldn’t be happier.
After a little more than 9 hours of labour (from the first small twinge) our little Alexie Rose was born. She weighed 7lbs 9oz and was 21.5” long. She was perfect.
She must have gotten the notice about the induction and decided to come on her own. But she wasn’t happy about it. She was born screaming, not a little cry, but an “I’m-mad-as-hell” scream. She had a whole bunch of personality even then.
That night in the hospital, we marvelled at her little high-pitched cry and her incredible appetite. She had her first bath and we read her a story from her keepsake storybook. She met her grandparents and great-grandmother as well as 2 of her aunts. I recovered well, once I could feel my feet again. My epidural took a little too well and it was almost 12 hours before I could fully feel my feet again. My only complication (if you could call it that) was that I’m slightly allergic to medical tape and had a rash on my back and hands from where they taped down my I.V. and epidural.
It’s been a year since she first arrived and I couldn’t have asked for the better child. It’s been incredible to watch Alexie grow and change. It’s been an adventure. We’ve had our share of sleepless nights, spit-up covered shirts and poopy diapers. But we’ve also witnessed the biggest smiles, loudest little squeals of joy and her dance moves (she takes after her mama). She’s gotten bigger, blonder, louder and definitely has more personality. She lights up my life every day. I can’t wait to see that the next year brings and to watch her grow up even more.