Rose’s birth story
The night before Rose was born I woke up a couple of times to Morris yelling that he was thirsty. I didn’t think that this would be the start of her birth story. At 5am I got up to get him something to drink again I noticed my water had broken. Not knowing what this meant in terms to labour progression, I paged my midwives. I was told that I would likely go into labour, “sometime soon, in the next 24 hours or so”.
So my husband stayed home from work and we made plans for Morris to be taken care of that day. My midwife phoned mid-afternoon to check in. She said that we had a 24 hour window for labour to start naturally. After that we would need to go to the hospital to induce it medically. She suggested using a breast pump to start contractions. Although I had heard of this I was skeptical, but was willing to try to avoid induction. Using the breast pump caused contractions instantly. Unfortunately, they were mild and didn’t progress over the next few hours.
We met our midwife at their clinic a few hours later. The baby and I were monitored and then we went back home. Our instructions were to continue with the breast pump and to take castor oil at 9pm if the contractions hadn’t gotten any stronger. At 9pm I reluctantly had my first dose of castor oil, 2 ounces. Thankfully my sister had told me to cut the oil with orange juice because I’m not sure I could have done it otherwise. Over the next 2 hours I had 3 more ounces of castor oil and continued pumping. I won’t go into detail about what the castor oil does, but it worked. By 11:30pm I was in active labour.
We paged the midwives, got in the car and went to the hospital. Since it was late, the hospital, including the labour/maternity wing was locked. The main entrance is through the emergency department which is on the opposite end of the maze of a hospital. Ahead of time we had been told that if you park in the underground parking lot there is an unlocked entrance directly into the labour/maternity wing. And so we went to the parking garage. We parked and took the elevator to the first floor as instructed, the door led outside. We tried every other floor with no success. Again, we paged the midwives and as we had by then figured out, we were in the wrong parking garage. My contractions were on top of each other and I knew the baby was coming.
There was no way I was going to get back in the car, pay for parking, and drive to the next lot. I told my husband I had to walk there. I knew where it was, but didn’t quite realize how far it was, or how COLD it was outside (about -17). We walked through the snow and my midwife met us at the door with a wheelchair. We went in and I had a quick shower. I kept insisting that I had to go to the washroom, but my midwife told me I was ready to have the baby. 20 minutes after we arrived, three pushes and a few screams later Rose was born at 12:45am weighing 6.2 lbs. My sweet little girl.
When Morris was born we were back at home within 2 hours, (at some point I should write about his birth story) and were hoping to do the same with Rose. But her blood sugar was low and so I had to feed her, give her some formula and her sugars were tested again every couple of hours until they were high enough for 3 consecutive tests.
In the morning, while we waited for our final blood sugar test, my sister brought Morris to the hospital to see us. She had not told him that we had a girl. When he came into the room he climbed up on the bed with me. I introduced him to his sister, Rose. I said, “she’s a girl”. He looked very sad and said, “no its a boy!” I again said she is a girl and tears welled up in his eyes, he leaned on me and said, “oh… I was wrong Mommy, you were right”. He honestly looked as though he was going to cry, but he bounced back quickly and held and kissed her. He has since told me that he loves his sister, and has yet to ask that we give her back.
Rose’s early arrival was the best gift. We were able to visit all of our immediate family over the holidays and everyone was able to hear her birth story and enjoy some cuddles!