This series is about our family welcoming our 4th child into our family, a little baby girl named Makayla Brittany. Even though this is my 4th child, she has thrown things at me in her short little time here on earth that have made me completely question how my other 3 have made it this far. Also I have learned a lot in these few weeks and thats why I decided to split this into smaller posts rather than 1 big long one. Forgive me if nothing makes sense, Im still deep in the newborn fog and sometimes cant even understand english because of the utter exhausted of sleep deprivation and having other kids to feed and well, at this point just keep alive.
So I hope you enjoy this little series on ‘Having a New baby’ First up: Labour and Delivery
The Labour Story
So everyone always wants to know how your new little monkey comes into the world. How long was it? How long did you push? Did you get an epidural? Did they eat right away? Are you doing skin-to-skin? Who do they look like and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on for 18 years.
So I wont get into TOO much gory details but here we go; The day Makayla was born
So you need a bit of a back story to understand what and why things went the way they did.
At the end of the summer, our house sold and we moved into our friends basement. We are going to be building our own house but WHERE we are living is crucial to the story. So our friends are a family of 6, actually the same kid layout as us: Girl, Girl, Boy, Girl. So basically there are currently 8 kids and 4 adults living under the same roof. Now we have learned as we share this information, once people get past the horrified look on their face as they imagine this scenario, we have learned people have some very funny interpretations to what this looks like. We have had people ask us if all the kids sleep in the same room, if our family living in a basically unfinished dungeon in the basement or many other wildly imaginative ways we are doing this. So I’ll clarify to give you an idea. We live in a suite/apartment in our friends finished basement. Our friends live up stairs and we live downstairs. There is a separate entrance, our own bathroom, a kitchen, living room and sleeping area. No its not set up as traditional rooms but the way we have set it up makes it so it feels that way. And its temporary and who really cares. (also our kids are all really good friends, play all the time and us adults are as well so it works out really well but thats not really necessary information for my labour haha)
Second backstory you need to know. The hospital in our town does not deliver babies. So you need to go approx 1.5 hours away to get to the hospital. There are also no OBGYN’s here and most women used our midwife clinic and a lot even have home births that they plan out due to all this. (I used these same midwives with my pregnancy & delivery of Matthew but we actually planned and went to the hospital with him)
Last piece of information you need to know. My labours, once going, tend to be quick. Once my water broke with Mackenzie she was born 1 hr 45 mins later. This is why we went to the hospital with Matthew and broke my water there b/c I had NO desire to drive 1.5 hours in labour, have a baby in a car or get stuck in a snowstorm and then have a baby in the car because he was born in January. SO we knew this L & D would be fast and would likely not make it to the hospital but I also wasnt jumping up and down to have a home birth, ESPECIALLY due to our living situation and how close everyone was in our sleeping area. I kept saying-with our friends family upstairs and ours downstairs, thats a LOT of people to traumatize in one go.
The small problem was–we didnt really come up with a ‘plan’ per say as an alternative to hospital vs home. We had some idea’s, the midwife clinic is down the street, my friend who is one of the midwives also lives beside it and was trying to convince me that was an option. In the end though, we really didnt have any concrete plan in place at the time.
So back to the story, it was Thanksgiving weekend. Our friends who live upstairs were away visiting family. My mom and step dad came up the saturday and visited and then my dad came up Sunday. On Sunday, one of the midwives is a good friend of mine, and since midwives are awesome, she checked me Sunday morning to see if I was dilating etc. I was 3 cm at that time. The rest of the day, we just hung out, cooked thanksgiving dinner, went for a walk into town. I was having some contractions by the afternoon/evening but they didnt really feel regular or too painful. Also with Mackenzie and Matthew, the days before I had them I would have like these 8 hour spells of super painful and regular contractions and then they would just go away!! It was SOO annoying.
My dad went home around 7/8 pm and around 9 I was talking to my friend/midwife and telling her what was going on and they decided they would just come check me (at my house cuz thats how awesome midwives are….and yes I will rave about them this whole post) So they came and I was still about 3ish cm. So they left and I decided to go to bed. I couldnt sleep and the contractions were getting a bit more painful and by laying down all I was doing was focusing on the pain. So I decided I needed to get up. I think I just walked in circles for an hour, and then decided to download a contraction app because they seemed like they might be getting more regular. I then took a screen shot of the app results to my midwife and she decided to come check me again, and said if I had progressed that maybe we would break my water and just get this show on the road. By the time she got there, the contractions had gotten painful, and since everyone in my house was sleeping, I was getting into my head a bit (I let Lorne sleep for most of this because I hate when people talk to me when Im in pain lol)
So after these more painful contractions I came up with a master plan. I was going to ‘stop my labour’ (yes I actually said this to my midwife) and go to bed. Then in the morning, we could all drive to the hospital, I would get an epidural and THEN I would let me ‘start’ labour again.
My midwifes response ‘So NO. Your 7 cm’s, your not going anywhere, your having a baby right now’
My reply ‘k no, I dont think you heard my plan’
I decided at that point, maybe I should wake up Lorne…..who legit is clueless to what is going on. I woke him up, kenzie woke up to go pee, matthew woke up to sing and talk to me. I went back in and Lorne was passed out again! (It was like 2 am)
I go up to him and nicely scream ‘LORNE GET UP’
He jumps up and is like ‘WHY?!?!?!?!?”
Im like ‘WE ARE HAVING A BABY’
He goes ‘TODAY!?!?!?!??!?!??!?!?!?!!?”
*Face Palm* Yes like RIGHT NOW dude.
He then leaps out of bed
So since our friends were gone upstairs, and we also didnt have anyone to stay with the kids if we did decide to go somewhere (we had lots of people on call but by the time I woke them up and they got over, well I’d be holding a newborn. And to be honest, I seriously wasnt even thinking about the kids sleeping haha
So we go upstairs and the only plan we really had was they were going to break my water and then I would possibly get in the shower. I dont remember any other plan making than that like ‘where will you have this baby’ might have been something we wouldn’t have thrown out there but nah.
So they broke my water and then S#!% got real. Real fast. I had one crazy contraction, decided to get in the shower immediately. Had a few awful awful contractions, thought I was going to throw up, bent down to throw up and then a head popped out. Now the problem was her arm was across her face, so even though her head popped out…her body wasnt as willing. That is when the screaming ‘GET IT OUT OF ME’ commenced until her arm moved and she flew out (my memory of how it happened is she went flying down the bathtub. My friend/midwife says it wasnt as dramatic but I seem to like my version better lol)
So from the time my water broke to her being born was about 30 minutes. Because of how fast that was, it was like my body didnt catch up with what happened so instead of feeling relief and the ‘it is over’ feeling, I just felt awful and like I was still in labour, I went into a bit of shock and was shaking and then because I was wet from the shower, became immediately freezing.I also recall screaming ‘TIE MY TUBES RIGHT NOW IM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN…cuz Im not dramatic or anything.’ After wrapping me up in what my husband called a painters cloth (he’s so lovely eh) and putting head pads on me, I FINALLY stopped shaking and once things calmed down even more, I was actually able to hold my new baby girl. A very different experience than my other 3 where I held them immediately, but it was also nice because I was out of commission my husband got the first snuggles and time with her which is also really special.
So there we were, lying on my friends couch at 3 am, holding a newborn I just delivered in her bathtub while they were away visiting family. A lot of people think thats the craziest thing in the world, (and I do as well) but also, because since moving up here I have met so many moms who have had home births it wasnt as crazy as being somewhere in the city where this just does not happen as much. (well maybe it does)
The sweet thing about midwives is they do everything the hospital does. So they did all the same checks and test on me and baby. All the same paper work, I even had her health card # before they left. After things were all cleaned up (I will def spare you any details, but surprisingly it is not even half as bad or gross as you imagine in your head…..but Im not sure I can convince you of that in this post alone)
So the midwives left around 6 a.m. so we fell asleep for the first time in who knows how many hours I had been up…..and then our kids woke up at 7:30! Lorne had gone downstairs and fallen asleep earlier so he got Matthew and came upstairs to see me, not knowing Mackenzie was following him. When I saw her I said to Lorne ‘did you warn her about who she is about to meet??’
*another face palm*
I wish I had a picture of Mackenzies face as she walked up to me and then saw a baby laying on me. She immediately runs and screams downstairs ‘MADISON, GET UP HERE THERES A SURPRISE ………. ITS A BABY!’
Madison’s response ‘No its not common, come down and play’
She FINALLY convinced her to come and see, and then we all sat there on our friends couch in complete and utter shock that this newest addition to our family was all of a sudden here. Well minus Matthew he just stared at her very unimpressed and wouldn’t go near her for hours, until then he decided to drive a car on her face as their first interaction-but more on that in the next post on how we are all adjusting and transitioning.
We then facetimed all our family, who literally had left hours before and shocked them with her arrival as well.
So here are a few pic’s of the first days. Stay tuned to the next posts about how we are all transitioning, some challenges we have had with feeding and weight gain (yes again), and how important a community is to have especially in times like this!