My water broke on May 22nd, at 7:45 am. Dane had literally come home from BC at 3:30 am that morning. I was laying in bed and I knew that I was gonna go into labour that day, I dunno know how or why I knew, but I had gone to bed the night before with a weird feeling in my stomach. I had blamed my supper (Boston Pizza, why do you keep me coming back?! Oh ya, perogy pizza). Turns out it was Olive getting ready to make her grand entrance. So ya, back to my water breaking. I stood up out of bed and it was like a mini waterfall, so much water on the floor that I slipped (that’s not a lie. Like for real though). Here’s a fun little fact that I didn’t know. Once your water breaks… you keep leaking. ALL. DAY. And you don’t really stop leaking till like two weeks after you have your baby. So I sent Dane put to buy the really cool super jumbo, “I’m an old lady and pee myself” pads, and almost went through the whole bag.
I texted my midwife who just told me to stay at home and relax until my contractions were 3-5 mins apart. You know how in movies the woman’s water breaks and she instantly starts screaming and the baby is about to fall out between her legs? Ya, that’s not what happens at all. Which is weird, cuz Hollywood is so realistic (Rachel Green anyone? When she’s in labour with Emma? I like how they made her forehead look sweaty to make her look “relatable.” Lady, I get a sweaty forehead walking to the fridge to get my håagan-dazs, PUH-LEEZ). So I spend Sunday pretending I’m not silently freaking out in my head with a giant diaper between my legs. She wasn’t due until June 7, so I had my diaper bag at the cabin, over an hour away. So off to the cabin we went. I started to get tiny contractions on the way back to the city, but only tiny ones that didn’t really hurt at all. I ate Thai food for supper and called it a night. Around 3:00 am my contractions started to get more painful. Like they would wake me up and I would have to crouch over and hold my stomach, but they were still 45 mins apart. I didn’t really get much sleep that night.
Monday morning rolls around and I ask my midwife if she can check me, so we go to her house. It’s 10:00 am. Do you know how you get checked to see how far dilated you are? NOT with a ruler. Think latex glove and a hand. “Please don’t leak on her white couch, please don’t leak on her white couch, please don’t leak in her white couch” kept running through my head. “You’re 4 cm dilated! You’ll have this baby by the end of today” she says. This sense of excitement and absolute fear comes over me. She sends us home and says that until my contractions are 3-5 mins apart, there’s no need to go the hospital. So we go home. And wait. And do nothing. It’s the strangest thing… you literally have to wait for one of the most life changing experiences, fully knowing it’s going to happen in the next few hours. The things that go through your head are crazy, and your nerves are shot, and you’re uncomfortable. Basically, labour sucks.
At 1:00 pm my contractions are getting stronger and closer together. So I text my midwife that I want to go to the hospital. So she tells us to meet her there at 2:45. We grab our stuff and go. Here’s the weird part, I didn’t cry ever. Not even during labour or after I had her. But you know when I ALMOST did cry? Leaving my house. It was this weird realization that the next time I would walk through these doors again, I would have a little babe with me.
2:45- Get to the Lois Hole Hospital for women and go up to our room. So because I went with a midwife, there was not doctors, no nurses, no commotion in the room. Like my midwife literally brought her knitting stuff to knit. THAT’S how chill it was. She tell us to do whatever we need to do to pass the time. So we go downstairs and Dane gets a snack from Tim Hortons, my mom gets a drink, I just walk and try not to freak out. On the way back up to our room my contractions start to get a bit more intense. I have to stop walking and take breaks and crouch over.
4:00- My contractions had slowed down, so they were getting further apart, which is no bueno. So my midwife suggests that I jump into the hot shower to help myself relax. I go in there for about 40 mins and it works, cuz they’re coming back and they’re mad. They are INTENSE. She checks me and I’m 7 cm dilated. I decide it’s time to go into the pool, because I only have 3 more cm to go until I can start pushing, and I really want to have her in the water. Here’s the thing about a birthing pool. It’s the best thing ever. My contractions felt way less intense in the warm water, and they were way more manageable. I labour in there from about 4:00 to 9:00 pm. And in that time, my contractions were intense, on a scale of 1-10 pain wise, they’re at a 10. All 1-3 mins apart. I think the adrenaline makes you sick, cuz I puked. A lot. My mom would come over and hold a bucket for me while I barfed, and then I pee’d in the pool and started freaking out cuz I didn’t want my baby to swim in my pee. My midwife just laughed and said it wasn’t a big deal. So then I just kept peeing after that. Haha, I kid, I kid.
The thing about having a baby is that it’s really boring. You’re literally just waiting for hours and hours for a human to pop out of your vajayjay. At 9:00 I called my midwife over and I whispered “Tara, I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I am in a lot of pain. Is there anything else other than an epidural that I can have for pain?” And this is why I will never bring a baby into this world other than with a midwife. She knelt by the pool, put her had on my wet arm that probably had pee and barf on it and she smiled and said “I know. You are doing amazing. Your breathing techniques are perfect, you’re working through contractions perfectly, you’re staying calm. But no, there isn’t really anything I can give you for pain.” Her reassurance actually helped so much. It sounds so cheesy, but you need to hear those words. Did it help my pain? Not one bit. But it helped me mentally. You think you’re pretty BA when you realize how tough you are. She decided that because I had laboured for 5 hours with contraction so close together, I could probably even be ready to start pushing soon.
So she tells me to get out of the pool and lay on the bed, she’s gonna check me. Getting out of the water sucked. You’re wet, cold, and in pain. But I somehow manage to get out and get checked. I’m laying on my back, she checks me. Her hand comes up and her face says it all. And I already knew what she’s gonna say. “I’m so sorry Claudia. You’re still at 7 cm. I’m not sure what’s happening.”
Oh I’ll flipping tell you what’s happening. I’m being punished for stealing glitter pens from my desk buddy in grade 7. I’m being punished for that time I snuck out of the house at 16. I’m being punished for flipping my dad the bird at 15. I’m being punished for grabbing that stupid alley cat by the tail and swinging it in a circle cuz it wouldn’t leave me alone when I was 9. I’m being punished for telling my 4 year old brother that a ghost named Martha lived in our attic for years. Know what else is happening? I’m getting that bloody epidural shoved into my spine, because I’ve had enough.
Here’s the funny thing about pride though. It makes you do stupid things. I still had too much pride to admit that I wanted the stupid needle that would grant me oh such sweet relief. Tara (my midwife) looks at me because she knows she just crushed my dreams and everything good in the world when she told me I hadn’t progressed. Dream crusher. That’s what she is. She says “Claudia, I know you didn’t want an epidural. And you’ve done amazing so far. You have gone 12 hours with your contractions less than 5 mins apart. But I need you to save your energy for pushing the baby out. Because the doctor that’s on call right now, if we end up needing him, he’s gonna do a c-section. I know him, and that’s always what he chooses to do. And you don’t want a c-section if you can help it. So I’m suggesting to you, as your midwife… to get the epidural.” Music to my ears. Hit me up with the drugs then Tara! So Tara, my dream crusher midwife whom I love, goes to the front desk and tells the nurses that I’m gonna get the epidural. And I am R-E-A-D-Y. She comes back, and I’m laying on my back with a contraction happening, and I look up and see her face. “Where is the anesthesiologist?” “Um… he had to go into an emergency c-section… so they aren’t sure when he’s gonna be free. And he’s the only one on call tonight.” See what I mean by dream crusher? “wait…. so I have to keep labouring, with these contractions for who knows HOW long?” OK. So when I was 14 I stole $14 in change from someone. That’s what this is really about. Because this definitely feels like payback…..
…… To be continued another day.