Monday, June 3, 2013

My Birth Story

On Sunday, May 19th, Scarlet Evangeline joined our little family. She's the one we've been waiting for for so long and now we are complete. This is the story of how it all happened, a sort of journal entry for me to remember that day and its details forever. 
I was scheduled for an induction on the 19th and Phil and I arrived at the hospital at about 7am. The night before had been pretty decent, all in all, though I had been warned that I might not be able to sleep. But despite the nerves and the excitement I did crash into a wonderful deep slumber and felt rested the next morning. The boys were already at Ouma's house, so we had a nice relaxing night. I did have a moment though, when I was washing my hair that night before and studying my pregnant belly and that crazy outie belly button. I felt so overwhelmingly sad and I suppose I was grieving the end of a pregnancy and the end of this stage in our lives. This is our last baby and though I need and want to move on now, I have truly loved everything about carrying these tiny beings and (though it was not always peaches and cream) I will sorely miss it. So as all those emotions swept over me, I had a good heart wrenching but cathartic cry. Time to let go, move on and grow up. 

The nurses got things going at the hospital after we checked in and my IV was put in with antibiotics for my group B strep. At about 8:40am they began to add small amounts of pitocin to the mix and it was increased at about 9:40. I could feel the contractions but they were not uncomfortable and that's how it felt for a long time, really minimal. It was a lot of sitting and chatting and eating popsicles for a while. At about 11am the contractions were at a medium intensity for me and about 3-4 minutes apart. I could tell though that things were progressing and so I requested that they place the epidural which they did at 11:30am. Hunching over a belly is a bazillion times easier to do when you're not in the middle of a hell raising contraction. So it was done and we waited until I really needed those pain meds which ended up being at about 3:30pm, about an hour and a half after the doctor broke my water. At that point I was about 4cm dilated which I wasn't too thrilled about but once I reach about a 5, the rest flies by. The pain meds brought instant relief and left me with a delicious numbness down my right side but, as luck would have it, that didn't cut it in the end. The pain actually returned and became insane after about 10-15 minutes and I began to feel everything again. I turned onto my left side to see if that would help and for about 45 minutes (yet it felt like MUCH longer), I was shaking from the inside out, gripping the side of the bed and holding on for dear life. You know the feeling .... 

Well my mother and sister were absolute life savers for me. They stayed right next to me and kept cold washcloths on my face and neck, something I'd not ever tried but which felt absolutely wonderful at that time. Daena said those cloths would be really hot after a few seconds on me, so she would run back and forth to the bathroom to make them cold again. Then she'd rub my legs in between contractions and my mom tried to remind me to breath slowly. I had asked for more pain meds, mind you, but for whatever reason, the nurse must have thought my original dose would set in and help me eventually as she sort of dragged her feet a bit on getting the anesthesiologist in there again. But finally, at about 4:30, he came in again and gave me something else. Just before his arrival I had burst into tears as I felt that enormous pressure down below, the kind that assures you that you're about to meet your baby. I was checked once again (post 2nd chance at meds) and was finally at 10cm. My doc was called and though I began to relax into a new state of relief and sort of zoned out a bit on the happenings inside my now busy hospital room, I do know that we waited ... and waited, and all in all, it ended up being about 30 minutes before he made it to my side. At the time we were bewildered at the idea of waiting at 10 cm dilated and ready to push for that long (surely a nurse could just catch her for me?!) but looking back, it was absolutely a good thing for me as it allowed the new pain relief to settle in enough to take the edge off when I was ready to push. I certainly felt more than I had in the past but I know that it did not compare to a natural experience. Scarlet was born at 5:08pm, after pushing through about 3 contractions. 

She cried the minute her head was out and I watched her as she continued to make her way free and finally onto my chest. She looked at me instantly, blinking in shock at her new world, and sticking her little tongue out at me over and over just as we had seen her do in her ultrasounds. 

It's wild how different each epidural experience can me. No two were ever alike. Parker's birth was the only one that I did not feel though I sure as heck felt the several hours of work that it took to get to a 4. And of course I was new at it all, new enough to try everything under the sun to manage that pain - bath, birthing ball, hanging on spouse, swaying hips ... so embarrassing when I think back on it! And then with Monty and Elliot things went incredibly fast once I arrived at the hospital, with an epi in me just 15 or 30 minutes before I started pushing. And then this time, it not really working the way I had hoped it would. I tend to think that for me, having that relief there as an option is possibly all I really need to just get through it. That they could be shooting sugar water through those tubes and I would know no difference. Maybe it's all mental for me, that illusion of a sense of control. I don't suppose I'm all too sad to say au revoir to all that. :)
This is you, my love, in my belly just the day before you were born. Your brothers kissed you while you were cooking in there almost as much as they kiss you now. Little E loved to be held up high above your bump, just as you see above. What an awesome pregnancy it was ... 


  1. Congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful baby girl, Scarlet! I had been checking in on your blog throughout your pregnancy as I was due with my own baby girl (and 3rd child) around the same time as you, and am just now catching up! It looks like we delivered 2 days daughter, Zoe Emerson, was born via induction on 5/17 at 4:34 PM! Blessings to you and your family!

  2. Hi Marnie. Thank you! Congrats to you too and welcome Zoe! :)


Thanks for reading!
xx Kirsty

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