So, a whole month (to the date) early, little baby bean decided it was time to come out!! My water broke in the morning around 8am on Jan 25th, and we rushed to the hospital to confirm that, indeed, it was amniotic fluid and I wasn't just pissing myself.
Now, our local hospital (besides losing their accreditation) is unable to care for babies born before 37 weeks, so I knew I would not be having baby in town, let alone in the quiet, candle lit home setting I had been planning for.
After many calls, it was discovered that no hospitals on the entire island were able to accommodate us, as apparently, everyone else was having premature babies also. So I was carted off via ambulance and ferry to Vancouver, to Lionsgate hospital.
The paramedics who were with us on the ferry were amazing people, and it must have been a fun shift for them. I wasn't allowed to walk, even though I felt perfectly fine, so I had to be wheeled around in a wheelchair while people politely tried not to stare (and failed). I felt great and had a few infrequent cramps that were akin to a normal period. By the end of the ferry trip, my contractions were about 6 -7 minutes apart.
At Lionsgate, we met up with the local midwife who promptly told me that the contractions I was having weren't 'real' because I wouldn't be able to converse with her through them if I was in 'real' labour. Happily, in all the commotion, this woman was not called upon again. So, the nurses and strangers now in charge decided that it was likely I would need an induction in the morning, and should take this opportunity through the slight, infrequent contractions to have something to eat (I had also had lunch on the ferry) and go to sleep. I have no idea what time it was, but it was after sunset at this point.
The nurses told me that they could give me something to help me sleep if I needed which I declined at first, and then after an hour and a half of trying to 'get comfortable' and at least let Terry get some rest on the fold out chair, I called a nurse to see what they had to offer. Lo and behold; ativan to the rescue. Really? Ativan? This is the medication I take for my anxiety and I didn't think it would touch these 'mild contractions', but I took their 2 mg anyway. The contractions continued, and eventually I called the nurses again, telling them that I thought that something was definitely happening. It was. I was actually in real labour having real contractions.
It wasn't so much the intensity of the contractions that was difficult, though they got rather intense, but the fact that they just kept happening and I was tired. Terry was extremely helpful and I couldn't have done it without him. Poor man tried to brace me at one point through a contraction and heard me say "Get away from me or I'm going to kick you in the sack". Actually, he was straddling my leg, and I was worried that I might flail from the pain and accidentally sack him, but it's hard to say all that mid-contraction.
They had to put an IV in me, because all that good eating was actually a bad idea and I vomited up dinner, and then lunch. I thought because of this that I could not have a bath or shower, which upset me because I at least wanted to have the familiarity of hot water. At about 7 cm dilation I reached my threshold and asked what they had available for pain coping medications. I declined the gas, as I'd heard it causes nausea and I had already been puking. I opted for 'Fentanyl'; which was another bad choice. It did not help me cope with the pain, it just made me dizzy and slightly nauseous, and feel I was about to pass out. The intensity continued and I was now so stoned I could no longer communicate in any comprehensible way.
At some point I was able to make it known that I really wanted a bath. Apparently, I could, as the IV could come out. However, the moment I hit the water my body began to push. I freaked out because, I could no more stop my body from pushing with willpower than stop a moving train, and I thought I was still only 7cm dilated. Turns out I was actually 10cm, and that feeling like I was having a giant poo was actually my baby moving down the birth canal. So the obstetrician and pediatrician were called and they put me on my back and my legs in stirrups.
So anyway, after about 5-6 hours of real, hard labour, we had a baby boy at 4:49am, 6 lbs 3 oz, 49 cm long. Terry was looking into my eyes with the last push and I swear I saw him tear up. I was unfortunately too exuasted to feel much at all, besides worry and annoyance as they whisked my child away to the corner of the room as soon as Terry cut the cord. Being a premie, they were less concerned with bonding time and more concerned with his health.
We spent a few days at Lionsgate while our son, Tavish, was in the NICU before we were airlifted back to a hospital on the island in Nanaimo (where we stayed another week before returning home).
Today, Tavish is getting fatter, and is a happy, healthy baby!