Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Story of Sophie

It has been over one week since Sophie was born and I would like to share her story.  It is a miraculous story that involves blood, sweat and tears and that is no exaggeration.  As this is somewhat of a journal to record the important events in our lives, this is one that needs to be told as it is one that will change us forever.  Plus, I plan to use this story when she is 18 and giving me grief so it is best if I write it down now while all the details are still fresh in my mind.

On Tuesday, February 15th at around 11 pm, my contractions started.  Ryan was already fast asleep and since I knew that the first phase of labour could last hours, I did not want to wake him.  I rested on the couch with Baron, who kept me company, while I kept track of how far apart my contractions were.  They were inconsistent so I knew we had lots of time before we needed to go anywhere.  Before I knew it, it was morning and still the contractions were far apart.  Assuming that we couldn't be that far off, Ryan took the day off and stayed home with me.  My doula came over to offer her support as well.  We spent the day trying to keep busy, watching movies and doing exercices to move the labour along.  The only thing that really took my mind off the contractions was when I baked a batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for the doctors and nurses at the hospital.  We wanted to stay at home for as long as possible so we ignored the 5-1-1 rule and waited until the contractions were closer together.  The last thing I wanted was to get to the hospital to have them send me back home.  Finally, late that evening, we figured we had waited long enough.  The contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and we headed to the hospital.  Once there, I was sent to triage to find out just how far along I really was.  Sure enough, I was only a couple centimeters dialated and despite all our efforts, they sent me home to get some rest.  The contractions continued through the night but I managed to get some sleep.  The next afternoon, we headed back to the hospital and I was finally admitted.  I had dialated to 6 cm.  Great news for us!  Also, Dr. Grainger, who had been the one following my pregnancy over the last 6 months, happened to be the doctor on call that evening from our clinic.  What luck! 

We spent all that day and evening in the hospital using different techniques to deal with the pain of labour.  I had set my mind on delivering this baby without needing drugs and I was trying hard to stick to this plan, despite the fact that I was going on two days with little sleep and lots of hours of labour.  I spent a great deal of this time in the shower which seemed to really help deal with the pain.  Ryan was a great support from the very beginning and I am so thankful for such a strong and loving husband.  Having a doula as well really kept my energy up, considering the circumstances. 

In the early evening, the doctor came in to check my progress.  Excited to be told we were finally ready to deliver, I was devestated to find out that I had not dialated any more since being admitted to the hospital hours ago.  After two days of little sleep, I was running low on juice and didn't know how much longer I could continue.  The baby was in an awkward position, tilted to one side and was not descending into the birth canal; this explained why the labour wasn't progressing.  Ryan, knowing how much I wanted to do this without drugs, could also see how difficult it was becoming for me to continue.  After a serious talk and a few tears, we both agreed that in order for me to have the energy to deliver this baby safely and not end up needing a c-section, I would need help.  I took the epideral and rested for a few hours while we waited for the oxytocin to help move the labour along.  Finally it was time to push.  Again, Sophie wasn't going to make this easy on me.  Because of her position, it took a number of hours before she decided to finally join us.  Perhaps the best moment of all was looking down and seeing that we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl.  And so, on February 18th, at 3:07 am, Sophie Andree Anne Van Orman was born.

Dr. Grainger was concerned because we had discussed my birth plan several times before this day and she knew that it had not gone at all the way I would have liked.  I told her that I was fine with the way things turned out, and looking back now, I wouldn't have changed a thing.  This was Sophie's way of joining us and I am just so thankful to have a strong, beautiful, healthy little girl.  Ryan says she is stubborn and takes after her mom; I prefer to think of us as strong willed. 

For more pictures of just after birth, click here.

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