Monday, April 22, 2013

Elise's Story

It has been six weeks since Elise was born and I only now have a minute to tell her story.  Our neighbour, Danika, who is 11 years old, has come over to play with Sophie.  Before Christmas, she would come over for an hour once a week to play; this gave me some time to myself.  Having an hour to catch up on laundry, fix dinner or just enjoy a cup of tea is well worth the five dollars it costs me.  Anyways, even though it has been a while, I will do my best to remember all the details of the day Elise was born. 
The start of her arrival was much like Sophie's; labour started days before my actual delivery.  Saturday morning, the contractions began but they were few and far between.  Later that day, we went to Dennis and Chelsea's for an afternoon of playtime and then dinner.  I sent Ryan and Sophie ahead of me so I could walk around the block several times before heading to their place, hoping to move things along.  When I was tired and out of breath, I joined the rest of the party.  I continued to have contractions during dinner and they were getting closer together and more intense.  Hanging with friends was a good distraction. 
We went home later that evening and called my sister-in-law, Ave, to come over.  We thought it would be better for her to come early in case we had to head to the hospital in the middle of the night.  We also called my doula, Cendrine, and asked her to come over as well.  I continued to have contractions all night long.  My doula and I used different techniques to deal with the pain and try to advance labour.  At about 5 am, Cendrine suggested I lay down.  If we had to go to the hospital, I needed to save my energy.  Once I layed down, the contractions slowed and then just stopped all together.  Cendrine and I slept for a couple hours and when we woke, we decided to go to the hospital to see what was going on.
So we headed for the hospital.  The contractions had started up again but they were less intense and sporadic.  This was not encouraging.  The nurse checked me and found that I was only 3 cm dialated.  She suggested I go home, rest and wait for everything to pick up again.  I went home and slept most of the afternoon since I had been up all night.  By the time I woke up, contractions were even less frequent.  We had dinner and I went to bed as usual that night.  I had sporadic contractions throughout the night but nothing to run to the hospital for. 
Monday morning came and still no baby.  I didn't feel like anything important was happening so I sent Ryan to work.  My doula had no explanation to offer us as to why things had stopped all together.  Cendrine and I headed back to the hospital that morning to see if I was any further along.  I wasn't so they sent me home again.  I was getting frustrated, waiting for things to start again but the nurse thought I would be back before the end of the day.  I went home and went on with my day. 
That afternoon, Cendrine suggested that I go for a long walk and afterwards, take a bath.  I followed her instructions and sure enough, labour started up again.  The contractions were coming fast and frequent.  I did not want to go to the hospital again to be turned away for a third time so I held on for as long as I could but within a couple hours, things were getting quite intense.  So Ryan and I headed to the hospital.  
I was 5 cms dialated and finally admitted.  I went from 5 cms to 10 cms in 3 hours and after twenty minutes of pushing, we had our new baby girl.  I was able to deliver Elise with no drug interventions, something I am very proud of.  Elise was born March 11th at 10:32 pm, weighing 8 lbs 2 ounces, and came out hungry.  She had no problem latching and ate like she had never eaten before.   I got to hold my daughter only long enough for her to feed before they took her away and gave her to Ryan.  
Now comes the drama.  After giving birth, which couldn't have gone any better in my eyes, the placenta wouldn't come out.  There was a team of doctors that was called in and I could feel a sense of panic in the room.  Not a good feeling.  We waited close to an hour but nothing was happening.  Finally, the doctor who delivered Elise decided she needed to intervene.  This was almost more painful than giving birth.  After several tries, the doctor finally located the placenta and removed it.  However, at this point, the bleeding wouldn't stop.  She also thought there might be some of the placenta left in my uterus so they sent me to the OR to get a D and C and to try and stop the bleeding.  
After having made it through the delivery with no drug intervention, I now needed to get a spinal block for this procedure.  They performed the d and c, then inserted a balloon in my uterus and inflated it to stop the bleeding.  It would be left there until the next day, when they would partially deflate it to make sure the bleeding had stopped before removing it altogether.  The procedure lasted a couple hours so I didn't get back to Elise and Ryan until close to 2 am.  I spent the night in recovery and the doctor felt I needed my rest so they wouldn't leave Elise with me.  I found that really tough.
The next day, when they saw that the bleeding had stopped, they transfered me to the post natal unit where I would spend another night but could now have my family come visit.  Ryan, Hunter and Sophie came to see Elise and me that evening.
The next day, in the late afternoon, Ryan and Sophie came to pick us up and take us home.  In the end, it was a good thing I stayed two days in the hospital because once I got home, I didn't get to rest anymore.  My toddler had missed me too much and was excited to bring home her new little sister; there would be no napping or relaxing.  I no longer got to pick my meals from a menu and have them delivered to my bed.  I guess there are some perks to being in the hospital.  Things got busy when I got home and they haven't stopped since!

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