Eva-Joy's Birth Story By Jennifer Print
Birth Stories - C-Section Birth Stories
Saturday, 03 January 2009 10:23
Our beautiful daughter was born on September 3, 1998 at 11:27p.m. after an exhausting labour.

My pregnancy was easy. The morning sickness only lasted for the first trimester after which my biggest discomfort was heartburn and a difficulty sleeeping, but since this is my first baby I could nap during the day to make up for the lack of sleep at night.

By the time I reached my due date I was more than ready to have this baby. I really loved being pregnant, but now I just wanted to hold my baby in my arms.

My MIL arrived 4 days before my due date and could only stay for 2 weeks so now the pressure was on to have this baby. The weather was hot, hot, hot which did nothing to help me remain calm.

On Sept. 2nd I went for my regular weekly appointment with my midwife (I was now 5 days overdue) and told her how much I really wanted to just have this baby. She suggest we do a "stretch and sweep" which is a massage of the cervix to see if that would help. When she did it she found I was 2-3 cm. dilated and 100% effaced. I began to have cramps like when you have your period and went home very excited to think the baby would soon be here.

I spent the night quietly at home. My husband had to go pick up his mother about an hour away where she had been visiting her daughter. I went to bed early to try and get some rest - the contractions were still quite mild.

Around 1a.m. I woke up. The contractions were stronger now and more painful requiring me to breathe through them. My husband woke up and after about a half hour of timing we called the midwife, Care. She said it sounded like this was the real thing and to call her back in an hour. An hour later they were still regular so she said she would come over to our house. I then called my parents and sister Joy. Joy had promised to help me with the birth.

Around 4-4:30 everyone showed up at the same time. My parents and MIL - Jill - left around 5:30 after Care had checked me and said I was still at 3c.m. After that I tried to sleep again, but by 6:30 I could no longer make it through the contractions without help.

Time seemed to stand still that day. All I know is that the contractions were very regular and very painful. About late morning/early afternoon they were becoming almost unbearable, but my sister talked me through each one. My husband held my hand and rubbed my arm.

It was a gorgeous day. I laboured most of the time in the baby's nursery and I remember looking out the window at the trees and blue sky and feeling very peaceful between contractions.

At 4 Care checked me and I was at 6c.m - the same place where I had been three hours before. By now my other midwife, Liz, had arrived and they suggested maybe I would like to have my water broke to help possibly speed things up. I really didn't want to because from all the reading I had done that's when the contractions could become very painful (they were bad enough already), but I was also getting very tired and just wanted the baby to be born so I agreed.

From 4:30-6:30 the contractions were endless - no break. Also, the baby kept moving which made the contractions more painful. I tried many different positions and had reached at point where I was telling Care I just couldn't go on. When Care suggested perhaps we should go to the hospital so I could get some relief for the pain I readily agreed. I had always wanted an unmedicated home birth, but by now I was too exhausted.

We arrived at the hospital around 7:30, but it took another hour before I was given an epidural. Finally, I could rest, but then the baby's heart rate dropped to 40. Care began to massage the baby's scalp and I was given an oxygen mask to get extra oxygen to the baby. My husband was so scared. He went to tell my parents in the waiting and had a hard time because he was crying. The wonderful thing is that right then our church was praying for us (it was their regular prayer meeting night). Well, God answered those prayers and about 15 minutes later the baby's heart rate became normal.

After that I was told to try and nap. Later Care came in and told me she was concerned because the baby's heart rate was flat. In other words it didn't vary at all just stayed at a steady rate. She said perhaps the baby was sleeping so we tried to wake her up. Care massaged my abdomen and I ate a popsicle. Nothing.

Finally, around 10:30 a doctor came in and told us he really thought I should have a c-section. My contractions were still very strong so they couldn't induce me to make them any stronger. I was still at 6cm., and the baby had already shown signs of distress. Even though it was the exact opposite of what I had hoped for I quickly agreed realizing this was best for the baby.

My sister and Liz watched the operation from a room just outside the operating room. My husband was with me and so excited. The doctor kept talking about the baby with male pronouns "He has a big head like his dad" so I though I had a son. Boy, was I surprized when my husband said, "It's a girl!" I didn't realize the baby hadn't been entirely been born yet when the doctor had been talking. Anyway, Eva-Joy began to cry right away. Care checked her over then handed her to my husband. He held her where I could see her then took her out to meet the rest of the family.

Looking back it seems like a very surreal experience. One I was totally unprepared for, but everything went well. Eva-Joy nursed very hungrily in the recovery room. I had a quick recovery from the section and am already looking forward to the next baby (maybe a VBAC).

The doctor said it wasn't Eva-Joy's size (9lb, 2oz) so much as her position that kept her from coming down. She had wiggled so much during labour that she had gone from face down to face up with the biggest part of her head presenting.

Even though it wasn't what I had planned it was still wonderful. My sister was a tremendous help. My midwives were fabulous, and my husband was the tower of strength I knew he would be. I can't thank God enough for giving us such a precious daughter.