Amidst the chaos of the Calgary flood and on the night of the most beautiful full-moon (actually called a Super-moon), I delivered a sweet little baby girl that we named Lylah Betty. "Lylah" because I've been in love with the name forever, and "Betty" after my Grandma ("Nannie"). I had an intense but amazing delivery with a beautiful prize at the end.
I think that I was in denial that I was in labour for the first 3 hours because we had just been hit with the worst flood in Alberta's history and I was worried that my midwives wouldn't be able to make it to the hospital and also that the hospital would be a mad house. But as much as I wished that each contraction wasn't actually a "contraction," they kept coming stronger and closer together. We finally called our midwives and decided that we wouldn't take any chances with timing and that we'd meet at the hospital. Once we got there, I was 6 cm dilated. After walking around the unit for a while and experiencing some of the most intense contractions I'd ever experienced (I had had an epidural with my first delivery), I was ready to have my baby. I got into the tub (we had planned a water birth) and felt both relaxed and terrified at the same time. Soon after getting in, my midwife said that "we are going to have a baby soon." I couldn't believe that I had made it this far and that we would meet our baby any time...and that I was actually going to attempt an all-natural delivery. Like...with no pain relief.
Here's why I chose to do it this way if you're interested.
I tried to stay in the "zone" but by this time the contractions were back to back and I could literally feel my baby moving down inch by inch. I could feel everything, which was on one hand amazing, and on the other hand excruciating. The support that I had from my midwives, doula and husband was incredible and even when every part of me thought I couldn't do it, they reminded me that I could.
Before I knew it, the midwife said that I would probably feel the urge to push soon. It was then that I actually said the words "I can't do this," but in unison, everyone around me said "You ARE doing this" and then the most powerful urge to push came over my entire body (it was like no other feeling I have ever had) and within 9 minutes, my baby was out and I actually... DID IT!!! She was screaming when she came out and I was the happiest I've ever felt. I also thought that it was a dream. Did that actually just happen?!
After realizing that I had in fact suffered another 3rd degree tear (likely due to scar tissue), an OB had to come and stitch me up (which in all honesty was horrible considering I did not have an epidural). But it was a small price to pay for my beautiful baby and for an amazing birth experience. We left the hospital 18 hours later and were met by my son and mom at our house. My mom had mentioned that my son was sick and had been favouring his ear, so my husband took him to the walk-in clinic and for an x-ray of his chest, which indicated that he had Pneumonia. Yes — my 2 year old son tested positive with Pneumonia within hours of us arriving home from the hospital with our new baby. Needless to say, it was a rough first two days, but after the antibiotics kicked in, he warmed up to his baby sister and now cannot get enough of her.
My recovery has been amazing compared to what I experienced with my son and Lylah is feeding like a pro. I feel so fortunate to have had such an amazing birth experience and a beautiful healthy baby girl, despite the devastation that our city has endured over the past several days. I cannot believe how lucky we are.