Saturday, June 26, 2010

Anecdotes from the Delivery Room

As Lilah's first birthday quickly approaches, I can't help but think about the events that took place a year ago as she made her way into the world. Because I started this blog when Lilah was almost seven months old, I have yet to share the story of her birth, and now seems like as good a time as any. I will spare you all the ins and outs of the 50 hour* ordeal and just cut to the "highlights".

*50 hours. For realz, people. "C'mon, you're exaggerating," you say. I am SO not. I started timing contractions just before midnight on Tuesday, June 30th. Lilah was born at 1:30 am on Friday, July 3.

Okay, so I was exaggerating. 49.5 hours. I stand corrected.

  • In Labour and Delivery, we somehow ended up with the bum room. No joke. Every thing that could possibly be wrong with this room was. The bed would get stuck in a partially-reclined position and need to be joggled to go all the way down (and if you've ever participated in childbirth, you know that the bed goes up and down A LOT, as a woman in labour is notoriously fickle when it comes to positioning), the portable fetal heart monitor was broken, and worst of all, the sink in the room was plugged. Each time medical personnel entered my room, they needed to wash their hands, so a clogged sink simply would not do. A plumber was called, but apparently this was not a straightforward clog. After what seemed like hours, the guy finally broke out his (very noisy) drill. But of course, the drill battery died, and instead of going to get a fresh battery himself, he called another plumber. So there I was, labouring away behind a thin curtain, with not one but two Mr. Fix-its in the room, discussing their plans for the weekend and expounding the virtues of various drill bits. Awesome.
The lower portion of the two pokiest plumbers on earth.
  • My doc broke my water to try to speed things up, but there must have been a pocket of fluid that stayed intact because it burst later in quite a dramatic fashion - just as our doula was putting herself in the line of fire to take a peek. Apparently years of helping women birth babies had helped her hone her cat-like reflexes, and she managed to jump out of the way in the nick of time, but she was very nearly collateral damage. It takes a special kind of person to become a birth doula, I tell ya! (And no, I don't have a picture of that.)
  • Did you know they let people call through to the labour and delivery rooms while a woman is in labour? After I was given my epidural, just as I was *attempting* to doze off (this after two and a half days of zero sleep, mind you), I heard this faint ringing sound. Like an old rotary phone. It was like something out of the Matrix! The Hubs and I stared at each other for several moments, both at a total loss. Then he started digging and finally found the phone under piles of clothing and bags and random medical periphernalia. It was my mom, calling to say, "Hi honey, how are you doing?" Ummm... I'm in labour, and I have been for almost two days now, how do you think I'm doing?

  • Oh, and you know that gas they give you when you're feeling pain from oxytocin-enhanced contractions and you're waiting for your epidural to kick in? That is really good stuff. I highly recommend it. I even made the Hubs sneak some while the nurses weren't looking.

I think this picture speaks for itself. I should be a spokesmodel for nitrous oxide.

  • After I had been pushing for about two and a half hours and we could finally see and feel the top of Lilah's head, the Hubs points to a clippy-thingy-doodad hanging off the epidural line and says, "Um, is that supposed to just be hanging off there like that?" Having the epidural clip fall out after you have been pushing for hours and are finally making some good headway (hah! see what I did there?) is not a good thing, as I came to find out. Since I was being intermittently bombarded by threats of a C-section by the obstetrician's 5th year resident, they would not let me keep pushing sans anesthetic. (Trust me, I begged.) So the proceedings were halted as we waited for the anesthetist to return and stick a big fat needle perilously close to my precious cerebrospinal fluid. For a second time.
  • And now I will finally cut to the chase: Lilah was born at 1:31 am on Friday, July 3. With a teeny bit of help from the vacuum extractor. But I swear I really did most of the work myself!

The Li'l Lilahbility at about 10 minutes old.

Congratulations if you've made it all the way through this post. Almost impressive as surviving 49.5 hours of labour.


  1. You are a trooper. Don't you feel like a bit of a warrior when you think about it? I do when I think of mine.
    In most cases, the second labour is faster and the pushing is about half the time.
    With Sarah my contractions started on Friday morning and I had her Sunday morning and I pushed for an hour. With Jack, my labour started on Monday morning and I had him on Monday night at 7:57 with just under a half hour of pushing.

  2. I feel you on a long labor. My second labor was about 60 hours long (just 13 minutes of pushing though, as opposed to 2.5 hours with the first.)

  3. The plumber ordeal is hilarious! I can't believe your mom callled you during labor! Moms!


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