I imagine some of you are wondering why the period between when you heard “Lois went to the hospital!!” and “Lois FINALLY had her baby!!!” was so long. So here is Elianna’s birth story, as told by Janeya, our wonderful doula, and with my input here and there in italics. It is quite long (talk to Elianna if you want to complain — and let me know when you do, because I’d LOVE to join you! lol), so I will post one day of it at a time.
I am writing to tell you the marathon story of your birth. Your Mother had contacted me about half way through her pregnancy, interested in how I might help her during her labour and birth with you. Your parents were going to have to travel almost 2 hours from home to have you in Grande Prairie, since first time moms weren’t allowed to have their babies at the Valleyview hospital. They travelled into town several different times so we could get to know one another and discuss what Mom and Dad were hoping to have happen during the labour and birth.
Life was crazy for your parents in the time leading up to your birth. Mom and Dad were renovating a trailer and moving, they had visitors coming for the holidays, and Mom was still unable to shake the nausea that had plagued her the whole pregnancy. Then your Dad hurt his knee acting in the Christmas play at church. The doctor thought you might be coming around the middle of December, but we were hoping you would wait till after Christmas before making your appearance. Well, Christmas came, and then New Years came and went, and still you hadn’t showed up. After a while the doctor became insistent that you needed to come soon.
Mom finally conceded to being induced at (41 wks, 5 days) and so they rented a hotel room in Grande Prairie and set up a “home base” there.
Since the weather was so bad around then, we knew it would take us forever to leave home early Monday morning in time to be at the hospital by 8am. So we left home Sunday evening, and drove to Grande Prairie while calling various people we knew to see if we could stay at their place overnight. Finally I called Dycks, and it was fine with them. We visited a bit, then headed to bed. As usual, I had a rough night, between being sick and uncomfortable. However, it was exciting to know that the next day, I would finally meet you! Or so I thought….
Betty & Teresa fed us a delicious breakfast before we headed off to the hospital in the morning. We had high hopes for the day.
DAY 1 – January 10/11 (that would make a good birthday, I thought!)
Monday morning around 8am Dr Lindsay put in the first dose of Cervadil. The nurses hooked Mom up to the monitors that recorded your heartbeat. Jerry & I played card games on the bedside table while we waited, and sometimes I read, and sometimes I just laid there, or we talked. It was VERY uncomfortable on that table-bed. Finally the requisite 2 hrs were up and then they went back to the hotel. Around 1:30pm Mom was a little crampy but doing fine. We spent the afternoon napping (Jerry) and trying to nap (me). I ended up pulling out my computer instead, and getting on Facebook for distraction. I chatted with my roommate’s mom, and several others. Around 3pm, the contractions were coming every 5-10 minutes or so. I was getting quite tired, so I got off FB and managed to sleep a little in between them. When I got up, I got in the jacuzzi tub. I had found a place online to track your contractions, so Jerry set it up and started monitoring them for me. By 6:30 the contractions were more intense and 2 minutes apart, but only lasting 30 seconds. I didn’t think I could handle it much longer without help, so Jerry called Janeya (who we had been texting throughout the day to keep her updated) and asked her to meet us at the hospital at 70:30, when we had to go for another non-stress test.
I got there first which was fine because my favorite nurse was on shift in triage and we were able to chat for a bit. Mom sent me a text saying it was hard to get ready when you were having to stop every 2 minutes. Mom and Dad arrived at 8pm. Mom was hooked up to the monitors. Baby looked good and the contractions were close together but short. We headed back to the hotel, with me leaving my van at the hospital.
The hotel room was great, with a huge jacuzzi tub. We joked that Mom should just give birth there in the tub. I headed straight for the bed, and knelt on it, crouched over. Janeya made a bee-line for me and started putting pressure on my lower back, which felt AMAZING. Dad went and got us A&W to eat. The contractions continued to get longer and stronger. The A&W food made Mom feel a little ill (what’s new?!) so Dad went to see if he could get Mom some toast.
The lovely woman at the front desk not only let him have toast she told him she’d leave the fridge unlocked so he could get toast when Mom needed it. Mom complained that you were jumping on her bladder, which she referred to as “your favorite trampoline”. Both your parents were so good at keep a sense of humor throughout the entire time. So many jokes were made that simply wouldn’t translate well to paper. Jokes about air soft guns, or “being too Mennonite for guns.” Mom especially was able to stay cheerful all through her labor.
The contractions became almost constant for a while, then spaced back out again a bit but still pretty close at 2 minutes apart. Mom got into the tub trying to get some relief from the contractions. The pain became very overwhelming for her and because the nurse had said that if they became constant the hospital would probably remove the Cervadil, Mom and Dad decided to remove it themselves around midnight. About an hour later the contractions had slowed enough that Mom could rest and we all laid down and tried to sleep at about 2am. The hotel personnel had brought in a cot for me to sleep on. They really were wonderfully accommodating.
I was able to sleep a little, maybe about 3 hours, but was always interrupted by contractions. Because I was lying down and sleeping, they would catch me off guard and were much more painful. I would wake Jerry up, he would help me through it, and then we’d try to get back to sleep. Around 6 I got frustrated with it all and gave up on sleeping. Lying down made the contractions more painful also. I wrapped myself in a blanket and tip-toed over to the chair by the window, where I pulled open my computer again. I got quite a few “WHAT are you doing on Facebook!!?!” reactions from people online, mostly my “eastern people.” It was rather funny! The contractions were coming regularly, every 5 minutes, and lasting about a minute. They had told me to come back to the hospital when the contractions were 5 minutes apart, and lasting a minute, so I was hopeful. But I didn’t want to go back to the hospital just yet.
To be continued…