Sassy Red Head
don't rest easy
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2nd-Mar-2011 12:36 pm - This story starts with desserts.
close-up
Last Thursday I had a couple of girlfriends over with their babies for coffee and treats. The day before I had made two pineapple upside down cakes and the meringue bases for pavlovas. Then that morning I made whipped cream and topped them with blueberries. My stand mixer motivated me to do these things. It really made it easy although I wish I had two bowls for it so that I didn't have to wash it so often during the process.

The cake

The Topping

Pineapple upside down cake #1 of 2 cooling before the flip.

After the flip

The pavlova

Meringues

Pavlova

The whole time they were over I was getting so... "OMG I want my baby to come out! Look at your babies!!! I want mine tooooo!" Around 11 am, I felt like some things were going on in my belly but nothing major and I brushed it off.  By early evening, I was SURE something was going on but since everything was going so gradually, I didn't think it was going to happen anytime soon.

I took a gravol and went to bed to chit chat with Brent before falling asleep and hopefully waking up refreshed in the morning and ready to give birth.  But what ACTUALLY happened? Brent was in bed and was talking about how tired and exhausted he was and how he had so much to do and how many people were depending on him for various things.  About 20 minutes in to this conversation I was well aware that I would not be sleeping through these contractions and I was debating how I could possibly tell Brent since he was having a BAD NIGHT.

By about 11:30 we decided it was time to get a move on. There was no pretending this away until morning.  Since bobby was asleep, we called my mom to come stay over at our house so he didn't have to be disturbed. Then we called the midwife and the doula to meet us at the hospital. We left as soon as my mom arrived and got to the hospital at 12:30 am.


I got assessed and if I remember correctly (I probably don't) I was at around 3-4cm. Denise, my midwife became the militant walking enforcer and made sure I kept moving around even though all I wanted to do was go to sleep. I made Brent cook me up some toast with peanut butter and I ate that between contractions. We stayed in that assessment room for about 2 hours before I was admitted into a birthing room.

This is the only photo taken during the labour. I'm having a contraction and squatting on the floor while Charmaine (my doula) rubbed my back.

Having a contraction


Once we got to the birth room ALL I wanted to do was get in the tub but Denise said no! How maniacal! She attended Bobby's birth so she knows I can labour quickly and didn't want me to relax just yet. My water had still not broken. During this time I decided the best way to deal with contractions was to hang all my weight off of Brent's neck. He didn't even complain! Trooper indeed. Finally Denise agreed that I could go in the tub and I agreed to having her break my water first. I DID NOT enjoy that. Breaking the water was ok actually but then she checked my cervix right after and you know what? I fucking hate having my cervix checked. It sucks. You have to lay still and all I wanted to do was bolt. I'm pretty sure I was yelling "Please stop!" But really it had to be done. I THINK at this point I was 6cm but again, I was focused on other things.

I then went in to the tub. There I leaned my forehead against the side and made weird noises (ask Brent, he can detail them for you) for quite some time. Then I GLORIOUSLY puked and puked and puked. Brent actually was able to stay in the next room during this. I filled about 3 pans plus got some in the water. I think at this time I also pooped in the tub. I was unaware of it but Brent said he saw one in there when I got out and I can't think of any other time where I would not have noticed that happening.

Shortly after that, still in the tub, I was pretty sure I had to push. But really, I didn't. REALLY what I felt during those contractions was the urge to flee. so I assumed I wanted to flee off to the pushing but I hopped on the bed, tried pushing once and it hurt and was just not right. This caused another cervical check and it sadly was not time.

This labour was so different than Bobby's There was so much early labour that I kept thinking I must be done because of how much time went by and because of how tired I was and because of how much more powerful this felt than with Bobby.  With Bobby, there was only one time where I 'gave up'. I think I gave up about 5 times during this labour. I was too focused on the end result rather than focusing on facilitating what was happening right then.

Denise lifted the end of the bed to be like a big chair and had me on hands and knees. This is when I felt a big change. Holy shit. This was way more intense than it had ever been with Bobby and I could tell that things were getting going. No one was allowed to touch me or talk to me other than quiet reassurances now and then. Poor Charmaine must have felt like she was useless but I guess what I need most of all during labour is a captive audience that will give me sips of juice whenever I want. I remember grinding my head into the back of the bed as well as actually BITING the mattress.

Finally, my body just decided to push. There was no urge, I didn't try, my body just did it and did it violently. With Bobby I felt like I controlled the pushing but this time I felt like it was just happening and I KNEW it was too hard/fast and I was having a hard time controlling it so I didn't destroy my crotch. I don't think the pushing took very long but it felt like ages. The head came out. Normally after this happens, the baby shimmeis and turns it shoulders and slides out but apparently, Molly came out like a football player of some type (I don't know the positions) and was determined to just push right through whatever was in her way.

Brent later told me I had 'screaming baby crotch' which is when the head it out, and making noise, but the rest is still inside. Isn't that horrifying? I didn't even notice. Out she came at 5:39 am and Brent cut the cord.  Brent stayed for a bit then went home so that he could be there when Bobby woke up and to take him to daycare.  This is when they did all the measurements. 7lbs 7oz, 21.5" long and a bunch of other details I don't remember. I live tweeted that info.

I had to get stitches. I don't know how many. All I know is that it was a mild 2nd degree tear. I opted to get some laughing gas for the freezing part. The needles are not fun but the gas was pretty ok. They should just pump the birth room full of that I think. I didn't feel the stitched go in too much but now... WHOOO BABY!

Then I nursed her for an HOUR. (Bobby did not latch that well for 3 days!) and napped until Brent came back to get us. We left the hospital for home at about 8:30 am and I wanted an egg mc muffin so we went through the drive through to get one.


Yeah so that's the birth story. It felt pretty brutal and there were moments where I fully understood why women get epidurals. If only every birth were like Bobby's, the world would be a better place. I'll post more about how Bobby has reacted to the arrival of his baby sister during his monthly update post. For now, here are some photos.

Just home from the hospital

Presenting Molly Rocket

Sleeping while mommy is still wired

2 days old

Maximum Pink

Poop machine

4 days old

Molly 4 days

Molly 4 days

Molly 4 days

Proud big brother

Bobby holds Molly for the first time

On this day:

In 2010 -
In 2009 -
In 2008 -
In 2007 - Bernie was a puppy and we had some fake legs
In 2006 - Farts are funny
In 2005 - Tapered jeans
24th-Jun-2008 11:39 am - Back in action!
peace
I have way too many comments to respond to, so largely, I'm not going to.  We are home and I'm pretty tired so I'm just copy/pasting what Brent put in his facebook note.  Some of you may have already seen it.


BY BRENT


Ok, so we're back at home for good now, its about 5:15pm, I've got a liquored up coffee in my hand, and I'm ready to tell the story of this past weekend. I'll try to make this as objectively entertaining as possible. Some of you might not find this as engaging as I will even writing it, but it's hard to explain why.

See, everyone who has kids knows what we've just been through. I can't accurately explain it to them since they've all had their own private experience with their own children. And to those with no kids, I doubt I could accurately explain it to them either, since there really is no other feeling like this. It's a bit of a cliche, but having a kid really changes everything, from your actions and reactions right down to the way you approach everyday life. It's such a strange feeling, but it's awesome and humbling and (in my opinion) completely necessary to gain a true appreciation for what self-sacrifice and unconditional love really are. It's a valuable life experience, probably THE most valuable life experience, and even when he's 16 and he hates me for being a "parent", it will still be worth it.

Friday night was not unlike any other night. I was at home, I watched the first round of the NHL draft, the power went out and I cursed a lot, nothing really outstanding about that. I'm in the process of putting new floors in on the 2nd floor of my house, I have one room left to do, and I was supposed to work on it all day Saturday and Sunday. However, I was feeling very much like I needed a rest, so I called my helper (re: Dad) off and decided that next weekend would be better. I had a great Saturday planned, I was going to curl up with a book and read all day long. That's it.

But that's not how Saturday was fated to be.

7:50am - I'm slowly starting to wake up, Tiana asks me how I'm doing. I say that I'm fine. She then says, "If I show you something, will you promise not to freak out?" I immediately expect the worst, but I say yes. She then holds up a pair of my underwear that she wore to bed the night before, and they are SOAKED. I ask her why she peed, and she says that she doesn't think she peed. So then I ask her if her water broke, to which she replies that she doesn't know. So I tell her to go to the washroom again, she gets up and says, "Yup, there's my mucus plug."

FACT #1 - The mucus plug is a small blood clot-ish thing that sits in the opening of the cervix until labor is ready to begin. Passing this typically means that labor will begin shortly. I didn't know this until my wife was pregnant.

So, I tell her to go call the midwife, and I start to slowly shake off my slumber. The midwife (Denise Fuller, who is a wonderful person by the way) asks us to meet her at the Montfort hospital at 9:30am. She has to test to make sure that Tiana is actually in labor. So, I grab the pre-packed hospital bag, we add a few things like toothbrushes and books (just in case), and I take the following photo:
The calm before the storm.


So, we went down to the hospital. By the time we had gotten there, she had 2 contractions (that she told me about, she had a few more that she "forgot" to mention), they were about 23 minutes apart. I figured that we probably had a long day ahead of us, but that the baby was on his way.

We got there, and Tiana was hooked up to a baby monitor.

***I should mention at this time that it was Tiana's intention to have a homebirth, but because this labor started at 36 weeks, it was technically pre-term, which requires a hospital birth.

The monitor showed good progress, the baby was doing fine, but Denise couldn't pick the contractions up on the monitor. However, Tiana was clearly in some discomfort, though you wouldn't know it from the photo I took here:
Still smiling....


By about 11am, Denise had determined that the fluid on her underwear that morning was in fact amniotic fluid, and that early labor had indeed commenced. However, the contractions were still pretty irregular and not lasting all that long, so Denise told us to go get lunch and come back in a couple of hours. We did not make it out of the room before Tiana had another somewhat stronger contraction, and I was getting nervous, so Denise told us to get lunch in the hospital, and to come back up in an hour or so.

We went down from the 2nd floor to the 1st floor where the cafeteria is, and I bought Tiana an egg salad sandwich. She got 3 bites in before the next contraction started, and this one was clearly an earth-shaker. So, lunch lasted about 4 minutes, and we went back upstairs, because I thought it was time for an inspection.

We got back up, Denise was surprised to see us, but she agreed that we should probably get Tiana into a delivery room and do a pelvic exam, just to see if things were going. The exam took place at about 12:30pm, and Tiana was dilated to 2cm. So, labor had begun in earnest, was moving along well, and it was time to get ready. Parents were contacted and sent straight down to help us out, and I personally started to prepare myself for the biggest day of my life. I can't imagine what Tiana was thinking, but from my perspective, she wasn't really thinking anymore at this point. Every move and sound that she made from this point on seemed to be guided more by instinct than by conscious thought.

I went out to see Tiana's mom and Brian (since they arrived before my parents) just to give them the update. When I got back, Tiana was stripped down to her underwear and was making some pretty crazy noises. I had been previously told before that this was normal, so I really didn't worry.

FACT #2 - It is ill-advised to make any comment, no matter how hilarious, about what your wife is going through at this point.

After Tiana kicked me out of the room (she had already told me to shut up), I went down to get ice. When I got back, she was completely naked and about to get into the bathtub.

FACT #3 - If you're trying to deliver a baby without using pain medication, it is recommended that you have a good deep tub handy. The hot water really helps to cope with the labor pain.

Before jumping in the water, she had another pelvic exam. By this time is was about 1:15pm, and she was 4cm dilated. If you're keeping track, that's 2cm in 45 minutes. The pre-natal classes we went to told us to expect to go about 1cm/hour. Obviously this was going pretty fast. I was not worried about this, since Tiana was coping well, but it was definitely not what I was expecting. So she got in the bathtub, our doula Gina Merlin was there by this time, so I was able to escape for 2 minutes to decompress and get more ice. It turns out that I picked a good time to leave, since right after I left, Tiana decided it was a good time to projectile vomit that egg salad into a nearby receptacle. I'm glad I missed that, because she was angry enough that she probably wouldn't have missed me. It's likely that I would have been sitting there with puke all over me, waiting for my wife's head to start spinning around.

Anyway, after about an hour in the tub, Tiana was really getting into this. She kept saying that she felt like she had to push, and the contractions were clearly not giving her any breaks. So, we got her out of the tub and Denise did another pelvic exam. It was around 2:45pm now, and her cervix was completely gone, it was time to start pushing. So, Tiana went from no dilation to pushing in about 2.5 hours, where as the average first labor takes about 15 hours. It's hard to say at this point if this was good or bad, but I'm going to take it as a plus.

Here's what a woman in extreme pain, but with a very good support team, looks like:
OW.


Now, I can't show the other photos I have of this part, because my wife doesn't want everyone to see her bajingo. Needless to say, she was pushing, which I'm told was far more satisfying than just dealing with things. My mom had arrived by this time, she's the lady in the orange shirt that you see in the foreground of this photo. What is she doing you ask? She's holding Tiana's left leg up in the air so that she can push. We had to get Tiana pushing on her side, it slows things down. It was happening so fast that there was a definite risk of tearing.

FACT #4 - If you don't know what tearing is, or you can't figure it out, I'm not going to explain it to you. Sometimes it results in an episiotomy. This, I'm told, is something that you want to avoid if you can.

Pushing seems like pretty hard work. Tiana ended up pushing for about 40 minutes. This photo was taken after the top of our son's head was clearly visible. I'm in the process of telling Tiana what is happening, and she was in the process of telling me to fuck off. It was great!
Brent is a jerk.


Anyway, she did manage to get the wee gaffer out without any major issues. My mom was going to cut the cord, I was a bit too squeamish to do so, but it was up around his shoulders, and he wasn't breathing too well, so they clamped it and cut it and got him stimulated. There were a few tense moments right afterwards, but they suctioned him out, and he got breathing, and bam, we had a son. I can't really explain what that feels like, maybe this photo will help you to visualize it. It was taken right after he was given to Tiana, there were a lot of tears, all of them happy, and bam, we're a family.
Family photo.


Tiana still had a bit of work to do, since the placenta then needed to be pushed out. Imagine pushing a raw steak out of your vagina. After what she'd been through, this was not much of a challenge. She pretty much just coughed and out it came. I did however get a great video of what I like to call "the placenta tour", which I will post on youtube if there is demand for it.

FACT #5 - The midwife/doctor has to inspect your placenta after birth to ensure that the entire thing is out. If it's not, it can cause infection and serious problems. The inspection is equal parts gross and cool.

So, we had a baby! The photos are all at the bottom of this note.

FACT #6 - The gross things that come with a baby seem far less gross when it's YOUR baby. So far today, I've been peed on twice, I got sticky black poop (which is called meconium, by the way) all over my hand, and I got vomited on. Seriously, didn't even bat an eye, just kept going. Poop on my hand? I'll just wipe it off on my pants. Puke on my lap? It's cool, I'll change my pants later. If you're one of those people who gets grossed out by that kind of stuff, you'll be fine when it's your own little one. Despite the fact that I live on a steady diet of slasher movies, I don't handle real-life gore all that well. I saw a head pop out of another person on Saturday, and all I could think of was that I helped make that head. It's quite a feeling, and again, one that can't really be described, it needs to be experienced. I highly recommend that you give it a shot.

FACT #7 - Old nurses suck ass, young nurses are really great. All of the old nurses were impatient, and in my opinion far too rough with my premature infant son. The young nurses were all kind, funny, patient, and really made us feel comfortable. Just my two cents, but the Montfort has a lot of nurses in my opinion that need to think about hanging up their scrubs for good.

Anyways folks, there's the tale. There's certainly more to tell, and I'm sure that we'll be adding chapters to it daily. I probably won't be writing about it too much, but feel free to ask/call/stop by sometime to see what's happening.

If you want to come visit, it's definitely welcome, we love showing the little dude off. Bring food, we're busy and cooking sucks. :) Just remember that Tiana a vegetarian. Also, if you want to come over soon, just give us a call first to make sure that we're not sleeping. One thing I've discovered is that people were NOT lying about the whole sleep deprivation thing. It's true, and it happens INSTANTLY. So, give us a ring before you make the trip on over.

And again, thanks for all the well-wishes and congrats, they are definitely appreciated. There's an old saying, it goes something like "it takes a village to raise a child", and I really do believe that. Anything you feel that you can impart to us or the boy, greatly appreciated and definitely welcome.

So, without further ado, here's the boy. I'll post more photos later, my dad has better ones on his camera.

STATS:

Name: Robert Warren Hurricane Dargent Walker
Birthday: June 21st 2008
Height: 1' 8"
Weight: 6lbs 2oz
Likes: Pooping, sleeping, pooping, sleeping, pooping, peeing on his dad, pooping.
Dislikes: Being naked, old french nurses.

Yup, that's the dude.
Big nuts, like his dad.
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