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Bowie Aislyn Jardine: A Birth Story

It was the morning of January 16th at 10am, at 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant, when I was going to the freezer to take something out for supper. I went into the storage room and stepped over the crawl space hole that hadn't been covered up yet from the night before, when all of a sudden it felt like I peed myself a little. I thought "oh great... I'm peeing myself without sneezing or coughing now." So I grabbed some pork steaks and started dreaming of what I was going to make for dinner that night (BBQ pork steaks, perogies & Caesar salad, if you were wondering!). Then I scooted across the hall to the bathroom to check out the pee situation. There was a palm sized wet spot on my shorts, & then it occurred to me.. "Hey.. Could this be my water breaking?!" You always hear of women having this big gush of water, but this was just a palm sized wet spot. So I smelled it. Duh, who wouldn't. It didn't smell like pee. It didn't smell like anything really... & my shorts were red so I couldn't see the colour. So I cleaned up and put on some light coloured underwear in case it happened again.. Put on leggings & went back upstairs. I told Bo (my boyfriend) "I think my water might be breaking??". He just kinda stared at me with wide eyes, not knowing what to say. Hahah. So I asked him to go get me a towel to sit on, because I knew if my water broke on my parents furniture, my step dad would NEVER let me forget it lol! I had been having mild contractions for a few days prior to this, & Steve (step-dad) would always jokingly tell me that I better not have my water break on the reclining chair! To which I would reply, "do you know how friggin rare it is for a woman to have her water break spontaneously??" (Haha! Jokes on me!) So anyway, Bo brings me back the towel, folds it up and puts it on the chair and just as I'm about to sit down, mid squat, I feel more liquid trickling out. So I go straight to the bathroom and sit down on the toilet & as I do, even more fluid comes out! Wooo my water is breaking!! I stuff a couple pads in my underwear, run out to the living room & excitedly tell Bo that my water definitely broke! Then I texted my mom, my cousin Bri, and my two friends Ashley & Emily. Then I was like, now what? So I finished packing my hospital bag & then made some lunch for Hunter and I, then took a selfie for Instagram & Facebook, obviously.
It was about 12pm when I decided I should call the hospital & let them know I would be coming in soon. My contractions hadn't started yet but I tested positive for GBS so I would have to go in to get the antibiotics started. For the next couple hours, I stood over a towel watching Friends and swaying my hips, trying to bring contractions on. By about 1-1:30pm, my mom & Steve were both home. Bo, Hunter & I took a couple last photos together as a family of 3 & we started packing up the car.
We (Bo, my mom & I) got to the hospital around 2pm & I was finally starting to have random contractions here and there. We got settled into our room & I got changed into a hospital gown, which lasted about 10 seconds before I changed into my own robe. I then had my vitals checked, baby's heart rate was checked, my IV was put in & antibiotics were started. While we sat around waiting for some timeable contractions, we put on a Friends DVD and ate snacks mom got from Sobeys and Tim Hortons... Yum! My contractions started pretty quickly and fell into a pretty quick pattern of 30 seconds long, every 3 minutes. The nurse came in and checked me probably around 3pm & I was already at a 3 to a 4! By 3cm with Hunter, I was ready to throw in the towel!! So to say I was pleasantly surprised was an understatement! We kept on watching Friends & I kept eating between contractions because I was so hungry!! Lol. Bo also hung up my birth affirmations around the room & taped my birth plan to the door. I continued to have 30-40 second contractions increasing to every 2 minutes & definitely increasing in intensity. I was standing at the edge of the bed leaning over but then ended up sitting on a birthing ball for awhile while I swayed my hips from side to side. I kept waiting for my contractions to get longer but they didn't really change in duration until the very end, which was so nice! I was able to hit the peak of my contraction and then as it faded away, I would come right back to normal for a minute or two before the next one would come. Let me tell you... It was SO NICE! Having been induced with Pitocin with Hunter, plus him being posterior, giving me terrible back labour, I didn't get a break between contractions what so ever. It was just constantly peaking! So as I'm getting these more intense contractions, maybe somewhere around 5pm, I asked to be checked. I was really curious as to how I was progressing. I wanted to make sure these contractions were actually doing something! So she did, and I was about a 6 to a 7! Hellooooo! Excitement all over again because it was at this point with Hunter that I already had a couple doses of Fentanyl and got an epidural! I felt so good about my labour at this point because I was still rocking the shit out of my contractions and knew I could absolutely keep going, medication free! So there I went, labouring on. Bo wasn't allowed to go far because I needed him to rub my lower back/butt to give me counter pressure as my contractions came and went. He even found this lotion in the bathroom that he kept using. Oh it was nice! He would also pop candies in my mouth every once in awhile. There was one point where I had to spit a half chewed Mike & Ike into my hand because I got a contraction and didn't want to choke on it from all the deep breathing hahah! Probably by 8cm, aka transition, I was on my knees with the back of the bed almost perfectly vertical and was hanging onto it for every contraction. I did end up using some laughing gas at this point.. I'm not even sure if it was working, but the noise it made when I would inhale REALLY kept my breathing in a great flow. So much of me wanted to tense up and hold my breath, but the fluttering noise the mask was making helped me tremendously! I got so in sync with my breathing. Super deep inhales and exhales. "Breathe in relaxation, breathe out tension" was one of the affirmations that kept running through my head. I do remember becoming a bit vocal at this point too... Breathing in deep, then breathing out with a "whooooooooooo" sound.... But then after maybe 30 minutes of this, I had a handful of contractions where I was super quiet. I think I knew that shit was about to get real! I wasn't talking much between contractions anymore... And they were starting to go extra long, almost like they were back to back. I also had to get my second round of antibiotics at this point. I barely remember any of that happening because my eyes were shut and I was facing the back of the bed & the wall. I remember telling Bo really fast to "get on the bed" because I needed him to give me counter pressure at a better angle then where he was...
That's when I feel it. The urge to push. You always hear women say how they got the urge and how it was so nice to push against the contraction. Well apparently I was too scared to push or something, because I wasn't pushing when I felt the urge. This was about the time when I was about to ask for drugs... But I just kept telling myself "that means that she is going to be here soon!!! I feel like quitting because I'm super close to meeting my baby. I CAN do this!! I'm almost there!" My body was absolutely bearing down on it's own & I just continued to ride the waves. The room was all of a sudden filled with people and the doctor came in. I remember having a few contractions where I just felt completely primal and animalistic. My body was bearing down and I was letting out this noise that I can't even describe.... Kind of like a long groan through my teeth. I remember feeling something, looking down quick and seeing a couple drops of blood on the bed. The doctor checked me and I vaguely remember her saying something about having a lip left. She kept her fingers in there (detailed much? No modesty here.. Hahah) & told me to push! I pretty much did the opposite and tried to pull away & then I dropped my fluttering noise mask. She then made Bo stop rubbing my back & wouldn't let my mom give me the mask back and said to me, very sternly, "don't pull away, PUSH!" So I did. I had a contraction pretty much right away and I pushed right through it, reached down and felt my baby's head coming out. I could feel her hair! Another contraction, another hard push, and I could feel the rest of her head coming through my body. I told myself "I just need to push her shoulders out and then she'll be here!" So I beared down right away, pushed really hard one last time & at 7:09pm I felt her little body being quickly delivered earth side.
She was out! I did it! I birthed my baby exactly the way I wanted and needed to. I originally wanted to pull her out myself & do immediate skin to skin, but in the moment, and in the position I was in, it just wasn't going to happen.. & that was totally fine! Bo was able to scoop her up right away and be the first one to hold her. I remember people asking me if I wanted to turn around and I just kept saying no, but with a huge smile on my face. I knew she was safe with her daddy. I leaned against the back of the bed, still on my knees, with the umbilical cord between my legs. I was too shaky and kind of scared to move because I was still physically connected to my baby and hadn't delivered the placenta yet. We had put delayed cord clamping for a minimum of 5 minutes on our birth plan & that's exactly what they let us do. The doctor helped Bo pass my little girl up to me between my legs so I could see the little piece of heaven that I just brought into the world. She was beautiful! I couldn't believe how amazingly beautiful she was. I held her close to my heart and kissed her head over and over and kept saying out loud "I did it!!" Everyone kept telling me how amazing I was and how gorgeous my baby was. I felt like a friggin goddess! I was completely on cloud 9. 5 minutes
later, I was asked if it was ok to clamp the cord, & I said yes! I handed Bowie off to her dad again while they clamped the cord & then I was handed a pair of scissors. I got to cut my baby's cord while her dad held her! I'm so happy I was able to do that! Since I was now no longer connected to her, I comfortably resumed my position against the back of the bed and got ready to deliver the placenta. The back of the bed was my safe place apparently! I remember not wanting to push. My crotch was sore!! Haha! I do remember trying to slowly push it out & kept asking if I was doing ok and saying that I was trying! All of a sudden, I felt the placenta kind of release or detach I guess, from the uterine wall & there was pressure on my vagina. Once that happened, I pushed one last time and it was out. Oh my sweet baby Jesus. The complete relief of having an empty belly once again. It was incredible!
I was then able to lift my legs and they changed the pads that were underneath me and I was finally able to sit on my butt. I ripped my bra off and Bo gave me my little baby girl. She was so tiny! All 7lbs 8oz of her. And all the hair, oh my goodness.
The doctor then examined my vag to make sure all was good, and thankfully, no tears!! (I had minimal tears with Hunter which required stitches & they were a pain to recover with! Especially when I had to pee!) I was still shaking like crazy, so the nurses brought me a bunch of warm blankets and bundled us up. It felt so nice! I remember the doctor saying "let's see you feed that baby!" So I brought Bowie's mouth to my boob and after maybe 30 seconds of rooting around, she latched on! She stayed there for a good 20-30 minutes and then even latched on to the other side for another 10-15 minutes! While we were snuggled up in blankets and enjoying all the hormones, Bo fed me candies, Reese's peanut butter cups and sips of apple juice. It was great!! It took us probably a good hour before I got up and took a shower and we moved into the next room to settle in for the night. We all got some cuddles before putting Friends back on and then curling up in bed and going to sleep. She had a wonderful first night full of SLEEP! I had to wake her for feedings because she was such a sleepy head, and still is!
She is such a great baby. So content and peaceful. It still amazes me how teeny tiny she is! She's the perfect addition to our family.... The calm to Hunters storm haha!
I had the best experience in the world at our hospital! They were so kind and supportive and respected all my wishes. They made my labour and birth so memorable and I'm so thankful!
Every time I think of that day, I smile from ear to ear. It fills me with so much love and pride! I walked into my labour with the greatest confidence and determination and walked out the happiest and proudest mother of two!
^^^^Couldn't have made it through the contractions without Bo rubbing my back and providing counter pressure. He did this basically non stop for about 4 hours!
^^^^ I contemplated posting this shot because my whole butt is just hanging out there... But it is one of my favorites! I love everything about it. The vernix all over Bowie, the umbilical cord, the position that I labored and birthed in, the smile on my doctors face and Bo's arm across my back. This was so empowering for me and I never want to forget it! 
^^^^Freshly born into the world! Still attached to her umbilical cord & placenta which had yet to be delivered!
^^^^Holding my baby girl for the very first time. All I could say over and over was how beautiful she was! 
^^^^Clamping the cord after our requested 5 minute delay
^^^^I got to cut the cord!!
^^^^My beautiful baby girl!!!
^^^^On cloud 9 doing skin to skin with my daughter <3 Words can't describe how proud I was of us!