I woke up out of my sleep on Tuesday July 25th around 3 am with what seemed to be contractions. I reached out to my close girlfriends (also fellow mommies) to let them know how I was feeling. A couple of hours later, I decided to have Keith bring me to North York General Hospital (NYGH) to find out if I was having real contractions or Braxton Hicks contractions. After about an hour or so, I checked out fine and the lovely nurse informed me that it seemed to be Braxton Hicks as I had not dilated even a little bit. Thankfully, I had the foresight to tell Keith to wait on me at the front of the entrance that I had entered in an attempt to avoid paying for parking unnecessarily. This worked out in our favour because I was being sent home instead of admitted.
Upon returning home, I decided that for once, I didn’t need to go out and about on the road but instead, opted to stay home and get some much-needed sleep while Keith went off to work for the evening. By the time six in the evening had rolled around, I started to feel an increase in frequency of these contractions and the intensity as well. I continued to speak to my fellow mommy girlfriends and ended up calling Keith and asking him to come home early as I really wasn’t feeling well.
Keith came home around close to midnight (much later than I anticipated) and by then, I felt weak. I had waited for him to come home in the hopes of taking a hot shower and laying back down. When he arrived, he quickly lit a candle in the bathroom, helped to bathe me and encouraged me to lay down. It seemed like a great idea, after all, the ambience was perfectly set and I had my hot shower but this contraction-like feeling refused to leave me alone. Approximately an hour and a half later, we found ourselves back at NYGH, this time, he parked the car and came inside to the triage unit for expectant mothers/mother and baby. It seemed to be a very quiet night as I was processed very quickly and within 15 minutes of being there, we were told that I was 5cm dilated and would be admitted. Keith went to the car and grabbed my hospital bag and baby bag that we had placed in the car earlier on in the day.
While Keith went out to the car, I had to grab the pink bin a couple of times to hurl but I found that I was coping better than I had thought. Afterall, I am the same person who would normally accept a lollipop in trade of giving up a blood sample for routine work, and now I was quietly accepting an IV that needed to run without tears rolling down her face. By the time I was transferred into a birthing suite and given an epidural (I turned to that as I was worried that the stress I felt my body going through was going to put my soon-to-be daughter in distress) I had dilated to 5.5-6cm.
After I received the epidural successfully (it was scary but not the horrific scene that I had been playing in my mind), I knocked out and Keith followed suit. By approximately 5:40 in the morning, a nurse, OBGYN resident and OBGYN intern/student came by to introduce themselves and complete a routine check. I thought I would’ve been highly embarrassed but they spoke about doing this check like I talk about going to run errands on the road. It also helped that I was aesthetically prepared for the examination. Any how, with that check, they informed me that I was 7cm dilated but 9cm with contractions.
Baby Reid was head down, nice and low and she would be ready to enter the world soon. They informed me that I would start to feel a pressure and that if I got to the point where I felt like I had to do a number two, I was to inform the nurse who was assigned to me and she would get everything ready. They estimated about two more hours for me to sleep and mentally prepare for delivery.
By about 6:10 am or so, I told the nurse that I felt like I was ready to push. By 6:15 am, the team I had been I been introduced to earlier along with the OBGYN on the floor rushed into the room. Everything was happening so quickly, I was checked once again and told that my cervix was clear and the baby was already starting to come. The team told me they could see her head and I PANICKED. I panicked because I couldn’t believe this was actually happening. I screamed (nothing overly dramatic though) and one of my smart mouth nurses told me to stop and focus. I was so dumbstruck by what she said that that I pushed with all my might because I wanted her and the others to get out of my face and my .. well … you know what. I found out later that although I was hooked up for the epidural, I didn’t use it. I was supposed to press a button to release the medication. I didn’t use the epidural just like I didn’t have the low lights or music playing from my portable speakers that I insisted on packing !
In about 4-5 pushes, Miss Charlotte Reid was born in all of her 6lbs and 10oz glory at 6:37 am on Wednesday July 26th, 2017 with a head full of jet black curly hair to boot.
So, first words after pushing her out?
“It’s a girl right?!” followed by “Look at her hair!!!”
And yes, we counted her fingers and her toes several hours afterwards when we realized we never did it when she had first come out.
Welcome to Parenthood.
***Special Thanks to my sweetest friend,G, who hand-made Charlotte’s first swaddle (pictured here) with a matching headband for both her and myself***