Born in a Pandemic
June 11th, 2020
The doctor wanted me to be induced a week early because of gestational diabetes and because I was on insulin. I did not want to be induced but alas, it happened. We were waiting for a call from the hospital that day and thought we would go in around noon. We prepared [our son] Oliver and the call never came. I called the nurse and the hospital was busy that day and they thought we wouldn’t be going in until tomorrow. We got a call about an hour later asking if we would come in at 6pm. We agreed.
When we got to the hospital we had to be screened at the entrance and masked up. Once getting to the labour and delivery floor, the receptionist told us that the rules changed THAT day and we were now allowed a second support person. I got vey excited that our photographer could come now. Before that, due to covid only Matt and I were allowed.
Once getting into our room, we asked our nurse (Laura) and she didn’t know anything about a second support person being allowed. Luckily I knew a nurse who was on shift that day and when she came in (she was going to take pictures for us if she could) she pulled some strings and said our photographer could come in after midnight.
I got asked a million questions from a bunch of people, I had 2 IVs put in (with challenges and many pokes and bruises), and the resident, doctor Granger, went over risks and things that may come up.
The Pitocin was finally started around 9pm. Surprisingly to me I was already having my own contraction before that started about 2 every ten minutes but it wasn’t enough and I needed to be put on the drip anyway. I had been having those contractions for about 2 days but very irregular and I had just thought they were Braxton Hicks as they were so sporadic but when we had gotten to the hospital they were more regular (but still very mild).
I was contracting normally and baby was holding up to the medicine (I had constant monitoring) and they kept upping the Pitocin to make contractions come on more and more. At this time I was still able to talk through contractions and we were just having fun with it all. Excited to meet our baby.
The nurse kept upping the Pitocin (I was now around 11 units) and monitoring me and babe. My blood pressure apparently was high (even though the doctor never told me this) so that was being checked too.
June 12th, 2020
Contractions were picking up but the goal was to have 5 in a ten minute window. We were close to that, but still not there. The doctor gave us the option of breaking my water or continuing to up the Pitocin. I opted to have my water broke as I wanted a more natural birth and the less drugs the better for me. The doctor came in around 1:15am to break my water right as Bri, the photographer arrived. My water was broke and almost instantly my contractions came on FAST and HARD. I was around 4cm dilated before my water was broke. I wanted to be able to walk around and help labour progress naturally but with constant monitoring it was near impossible to do anything but stand by the bed, squats and use the yoga ball. I didn’t have back labour this time but laying or sitting was still too uncomfortable and I preferred to stand anyway.
Once my water was broken I needed to concentrate through my contractions. No more joking around and having fun, it was time to work. My contractions were basically back to back because of my body’s contractions and the Pitocin contractions so I hardly got a break. I had to close my eyes, breathe and try my best to relax through each one. The nurse raised the bed as high as it could go so I could lean against it and use it during my contractions.
They checked me around 3:00am and I was about 8cms. The nurse started to ask me if I had the urge to push shortly after and I didn’t but would slowly start to feel mild urges with each contraction. The Pitocin was backed off and stopped at this point so it was just my body working naturally but the contractions were working and I was close to transition/in transition at this point. Labour was hard. I was breathing quite heavily through each one and my blood pressure was going up, so the nurse was worried. They could not get an accurate reading, so they brought in a manual machine to check me, and had blood drawn to check that, all while checking my blood sugars. I was getting VERY tired of the constant pricks, pokes and monitoring while I was naturally trying to get through contractions, and it was quite hard.
By about 3:25am or so the urge to push came on fast and hard. The nurse and Matt helped me get on the bed and they quickly called the doctor in as baby was ready to come.
As soon as doctor was in the room, I was ready to push. A few contractions later, at 3:34am Adam Paul Haines was born…although we did not know you were a boy yet. Doctor told me to reach down for you and she helped me/handed me the baby and I pulled you up to my chest and got to peak and see if you were a girl or a boy. There is a sweet picture that shows this. After waiting for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing, I got to cut it this time. I asked if I could cut it this time as you were my last baby and it signified to me having my last baby feed and be nurtured by my body and I had to let it go. A bittersweet moment, as I have loved being pregnant and carrying my babes!
Adam Paul Haines was born at 3:34am weighing seven pounds 11 ounces and were 20.75 inches long. You were our miracle rainbow baby. I was blessed with a problem free pregnancy (minus the gestational diabetes and the aches and pains that came with being pregnant). Being pregnant during a pandemic was stressful beyond belief. I was worried I would have to be in the hospital alone, as some countries were like this. Life was so different during this pregnancy and I tried to be as calm and stress-free as possible to give you a healthy home to grow in. By the time you were ready to be born the stress of the pandemic had lessened a little and I was more comfortable in seeing people around us. We were so lucky as we were the first people in the hospital to have that second support person be allowed in. I wanted so badly to capture your birth as we got pictures of Oliver’s birth and you deserved some too, but also because of the long journey it was to get pregnant with you. Four miscarriages, our Flotten cabin burning down, and the devastating loss of Grandma Donna.
You were my calm after the storm. And we are blessed that you are here, you are healthy and that you are OURS!!