Sunday, January 16, 2011

Malachi's Birth Story

Well, I realize this is overdue. I've had a couple of reminders within a week that I hadn't posted Malachi's story yet. Both of the children are sleeping and so, I'll try to get this down. WARNING, this is a long post and detailed, I won't be offended if you don't read this post. 

I'll start on the 10th of November. We had a midwife appointment and after an examination, we found out that Malachi was in the breach position. Yikes. We were planning on trying a VBAC and this was not in the plan. A breach birth would automatically require me to have another C-section. Did you know that being on your hands and knees for any amount of time when you're really pregnant is super tiring. This was one of the things we did in an effort to make Malachi turn around. In the end, I can only give credit to God. Malachi felt like he was spinning in circles throughout the whole pregnancy, so it wasn't a huge surprise that he did in fact turn around. It was, however, a huge relief! The following Wednesday (17th), we had another midwife appointment. This time, we knew Malachi had turned, but after another examination, we realized that he still hadn't dropped. Gisele's words were something to the effect of "this baby isn't going to come this week". Ugh! I so wanted him to come - as I'm sure most pregnant women feel at this point of their pregnancy. I went home and prayed that God would give me the grace and the patience to wait for His perfect timing. Lo and behold, the next morning, I lost my mucus plug and went into labour. The beginning of a very, very, very long process.

Having made arrangements for Abigail to go to friends later in the day, we went about our day. Early in the afternoon, I decided that I needed for us to take Abigail to Jenni's. I was having a difficult time keeping the work of contractions from concerning Abigail. After we dropped her off, we walked Walmart for awhile. As long as I was walking, the contractions continued, but as soon as we went home, they slowed down to almost a complete stop. After a phone conversation with Gisele, we lay down for a bit of a nap. Waking up to a contraction, we were back at it. Another phone conversation with Gisele led us to an early trip to the hospital. Her concern was that when attempting a VBAC, it's best that's it's not a marathon of an experience. She wanted to examine me and make sure that the uterine wall wasn't weakening. Well, we got to the hospital and after checking on the baby's heart rhythm etc, she examined me and told me that I was only 1 cm dilated. "Go home and get as much rest as you can. This baby isn't coming today." Crying ensued. I was tired already and wanted baby to come, but we left the hospital. Now, Gisele was going off call for the night, but she was sure she'd be around for the delivery (since Malachi wasn't coming that day).

After having a good cry in the car, we decided to drop in at Jenni & Dawson's and check in on Abby. We were welcomed with open arms and decided to stay and visit. They offered to keep Abby anyway, so I got to put her to bed (between contractions) and visiting kept my mind off the fact that Malachi wasn't coming right away. Well, labour came in ernest. There I was in labour at my friend's house (at first I felt awkward about it, but they made me feel so at ease and welcome that I was so glad to have gone there. Dawson even offered at one point to go downstairs and give David and I some privacy - as if I'd make them leave their own space so I could labour there! It was really kind. Jenni was so excited to have me there that she said it would make her day if I gave birth on her living room floor. Kristy (Jenni's sister) even put on her facebook status that I was in labour upstairs. We decided at about 10:00 p.m. that it was time to talk to Cara, Gisele's partner and the midwife who delivered Malachi. I felt like it was time to go back to the hospital as my contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting for about 1-1.5 minutes. At this point we were experiencing our first snowfall and in fact by the end of the night there was 20 cm of snow on the ground. Cara lives on the other end of town and so we all slowly made our way to the hospital.

Hospital trip number two resulted in another examination and the disheartening news that I was only 2 cm dilated. UGH! More crying. Options were to stay and walk around the hospital or go home until there was a distinct change in labour. Not only was I devastated, but I was feeling guilty for dragging Cara across town in a blizzard. Three flights of stairs later (still contracting), we crawled into bed in hopes of getting some sleep. An hour and a half later, I was shaking the bed with the intensity of the contractions. Called Cara and headed back to the hospital. The hospital will admit you when you are 4 cm dilated and by now, I was sure it was time. More slow driving. On the way to the hospital David began to pray for Malachi's life. God revealed to him that satan was after our son and we needed to pray against the spirit of death. I was a little busy contracting, so I let him do the warfare.

Hospital trip number three results: 3.5 cm dilated, but 4 during contractions, so they finally admitted me. I could hardly believe I was still only 4 cm dilated. I had been working all day and when I was in labour with Abby I made it to 5 cm in much less time. I was frustrated, but glad that they didn't send us away, again. The details of that night are a bit fuzzy for me. Though I can tell you that it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I agreed to take gas in the middle of the night, because I was having a hard time staying calm. The fatigue and dread of the next contractions caused me to panic a little and Cara suggested I use gas to help me concentrate and do the work.

A funny story from the middle of the night and the middle of labour... David was helping me go to the washroom and as the next contraction was coming, I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror. I said to David "Oh no, I know where Abby gets her pouty lip from". I had the biggest pout on my face, in anticipation of the next contraction.

At about 6:15 the next morning, Cara checked me again and I was still only 6 cm dilated. AHHHH! Not the news I wanted to hear. I had already hit the point of what I felt like I couldn't handle anymore and I still wasn't close! A dear friend of mine told me that when I hit that point to remember that baby was almost there and I remember thinking... "you lied to me!" (Don't worry, Patty~Jean, I was in an irrational state of mind at the time and I don't really believe that) *wink* Cara then broke my water. Giddy-yap, as if the whole night of contractions wasn't bad enough - yikes! Apparently, I could handle a whole lot more than I thought. I remember the point where I felt the need to push. Cara checked me and said that it was time. What I hadn't realized was that she had called in Sheila, yet another midwife, to assist her in the delivery. At this point, I'm not sure where the clarity came from, or the energy, but I clearly heard, understood and followed Cara's instructions. I was on a mission and this baby was coming. I had a job to do and I didn't want it taking any longer than necessary. Well, at 10:08 our little boy was born. Hallelujah!

Cara and Sheila kept working, but as far as I was concerned the job was done and all I needed to do was hold Malachi. There was some concern with how much I was still bleeding and how long it took to deliver the placenta, but I was holding my baby and that was all I cared about at the time. By the way, the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around Malachi's neck (this likely happened when he turned from the breach position and hadn't dropped yet). I was able to push Malachi out so quickly and efficiently that Cara swiftly and deftly unwrapped the cord and he had no issues. I really believe that the clarity and energy in the final hours was an answer to David's prayers late the night before. God spared the life of our son and allowed no injury or harm to come to him during a very, very, very long night.

Jenni brought Abby to visit early in the day. Abby said "Malachi came out!" to me and then to Malachi "Hi. How are you?" She was so sweet. After our little visit, David, Malachi and I took a nap at the hospital. We were able to go home by 5:00 p.m. the same day, as we were under the care of a midwife and with all being well, we were able to decide for ourselves when we wanted to go home. Then another friend, Trudy, took Abby overnight that night so we could catch up on some sleep. It was so good to be home and have our newest treasure with us.

Thank you to our friends and family for all the prayers and support, we couldn't have done it without you! Jenni, you blessed me soooo much. I love you, my friend!

P.S. Still no seizures! Thank God for His healing touch!


Jen said...

I didn't realize you were doing a VBAC. Praising God for such a safe delivery and a good experience.

I *love* birth stories! Thanks for sharing!

patty-jean said...

YAY ! and yay that I finally got to read this! You don't want to know how many times I sat down to read your blog (particularly Malachi's birth story) - and been interrupted by thousands of "needs" of others. Wonderful - and a badge of honour for you for the horrible time you had - you did it! That was a marathon indeed, and yet another miracle!