It's A Girl!
I am so excited to announce the birth of my baby girl Zoey. She was born on July 22, 2014 at 4:21pm. She weighed in at 6lbs 4oz. I am feeling so blessed that she was and is very healthy.
As many of you know, I researched the hell out of the whole labour and birth process to try and overcome my fears. I desired a natural birth without drugs for my health and my baby's health. I was told by many people, including my doctors, not to count on it because many situations can arise where intervention is necessary. This frightened me even more, I didn't understand why such a natural process required interventions.
I did my best to prepare my mind and body for labour and birth. I personally think all my preparation and my good diet during pregnancy allowed me to have the birth I wanted. Of course nothing is guaranteed, remember, everyone's experiences are different and we should be thankful we have modern medicine to intervene when things go wrong.
Z's Birth Story
The morning I went into labour I woke up unusually early and couldn't get back to sleep. I suddenly felt a "pop" near my cervix. I got up to pee and noticed a faint trace of blood.
When I stood up, I felt a gush of water. My waters had finally broke. I couldn't believe it, the baby was coming that day. Then I had my first contraction. To me the early contractions felt similar to period cramping. I called my husband home from work and informed the hospital we would be coming in some time that day.
I decided to labour at home until I reached active labour. This was one of the best decisions I made and I think it helped shorten my labour significantly. I planned to head to the hospital when my contractions were 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute, for at least 3 hours. I never reached this goal because the contractions became so intense it was time to head out the door. I laboured at home for about 5 hours.
The hospital we chose to deliver at was a 40 minute drive from the house. During the drive I had about 6 or 7 contractions and they were incredibly painful. This was probably the worst part about the experience and I was relieved to reach the hospital.
We checked in and the nurses checked my dilation. I was shocked when they told me I was 9 cm dilated. It took me another 3 hours to reach full dilation and work through transition. I surprised myself and didn't even request pain medications. Having a hot shower helped with the pain, so I spent a good amount of time in the shower.
My husband was the best birth partner. He made sure I stayed hydrated, helped keep me calm and relaxed, and gave me the strength I needed to have our baby.
When it was finally time to push I was relieved. I found pushing to be much easier than labouring. 1 hour after I started pushing my little Z was born. It was the most incredible moment of my life and I will never forget it.
It took 9 hours from start to finish. The hardest 9 hours I've ever experienced, but it is true what the say, the pain melts away becoming a distant memory after meeting your new little baby.
I had 2 small first degree tears which required just 3 stitches. The nurses and doctors were very impressed with me. They said my control during pushing was something they would expect from 2nd or 3rd time mothers. They were also impressed that I made it to 9 cm all on my own, again this is what they expect from 2nd or 3rd time mothers.
My breastfeeding journey hasn't been as successful as birthing Z. I wish someone had told me how hard breastfeeding can be. It turns out that I have flat almost inverted nipples, making it hard for a baby to latch and draw out the nipple. We struggled in the hospital for 2 days trying to get Z to latch without success. I ended up having to pump the colostrum and feed Z with a small medicine cup.
I made a bad decision to leave the hospital after only spending 2 nights and still not being able to breastfeed my little girl. If I had a do over, I would have stayed at least until my milk came in. The hospital staff set up and appointment for me with a lactation consultant for the day after I left the hospital.
As a result of Z's inability to latch, she lost almost 10% of her body weight and became slightly jaundice. Her bilirubins were almost at the point where they would require her to be readmitted to hospital. These 3 days were stressful for both her and me. I cried many times and she cried along with me.
The day I visited the lactation consultant she immediately suggested I try a nipple shield. The instant I put it on Z latched and had a good feed. I think it helped that my milk had also started to come in. In hindsight I wish I would have continued to try to get Z to latch before using the shield. I feel when my milk came in we would have been successful. That being said, I am so thankful for the shield. I've never felt as relieved as the moment Z successfully latched and breastfed.
It has been 8 weeks since Z was born and we are still using the shield. I try not to be hard on myself for failing at weaning her off it because her growth has been so incredible. She already weighs more than 10 lbs. Meaning she is getting enough to eat. We will continue to try and ditch the shield, but I'm not going to stress if it doesn't work out. If we need to use a nipple shield for the remainder of our breastfeeding days, we will.
I am so incredibly happy to finally be a mother. The journey hasn't been an easy one by any means, but it has been so rewarding. I am truly happy with my birth experience and thankful that modern technology has allowed me to breastfeed my baby.
Love and happiness,
Krystal Bernier, Holistic Nutritionist