Thursday, January 20, 2011

Catching up - waiting for the labour

In this blogisode we discuss waiting for the labour to start.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have been absent from the blagosphere [sic] lately as I was somewhat distracted with the birth of my son, Patrick Dylan Carr. Having recently gone through the frenetic and confusing dance that is childbirth, I thought that it might be timely to write down some of my thoughts. By its nature, I expect fully that there will be graphic things covered within these posts so if you are squeamish then be warned. As well I should note that I am not a doctor nor am I a lawyer - I try to cover the medical issues as best I can as a layperson. No guarantee is implied. :)

From that point on things were relatively normal for us. Carol's body continued to change. Baby was always very active, preferring to beat up on ribs and organs whenever he could. Heartburn was persistent and annoying, but overall fairly normal. We took prenatal classes which were amazing and did our tour of labour delivery (LDR) at the hospital. As far as we could be ready, we were ready.

I had always planned on taking paternity leave from work when the baby was born but as the months went on it became more important to pick a range of dates. I decided to take off January and February with a planned return to work on March 1. The baby had a whole range of due dates - initially January 18th was our first date (based on last menstrual period - LMP), Dr Tsang had put forth January 1st and BC Women's Hospital decided on January 9th. So in the end the medical system geared up for a January 9 delivery and thus my time off work seemed to be appropriate.

As the days wore down in December, we started anticipating when the baby would come. Carol had some Braxton Hicks occurring, i.e. contractions that prepare the body for the eventual labour that will occur, but otherwise nothing too exciting happened. Basically as you get closer to birth a woman will shed her mucus plug and have her water break. Granted, this doesn't occur all of the time, but our rough expectation was that mucus plug would shed a 2-3 days in advance, water would break day of birth, and so on.

As the days wore on the different significant days rolled past. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when our baby wasn't born on the 10th anniversary of my dad's death (Dec 24) and similarly when we got past Christmas itself. As we got closer to New Years we started joking about "the baby lottery". If you have the first baby of the New Year then you end up getting all sorts of gifts from the city and different businesses in town, essentially.

On December 30th Carol started having what we thought might be contractions. We calmly gathered our stuff and headed to the hospital. I remember being so confident baby was coming that I purchased a week pass for the parking. Basically, baby wasn't coming but this was another mini-crisis. Carol had gone a bit feverish and dehydrated, this was in turn causing the baby distress so for 5-6 hours we sat in LDR trying to get Carol back hydrated enough so baby would be OK. Everything was fine in the end and we went home joking about our "dry run" through LDR.

We felt confident that baby was coming soon so started doing the normal couple things to start the labour. Walking seemed to bring the contractions on so Carol and I spent Dec 31 and January 1 exploring UNBC... we wandered through every hallway and stairwell of that great institution which was thoroughly enjoyable. On Sunday, January 2nd, Carol was feeling a bit tired so we took the easier trek through Pine Centre Mall, circling it a good 10 times. We went to bed confident that we'd have to be trekking for many more days to bring on the birth. We were wrong.

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