Initially I never thought of sharing Mila’s birth story on the blog. However, I enjoy reading other blogger’s pregnancy updates and birth stories so I decided to share my experience with you.
Looking back and comparing my two deliveries – I can say that they were both very different. This second delivery was so much quicker and easier, and the pain was more tolerable (to my absolute surprise.
First delivery in 2011
The first one was much longer and lasted in total 15 hours. The contractions were so painful that I almost felt unconscious towards the end. I was admitted at the hospital with 2 cm dilation and got an epidural at around 9 cm. The pain went away but also the epidural slowed things down so much that I had to push for 3 and a half hours without feeling anything and without succeeding in getting the baby out. Towards the end I was so inhumanly exhausted and worried why the baby isn’t coming out. The doctors were getting ready for a C-section but before that they tried to take the baby out with forceps and vacuum which worked and thankfully I didn’t have a C-section.
Second delivery in 2016
So this time my doctor told me that everything will happen very quickly because my first delivery happened quickly as well (for a first one). This worried me because the hospital I was going to give birth in (St. Paul’s Hospital in Downtown Vancouver) is 30 km from my house. My husband works in Downtown Vancouver and it will take him an hour to come back to the house and then another hour to go to the hospital. And that’s if it is outside rush hour.
Thinking about this have caused me a lot of anxiety and worries. The fact that I didn’t know when and how it will start, and even the doctors couldn’t tell me that, was driving me crazy.
The last month I had doctor visits every week where I was examined for dilation twice. So it turned out that after week 36 I was already 2 cm dilated, my belly had dropped, and I had Braxton-Hicks contractions. So it looked like it could literally happen any day.
My official due date was March 31 and I was hoping it will happen a little before or around that date. But March 31st passed by with no sign of a coming delivery. I was getting nervous and worried, I didn’t want to be induced and that uncertainty and expectation was making me anxious.
On April 3rd, at 3 am, I woke up and was just about to go to the washroom when I felt my waters started to break. I literally jumped out of bed and went to the bathroom. I also felt pain in my lower back which wasn’t going away so these were probably contractions. I had an app on my phone and started timing them – they were 2 to 3 minutes apart. With contractions at such short intervals, and because this was a second birth, I knew that I was probably well into the first stage of labour and I had to go to the hospital.
I woke my husband and told him that it is time. I took a shower, got dressed and took several last pictures of me being pregnant (with contractions every 2 minutes I was still thinking about pictures). My husband woke our daughter and got her ready. She was so unbelievably excited that her little sister was coming, she jumped out of bed and started getting ready right away, chatting and laughing the whole time.
We called our friends, who live very close to the hospital, to let them know that we are going to drop off our daughter at their place on our way to the hospital. We have arranged that with them before and they were so nice and perfectly ok with this.
We left our house at 4 am. This was the perfect time to travel these 30 km to the hospital – there was no cars at all and all traffic lights were green. The contractions were getting more painful and every 1 to 2 minutes now. I felt every bump in the road!
We dropped our daughter at our friends after 30 minutes, and after 5 more minutes we were in the hospital. We entered through the emergency as it was the only open entrance at night time. A porter came and took me in a wheel chair to the maternity ward. At that time I felt a big gush of water, then after a minute another one. I didn’t really care anymore because I was at the hospital.
At 4:45 I checked in the maternity ward. I couldn’t talk while contractions lasted. At 4:50 I was in the room having urges to push. They checked for dilation and told me I was 9 cm dilated and probably we wouldn’t have time for epidural. I panicked that I won’t have epidural and that this baby is going to get out of me without epidural. I couldn’t stop thinking about that and that thought scared me a lot more than the pain from the contractions.
At 5:00 am my doctor came and joined the resident doctor and the two nurses. They were all encouraging me and telling me that I am at a safe place, and that everything is going great, and that I am doing great. I don’t know if the last was true as I was screaming at the top of my lungs while contractions lasted and I felt the each contraction was merging with the next one so I didn’t have any time to relax in between.
At 5:10 I was fully dilated and I felt the urges to push. The first one I didn’t push at all as I thought it is another contraction. Suddenly I saw the face of one of the nurses in my face and she told me firmly: “The baby is coming out and you have to push”. I think that’s when I accepted the fact that I am not getting an epidural, and that this baby is coming out now and I have to follow the instructions of the medical staff.
My second daughter Mila was born with the next three pushes at 5:23 am. The pushing was slightly less painful then the contractions. In total everything lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes and Mila was born 40 minutes after I arrived at the hospital (I know, I know, I barely made it).
The doctors put her on my chest for skin to skin contact and she was so tiny! I was so excited, so happy and thrilled, so proud of myself that i did it without an epidural! I was filled with so many emotions – love, excitement, joy, relief, happiness… She was here!
Soon it was morning and the sun came out. Just two hours after I have given birth I felt so fresh and so good. Nothing was hurting anywhere while I was on the bed. I was able to go to the washroom by myself just an hour after delivery. The only pain I felt when I was walking was in my lower back where I felt all the contractions. Actually, a week after delivery, I was still feeling pain there and that was my only discomfort.
And I realized that this natural birth without an epidural was much better for my body and I recovered so much quicker from the second child birth then the first one. I also realized that the pain from my contractions was perfectly bearable and manageable.
To be honest with you, after my first birth, I heard and read stories about women that have similar experience with very quick and not too painful deliveries, and I thought that was exaggerated and can’t possibly be true. I just didn’t believe that is possible until it actually happened to me. I am joking that I have a delivery like in the movies.
Thank God it all happened at night otherwise I am scared to think what would have happened and if I would have made it to the hospital on time. Maybe if I wasn’t sleeping I would feel the contractions much earlier and would have gone to the hospital much earlier.
Anyway, it is all history now, I am glad and thankful for the way it happened and I am happy my second delivery is behind me!