On April 3rd Scott and I moved into our new home. Its beautiful, and serene but I love it mainly because its our first family home together. Gabe's biggest thrill about the new house was the carpets. We had never had carpets before and he would spend hours running around and diving all over them! My favorite part of owing my own home was the need to decorate it. I spent way too much money on home furnishings but in my defence I had three floors to decorate! Besides its our own little finishing touches which makes this house ours.
On June 29th (three months after moving in) Scott and I decided to explore our new little town and ended up travelling to a lake on the outskirts of our little town. As it turns out it would be the last thing we ever did as a three person family.
After wading around in the water with Gabe for about a half an hour I suddenly felt a gush of fluid and knew immediately that my water had broken. Scott was on the beach so I took Gabe's hand and we walked back to shore. When I got to Scott I told him that we should head back into town now. He looked at me quizzically and asked "why"? When I replied that it was because my water had broken his response was immediate panic. "WHAT! We're an hour out of town!!" He grabbed Gabe and practically ran back to the vehicle. I told him that I was just going to go to the bathroom to double check. When i got to the Porto potty I decided i had to pee as well. I closely inspected my underwear first and determined that my water had definitely broken and then sat down to go. After peeing for a few seconds i felt something brushing up against my butt. I immediately thought it was a spider and being an arachnophobe I panicked and jumped up as quickly as possible. I glanced back and saw more than a few hundred flies leave the toilet, filling the Porto potty with a black insect cloud, apparently they weren't impressed that I had just pissed on them. I stumbled out of the bathroom with my pants around my ankles...thankfully no one was around to see that little show and I quickly made my way back to the vehicle where i announced that flies had just attacked me. Scott, ever patient, demanded to know if my water had broken. I told him it had. Having gone through this once before he didn't question me on my certainty but instead drove back into town like a cop chasing a suspect. A trip that should have taken an hour took us 15 minutes. At that time we had no idea that this labour would be longer than the first and the need for quick action was less than needed.
That night I phoned the hospital to tell them my membranes had ruptured, and they told me to come in to get it verified. We dropped Gabe off with his Uncle Shaun and Aunt Denise and made our way to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Once there they confirmed my suspicion and told me that they would induce me the following morning if I didn't start labour naturally that night. Again, they were worried about infection if I was left too long with broken membranes. As it would turn out I wouldn't need to be induced. I started labour that night and laboured for six hours before heading back to the hospital. When I got there I was only three centimeters dilated and that was my first indication that a quick and easy labour was slipping from my grasp. I walked around the hospital for another hour before they admitted me and by then the contractions were getting quite intense. Again I was having a lot of back pain and when my doctor checked me she announced that the could "feel the fontanelle's" and I was a "face presentation". In other words Eden was face up like Gabe. This causes back labour because then the back of the baby's head bounces off your spine as they drop and descend farther into your pelvis. By the time I hit 5 cm the pain was just too much to bear. I was in the shower on the birthing ball wishing to god they had a bath when salvation arrived in the form of an anesthesiologist. I was going to receive an epidural. Thank God! Little did I know things would not go as planned for my epidural and I would end up in even more pain than I already was, something at that time, I couldn't imagine was possible.
Soon I was sitting on the bed with my legs hanging off, hunched over and leaning on the nurse while the doctor sterilized my back, froze it, and then tried to find a good place between my spine to put the catheter for the anesthetic. He shoved a needle into my spine once, twice, three times...four, five, six....his hands were shaking at this point...seven, eight...then he decided to call in a different anesthesiologist who got it in on the first try. Twenty minutes later and after a few tests were done on my legs the nurse realized that the epidural hadn't taken. Later on we would discover that the catheter had been stuck in a vein. I remember that in between contractions i would think "maybe its finally starting to work" then another contraction would hit and I would know that the medicine definitely hadn't kicked in.
The unfortunate thing about having a catheter stuck in your back is that you have to lay on it. Being required to lay flat on your back while in back labour is enough to make you pray for death. By the time I was ready to push I was telling Scott I couldn't do it. My back didn't just ache, it burned, which I can only assume was caused by the faulty catheter. In fact, my back burned so much that I was absolutely convinced I would leave the delivery room with third degree burns and kept touching my back to reassure myself that it wasn't blistering.
After 14 hours in labour, the nurse determined that I was 10 cm dilated and Edie's head was so far down that she could actually see it. She told me that I should give a little push so she could evaluate how long it would take me to deliver her. Scott intervened and said that I was a really good pusher and got Gabe out in a little under 25 minutes with only five pushes. She still insisted that I try. I looked at Scott shrugged and did as i was told. Almost immediately the nurse started yelling at me to stop pushing!! Scott laughed and said "i told you". I was less amused and told her to phone the "beeping" doctor cause i wanted this thing out of me!! The nurse made the call. The doctor finally arrived, right around the point I had decided to deliver the baby myself, and after only four pushes Eden's head emerged. "well dad, do you want to get your hands dirty?" she asked Scott. Scott looked bewildered, "What?!" "Reach down and grab her dad, you can deliver her the rest of the way". Scott turned a bit ashen and told the doctor that it was quite alright if she did it. At that point i just wanted one of them to flipping deliver her and told them so. After one more push the doctor delivered my daughter and Scott stuck by the old standby of cutting the cord.
Eden arrived in this world at 2:26 pm on June 30th, 2009. She weighed 6lbs 10 ounces and was 50 cm long and absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately she was born with a temperature and had to stay in the NICU for two days while receiving IV antibiotics. I had hoped to avoid the NICU this time around but luckily after the two days were up her blood tests came back clean and we were able to bring her home.
I was stiff and sore for the next few weeks and my back still aches to this day but she is so worth it. My favorite things to do now is to watch my two kids interact with one another. Edie has decided that she hates Gabe and screams bloody murder when she sees him coming and Gabe has decided that Edie is his baby. He gives her a soother if he sees it has fallen out of her mouth (a little too roughly), covers her with blankets when he sees she doesn't have one, steals wipes when I'm changing her diapers and washes her with them and he tries to pick her up when she cries ( of course I don't allow this!) Those two bring me so much laughter and joy. Being a mother is worth all the trouble of pregnancy and birth. I would do it all over again. Although if I had to do it again I would avoid the epidural all together!