On January 26th at 1:34AM, we finally met our baby boy, Marc Olivier Lafond. He weighed in at 6lbs 10oz and measured 19.75" in length. He is the sweetest, cutest baby I have ever seen (but I may be a touch biased)!
My water broke at 4:15AM on January 25th. My contractions didn't get started right away though, so I had a bite to eat, showered and got ready before we headed to the hospital around 9. Here's the last photo of my bump before we left that morning:
As you can see, I was super excited. My water broke on its own! I wasn't going to have to be induced! I would get the natural birth I wanted.
So we made our way to the hospital, and they admitted me to triage. The nurse checked... and the swab test found no amniotic fluid. They didn't think my water had broken. But I knew. There was no way the small gushes that had been occurring all morning were anything else! So they called in my doctor and she went to do another swab - as they lay me down, another gush of fluid came out and sure enough they confirmed what I knew to be true: my water had indeed broken!
But, since I wasn't having any real contractions, they sent us home. We were scheduled to come back in at 4PM to be induced (if things hadn't progressed by then). We went home. I ate and paced (and paced). I was having small contractions, but nothing consistent or really all that painful. Just a little uncomfortable. I took a nap around 2 and woke up at 3 to a much stronger contraction than I had experienced thus far. Progress!
We went in for 4 and were admitted to labour and delivery. At this point, no one had yet checked me to see if things were really progressing. When the nurse indicated that they would be starting the induction, I asked whether they could see if maybe things were moving along naturally. She was a bit shocked I hadn't been checked yet that day, so she did and sure enough I had dilated a little over a centimetre since the previous day. And since contractions were underway, they would let me labour naturally.
And so I laboured. Around 6PM, the nurse suggested I eat something light to keep my strength up. When Pat returned with the food, things got real. My contractions suddenly got WAY more intense. Close together, I would sometimes get 2 in a row and then a small break before the next one started. Through the next 3 hours of intense labour, Pat was awesome - rubbing my back through each contraction as I rocked/bounced on a birthing ball. Finally, after 3 hours, they checked me again... and I had only dilated another centimetre.
That was... discouraging. I was losing energy fast and didn't know how much longer I could take that amount of pain. As much as I wanted to have a natural birth, I also wanted to have a good experience - so I opted for the epidural. It was the best decision! Once in place, I was able to relax and dilated another 4cm in one hour! Everyone was so surprised - the nurses had expected me to deliver sometime in the morning but this was happening that night!
By 1AM, I was fully dilated and ready to push. They dialled back the epidural so that I could feel a bit more pressure and know exactly when to push. Again, Pat was right there, encouraging me the whole time. Once started, about half an hour later our son was placed on my chest. The moment we had been waiting for - words cannot describe how incredible that feeling was!
And here he is - a few hours after birth:
And the next day, curled up in his daddy's arms:
He's already changed so much in the last 3 weeks. And I think we're all starting to get the hang of things, settling into some sort of a routine. Pat has been wonderful with him - such a great dad already! The biggest challenge now is to get him to sleep independently - he much prefers being in our arms. But we're getting there - as I type this, he's snoozing in his swing. Next up: the bassinet!
While our new life is quite hectic, and busy in the most mundane ways, it is very rich. There is so much love in our little house! I am so looking forward to watching this little man grow!