Callum’s Birth Story
Our first family picture in the hospital, eager to get home to Oliver.
Monday August 24, 2020
I woke up in the night (Aug 23) and had a few unusual pains, was a little uncomfortable but nothing that I would call contractions, just some very mild discomfort. It went away in the morning but came back when I tried to lay down for 15 minutes before heading to my Dr. appointment in the afternoon, at 3:15pm. They went away again and I didn’t even mention it to my Doctor at my 40 week appointment (39w6days) because they had stopped and I didn’t think anything of it.
5:00pm All of a sudden, contractions started, 5 minutes apart lasting for about 30-45 seconds. I could very easily move and talk through them but I knew we were going to go to the hospital so I texted my mom who just got her Covid test back (negative) after not having worked in the Emergency Room for a week. She was planning on coming around dinner time but I just texted her to say “it’s game time” so she could come over fairly soon. I made dinner (spaghetti with stuffed portobellos) and had a shower to wash my hair. If I don’t have clean hair, I just really don’t feel good and I knew it would be a while until I would get a chance to do it. We got the last things together in our hospital bags and left for the 30 minute ride to the hospital. It’s funny how with your second you just have to get certain things done even in labor while with my first I was lying in bed thinking my pain level was already at a 7/10.
I waved to my mom and Oliver out the window and some of our neighbors came outside to wave goodbye to us as well. I was a puddle of tears in the car feeling all the emotions about the fact that we were about to welcome our sweet baby girl or boy into our family.
In the back seat on the way to the hospital.
8:00pm We got to the hospital and started all the paperwork and got a room in triage. I hadn’t done all the fetal and contraction monitoring with Oliver (read his birth story here) so everything was new to me. Luckily I was still in early labor, as having contractions while sitting strapped down wasn’t very fun. At this point I was 70% effaced (my OB had said 90% earlier in the day?!) and 3cm dilated.
In triage monitoring baby’s heartbeat and my contractions.
9:00pm I got the Covid test and it was HORRIBLE. It felt like the nurse was piercing my brain and then she still had to wriggle the swab thing around and around for what felt like a minute but it was really only 5 seconds #dramaticmuch. Anyway, I had a headache for the next hour, my eye kept watering and my nose bled on top of contractions so I was pretty uncomfortable but they test because apparently they have two labor and delivery wards/sections for Covid negative and Covid positive patients which I really appreciate.
We had to wait a little over two hours for the test to come back negative to know which room we were going to be in and then it had to be cleaned so we were in triage a while. Apparently it was crazy busy that night, but you would never know, everyone must have been staying in their rooms.
Tuesday August 25, 2020 (Due date!)
1:00am We finally got a room and my body was probably like, “ok we are in the right place” because I went into transition and things got painful. I tried laboring in the tub but didn’t really enjoy it that much (the tub needs to be WAY bigger in my opinion) so did a mix of lying on my side in bed with pillows between my legs and sitting on the exercise ball. The exercise ball was SO helpful, I can’t believe I didn’t use one for laboring with Oliver. For every contraction I had Daniel rub my back in an anticlockwise circular motion (quite hard!) and I would visualize his hand making those circles over and over in my mind while making them with the ball to try relieve some of the pain. It really helped so much to keep my breathing calm. I went hysterical with Oliver towards the end and I knew the key to my pain management (and hopefully not tearing) this time would be keeping my breath under control so I really worked hard at that. Also, I was trying to keep my shoulders relaxed, they wanted to tense up every time?! The midwife that came on duty at the shift change came and introduced herself (although I knew her from all my prenatal appointments at Baby + Co with Oliver) but Daniel had just gone to the car to get something. She asked me if I had a support person and I told her my hubby was just getting something from the car. It’s funny because she came in again at about 2:00am and Daniel was out again getting coffee. I laughed as she came in and said “I promise I do have a husband!” She stayed with me till Daniel came back which was sweet.
The exercise ball really helped manage my pain.
3:00am I was about 7cm dilated and 100% effaced so the midwife suggested I go sit on the toilet backwards (facing the piping/flush handle) and she warned me it was not going to be fun. She said it would help my waters break and that after that baby would come quickly. She told me to try stay there for at least 3 contractions, and after the first one I almost got off it was so painful but I knew it would help meet our baby boy or girl so I stayed for another 5. It was so sore and my waters didn’t break so I went back to the bed and lay sideways with pillows in between my legs. This felt so good because Daniel could access my back easily and I could really rest in between contractions. Come to think of it I think my eyes were closed from the moment I got into the labor and delivery room right up until Callum was born. I was so tired!
The contractions felt like they spaced out a little bit but the midwife was happy with my progression so I stayed there as I was as comfortable as I was going to get.
I was so tired at this point and lying on my side was great to rest in between contractions.
3:30am I tried the toilet again because I thought maybe I didn’t want my waters to break and make a mess on all the pillows but over the toilet I could really try to relax and let my body do what it needed. Weird the things you think, haha. Anyway, I did another 6 or so contractions but nothing happened, so I went back to the bed.
4:00am All of a sudden, with one strong contraction, my water broke and it felt like the head half popped out (it didn’t) and I lifted myself up on the side rail and shouted, “Baby’s coming!!!!!!!!” The nurse that was right there ordered the delivery table or something and the midwife came in and got all ready. I was happy to hear them say the fluid was clear as my water had meconium when it broke with Oliver and it made it difficult for Oliver to get out his lungs.
The nurse really helped me calm down after that and I knew that if I didn’t want to tear, I would need to dig deep and really try let the head sit there and slowly stretch instead of pushing. I did such a great job of that, I am so proud of myself!!!! I asked for a mirror and the midwife quickly went to get one and sure enough his head was there, but peeking out just bigger than a golf ball size – you could see baby’s hair! I said, “Is that all? I thought it was already half way out!”
I waited and watched in the mirror and it was incredible. The midwife told me I could put a little pressure and I saw the little sweet face pop out to greet us! A contraction came and the relief of getting the head out was huge!
4:14am Callum was born! Daniel said he was able to ‘catch’ Callum as he came out and place him on my tummy. I saw some big balls so I knew it was a BOY!!!! It was incredible to have him on me straight away (Oliver had to be rushed away to unblock his airway from all the fluid) and I could just hold my little boy while. The placenta took a little while to come out and then the midwife took quite a while to stitch me up. Despite my excellent breathing (the nurses told me to have more babies because I was “very good at it”) I still had another second degree tear. I was very disappointed but grateful we were both healthy and ok.
Callum was not interested in breastfeeding very much at all in the first 24 hours. I think he fed 4 times and just slept but also gave us a few scares with some gagging as he was getting all the amniotic fluid out his lungs, so I didn’t sleep much despite his epic naps.
It’s a BOY! What a surprise to welcome another boy into our family!
5:00pm We went to the postpartum room quite late as there hadn’t been one available for me but we didn’t mind, a room was a room. There were very few interruptions compared to when I had Oliver and I was grateful for the peace and quiet.
Wednesday August 26, 2020
11:00am We finally decided on the name “Callum.” I wanted Chaz, short for Charlie and Daniel wanted Bellamy but Callum just really suited him and was in both of our top three names so we both happily agreed that this was our baby Callum.
Having our meals brought to us was fantastic. I love the hospital food!
3:00pm We were told we were going to be discharged at about 11am but it took AGES to get everything done. We were itching at this point to get home and introduce Callum to Oliver. He had a great time with my mom and was also very excited for us to come back with baby Callum. When we got home he was waiting at the garage door waving at us asking if we had baby Callum.
Definitely a different experience with Covid but we are thankful for our healthcare team!
We are so grateful for an excellent hospital experience, safe labor and delivery and healthy mum and baby. The meals were delicious and a little time away from our house (for the first time in the whole year – thanks Covid) was so appreciated.
A huge thank you to the midwives, doctors, nurses, techs, catering team and all the other team members that helped us. Thank you for working during this pandemic and providing excellent service!
We are still settling into life with two and we will have to get into a new rhythm when Daniel goes back to work but for the next couple days I’m soaking up the time with the four of us.
Thanks so much for your support and encouragement during my pregnancy and now, it means the world to us.