I wanted to wait until we truly absorbed these first few weeks with Brooks before I took time away from it to go back to writing. I have just enjoyed learning about this little guy, watching Pearce love on him and recovering from this whole process. It took time and I didn’t want to put pressure on getting this blog post out by a set day to take away from this. But here goes!
For starters Brooks was due on November 4th, I tried not to share it as when you’re overdue you are bombarded daily by a lot of questions, some very personal and to be honest I didn’t have all the answers and I was sick of sharing them. People trying to tell you how to get the baby to come out, suggestion after suggestions. I tried it all, the days leading up to his birth I was at the gym running an hour on the elliptical – he wasn’t moving till he wanted. I tried acupuncture twice and had a great experience with a woman from Abbotsford who helped tremendously with my anxiety – I have had extremely bad anxiety this year not just about labor so I plan to do more of this in the future.
After seeing my doctor on November 5th he advised me that our baby was large and he did not think it was safe for him to be in much longer and that he wanted me to be induced that week, so I chose the 11th as my mom would be back from her work trip and we would have the week to prepare. At this point I had been 2 cm for 3 weeks and lost my mucus plug 3 weeks previous and had 3 sweeps. Chris and I planned to clean the house and organize Friday (November 9th) while Pearce was at daycare. We were going to organize and get ready so that Saturday we could have one last family day then Sunday have the babe.
By November 7th I was so uncomfortable crying from the pressure in my abdomen, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t do anything the pain of carrying Brooks was taking its toll on my body. The night of November 7th I cried and rocked on my exercise ball for 3 hours until finally forcing myself to sleep with lavender oil and bad tv. The night of November 8th was the same, but much worse contractions had started nothing consistent until about 5 am, when they started to come more consistently.
Well with contractions picking up I took Pearce to daycare (8:30am) and came home, stripped our bedding and started cleaning the kitchen and bathroom as I thought they were possibly Braxton Hicks since I had them all week. By about 10:30 the contractions were getting a lot stronger my doctor had advised me that because of how quick my first labor was that we shouldn’t take our time going to hospital. So we packed up, made arrangements and headed to Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Just a reminder we did not know the gender of our baby so we were still arguing about baby girl names on the way to the hospital. As we did not have one!
We arrived at the hospital around 11:45 am at around 12:30 pm the doctor checked and advised I was only 4 cm and my membranes were bulging (your water will break soon) at this point we had 2 choices
1. Go walk around and hope your water breaks on its own
2. Be admitted and have the doctor break my water
When I had Pearce my water broke on its own and he was born 40 mins later so I wanted to try to wait. So we went to the mall and walked around for 3 hrs! Picked up some last-minute things, got Pearce a present and headed back to the hospital. When the dr checked me this time I was still 4 cm and still had bulging membranes. So they asked what I wanted to do, I said I really wanted to try to let it happen naturally and asked if I could have a bath before doing that, so we tried the bath – it completely slowed things down. So we got out of the bath and I walked a few laps around the hospital wing. At this point we were approaching a nurse shift change and I decided that I would wait till the shift change to have my water broken to ensure I could meet my new nurse and discuss my plans/wants before anything.
While waiting I advised my nurse I hadn’t eaten anything that day since 9 am as my mom had told me I would need an enema and I didn’t want one so I was extremely hungry – the nurse laughed at me saying they no longer do enemas and that I could eat. She got me some toast and juice – it really helped! At 7:30pm we were introduced to our new nurse (she was our nurse who delivered Pearce as well) and at 7:40pm they broke my water. Contractions came on stronger and I was able to manage them until 9:45 I was exhausted and after speaking to the doctor who said I was only 7 cm and my cervix was starting to swell and that we may need to try to move the baby I gave in, I asked for fentenyl, after one dose I could still feel the pain and just felt very out of it not able to concentrate on anything. Each time you take an opioid you have to be checked and the baby, when they checked they noticed that our baby HR was starting to get irregular and my cervix was swelling more and the baby was not moving down. At this point it was about 10:45 and the doctor advised me that she thought the best thing to do would be to get an epidural, as she believed we may have to have a c section but at the very least it may allow them to adjust his position and get him moving.
Our doctors plan was to get the epidural, slow the labor down and adjust baby to have them enter the birth canal, then give oxytocin to try to deliver vaginal although she didn’t believe this was going to be successful due to the baby’s size and HR issues. After having the epidural our baby continued to not cooperate, he was fighting it and his HR got so bad that they had to put a HR monitor on the baby inside me. We tried changing my position to regulate his HR – nothing was helping and a c section was needed. We had to wait for the doctor to finish up with another patient and at 11:40 we headed to the OR. I asked the doctor that if there was anyway we could safely have the baby on November 10th I would love that so that both our boys were born on the 10th of the month. So they said they would make it happen.
So with that we left my mom in the room and headed down to the OR, and at 12:02 am we met our beautiful BIG baby boy! Brooks Frederick Craig Helm was born at 12:02 am on November 10th, and weighed 9 lbs 8 ounces, 55 cm and a head circumference of 39 cm. The pediatrician said it was the biggest head he’d delivered!
While the doctor stitched me she advised me that due to the size of my son and his position he was unable to move down the birth canal to have a vaginal birth, and that even if we had successfully moved his position he most likely would not have been able to fit – and that I should be thankfully he didn’t.
When I got to recovery, my husband was there waiting with our son. He latched immediately and it was such a blessing to be holding him, I have no ill feelings about having a c section. My birth plan was always to get a healthy baby. While keeping me safe I put my hands in the care of medical professionals and am so incredibly pleased with the care of the delivery nurses, doctors and all the amazing nurses who took care of us afterwards.
Now for how we picked his name:
Brooks – I found this name while on Instagram looking at Carousel Nursery designs, and messaged my husband told him I found the perfect name for a boy. He said he also found one and that he had been emailing with a guy about hockey and loved his name we both sent each other a picture – we both sent each other the name Brooks – it was meant to be
Frederick – my husbands grandpa
Craig – my maiden name to name after my family which is also my father in law’s name.
Thank you everyone for following my pregnancy story
– xOx CHELSEA
Photocred: Michelle Cervo Photography