Family of Four

When you spend six months on bed rest every day that passes crawls by painfully, but the last ten days have been a whirlwind of emotion and have passed in a fraction of a blink. June 16, 2014 at 9:31am in the morning we welcomed our rainbow baby into our arms, Finnegan Alexander Joseph arrived safely (and quickly) and has reminded us what happy really is.

At 37 weeks my doctor, recognizing that he had to make the choice or admit of the psychiatric ward, put me on the list to be induced. I got the call mid afternoon on Sunday (Father’s Day) to pack my bags to come to the hospital with the promise that I wouldn’t leave again until I had a happy healthy baby in my arms.

When I walked into the case room (about 15 minutes after the phone rang haha, I was ready to go!) I was greeted by the wonderful resident doctor who had been working in our formers doctors office when I had that horrible experience last years he was a beacon of light for me at that time, and when he saw me walking in, knowing why I was there he couldn’t hold back his tears. I learned a few minutes later that it was actually his last shift working at eastern health, and he was leaving in the coming days to open his own practice in Moncton(side note if you live in Moncton and are looking for an OBGYN please message me and I’ll give you his name… Who ever gets to have him as their doctor will be a very lucky patient!). Just seeing him set my mind at ease and comforted me in ways I didn’t think I needed.

After about an hour of monitoring baby they decided that it was safe to proceed with the induction and I was given a dose of cream to soften my cervix and start contractions and I was sent to the maternity ward to labour on my own for awhile. It didn’t take long for contractions to start and I spent the next Six house pacing the halls of the floor and breathing my way through contractions. By 11pm they sent me back to the case room to be checked where I was assessed at 2-3cm and only partially effaced. The new resident on the night shift decided that she would give me another dose of the cream and do a membrane sweep and monitor me and bag for another hour or see how uncomfortable my contractions got before deciding to keep me in my birthing room, or send me back to labour on my own on the floor again.

Now I’m not sure how many of you have had a membrane sweep before, but it’s comparable to how one controls a muppet, you’ve really just got to put your hand all the way up there and take control. The contractions became much stronger after that and they decided to keep me in the birthing room.

I’m no super hero. About 1am I asked for pain meds. As my water hadn’t broken quite yet they were reluctant to give me an epidural just yet, so they gave me a shot of morphine. As I said to Darcy a few hours later as I paced the floor, I was still in a lot of pain, but it was pretty funny to me after the morphine. Around 3am I was assessed me again and decided it was time to break my water, and shortly after that I got my epidural. The rest of the night was fairly quiet and I was able to rest listening to the sound of baby’s heartbeat.

At around 7am a nurse came in and asked if we would mind having a nursing student join us for a little while to do some paper work for my labour nurse and to ask some questions. Being someone who works at the university I was more than supportive of the idea of helping in huge learning process, so we were joined by a young fellow who was about 22 years old and covered in tattoos. He was quiet sweet and quite eager to learn. So when they decided to check me again shortly after 8am they asked if i was ok with him staying and I was more than happy to oblige. I was only 5cm. This labour was seeming to take forever, they slightly upped my dose of pitocin and the room was calm again. However about 8:30 I started to feel like I had to pee. I told the nurse and she told me that despite the fact that they had only emptied my bladder a little while ago she was happy to do so again, but the feeling persisted. I was quick to tell her, that this was exactly how I felt when I needed to push with Everlee. It felt like I had to pee. She was quick to dismiss that I wouldn’t feel that way when I had to push, I would feel like I had to poop! For about half an hour I persisted that maybe she should check me again, that I really felt like I had to push. At 9:15 she finally gave in and very quickly discovered (barely touching me) that baby’s head was RIGHT THERE. The room became a fleury of activity as they havpd to get ready, baby wanted out. At about 9:25 she asked me to give her a little push so she could assess the situation but she quickly stopped me after only a grunt from me and called the doctors in. As I got ready to push, the poor nursing student who only came in to ask a few questions holding one leg and Darcy holding the other, the doctor asked me if i had any final guesses as to what baby would be I made my last minute prediction and guesses girl. One push later and I had my perfect little boy sitting on my chest, 3 weeks early and 5lbs9oz and perfectly healthy. He cried for only A minute, then he stared at me with wonder and awe that was only outdone by the look I gave him. Finnegan Alexander Joseph, my rainbow baby and Everlee’s little brother was here. He arrived on his daddy’s 36th birthday.

I’ve had nearly two years to think about, really, what these days would feel like, what it would mean to hold my own flesh and blood and feel that I title heart beating beneath my fingers. To hear the cooing and the see the smiles. I got pregnant with Everlee around Canada day of 2012, and since then I have been day dreaming about what it would feel like to bring a baby home for real. In two years I have experienced the lowest lows and the highest highs that any human can possibly experience, but nothing has made me happier than the last ten days when I have truly been able to be the mom I was meant to be. Finnegan has made me realize that I can be happy again and has refined for me what happy really means.

We’ve already started telling him about his big sister, and how without her he wouldn’t be here (and that’s without a doubt the truth). There are moments when I am swept with so much emotion it’s almost impossible to bear. I think about how precious these moments are, and how fleeting time has become, and it wonder what it would have been like to have these moments with Everlee. It’s hard to find the balance between the grief I still feel every single day (which has a new and tender sting to it) and the vast and overwhelming amounts of joy that Finnegan has brought to me in such a short period of time. I will always and forever miss my little girl. Every second of every day. Finnegan being here will never change that, he doesn’t replace her. But like any family that grows from three to four, you find room in your heart that you didn’t know existed, and you find love so deep you didn’t think it was possible. Everlee will always be a part of our family, and we’ll find the best ways we can to honour her (like in our first professional family photos) but this is our new, new normal now and we can’t wait to embark on adventures as our family of four, three here and one always with us.