I’m sitting here a bit numb. No, I didn’t just get back from the dentist. But I did push a 6 pound 7 ounce baby out seven weeks and one day ago, ( fifteen days early ).
See, it wasn’t my birth story and it wasn’t supposed to be his.
I was supposed to have a perfect birth. I was supposed to bask in those perfect few hours after his birth and just adore my perfect baby that I had work ten whole months to create. He was supposed to have ten fingers and toes, two perfect ears, chubby little cheeks and no issues.
I was supposed to go have a shower and put on my birth kimono that I had purchased and we were going to take perfect photos of the three of us. Happy. Like the world couldn’t have been better to us.
Glen was supposed to go grab me shortbread cookies and a latte. We were supposed to sit in awe of our newest son. Our perfect son.
Shortly later we would have our three kids come meet their newest brother, who they had waited so long for. For so long our two eldest were terrified this one would be taken to heaven too. We would be as a family of six and I would have tears of joy flowing down my cheeks because of Gods pure and perfect blessings.
Then shortly after that, family, grandparents and friends would slowly trickle in and meet our third son + fourth child. He would be sound asleep and perfect.
We would go home that night and snuggle in bed. I would still be full of endorphins and be over the moon. I would be sleep deprived and sore but the happiest I had ever been.
These are the things we were supposed to do. This was the way I had imagined it and how I had dreamt of it.
But these are the things that never happened.
Rhett Waylon’s Birth Story – February 21st, 2018
It was February 20th. Earlier that day I had my last iron transfusion and I was still sixteen days away from my due date and although I knew he could come at anytime because I felt “ready”, I didn’t think he would come early. I spent that night cleaning like mad. Scrubbing my floors, perfecting a blog and doing endless laundry. That night I had yelled at Glen to put the snow tires back on because I felt like it would start snowing and it would happen to be our luck that I would go into labor that exact same night. It was a busy night, but I thought I would have all night to rest.
I woke up at 3:45 AM and decided to go pee. On the way to the bathroom, I felt a giant gush and my water had broken. This was a first for me as my water has never broken before I started to push. I went and sat in the bathtub shaking like a leaf. I knew this meant that I was giving birth and I knew that I would have no time for an epidural as my babies come fast.
Odd thing was, even though my water broke I had no contractions. I sat in the bath for 45 minutes and finally they started to come. I yelled at Glen to call his mom to come to our home. She was an hour away. The contractions started to come fast and strong. They were two minutes apart and I could barely breath. I hadn’t packed our hospital bag yet, so I was throwing his perfect first outfit and a set of clean pyjamas as well as essential oils, diapers and the necessities into a bag. Every minute I had to stop and ride out the next contraction which seemed to get more and more painful.
Finally at 5:30 AM Glens mom arrived at our home and we took off to the hospital. Glen kept speeding but I kept telling him to slow down because if we were pulled over by the police I would probably give birth in the car.
We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 AM and went straight up to the maternity ward. There was no one in sight. A nurse emerged and I told her that I needed an epidural right then and now. She laughed and said she would check me first and call my doctor if I was progressing.
She slowly took us back into a room and told me to undress so she could check me. She checked me and said I was only 5 cm’s dilated, but the babies heart rate was acting odd so she was going to put a non stress test on me.
The next few minutes were a blur and I will do my best to tell our story, but this is where it gets hard. This is where it gets crappy.
Rhett’s heart rate was dipping into the 60’s. ( A normal babies heart rate is around 140 -160 ). The nurse on call kept screaming for me to stay on my side. She was unbelievably stressed out. Finally other nurses entered the room, and shortly after that my lovely Midwife entered the room. My midwife checked me and said I was a good 8 cm’s dilated.
But his heart rate. It was dipping so low and we needed to get him out then.
This entire time I had my midwifes hand in me. Imagine having the worst contractions of your life and having a hand in you. ( I still love you though, if you’re reading this )
They started prepping me for an emergency caesarean. They took my blood, put an IV in and were prepping a room in the ER for me. I knew that I couldn’t have a caesarean. I knew then that I had to get him out.
I started pushing with no urge. I still wasn’t fully dilated.
But by the grace of God, between then and three pushes, I had fully dilated and pushed him out. Naturally, without an ounce of epidural.
Rhett Waylon Morris was born at 6:10 AM as a teeny 6 pound 7 ounce baby.
He entered the world with his cord wrapped around his neck. They put him on my chest for a few moments and then took him away as he wasn’t breathing properly or making any sounds.
After this, it was blurry. There was up to ten doctors and nurses in the room at one point, looking at our baby, trying to get him to breath properly. He was away from us for what seemed like hours on the other side of the room.
I didn’t get to cuddle him or try nursing him, or even take a look into his eyes. He was taken away.
In my mind I was trying to stay calm. What was happening? Why isn’t my baby with me or making sounds? Why isn’t anyone telling me anything?
Fear started gripping my entire body.
I still hadn’t passed my placenta as I was so stressed out, so finally they gave me a shot of some drug to help me pass it. I also put the gas over my face and I somewhat passed out.
I kept using the gas until the placenta, my stitches and everything was over. I was such a giant stressed mess that it was better for me to be “out” than to be experiencing it all.
In the past I had my babies laying on my chest and I had nursed them while the stitches and everything went on.. but not this time. He was across the room being worked on. No one could tell us what was wrong because they didn’t know.
The room felt eerie and cold. It wasn’t a happy finish line like I had experienced in the past. There wasn’t a prize that I could hold and stare at.
Shortly after I fell asleep from the exhaustion of labor, the stress and the adrenaline had now passed through my body.
Shortly after 8 AM a paediatrician came into the room and explained that our son and I would be airlifted to the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. My world came crashing down and fear flooded my body. Going hours away to a foreign hospital when I had just gave birth wasn’t supposed to be part of my perfect story. We didn’t have the income for this and we didn’t have anyone to look after our kids. There were so many fears that we both had.
Finally around 10:30 AM is when we got to take our first few glimpses of our son. He was beautiful, but he wasn’t perfect. A nurse had to hold his jaw open and head back because he couldn’t breath properly. He also was missing parts of his ear and had a skin tag on his cheek. We would later learn his conditions but at the time no one knew what was wrong with him. He had so many lines and things all over his body. He had an IV in and heart rate monitors taped all over him. I couldn’t pick him up due to his breathing issues and the amount of things attached to him.
My heart cried. I so longed to hold him. I was full of fear. Was my baby going to be okay? Would he have brain damage? Problems breathing? Would he leave us like our last baby?
No one had answers for us, so naturally my brain went to the worst places possible.
Finally at 1 PM the emergency team from Vancouver had arrived to take us back with them. They put Rhett in an incubator with a CPAP over his face to help him breath and off we went. They rolled me into an ambulance and then once we got to the airport we got on a private plane and off we went to Vancouver.
This trip I passed out for and woke when we arrived in Richmond.
Glen wasn’t able to come with us, so he jumped in our car and rushed away to the ferry where he caught the 5:45 and didn’t arrive at the hospital in Vancouver until 9:30 PM.
They wheeled me into another ambulance and we took a 20 minute ride to the hospital.
Once arriving at the hospital they took my baby in one direction and I went in another.
If you’ve ever been to the Womens & Childrens hospital in Vancouver you will know it’s massive. I was in the old part of the hospital and it was the most dingiest, most depressing place I’ve ever been. The bathroom was in a little closet and it was so dated that it made me not want to get out of bed. I literally felt like I was in prison. The window was also so teeny that I couldn’t even see out of it. I was so depressed beyond words and spent the first few hours crying in my bed.
No one familiar around me. No baby with me. No idea what was going on with my baby and no idea where he was.
My baby was rolled 10 minutes away into a gorgeous new hospital room where he stayed.
I didn’t get to see him until 10 PM that night. A whopping 16 hours from when he was born.
This wasn’t my birth. This was a dream…
But no, it was really real.
Glen finally arrived at the Children’s Hospital ( 5 hours after I got there ) and we sat in silence. We were both exhausted and full of fear.
We decided to go visit our son, and we made the confusing trip across the hospital. It took us thirty minutes to get to Rhetts room as we kept getting lost. Finally we found him and and we were allowed to see him. I begged them to let me hold my son and after much coaxing, they let me. But first, a whole team had to come to help move him onto me as he had so many tubes and cords on him.
Once he was on me, it was bliss. But it was short-lived as my tailbone became in so much excruciating pain that we had to return to my hospital room. See, I had pushed him out so fast that I had badly bruised my tailbone.
Later that week we would learn that our son was born with Microtia. Which is a congenital ear deformity. Babies with Microtia are often born without an ear canal and deaf, which Rhett was. He was also born with a large skin tag on his cheek. Besides the obvious physical issues, he was born with a very swollen airway, but luckily that was all it was. He was also born with swelling on his kidneys and tongue tied, which we’ve had clipped.
When I first found out that our son was missing parts of his ear. I was angry. I was angry because I took ten months to create this little human who I thought/think is perfect. But when others will look at him they won’t think he is perfect. I feared the future and I was angry that I would have to deal with the judgements of others.
It took me weeks to get over this. and now, I just don’t care. He is perfect in my eyes.
We are so thankful for the amazing team at Children’s Hospital in Vancouver but we are not out of the woods yet. We have many appointments, surgeries in the future.
I know we are the lucky ones. We got to bring our son home from the hospital. We got to see him progress and thrive.
But somehow I still mourn what could of been.
This being our last baby, I will never get to experience my perfect birth or those first few perfect moments after birth. I know I should be grateful for what I have. But somehow I still grieve it.
For the last seven weeks I’ve beat myself up for not being more grateful. But I’ve come to the realization that I’m allowed to mourn what could of been. I might not have had it as bad as some. But it wasn’t what I imagined. It wasn’t my perfect birth and it certainly wasn’t a great situation.
This is Rhett’s Birth Story.
Rhett is now seven weeks and two days old. He is 11 pounds and 6 ounces of pure chub. He is now fully breastfed after six weeks of pumping exclusively. He is also starting to turn towards noises in the ear he can hear out of and coo. He is obsessed with the bath and would prefer no one hold him but me.
Every day I fall more and more in love with him and couldn’t imagine not having him in our lives. He is our biggest blessing.