I must have been nesting because I was determined to clean my entire house. I even had Hubby move the furniture so I could vacuum and mop every nook and cranny. I went upstairs to put Sulayman to bed when I suddenly thought that I had peed myself. I got changed, laid in bed with Sulayman to rock him and sing him some songs to sleep. When I got back up, my underwear was wet again. This time when I went to the washroom, I had a flashback to when my mucus plug or bloody show when my labour started with Sulayman. I still had 5 weeks of pregnancy left so I quickly dismissed the thought. It wasn’t until I woke up in the early morning to find a wet spot on my bed, that I really started to worry that my water had broken. I called my midwife and met her at the hospital.
The first test for amniotic fluid was positive. My midwife explained that the test can give a false positive so she wanted to do a more invasive test, a swab of my cervix. This test came back negative. She gave a few possibilities for the leakage but none of them made sense. To be safe, she scheduled me an ultrasound for the next day make sure baby had enough fluid in my womb. The ultrasound technician confirned that baby was fine and had lots of fluid. By this time, the leaking had pretty much stopped. I went home still thinking that somehow they were wrong. I didn’t feel like I was in labour but their explanations for the leakage were not sufficient for my worries. That night I woke up around 4am with contractions. I did experience extremely painful Braxton Hicks a few times during this pregnancy but these were definitely cervical contractions not just stomach pains. I started to time my contractions. They were coming consistently every few minutes but weren’t always lasting a full minute. I decided to call the midwife and she told me to meet her at the hospital.
While I was getting ready to go, I started having a panic attack. I was so worried about having a premature baby and how it would end up affecting him. I knew he would have to stay in the hospital and I obviously didn’t want to leave him. My husband, on the other hand, was still completely in denial that I was in labour and thought that I was overreacting.
Now the midwife that was meeting me at the hospital wasn’t actually my midwife. You are given two midwives that handle your care and the one who delivers your baby is the one who happens to be on-call when you go into labour. Because my baby decided to come early, one of my midwives was away on leave and the other had just finished her on-call shift. Therefore, the midwife that delivered my baby was just happened to be filling in. This was a little disappointing among other disappointments regarding my labour. I had decided to use midwifery care because I wanted to know the person who would deliver my baby also, I had planned an at-home water birth. Because my baby was going to be premature, I had no choice but to deliver him at the hospital so he could be monitored. I know some people will think that it doesn’t matter, and ultimately the most important thing is that baby is born safe and healthy. However, it’s always disappointing when you’ve planned something and had a vision of what it was going to be in your head but it doesn’t go accordingly. Of course, this was just my fate and I had no control over it.
When I got to the hospital around 6am, the midwife confirmed that I was definitely in labour and the baby would be coming today. Hubby had taken my son on a joy ride around the hospital looking for snacks while I was stuck in the hospital bed so they could monitor the baby. Around 7:30am I had to move into the delivery room. I was getting irritated that Hubby wasn’t back yet to help me move all our stuff into the new room. The contractions were getting really severe as my labour was progressing very quickly. I told him to call our friend to come take Sulayman until after the birth. He seemed a bit surprised as if he was still in denial about the baby’s pending arrival. Of course they arrived just as I was starting to get the sensation to push. I wasn’t fully dialated but I told Hubby to take Sulayman to meet our friend in the main lobby and hurry back.
This is when everything turned upside down.
I told the midwife that I really needed to start pushing. The urge was so strong that I felt like I didn’t have any control to try and stop it. We were still waiting for the back-up midwife who would be assisting her to arrive so she paged to have some nurses come to help. They told her there were no nurses available. I started to panic.
I was about to have my baby and the midwife wasn’t even ready. My mom and Hubby were supposed to be there to support me but my mom was still on her way and Hubby was downstairs. It was as if the room started spinning and everything became blurry. I started bawling my eyes out. The midwife was trying to calm me down but I was almost hysterical and unable to focus on pushing my baby. The neonatal team from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) lined up along the wall in front of me waiting for my baby to be born. The second midwife arrived and told them to come back when my baby was closer to delivery. I thought it was because the delivery was going to take a long time and became more upset. I was able to focus and give birth to Sulayman pretty easily and now I felt like I was completely failing to give birth again. It turns out that she had sent them for my own privacy. I hadn’t even realized that they were standing there staring at me on full display. With the second midwife there, I felt reassured that everyone was ready for the baby to arrive so I was able to focus better.
Zakariyah arrived at 9:20am on a Friday morning.
Hubby walked in just as they were checking to make sure Zakariyah was healthy. He was so shocked to see that I had already given birth. It had taken him so long to send Sulayman off because he struggled to get the carseat into our friends car. Soon after his birth, they had to take Zakariyah to the NICU. I decided to stay at the hospital for 2 days to be able to feed Zakariyah. His small fragile body covered in wires and a feeding tube through his nose was such a heartbreaking sight.
When I left the hospital, I felt so depressed that I had to come home without my baby. The fact that my baby would need me and I wouldn’t know or even be there was devastating.
The next week and a half was me going to the hospital 3 times a day to try and breastfeed Zaki. I would breastfeed, pump milk, go home and pump, have something to eat or have a quick nap, then go back to the hospital to do it all over again. It was such a blessing that my mom could stay with us to take care of Sulayman; otherwise, I don’t think Zakariyah would have progressed as quickly as he did.
Honestly recalling Zakariyah’s birth story is still upsetting for me. Even though it could have been so much worse, I still feel sad that he had to stay in the hospital. I’ll never know what caused me to go into labour early but I am so grateful that everything turned out for the best.