Our Birth Story

Let the Induction Begin
We went to Brampton Civic to Labour & Delivery for 8 am and began the process of labour induction on Thursday Jan. 12. In our case I was already experiencing contractions, so this meant applying gel internally to create a more favorable cervix. After the gel was administered, we were monitored for about an hour. Then we got to go home, with instructions to return in 6 hours from the gel application (or in some other specific circumstances). We were told by the RN that this process can be repeated up to 3 times. We came back for 2:30 pm for a repeat. By the time we saw the Doctor it was looking like a return for 10pm.
Other Ideas: Early Labour
10 pm….nope. Grayson had other ideas. Matthew called BCH at 7:30pm to clarify about contraction timing and based on what was happening (intense, frequent contractions) – we were told to return to the hospital.
When we arrived all the beds were full so we had to wait. Ha! Waiting while having contractions that seem to have hardly a break in between is easier said than done. Matthew was the most amazing support during that time – He helped me to breathe, remain calm, keep fed and hydrated when possible and promised no more making me laugh.
At 9:10pm we decided to storm the nursing station! We were then given a room.
When our exam happened we met the Doctor, Dr. Hall, from our Family Health Team, who would be doing the deliveries up until 8:00 am. I was so out of control by the time I met her (i.e., having a full blown panic attack), I almost lost it.
Thank Goodness for Matthew advocating for me as I needed some physical and mental space to calm down. Dr. Hall, too, had such a good read on me. I could only hope that she would be the Doctor from our Family Health Team to deliver our baby. Once we got through the exam,  we were ready to be admitted. Go time.
Labour and Delivery
Neither Matthew or I thought the birthing room would be the way it was. We are not sure what we thought it would be like… In any case it was private, spacious, bright and had big windows along one wall. Beautiful.
Once there we met the RN who would be on and providing care for us through until 7:3o am. Her name was Lauren and she was a tremendous support through the whole process. Matthew had to leave the room for them to put in my epidural because it is a sterile process. Luckily Lauren was there with me and held my hand the whole time.
Once my epidural was in I was much more calm. Grayson’s head was already low, so we waited and rested some and then, at about 1 am, Dr. Hall broke my water. After that things picked up and eventually it was time to start pushing. Even with the epidural I could feel the contractions coming and so I was in a good situation. Dr Hall and Lauren were happy that I could push and sense how to do the “right kind of pushing.”
Lauren and Matthew coached me through much of the pushing. Dr. Hall checked in often. When it came time to actually deliver Grayson it was the shift change for nurses. The woman that took over was named Maryanne, and she, too, was great.
Just before 8 am Dr. Hall came in to deliver Grayson and we planned for a controlled delivery. That was a success. I felt so relieved that Grayson would be born before the doctor shift change.
It was during the final stages of delivery that the biggest scare of my life started.
My scariest Moment 
As I did the final pushes, all of a sudden Grayson’s heart rate went up really high, so they called in the team to stand by. When Grayson was successfully delivered (at  8:01 am) I never heard a sound from him. Immediately the team took him to the table to the right of us. I was terrified. I panicked. Thank goodness, again, for Matthew and Dr. Hall. I do not know how they (especially Matthew) were able to put aside their own fear to support me when I needed them most.
Terrified and Trying to Stay Calm 
Upon delivery, Grayson had meconium in his nose and face and he had a high heart rate (called tachycardia). There was some concern about him having inhaled meconium. Once the urgent emergency was resolved at the table in our birthing room, Grayson and Matthew went with the team, led then by Dr. Dwight, to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It ended up that they returned quite quickly and I was then able to hold Grayson for the first time. YAY!!!!!!
Back to NICU
Shortly after Grayson and I met face-to-face he ran a temperature. That meant he had to go back to NICU. Matthew went along. I had to stay in recovery. They explained to me that Grayson would need some blood tests and a lumbar puncture. There was not much to say expect “okay”.  As it ended up Grayson is a fighter. He would not give in easily to the idea of being poked and prodded. It took 4 staff to hold him still to get his blood. They never did the lumbar, because he would not allow them to do it.
Waiting for Results
Then it was a waiting game. The blood tests were to take 48 hours, so we knew then that Grayson would be staying until Sunday, earliest.
I was transferred to Postpartum. Once settled there we headed over to visit Grayson in NICU. They gave us an update – GOOD NEWS – upon admission he was put on an IV and antibiotics and his breathing and heart rate were all stable. THE BEST NEWS…This remained the same from then on.
Matthew and I visited Grayson often and we fed him in his room every 3 hours. I was so relieved that NICU provides so much to try to make things as normal and as comfortable as possible.
Waiting for Results
I was released from Postpartum on Saturday at about noon. I was worried about what would happen since I was released but Grayson was not. But the hospital staff had arranged for us to move from Postpartum to a Consideration for Parent Room, which is off the NICU. We stayed there for Saturday night. The Courtesy Room set up means that Grayson sleeps in his area of his NICU pod and we sleep in a separate room nearby while we wait to see what happens next.This allowed us to visit Grayson as often as we could and continue to do every feeding with him. What a relief.
On Sunday afternoon we got the GREAT NEWS that Grayson’s blood work was all negative. I have never felt the emotions I felt in that moment before in my life. Relief is an understatement. And since healthy babies get to go home, that meant we began the transition to home life.
We stayed that night in a Care By Parents Room. In this room we stayed as a family and got to practice parenting a bit before leaving to go home!
Home and Follow Up
We came home on Monday evening and things have been great. Grayson is pretty calm, so far. We have now had to venture out twice – yesterday and today to see a specialist to help us to get this tongue tied little guy to latch! Again, an amazing Doctor. Grayson had a little procedure done to his mouth to free his tongue. He got through it like a champ. 

This Friday Dr. Hall is coming to visit us at home. (Home visit?!?! Yep! Grayson was born just in time to access this new (and incredible) service provided by our Family Health Team.)

We will also be busy with some appointments next week – follow up with Dr. Dwight, the Neonatologist from the team, follow up at the Breastfeeding Clinic and we will also have a visit provided by an RN from Peel Public Health.

Aside from attending necessary appointments, we do not intend to take Grayson out during these early days. Our Family Doctor had discussed with us during pregnancy the risks associated with a newborn getting a fever in the first month, and at this point that risk has already been a lived reality, so we are taking every precaution and taking this all very seriously.
Grayson is an incredible little human already. He has held his own and seems to take everything in stride.
We are so grateful and so lucky. What a beginning.