Kyla’s Birth Story
*Thursday, July 16th*
I went to my 39 week midwife appointment. I was still 1cm dilated, which hadn’t changed since my 36 week appointment. Since I had Gestational Diabetes, my induction was scheduled for Wednesday, July 22nd.
*Sunday, July 19th*
I thought labor was starting because I had contractions that were about 10 minutes apart for about 2 hours before they stopped.
*Monday, July 20th (due date)*
I started having contractions about 10 minutes apart.
I felt a small amount of fluid and rushed to the bathroom. Having checked everything, I assumed I had just lost my mucus plug because no more fluid came out once I stood up to go back to bed.¹ When I returned to bed, my contractions were about 8 minutes apart.
I woke up Dan. My contractions were now 4 to 6 minutes apart and lasting 30-40 seconds.
We decided to get up, shower, and get ready for the day.
My contractions started getting even closer together (3 to 4 minutes), lasting about a minute each while I took my shower. At this point, we knew we were going to be heading to the hospital soon, so we called my parents so that they could be here to watch Leila.
I took my 40wk bump picture (?) while Dan cooked breakfast. I ate and drank coffee between contractions. Dan also loaded up the car and I even checked my blood sugar (gestational diabetes) during this time.
My contractions were now 2 to 4 minutes apart and lasting a minute or more.
I called my midwife. She advised me to wait a little longer, and to go to the hospital at 7am. While I was on the phone I had 2 contractions, which I was still able to talk through.
My contractions were 2 to 3 minutes apart and lasting more than a minute. They started to become far more painful at this point, too. As Leila woke up, Dan explained what was happening and we said goodbye to her. She was super excited to hear that baby sister was finally coming.
We headed to the hospital. My contractions were about 2 1/2 minutes apart in the car, lasting more than a minute.² I could no longer talk through them.
We arrived at the hospital. The main entrance for the parking garage was coned off, the first of many changes made at the hospital due to Covid-19 that we would encounter. Dan drove around the garage to see if there was another way to get in, with no luck. He stopped to ask a staff member outside the hospital where to park, stating that I was going to have a baby. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally
parked, got through another contraction, and headed for the entrance of the hospital.
After weathering a few contractions in the parking lot on our way from the car, we made our way inside. Dan checked in with the new, and obviously makeshift, security checkpoint in the main lobby. Security informed us that we would have to wait for someone from labor and delivery to come escort us. As the dedicated entrance had been closed due to the pandemic, they would have to navigate a maze of hallways across the hospital. As we waited in the lobby, a few men walked by asking Dan if I was ok. He just kept responding with, “She’s ok, she’s just having a contraction.” (I was moaning through contractions at this point.)
Next, a hospital employee came through the main doors, and looked like he was about to begin his shift. He saw us and asked security if someone was coming to get us from labor and delivery. He took one more look at us and said: “I’m taking them.” He set his stuff down near the security desk and grabbed a wheelchair. He escorted us down several hallways and through many sets of locked doors. To me, it felt like he was running. Dan said he was walking briskly. I will forever be grateful for this man who got us to labor and delivery. He patted Dan on the shoulder, said “good luck,” and was gone by the time Dan turned around again to look for him. We never got his name.³
We were finally at the labor and delivery desk. As I was moaning through contractions, Dan found and gave my ID and insurance card to the woman behind the desk. They wheeled me into triage, where they asked me to change into a hospital gown and leave a urine sample. They asked if I needed Dan to help me, and I said “no.” Once I answered, they took Dan to a triage “room.”
After another contraction, I sat on the toilet. As I attempted to fill the cup for my urine sample, I thought to myself: “Pee is not going to come out, a baby is!” I immediately pulled the help string next to the toilet and yelled for help.⁴ Three nurses and my midwife came in and I told them I needed to push. They stripped off my clothes, got me into a gown, told me not to push, and got me to my triage bed.
My midwife checked me and said, “Complete and +2.” For those of you who may not be familiar with what that means, basically the baby was coming. They quickly wheeled me through the hall and into a delivery room. I kept telling them that I had to push, but they kept telling me to try to just breathe through the contractions. The delivery room was chaotic as they started getting the delivery bed ready. My midwife instructed me to “pant breathe” through one more contraction to help me not to push.⁵ Through the chaos I kept hearing Dan reassuring me that everything was going to be okay, and encouraging me to stay as calm as possible.⁶
They were able to get me transitioned into the delivery bed between contractions. My nurse realized that I hadn’t taken my cloth mask off since arriving to the hospital and navigating the lobby and hallways.⁷ She quickly took it off of my face and tossed it to Dan. By now, my body was just naturally and instinctively pushing for me.⁸ Two pushes later and…
Kyla Christine Ganoung is born. She was 7 lbs 12 oz, 20.25 inches long, born on July 20, 2020.
Things to note:
¹ It was actually my water that broke at 3:30 AM, and I just didn’t realize it. (We would have headed to the hospital then, had I known)
² If there would have been any traffic, I would have had her in the car or in the lobby of the hospital.
³ The man who took us to labor and delivery was seriously my guardian angel.
⁴ I honestly thought I was going to give birth on the toilet in triage.
⁵ Breathing through a contraction when your body wants to push is extremely hard.
⁶ I’m incredibly grateful for Dan. He kept me grounded in a situation that was so chaotic.
⁷ Breathing through contractions while wearing a facemask is very difficult.
⁸ The female body is incredible. I fully intended to get an epidural, obviously there wasn’t time for that. I am still in awe of what my body did to get my little girl safely into my arms.