Home » Dumplin' in the flesh » It Wasn’t a Kidney Stone… Dumplin’s Birth Story 

It Wasn’t a Kidney Stone… Dumplin’s Birth Story 

Dumplin’ is sun tanning with my mom right now, so I have a little time to post. 

Today he would’ve been 39 weeks gestation, and I’m sad that I don’t have a bump photo capturing our last moments being physically bound to each other at 38 weeks 2 days. But things kinda happened really quickly…. And unexpectantly.

So you remember that flank pain that confused the bejesus out of all of my health care providers? First we thought back labour, then we thought posterior presentation, then on Wednesday night I thought kidney stone. Well Thursday morning the pain changed from being only at night and only when lying down to pretty much all positions and all the time without a break. I was in such agony that I had DW take me to the hospital, where the L&D OB on call just gave me morphine, did an ultrasound of my kidney, and then sent me home with a prescription for oxycodone and told me to come back if the pain got worse. Overnight the pain continued to be unrelenting, and did get worse. My mom flew in at 7am Friday morning, and I couldn’t drive to pick her up. So she took a cab, and then had a nap at our house until she woke up to me wailing at the top of my lungs and puking all over the top of the toilet… Red from all the Gatorade I had been trying to drink to stay hydrated. 

I asked her to take me to the hospital, where a different OB took a look at the ultrasound results which found that my left kidney was dilated (swollen), and that it suggests that something was occluding (cutting off) it’s drainage- but that there was no identifiable kidney stone. The OB hypothesized that maybe the obstruction was Dumplin’ himself- that he was squishing my ureter and cutting off the drainage from my kidney. She did a vaginal check- I was already quite effaced, and about 2 cm dilated, so she figured that with the pain getting worse, and with Dumplin’ already being term, maybe it was time to do a stretch and sweep and break my water. So I consented, and off we were….

I called DW at work, and she met us at the hospital after grabbing a few things from home. I called her dad and he drove 2 hours to stay at our home with our dogs.

Then over the next 21 hours I was induced to 10cm, while hooked up to an epidural and given occasional shots of some “super strength” anaesthetic not usually given for L&D, but for the most extreme cases of pain. The anasthesiologist said he only gives this med about once a year. “Winner winner chicken dinner” I thought, “Lucky fucking me”.

Then it was 2 hours of pushing, which yielded no progress. Dumplin’ stayed at a station 0 the whole time, despite excellent pushing, so they figured something was wrong with his positioning, and my midwives consulted with the OB about maybe doing a vacuum or forceps delivery. This next OB (there had been 2 already because I had been there so long) did a vaginal exam to see how far up Dumplin’ was and said that he was too far up to get out via forceps or vacuum, and that this would need to be a c-section. Concurrently, Dumplin’s baseline heart rate was climbing, as he was becoming distressed with the pitocin.

So in a matter of minutes, consents were signed, I was moved to the OR, was prepped and strapped to the operating table which always freaks me out because it’s like being strapped to a cross, and I was cut open. 

They didn’t let DW into the OR until they had already started cutting into me, so there were a few minutes where I was alone behind that blue sheet, scared as hell. But then there was a hand holding my right hand, which was strapped down, and I looked over to see my midwife and her consoling eyes. 

Soon, DW was beside me, holding my left hand and then my midwife disappeared to the other side of the blue curtain. 

Within seconds, I heard the OB and nurses exclaim “my goodness it’s gotta be a 10 pounder!”, and tears ran down my face as I heard Dumplin’s first cries. 

The second midwife then appeared, showing me Dumplin’ for a split second, and then asked DW to come with her and the baby. They measured (53cm or 21.5inches long) and weighed (8lbs5.6oz) him, did his APGAR (9/9). DW also got to do skin to skin with him, and they brought him over so I could be cheek to cheek with him as they sewed me up.

In the recovery room, I was allowed to do skin to skin with him and was encouraged to start him latching on. Dumplin’ was a pro! Over the next two hours, we were moved to our private room, where we had a mandatory 48 hour stay. 

More on our stay and my feelings about everything that went down over that period of four days at the hospital in my next post. There’s an adorable screaming baby that beckons…


94 thoughts on “It Wasn’t a Kidney Stone… Dumplin’s Birth Story 

  1. I am so happy that Dumplin’ made a safe entry into the world to be with his mamma’s!! He is absolutely adorable. Wishing you and DW a lifetime of happiness as you shower him with love and encourage him along the way.

    • Thank you friend! I have so much more to say about the whole experience, but so little time to do so. Even right now, as I am struggling (quite a lot) with trying to keep a newborn alive and thriving, I am reminded of how lucky we are to finally have him home. It’s weird though. My perception of “who” Dumplin’ would be is so different from who he is. Like- it feels weird calling him Dumplin’ because I feel like A is his own person and not the person that I had been dreaming that he’d be over the past 9 months.

    • Thank you. The experience was very difficult and unexpected, but I feel like everyone did everything that they could, and I am so pleased with the care that I received from everyone at the hospital. I am so grateful for that, and it makes the whole experience actually a positive memory for me. I am also so grateful for Dumplin’ being healthy and safe.

  2. What a stunning baby. Every picture I’ve seen my ovaries aches. I don’t know what it is about him but he is utterly perfect.
    Birth plans are made to be broken. I’m sad that it was so all over the place but I’m happy he is here and well and you are away from that pain (and on to others I’m sure).

    • Aww thanks 🙂 Your kids make my heart melt!

      Yeah I didn’t really have much of a birth plan. I liked the idea of a home birth, but part of me couldn’t commit to it. I got some really good advice from Solomama a few months ago that “you’ll just know” what the best plan is when you’re there. And she was right. Obv the kidney pain made the decision easy for me, but I’m surprised that I’m not mourning the loss of a vaginal birth at all haha. I like that I can pee and poo and not have things burning and stinging 😉

  3. I’ve been waiting for this! I’m so glad he’s here now, safe and sound. I’m sorry things didn’t go the way you’d planned, but it sounds like you’re both doing well (I hope so!). He’s absolutely beautiful, D.

    I know what you mean about your vision of him being different from who he is. Our kids come out who they are, and we are the lucky ones to witness who they are – and who they are growing to be – right before our eyes.

    • Thanks Linds! It’s been truly transformative. I’m very much at peace with everything that went down, and am very happy with the care that I received from all of my providers. It’s so interesting watching him and his personality. I guess it’s just another one of life’s gifts!

  4. I’ve been dying in anticipation to hear how it all went down! I didn’t want to bug you for more details… I actually even stalked your instagram earlier and saw the little detail about a kidney issue. YIKES is all I can say. Holy fucking moly, you sure were taken for a ride with this one. How is your kidney doing now, since delivery? I’m so glad dumplin was so healthy coming out of this. I hope you’re recovering well. Good timing for mom’s arrival! I’m totally in love with him and I think I may be stealing a whole lot of little boy snuggles when we get together next! Thank you for sharing. I look forward to hearing more about your first week. Xx

    • Aww thanks! It’s been so hard for me not to connect more online because I’ve always felt so close to you and your journey too. The kidney is doing great now! Turns out that Dumplin’ was jammed right up against a set of nerves in my pelvis too, which they saw when they opened me up. The induction and c-section were the right call, as nothing else would’ve alleviated the pain and strain on my kidney. The timing of my mom’s arrival was perfect too. She’s been an amazing help with keeping me fed. There will be lots of Dumplin’ snuggles for you. He’s a super snuggler already!

      • Well, all things considered, I’m glad to hear all the staff made the right calls to get you both out of there safely. He was just taking up too much room in there! That must have been pretty scary for you and DW both. I had tears running down my face when you described the bit about the start of your OR visit and when dumplin was born. I could feel it. I’m so happy for you! Enjoy your time with mom. I’m looking forward to mine being here for 3 weeks in January.

      • I’m sooo glad your mom is coming to help you too. I had a major/minor freak out yesterday because DW is back to work. I couldn’t imagine having to figure out a newborn without some kind of help. It made me wonder how people do it without help.

        There were a lot of tears throughout the process for me too. It was so emotional and symbolic, with a touch of love, kindness, and a something else I can’t seem to identify. Right now though, I’m mourning the end of my pregnancy. It’s something I kinda knew was gonna happen because I felt so in touch with Dumplin’ on the inside. Now that he’s out, that instant connection is gone, and replaced with something a little more tumultuous. It’s sad too to know that I won’t likely get the chance to be pregnant again… Because really, it was the happiest that I’ve ever felt.

      • That feeling will fade, but you’ll never forget. Who knows, you may end up wanting more later on! As dumplin grows you’ll feel all sorts of new, wonderful connections. I couldn’t imagine life without my little girl. She’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever created. As happy as I was pregnant, and my pregnancy was super easy, it doesn’t begin to come close to how happy all the little and big things about having her in my life makes me.

      • And yeah, huge help for sure, especially with your first. DW will probably stay two weeks with me at the beginning then save her remaining weeks for our trip to BC next summer. I’m glad xmas will happen fairly soon after DD is born so there’ll be done extra days off here & there for her. And for your DW too! How early in Dec does she finish work?

      • That’s great! Sounds like there will be a good amount of time where you’ll have help. I wish DW could’ve taken more than just 3 days. In fact she was only supposed to get two days, but since I had a section and have been limited in my abilities, she managed to get another day. Christmas is gonna be even more awesome for you this year! DW starts Xmas holidays the week of the 21st I believe… That can’t come sooner, as I’ll be all by myself once my mom leaves on the 30th 😦

      • Yeah we are VERY fortunate in QC that DW gets her own parental leave that doesn’t need to come from my 50 weeks. I found it really lonely when DW went back to work, and this time will make sure to get myself regularly out of the house to socialize so I don’t get the blues, even if it’s only for a couple hours a day. So important for sanity. Do you have any mom groups nearby to you?

      • That is amazing about the parental leave in Quebec. There are some mom groups here, but I haven’t looked into it too much yet. There are early years centres here, which are like a rec centre for babies and kids… And free! So I plan to check out their schedule soon and bring him out to a couple of things. I’m high risk for PPD, so I know I’ll need to get out often too.

      • I found a few baby friendly cafes too, which are great for meeting new moms and just having a bite to eat, attending workshops etc. I’m sure you’ll have many to check out in your area too.

  5. Those beautiful little lips on him! I love his face. I’m glad you both are safe and that things went well. Maybe not the way you planned them, but the way that was safest for everyone. And look at him getting some sun! awww…just adorable!

    • Thanks! I’m actually very at peace with everything that happened. My midwives were (and continue to be) amazing, and our time was the hospital was great too, in terms of the care we received. Now it’s just about gaining some weight! Bring on the cheeks!

  6. He is just the cutest! I am glad to hear that even if things didn’t go as you had planned you are at peace with that. Take care of yourself and let others help you as much as they can.

  7. So adorable. He looks very peaceful enjoying that sun. And to think he was causing his mama so much pain less than a week ago. 🙂

  8. He is so perfect, Mama!! Congratulations on your beautiful boy! And way to go Dumplin’ for latching on right away! That is seriously fantastic!

  9. Oh boy. I’m really sorry you didn’t have the birth you dreamed of. I am sorry you spent some time freaked out and alone in the OR too. You can imagine how alone I felt since nobody was with me. It’s not a way I would ever recommend but at least my OB was very assertive about insisting I get skin to skin time with baby the whole time they stitched me up so I wasn’t alone from that point. How are you feeling now? I sure hope the kidneys are back to normal and you’re feeling more yourself and backing in the new love of your life. 😉

    • Actually, you were on my mind many times during the birth. The moments of being alone were kind of interesting for me though, as I had DW and my mom in the L&D room for 24 hours- them taking turns sleeping in the pull out chair. My mom snoring super loud at one point when I was pushing lol. So my being alone wasn’t as bad as yours, I think. I’m glad that your OB recognized your needs, esp considering the circumstances. The kidney pain is GONE! Thank goodness. Dumplin’ was literally a pain in my back side lol. I’m not feeling myself quite yet. Lots of things in play, kinda stressing me out right now. I’m hoping it will get better, and easier because I’m very overwhelmed with the changes involved in being a parent to a brand new human.

      • Thank you 🙂 Surprisingly, most people are all concerned about how I’m healing from the section. The challenges right now for me are more about figuring out how to survive cluster feeding a Nocturnal newborn on zero sleep lol.

      • Oh yeah. Those are the days and nights. The MT was a total nocturnal beast too. I completely empathize. I couldn’t nap in the daytime at all; I hope you have better luck with that. The cluster feeding is exhausting enough without the night owl behaviour. I’m so sorry, I feel your pain!

    • I’m sure you’ve posted about Sprout’s birth story, but I’d love to hear it one day maybe over coffee 🙂 Dumplin’s a sweet little boy. He is hilarious too. His frantic cries make him sound like a baby pterodactyl!

  10. What a beautiful birth story! I’m so deeply happy that you were supported and casted for so well. Congratulations on meeting your sweet boy, and definitely be gentle with yourself as you find your way in your new role as mama to a newborn. Hardest and best job I’ve ever known.

  11. Wow, what a birth story, I suspected cs after seeing the drip in your arm in the birth picture and I am so glad to hear that you’re at peace with how your plans changed. And what a trooper to latch right on. Breastfeeding was the biggest stress of our newborn days up until 4 weeks or so. My only survival tactic was to optimize our bed into breastfeeding central. Tons of pillows, soft light, snacks. I eventually managed to have him on the nursing pillow while dozing in a reclined position (laid back breastfeeding). Now mothering by boob is second nature. Give yourself a couple of weeks. You’ll figure it all out.
    I am curious, what is your wife’s perspective about having to do it too in just a couple of months; did it change anything about her visions for Mochis birth?

    • Thank you. You are very observant! Yes, breastfeeding and sleeping has been a very big struggle for us lately. My milk has finally come in though, which helps a lot, and I’ve started feeding him side-lying in our bed, so that I can get more sleep. I am hesitant to let him bedsleep with us, for safety reasons, but it makes such a difference- both in his happiness and mine. I spent the first couple of days propped up with him cross cradle or football on a nursing pillow, but then he’d fall asleep and I’d be stuck in a non-sleepable position.

      As for DW and Mochi- she’s actually with another set of midwives, with privileges at a different, much larger hospital. We were so impressed with my midwives as well as our care at the hospital I delivered at, that she is considering switching to my midwives, even though their clinic is two cities away from home (where as the current clinic she is at is in the same city that we live in). She doesn’t really have a birth plan set yet. I think that part of her worries that Mochi will be ginormous (my genes and donor’s genes) because she is quite petite, compared to me. That’s a good question though. Maybe it’s something I should ask her.

  12. Wow… what an emotional roller coaster of a L&D. I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one who cried while reading your story… So intense and scary, but such a magical ending. What a perfect, adorable little baby!!!
    Here’s to a speedy recovery for you.

    • Thank you. It was such an intense experience, and I’m very happy with how everything worked out. I am happy to be on the mend and that we’re getting to know Dumplin’ and his little quirks every day 🙂

    • Thanks! I tend to forget things easily and kinda needed to get things down to process the events for myself. It’s lacking a lot of detail, but I figure I’ll post another part to it, focusing on some of the more emotional aspects. Congrats on 2 months with your babes!! How are things? Have you all settled into a nice routine?

      • I hear you, and I can’t even imagine what it’s like with two. DW only got 3 days off work, but my mom is here to help for another week. I’m a bit worried about what it’s gonna be like when I’m by myself with him!

      • I think it will be fine since you have one. If I only had one I think I’d be totally fine honestly. Of course it depends on the temperament of the baby I have one very high maintenance little girl that needs constant attention when she is awake and a very low maintenance little boy. If they were both like him it wouldn’t be so crazy. You’ll rock it I’m sure. I’m going to email you cause I have some personal questions.

  13. Oh my goodness!!!! What a rollercoaster. Congratulations on dumplins safe arrival!! He is just beautiful. I hope you are recovering well and that everything goes smoothly getting back your strength and getting over surgery. It sounds like it was definitely an ordeal to get that little man out. He really didn’t want to budge, did he? I am just so glad you are both well. Labour and birth is not an easy ride and it sounds like you did brilliantly with what you were given to work with (several nights of sleep deprivation, agonising contractions and a baby that didn’t want to budge!). I am smiling away looking at the pictures. Congratulations again to both of you mamas 🙂 xxx

    • Thank you! It was such an intense and transformative experience. I know I didn’t touch on much of the emotional aspects of it, but I hope to soon. It’s funny- I was thinking of you at one point because we both had/have got pregnancies, and I remember saying to DW, “so much for my fit pregnancy making L&D easier!”.

      • Ha! Yes – I was convinced with all the weights you’d been doing that you’d probably push the baby out in about an hour! That’s why I’ve been so big on exercise, because it is supposed to help make it easier…I guess you just never can tell what you’re going to get. I booked a home birth with my first and it turned into a four day ordeal, which I hadn’t planned at all. I wish it was a bit more predictable!

      • Yeah, I had so many trainers tell me at the gym that labour was gonna be easy breezy for me. Shucks. Oh well. “At least it doesn’t burn when I pee”, I keep telling myself lol.

  14. He’s such a cutie! He looks pretty content there in the sun!
    I’m so glad that despite how it all happened (what an incredibly intense few days!), you and Dumplin’ are both safe and sound and you’re all back home again.

    • Thank you! Yeah it’s so weird- the week before his birth with the agonizing kidney pain somehow created a perspective that allowed me to be cool with everything that went down during L&D.

  15. I’m so glad you and Dumplin are okay and so so sorry you had to endure such pain. I have tears in my eyes reading this. I wish you hadn’t had to go through this. I’m also so excited that he’s here and so incredibly healthy! I wish I could come by and hold him and hug you! Enjoy these first few weeks. I know it’s nerve-wracking and incredible at the same time.

    • Thanks 🙂 Yes, what a roller coaster, the past two weeks have been. I’m so happy that he’s here now, even though it’s really difficult learning what he needs and wants right now. I wish we could meet up too- we’ve been so connected throughout our journeys that it only seems right for you to hold him and share hugs with us 🙂

      • That makes my heart melt. I agree our journeys have connected over miles and miles of Internet 🙂 I’m so glad that you’re united with your son. My first two weeks with Gia were both amazing and terrifying. How is breast feeding going? How’s DW holding up?

  16. At long last!! Sometimes things get messy to produce an even better result than we first expected 😉 Glad everything’s okay now, after that troubling birth and all the hard work for the last few years! *hugs*

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