August 23, 2009
Briar Hill Midwives

Hi Sue,

Just wanted to write you a quick email to let you know that Hannah was born at 4:06pm on Sunday August 23, 2009. Hannah is healthy and doing well. She was 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 19.5 inches long.

My water broke on Friday August 21, but no real contractions started so Saturday morning we met the midwife at Foothills hospital for a non-stress test. Baby was doing great, I was having mild contractions every 10 mins, but no real action yet, so we were given another 24 hours to wait and scheduled for an induction on Sunday morning. Before we left the hospital, the midwife rimmed my cervix and stripped the membranes to get things moving, I have to say this was more painful than my labour! We got up Sunday morning and still nothing was happening, I was so devastated that all my plans for an intervention free birth were being shattered. They would have me hooked up to a fetal monitor continuously which meant no movement and no shower. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to handle the induced labor naturally. The hospital called to confirm the induction and we contacted the midwife. While we were waiting, I noticed I was having some cramping which was quite noticeable. We decided to time them and sure enough they were exactly 5 minutes apart. I paced around the house while we waited for our midwife to call back (she was with another client so it took about 1/2hr). Finally I talked to our midwife who said she would cancel the induction at the hospital and stop by around 11:00 am to check me out. My contractions were not terribly strong at this point, just annoying! When the midwife arrived, I was 5 cms dilated so we all headed to the birth centre. By the time we got there, the contractions were much stronger and I had to focus through them. I was able to get into the tub for a while but had to get out again when we realized the water was too hot and Hannah didn’t like it much! I had another exam at about 3:15pm and I was already 9.5 cms dilated with just a small lip of cervix left. I didn’t go through the typical stages really, and definitely did not notice transition, so it was a surprise to be so far along already. At 3:30pm I got the uncontrollable urge to push. Arthur and the midwife talked me through it and reminded me to breathe and push through each contraction. I found the pushing very intense, but also rewarding since we quickly saw progress and I had a real focus now. At 4:06pm, I delivered Hannah’s head and shoulders in one push. The midwife caught her and placed her on my chest where we got to spend a moment getting to know each other before everything turned into panic and chaos!

Now for the bad news.....unfortunately, I had a serious post-partum hemorrhage which gave us quite a scare, but thankfully stopped just short of requiring a blood transfusion. Within minutes of delivering Hannah, I was taken by ambulance to the Foothills Hospital (I guess we were destined to end up there anyway!). I lost almost 1.5 litres of blood, but after 3 bags of pitocin IV and a few other unpleasant procedures, I was stable and doing better. It also turns out that during the pushing stage, I cracked my tailbone which has been very painful and is making it hard for me to walk or sit or to move really! Anyways, I’m starting to feel a little better and stronger each day but the doctors say that I will be severely anemic for a couple of months until my body recovers fully.

I just wanted to let you know that what we learned in class really prepared us for everything. Even though our birth went smoothly, I felt so much more prepared and informed about everything that happened afterwards with the hemorrhage because of the information we covered in our classes. A natural childbirth is totally attainable! I wouldn't describe it as terribly painful (don’t get me wrong, it definitely hurt!), but more so it was just an extremely intense experience that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. The relaxation made all of the difference in being able to handle the contractions. Thanks for the classes, Sue!

Jeannie, Arthur & Hannah

calgary home birth midwivesfoothills hospital