March 12, 2011
Aurora Midwives


I am actually going to preface the story with: I didn't care when my baby would come except for one day, March 12. That was my niece's first birthday, and she was having a princess waffle party that I couldn't wait to attend...

My water broke at 4:20 am on March 12th ( I couldn't believe it!!! two of three cousins with the same birthday...). I still had some last minute running around to do, put the last couple things in my hospital bag, make the frozen pads, tidy up a bit - oh, the procrastinator in me :)

I think the said running around is what made my labour progress quickly! I didn't start having contractions until about 5:30 am, they were completely manageable (five to ten minutes apart) and I was having great success breathing through them. I went to the washroom at 5:45 am and I think the baby moved or something weird happened It felt like the baby was going to fall out (really sharp and uncomfortable) I yelled for Colby to call the midwives. After Nicola spoke to me (I must have sounded out of it...) she said she would call Kimberley and they would be right over. After this the contractions picked up significantly, they were every two minutes and 30 seconds to the peak. I was still able to breathe through them without much discomfort, however I did shut my eyes and focused internally (and remembered not to squeeze my bum). The midwives arrived around 7am and did an exam to see how far along I was - 6-7 cm and the baby's head was "right there", the position was cause for concern though as they were lying facing sideways so High River (and my birthing pool) was out of the question. We left for Peter lougheed at 8:30am and it was perfect because it was really frosty that morning and the cold made me feel less nauseous. The contractions really started to intensify in the truck, I had to tell myself to quite squeezing my bum every time they started to hurt... It's funny how much that helps! We got settled into our delivery room (with a tub!) at about 9:30, I was sitting first in my wheel chair and then in the chair in our room contracting while the tub was being filled up. I found sitting to be the most comfortable position where I could have a hand on my belly and focus inward. Once the tub was filled I got in and remembered saying to Cole how warm it was and how relaxed I was :) I think that was when the magic happened. I was in there floating and having contractions (pretty much pain free!) then I grunted. Colby looked at me and then I started having the urge to push... Nicola wanted to do an exam to see if it was safe to start. I got out of the tub and went to the bed. The exam proved I was 10 cm however there was a lip of cervix over about 1 cm of the baby's head and they were still lying sideways. Kimberley wanted me to lie on my side (I hated it!!!) to ease off that lip and hopefully get the baby to turn - oh, and also not to push (yeah right! This was the hardest "stage" - not pushing when everything was saying PUSH)... She kept saying one more contraction and then after that she would say it again... I remembered this tactic from class and was totally onto her! This "stage" only lasted about 15 minutes Colby told me after but it felt like 3 hours!!! After flipping me to my other side and continuing with the no pushing nonsense I begged her to check me again. She did and the lip was gone and I could finally start purposely pushing :) I remember looking at the clock, it was 11:30 and thinking I am going to push this baby out by noon! Nothing like putting unrealistic expectations on yourself while giving birth :) Pushing was great though, it actually felt amazing! I liked being able to put my focused energy somewhere. I was alternating between pushing on my back and using the birthing bar to squat for the beginning of the pushing stage. Once their head was crowning I stayed on my back, how I was positioned (Thank you years of dance!) I actually had a great vantage point and could see everything happening ( a little extra motivation too) Once their head (and one tiny little hand) was out I couldn't wait for another contraction and started pushing their shoulders and body out. I gave birth naturally to a beautiful baby girl at 12:18 pm. 8 lbs, 6 oz ~ 20 3/4 inches

I would love for the story to end here and in most re-tellings it does. But because you want honesty this is were the painful part starts. As my midwife Nicola said "my placenta decided not to join the party!". Once it finally came out they suspected my uterus had retained a piece of it. I was hemorrhaging too much and because I had a subchorionic hemorrhage during my pregnancy they already classified my placenta as weird. This is where we insert a plethora of hospital staff rushing into my room ( the point where Colby said he knew something was up) After lots of blood and pushing on my tummy and getting sewn up only to have a resident doctor perform a manual sweep - It was brutal and absolutely the worst pain I have ever experienced! I ended up having to go under general and have a D&C - not what I had in mind for the first day of being a mother... Not to mention I had my heart set on making it to my niece's birthday and eating a waffle! We ended up having to spend the night in the hospital - luckily Colby was able to stay with Alice and I. Despite being really weak from the huge loss of blood and looking like dead woman walking... it was so nice to get home and start our new life as a family of three!

So I am not going to say my birth was pain free but it definitely was completely manageable and really not that bad!!! The trick - abdominal breathing!!!

Thank you so much for everything you taught in class! I think my birth story would look really different without all of the information and techniques we learned! I don't think I ever felt more confident of anything as I did going into labour! Seriously if I had a nickel for every time Colby and I said "Remember what Sue said..."

Thanks again!

Amy & Colby, and little Alice!

Calgary birth story