June 20, 2011
Briar Hill Midwives


On June 20th two and a half weeks before my due date (which was July 8th) at 5:45am I awoke to what felt like I was peeing the bed. At first I suspected it was the primerose oil caplets draining out however once I stood up a gush of water dropped on the bathroom floor I knew my water had broken. I told Shaun my water broke and he leapt out of bed and asked me “what should I do first?” I told him we still have lot’s of time but that we were going to have this baby within 24 hours for sure, and the first thing to do was call the midwives. I had to sit on the toilet for a while as the water just kept gushing out of me. After speaking to the midwives they told us to go to Foothills to do a non stress test on the baby to make sure he was doing good.

Leaking the whole way once we got to the hospital I was hooked up to a couple of monitors to track baby’s movements/heart beat and my contractions. I couldn’t really feel any but I was already contracting which was good because I knew once my membranes had ruptured I only had so much time before baby had to be born and I certainly did not want to end up back at the hospital to be put on pitocin. I had not felt him move much the last few days so I was happy to hear he was doing good. Within about half an hour we were on our way back home and I couldn’t wait as I had soaked through my skirt, and was wearing this ginormous pad. I just wanted to get home, were it was calm (unlike the hospital) and get in a good headspace. We stopped to pick up some food at Safeway, and Shaun grabbed some Mcdonalds and a coffee.

We arrived home around 10:00am, I made myself some eggs and toast, and had a yogurt, I knew I had to fuel up for the biggest marathon of my life but I didn’t want to think of it that way as I was already pumping with adrenaline at the thought that I would finally be able to meet my baby boy, and I know adrenaline disrupts the progress of labor. I had already informed Sue (cousin and Doula), my sister April, and a few other people that my water had broken. My sister was planning to be there for the birth but lives in Edmonton, the funny thing is she just drove back to Edmonton from Calgary last night, so I felt bad asking her to drive down to Calgary again. Of course she didn’t mind and was just as ecstatic as I was. After eating I went straight to bed, determined to sleep for as long as possible I did not want to be too exhausted when the time came for pushing. I told Shaun to sleep too but he was scrambling to get the birth tub ready and was upset at stuff that we had not gotten ready because we thought we had at least another week or so. While resting in bed I noticed the contractions were starting to come on a lot stronger but definitely manageable. I managed to have a light sleep for a couple of hours and around noon I woke up and saw that Sue had texted me to practice some pelvic rocks, do the stairs and go for a walk to kick start my contractions. So Shaun and I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. About 2 minutes into our walk I had another contraction and I remember being surprised that I actually had to lean on him to get through it. It felt like my contractions were 5-10 minutes minutes apart, and each time I stopped and wrapped my arms around Shaun, rocking my hips. We didn’t get very far into our walk when I told him I wanted to get home. Once we were home I decided to start watching a movie while sitting on the birth ball. About an hour later I decided to eat a piece of lasagna although mid way through my meal I had a contraction that made me feel kind of nauseous however I forced it down anyways knowing that this could be my last meal for a while. It wasn’t too much later (maybe 2:00?) that my contractions were getting so strong I was no longer verbal when they came on, and asked Shaun to start timing them. They were about 3-4 minutes apart, so after half an hour of timing them Shaun and I had a little debate about whether or not to call the midwives, I think both of us couldn’t believe that I was progressing so quickly, Shaun didn’t think we should at first but I insisted we call them.

At 3:40 Wendy my midwife arrived, and I hardly acknowledge her presence as I was really in a zone trying to get through these contractions, our house was so quiet and peaceful, I remember just listening to my labor music and focusing on that. Around 3:40 Wendy checked me and found me to be about 4 cm dilated. She decided to stay until the birth (thank goodness), and called another midwife to come over. After this I lost all track of time as my contractions were very intense, I didn’t want Shaun to leave my side and I remember the other midwife arriving but I could not even say “welcome” or look at her. She was so sweet though and I found her voice to be very soothing as she informed me that she needed to check baby’s heart rate which was awkward for her as I was always in a weird position but she would turn and twist to get that doppler on my belly any way she could without disturbing me. I remember going to the washroom and having to deal with a contraction on my own while on the toilet which made them much worse. After that I stayed in one position and told Shaun not to leave me as he was applying some counter pressure on my lower back and I could not deal with a contraction without him doing that, I kept telling him “harder, lower.” During this time I guess he was trying to fill the birthing tub with the outside hose, and boiling pots of water, the midwife was skeptical as they could not get the temperature high enough and I was sounding as if I would need to get in that tub fairly soon so the bathtub upstairs in our master bath was plan b.

All of the sudden (I guess around 6-7pm) I experienced a contraction that made me grunt very loud, it was the most uncontrollable, most powerful feeling! I remember hearing Wendy say “if she does that again I’m gong to check her” I couldn’t believe that I could be 10 cm already. It seemed like forever that I was experiencing these contractions which were so intense I was already pushing that Wendy decided to check me, I could hardly roll onto my side for her to check me luckily she did so very quickly. Then she asked me if I could make it upstairs to the tub. I asked her if I was 10 cm she said “oh yes you already went through transition without even knowing it” I couldn’t believe it but was so thankful that the pushing stage had begun.

So I psyched myself up to make the long journey upstairs to the tub in between contractions. I was walking so fast I heard Wendy say “she’s on a mission” I was determined to make it to that tub before my next contraction hit. I made it in the tub just as one hit and started pushing. The water felt nice but obviously did not completely take away the pain. I pushed on the toilet for a couple of contractions, groaning loudly through each one. I remember my sister finally arriving however my eyes were closed the entire time I was pushing so I could not even acknowledge her presence but I was grateful she was there, as she started helping Shaun with getting more water, cold cloths etc. I must have been pushing in the tub on my back for close to an hour, Wendy told me she wanted me to try pushing in a squatting position for the next contraction but I knew in my head there was no way I could possibly change positions. Luckily Penny the other midwife suggested I just stay where I was. At this time I could hear comments that they could see his head and he had a lot of hair, I started pushing with more vigor now as I did not want him stuck in the birth canal for too long. I remember feeling that the contractions were tapering off so by the next one I pushed until his head was through (this was extra hard as I had to stop mid way to avoid tearing). Once his head was through I had to wait for another contraction before I could birth his body, this was an odd sensation but I had to energy to reach down and feel it, must push with all my might I keep saying to myself. Finally (8:55) he was born, I managed to open my eyes and see Wendy carry him out of the water and onto my chest. He shrieked right away what a relief! I looked over at Shaun who had tears in his eyes, but I literally could not register what just happened….I just birthed a baby and here he was crying and alert…amazing. Everyone helped me out of the tub so I could birth the placenta on the bed, and once I laid down and they put him onto my chest I started bawling. April, myself and Shaun were all crying, he could not have been more beautiful.

Unfortunately I had stopped contracting and after waiting about 30 minutes to deliver the placenta, Penny (midwife) decided to start me on a Pitocin drip to help me contract so the placenta would detach. Eventually I did deliver the placenta however I was also losing more blood than they would like to see, and it appeared the placenta came out not intact so it was decided I needed to be transported to the hospital via ambulance. Once I was at the hospital a doctor had to manually sweep out my uterus to remove the piece of placenta that was still in there, the piece was about the size of a nickel. This procedure was extremely painful so I needed some laughing gas to help with the pain. By this time I was beyond exhausted, and after trying to breastfeed Eli I was finally able to get some sleep (around 3:00am). The next day around dinner time I was discharged and able to go home. Although not everything went as planned I if I had to do it again I would most certainly birth at home, even if it meant being transported to the hospital afterwards. Sue was right I felt like super woman afterwards, and am given more confidence towards my new role as mom.

Elijah weighed 7lbs 12oz.


Homebirth with midwives