January 23, 2011
Briar Hill Midwives

Ethan made his way into the world early Sunday morning (1am), weighing in at 9lbs and 3 oz.  He is happy and healthy (and perfect).

My water broke on Thursday at 6pm.  I phoned Abe to come home from work and phoned the midwives to let them know that our water had broken.  No contractions had started - so no warning.  I was just sitting on the couch and felt a 'pop' and thought - 'that's weird' so I stood up and felt water running down my legs.  Contractions started pretty consistently a few hours later and we were getting pretty serious contractions by midnight – we phoned the midwives again to update them and were asked to give them a call back when I couldn’t handle the contractions any longer.

We phoned the midwives again around 5am and one of our midwives (Penny) came to the house around 5am on Friday morning.  Penny checked me out and I was 6 cm, but had a lip of cervix on one side that we needed to move out of the way.  We all thought we would have a baby before noon that day here at home.

It ended up being a very long and difficult labour and birth.  Ethan was head down, but facing the wrong way (he was facing my belly, not my back) and I wasn't dilating beyond 6cm after 6 hrs of hard labour here at the house.  I was starting to have the urge to push but couldn’t b/c of the lack of dilation and a lip of cervix still in the way.  Around 11am Friday morning, Penny (one of our midwives) made the recommendation that we go to the hospital for an epidural so my muscles could relax in an attempt to get Ethan to turn and to allow me to get some rest.  We tried this, but nothing was happening in terms of Ethan turning (but I did get some rest) and I hadn’t dilated much beyond the 6cm where I had been at for quite a while.

We had a shift change in our midwives around 6pm (they had a busy few days delivering babies – something about the chinook and full moon) and it was around this time that our midwife recommended pitocin to get contractions going again in an effort to get me dilated so we could push the baby out.  Around 9pm Saturday night I started pushing again – for sure a struggle with the epidural.  A second midwife from Team 2 (Luba) showed up when we were close to meeting our baby.  The midwives and Abe were great coaches.  After 3 hrs of pushing we still didn’t have baby out and people were starting to get anxious b/c I was getting extremely tired and the water had broken about 24 hrs previously.  Ethan still hadn’t turned and was face up and I just couldn’t get him through my pelvis.  The midwives consulted a doctor and we went with his recommendation of forceps.  We finally met Ethan Asher House around 1am Saturday morning on January 22nd.  The end result is fantastic – we have a beautiful and healthy baby boy.  One interesting thing was that Ethan came out with a true knot in his umbilical cord – at some point when he was very small he must have done a summersault in my belly and tied a knot.

We are very satisfied with the birth experience, not what we were intending, but we had 100% confidence in our midwives and their recommendations through out the process.  And b/c of our midwives have trust in Foothills Hospital and their staff, we trusted the doctor’s recommendations as well.  Ethan and I stayed on the maternity ward until Saturday night and were discharged around 8pm Saturday night.

Foothills hospital birth with midwives