January 29, 2011
Briar Hill Midwives


Well, Ray and I had our own little scenario play out early Saturday morning when our daughter, Melissa, arrived at 2:43 am and 7.45 lbs.! I don't think we'll be able to come to class tonight as a result (we're still pretty tired and trying hard to figure out a routine), but we are hoping to come next week (but will let you know how things go). In the meantime, I was wondering if you might like to hear our birth story? Feel free to read it to the class tonight if they are interested.....

I figured I'd lost my mucous plus at 3:30 a.m. Friday morning when I got up to go to the toilet. Fairly soon afterwards, I experienced tell tale signs of loose bowels and mild menstrual-like cramping. I tried to sleep, but my mind was racing, so that didn't work. However, I went about my day as planned (except for cancelling a coffee date, since I wasn't sure I could keep a decent conversation with pains every 7 minutes!!). I went to my chiropractor for one last treatment as a pregnant woman (didn't know it was my last then, though) and did errands. The cramps (was too unsure to call them contractions yet, but in retrospect.....) were short-lived (about 15 seconds), and erratic. I tried to rest in the afternoon and encouraged my husband also to rest when he returned home from work. We planned to go to Wal-Mart that night to do our big "baby run" - we still hadn't gotten the essentials like diapers and diaper cream and thought it might be a good idea not to wait until Sunday!

I tried to distract myself by watching t.v., changing positions, eating, drinking, and resting. Oh, and of course referring to my Healthy Choices class notes!! But became increasingly uncomfortable throughout the evening.

Ray went to Wal-Mart alone when I realized I just couldn't do it (and didn't want to experience the scene from "Where the Heart is" for myself!). I also started to realize that the best way to get through a contraction (was starting to feel a little less like just cramps now) was with positive self talk ("this will end soon, let it go, baby is working her way down") and not resisting the discomfort. It made a huge difference! So, with this nifty coping strategy in hand, I settled into bed at 11 p.m. Was able to relax for a few minutes before the contractions came on more fast & furious. Everytime I had a contraction, I felt like I had to use the toilet. I ended up also feeling very nauseous and started vomiting as a result. I couldn't get comfortable no matter what I did. I called Raymond to help me (I had demanded he go to sleep in another room so that he could rest up to take care of me when things got real bad "later"). I decided to go into the shower to see if I could get more comfortable. The hot water felt good against my back, but contractions were becoming more frequent and more painful no matter what I did. Ray measured the contractions (what a good student!), and calmly said "I think I'll call the midwife" when he saw contractions were just 3 minutes apart. What I didn't know is that his heart was pounding with both excitement and nervousness at what he knew was about to happen!

We met the midwife at the Foothills and she measured me at 6 cm. Thank God - I was so worried she'd say I was 4 cm and suggest I go home!! (we had also driven in the snowstorm, which made the ride REAL bumpy and REAL long. Did NOT want to have to repeat that when I felt like there was a baby's head in my bum!!). Then the whirlwind happened. In less than 1.5 hours I was fully dilated, and told to go ahead and push. I honestly didn't have time to worry about snacks, changing positions, walking down hallways, or contemplating whether I'd like to change my mind about drugs (and frankly, am glad I didn't!). I gave birth without medications, on my back with my legs pulled up to my chest. Thank God for Raymond's words of love, guidance, and excitement which held me through. And also, of course, the midwives who reminded me NOT to run away from it (which I was totally doing), and to push out my bum (rather than my chest which is what I was doing).  It was so surreal I felt like I had been cast in bad scary movie!!  It seemed like I came back to earth only when I heard the midwife say "Melanie, reach down and grab your baby!". A moment I'll never forget.

P.S. Interestingly enough.....I'd gone for acupuncture on Thursday morning for my first labour preparation treatment! And then yoga later that night.

Thanks for your knowledge and encouragement, Sue! You were definitely in our minds the morning of Jan 29, 2011!!

Melanie and Ray