Welcome Kylie – In a hurry to meet Mom & Dad; Waterbirth at Birth Center

On October 7, 2013 our lives were changed forever, for the better of course, when our baby girl who we named Kylie Michelle was born.

My due date was October 15, and I was fully prepared to go past that since my mother was 10 days late with me and we learned that the average first time Mom carried to their due date + 8 days. I came down with a terrible head cold with a cough 3 weeks before she was born, was still working and was having a hard time getting better. Then, a week and a half before her birthday at my prenatal appointment my blood pressure was approaching high, and they threatened that if it got higher there was a possibility that I would have to be induced. I was upset and worried by this because I felt that an induction would set things off on the wrong track, even though I recognized that it would be better for the baby. So naturally, I followed the midwife’s supplement/diet instructions along with rest, walking and taking my general wellbeing even more seriously than I had the rest of the pregnancy. Luckily the combination of things lowered my blood pressure by the next week and I was ok to wait for things to happen on their own. That weekend I went for a pedicure with a friend and took it fairly easy as I did have loose bowels and was starting to lose small pieces of my mucus plug. But I still walked at least an hour a day trying to savour the gorgeous fall weather and the paths that a stroller wouldn’t fit on. I said to my parents on Sunday night that I had a feeling it would be that week. But I didn’t know that it would be early Monday morning, or go as quick as it did!

My water broke at 6 am in bed. Once I woke up enough to realize what had happened and that today could be the day I was a bit shaky and giddy. As I figured out how to stop making a mess I woke up my husband, who said “so what do we do?” Since the water was clear and I wasn’t having contractions yet I thought I may as well eat some breakfast. I felt my first contraction at 6:30, but it was more of a cramp than anything. So I decided it could still be a while and hopped in the shower. May as well relax and forget about early labour right? By the time I was out of the shower I definitely knew what a contraction felt like having spent a good chunk of the time in there. Somewhere around this time I really wanted pressure on my lower back during contractions. I was still non-chalant in between them but figured we should start timing a few. Matt was trying to push on my back, time contractions wash sheets, put in the car seat, phone the midwives to give them a heads up etc. all at once! Clearly this was a lot to do so he downloaded an app on his iPhone and told me to push the button when a contraction started and stopped. I did so on some, but was not really paying any attention to how long or far apart they were as they had become intense in a hurry. I was on the living room floor on my hands and knees managing the contractions when Matt realized that they had very quickly progressed from an irregular 7 or 15 minutes to 2 1/2 to 3 minutes apart. It is true about women being comfortable where they are and not wanting to leave! Maybe I was in denial, or just thought it might still be too early but I kept saying we’ll leave in between the next contraction. Matt had to be stern and follow his instinct to get me into the car (as you taught us!)

We met the midwife at the Birth Center at 9am after a short, but seemingly long drive down Crowchild in rush hour. Oh how I envied those commuters drinking their coffee! That was definitely the worst part of the entire labour. I quickly assumed my position on the floor again, before getting into the tub. They got organized and wanted to check me so I managed to get out of the tub to the bed where they told me I was 8-9 cm dilated and was just waiting for the urge to push! My response to both of these was “what??” I definitely didn’t feel as though I was in enough pain for that. I did shortly after feel pressure which made me feel like I was about to have a bowel movement (this was the second worst part of the labour; wondering if I was going to go on the floor, which I didn’t). At any rate, I got back in the tub and they said I’d have to decide whether or not I wanted to have a water birth because I would be pushing any minute. I hadn’t decided in advance with the hope of keeping an open mind about the whole birth experience, but I was most comfortable there and decided, why not? I didn’t really get an urge to push, so they suggested that I just try a little push during a contraction. As soon as I did, I felt the urge and began pushing around 9:50. Even though I knew this, I was surprised to be able to get 2-3 pushes in each contraction. I felt the burning sensation of crowning, which wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected. They told me to stop pushing for a moment which actually wasn’t hard for me because I could feel the stinging and instinctively held off. The feeling of the head emerging was such a unique feeling, and a relief. They let me reach down and feel her head, which to my surprise had lots of red hair!! Very strange to feel the baby half in and half out. After that I was eager to get the rest of her born, which was certainly much easier than the head. She was born at 10:17 AM and they immediately placed her on my chest. I still hadn’t seen her face since she was looking down so once the cord was cut they handed her to my husband and I could finally get a look at her. Meanwhile they asked if I wanted the pitocin shot for the placenta. Though beforehand I had thought a lot about this and couldn’t decide, at this point I still didn’t know or care so they gave it to me and there were no problems. Once I got out of the tub and onto the bed I tried to nurse her, which took quite a few tries but eventually we got it (well, in hindsight I wouldn’t say we had it because for me that took at least a month to truly get the hang of – be patient).

Throughout it all my husband was so supportive by massaging my back, encouraging me with kind words, holding my hand, getting me water, and doing whatever else I asked (I didn’t snap or swear at him as you often see in the movies). Instead the experience brought us much closer, especially as we reminisced in the weeks to come. Most of all though, I feel so empowered and fortunate to have had such a natural experience. The human body is truly an amazing thing – we should trust & respect it’s ability to do what it was made to do. Neither of us would change a thing and we are so overjoyed to have little Kylie in our lives. I hope this provides some hope for those Moms who expect to have long, painful labours with their first. You just might be lucky enough to fall at the other end of the spectrum. But no matter what I guarantee it will all be worth it as soon as you see your beautiful baby!

Leanne, Matt, and Kylie

Welcome Kylie – Quick, Beautiful Home Birth with Midwives
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