My baby girl, Neko Lilian, was born August 1. It was a good labour and delivery. I had some stress leading up to it because our neighbour’s water tank broke and leaked and caused water damage on our floor, a section of it was ripped up, it looked awful. He was having a hard time finding a contractor to do the job and we were all worried about possibly bringing home a baby to a mess or to workers in the condo. I was also worried because we don’t know anyone here in Toronto so if I went into labour before my mom’s scheduled visit, Laik was going to come to the hospital with us. He’s just 3 and is so attached to me, I thought it would upset him to see me like that. At the same time though, I was wishing for an early labour because Laik had been so big I needed a c-section and I really wanted to have a natural birth this time. I figured the sooner she came out, the better because I wasn’t worried about her being too small!
But our neighbour found a contractor, who completed the work in one day. The next morning my mom flew into town, and that same evening I went into labour. My body even waited until Laik’s bedtime to start contractions. I contracted all night long and managed to sleep in between them. They were pretty powerful and intense, I used my surge breathing and drifted in and out of sleep all night. At 7am, we all got up for the day. My contractions became more frequent and intense. They were about 3 minutes apart and I used the hands and knees position during contractions. We decided to wait until 8am to call the midwife and doula. Our midwife has children and I thought she could at least have breakfast with her kids before heading to the hospital. We met her there at 9:30am. Once I got onto the bed for an examination, I didn’t get back up again. The contractions got stronger and I just wanted to rest in between. I remember getting a bit frantic during one contraction and the midwife came over and coached me how to keep the moaning I was doing in a lower tone and to stay on top of each contraction from the beginning. That advice really helped. I was lucky to also have a doula who is also a naturopathic doctor in training so she applied accupressure points to my skin and massaged me throughout. I also remember reading the book Birthing from Within and there being a section on finding your inner tiger during labour. The message was pretty much do whatever you have to do to get through labour, so I did. I moaned, and I was assertive asking for what I needed.
I had the usual “I can’t do this” moment but one of the midwives just said “you either will or you won’t” so I decided I would. My waters were still in tact and the pressure caused me to start pushing involuntarily, it seemed like there just wasn’t a choice, I just had to. They offered to break the bag for me and although I always thought that was something I for sure didn’t want, the idea of releasing that pressure sounded good to me, and it totally helped. Shortly after I was at 10 and they said I could push. The baby’s heart rate started to drop near the end so they said I had to push baby out soon. They brought in a large mirror so I could see her head and find some motivation. They continued to massage my perineum and would apply pressure during a contraction and tell me to push in that area, it helped to direct my pushing. Her head came out (apparently I screamed during that contraction!) and with one more little push, she was out. She came at 12:11pm and weighed 7.8.It was such a surprise to have a girl, we didn’t find out the sex during the ultrasounds and thought it was going to be a boy. We were very excited.
She was put on oxygen fairly soon after she was born because she was making some grunting sounds. Once that was resolved, I tried to get her to do the breast crawl, but she was taking a while I put her to the breast and she stayed there for about half an hour. She would have stayed longer but they wanted to check her out again.
As they wheeled me out of the delivery room, I realized I had just had the birthing experience I always wanted. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by knowledgable and kind women who coached me through the whole experience. The midwives were such in inspiration to me and do such important work. I have so much respect for them.
Now our goal will be to start enjoying our sweet baby girl and just spending time with her. Her little spirit came to us for a reason and I am so grateful for her.
written by Amy W., Oct 2012
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