I’ve wanted to post my daughter Ella’s birth story for a long time now, but I never get the time to sit down and really remember all the details! Slowly but surely, however, the memories start to fade and I knew I had to get it all written down soon or I’d lose it forever! She just turned 9 months this week, I cannot believe how the time flies. Seeing as she is my third, I find time flies by even faster nowadays, it’s heartbreaking!
Anyway, here it is… for me, for her, and for anyone who loves a great birth story – this one ROCKS!!
Due date: Wednesday, February 22nd 2012
On the day I was due, I had a midwife appointment. I was SO excited to have a sweep done, I felt like I was very close to labour beginning and I arrived with electricity coursing through me! So imagine the tears and disappointment when they broke the news to me that I would not be having a sweep done that day because no one was available to tend to me if I went into labour that night. They had a number of women who were already in the early stages of labour, and they didn’t want to set me on the same path unless it happened naturally, as they would be under staffed.
They promised that within the next 24 hours, someone would come out to my house to perform the sweep, and this lifted my spirits somewhat. As anyone who has been pregnant knows, by the end of week 40 you are BEYOND ready to meet your little one, and I was no exception.
Sure enough, the following day (Thursday, February 23rd) my midwife Ellen came to the house and did the sweep. At that point I was 1cm dilated (same from 3 weeks earlier) and there was zero action.
One day later, Friday, February 24th: Throughout the morning I began to see some tell-tale signs of impending labour, but no contractions or other indicators.
At lunchtime I began to have some mild contractions. I texted my good Tammie and commented casually that if my pattern matched the one that I had with son Cal, from the time I began showing signs of labour coming on to the time I delivered was 12 hours, which would have me delivering this baby just before 9pm that night.
Little did I know how eerily accurate that would be!!
By 3pm my contractions were still mild but were consistently 4 minutes apart and lasting about 55 – 65 seconds. We had my mom come over (with her bag just in case), paged the midwife and met her at the hospital at 4pm. As soon as we arrived, my contractions stopped and I had only one in 30 minutes. She checked me and I was still 1cm dilated, and she said that my cervix was long and closed. I was quite disappointed – and embarrassed! We were sent home. (My husband, however, was thrilled… I’d had stew in the slow cooker all day and he was getting worried he wasn’t going to get to have any! LOL)
We arrived home at 5pm, stopping at Tim Hortons along the way, (I was craving a cafe mocha!). I was having contractions in the van on the drive, but they were mild and I commented to Alex that now I was nervous I’d wait TOO long and ignore the signs, out of fear of being sent home with false labour again.
Once home we had some dinner. My mom had taken the kids (8 & 1.5 at the time) to the mall for some food, and they got back home at 5:30pm. We told my mom to head home since there was nothing happening, and we were alone with the kids. By 6pm my contractions were bothering me enough that I went upstairs to bed and left Alex and the kids to fend for themselves. My daughter Taya came up to be with me and was unbelievably amazing; rubbing my back, asking me what I needed. I will never forget how wonderful she was, and what a crucial part of my labour.
At about 7:30pm I decided to have a bath, since the midwives always say that it will either stop the contractions or get things moving. I was only in the bath about 10 minutes but when I got out I began to experience a lot of pain. I was leaning against the wall during contractions and had to really breathe through them. All the while Alex was trying to put Cal to bed and have Taya get ready as well. I laboured alone upstairs and really tried to get myself through it. I wouldn’t let myself lie down and I tried to stay relaxed through the pain to allow the baby to come down, it was excruciating but I’m so proud of myself.
At 8pm the kids were in bed and I knew something was up. I texted my mom at 8:04pm and said stay near the phone, I think you will be back tonight as I’m pretty sure she is coming. At 8:09pm we paged our midwife Ellen to meet us at the hospital and called my mom back to say you’d better get here now. At 8:22pm I called her while she was driving to beg her to hurry, the baby was coming. Finally we couldn’t wait anymore. We got Taya out of bed, gave her the baby monitor so she could see Cal and we headed out to the van. Thankfully Nana pulled in the driveway as we were pulling out, and off we went!
I was in agony on the drive, I was holding onto the handle on the ceiling of the van and the contractions were coming about a minute apart. We arrived at hospital and pulled up to the ER doors, Alex ran to get me a wheelchair and as he brought it to the van I had a huge contraction. I got into the wheelchair and he rushed me up to the 3rd floor. As soon as we reached the L&D doors I had another huge contraction and my water broke as I sat in the wheelchair waiting for help. I was crying in pain and I knew the baby was coming. People were telling me not to push but I had no choice! (Everyone has a hilarious moment that they will always remember of their delivery, and mine is some RANDOM woman standing in the hall drinking a coffee saying “Don’t push!! Don’t push!!”… oh yah? “ You wanna GO, lady?!? SHUT UP!!”)
I was rushed into the same room I’d been in earlier and was barely able to get on the bed, I could feel her head coming down. I got on the bed, and tried to take off my sweater but I only got one arm out before Ella was born! One of my favourite moments of my entire life was when she came flying out… Alex and I just looked at each other and burst out laughing! From 1cm at 4:30pm to delivery at 8:48pm? WHAT? Lol… all we could DO was crack up, and then fall ridiculously and helplessly in love!
Daddy, falling in love with his tiny baby girl
Our midwife Ellen didn’t make it in time, Alex didn’t even have time to move our van – it was still down in the ER circle with the emergency lights flashing! There were some nurses there to help and they grabbed a doctor from down the hall (I don’t even know his name, and have zero recollection of what he looked like). We arrived at the hospital at 8:40pm and Ella came flying out at 8:48pm.
She was beautiful and perfect!
7 pounds, 15 ounces 19.5 inches long
I had no tearing, no stitches, I felt wonderful! We had to spend a few hours in the hospital to ensure everything was okay and to wait for some blood test results, but Ellen arrived shortly after the birth and was there with us until we went home. We were allowed to leave at about 1:30am and arrived home at 1:45am. My mom was asleep on the couch but was very excited for us to arrive and to meet her baby granddaughter (her TENTH and final grandchild) who was only 5 hours old. When we got home, we all went into to Taya’s room with Ella to wake her up so she could meet her new baby sister! It was really sweet and very special.
My mom left at that point to go home and get some sleep, with the promise of returning bright and early the next morning with coffees and breakfast. Alex and I curled up in bed with our little baby girl and fell asleep.
The next morning we woke up as a family of five!
We came downstairs and stared at each other in awe… it was so funny to us that all three kids were there, we didn’t have them spend any nights away when Ella was born, we just dove in head first!
Cal met his baby sister when he woke up that morning, and he was SO excited.. he kept saying “BABY!” and patting her head and giving her kisses.
It was an amazing labour, an almost unbelievable delivery, and I am so grateful that I was able to have such awesome, uncomplicated, natural births with my kids! It was never my goal to do so, but it ended up being exactly what worked for me!
And yes – EVERY birth story is worth remembering… I just know a few people who had it pretty rough and would rather forget! LOL!