Everything I have ever known has changed. We are Mommies! It’s the most amazing and terrifying feeling in the world.
Our little Wesley was born on December 1st and he instantly took over our hearts.
This is our birth story.
Thursday, November 31st
This is the day my mom picked to fly in from Nova Scotia. As fortune would have it, she couldn’t have chosen a better day. Lucien and I picked her up from the airport and made our way back to PoCo.
Mom got settled in and although she was exhausted, the house was buzzing with excitement, anticipation, and love.
Friday, December 1st *my due date*
At 8:00am I began having Braxton Hicks contractions. I had been feeling them pretty regularly for a while now. They usually subsided in a couple hours.
For breakfast, I made Mom and I our favorite. French bread (because I didn’t have homemade) with molasses and crême fraiche. We used to use fresh cow’s cream but it’s not available anymore. Coincidentally, this is the last thing my mom ate before going into labour with my brother.
I also made pancakes for everyone.
By 10:00am, the sensations were still going. Something felt different.
At noon, I began feeling contractions with some regularity. I let Feona, my sister-in-law and birth Doula, know what I was feeling. The excitement started to build.
This was it…
At around 12:30pm Lucien called her sister, Katrina, at work. She and all of her coworkers had been expecting the call any day. She rushed home to take her post as my second Doula.
Feona hooked me up to her tens machine and showed me how to use it. It was amazing! It seriously took the edge off during my contractions.
At around 4:00pm, Mom, Feona, Lucien, and I piled into Lue’s truck. Lue was at the wheel. We started making our way to Lisa and Erik’s apartment downtown. Of course we would be in the midst of rush hour traffic.
Lue only road raged once! Although, it wouldn’t have seemed right if she hadn’t at all. People really do drive like idiots in this city.
Katrina and my niece, Jade, made their way downtown as well.
From here on, everything is a bit fuzzy. The girls got the birthing pool set up, and I just tried to stay comfortable.
At about 6:00pm the midwife came as requested by Feona. She asked me if I wanted a pelvic exam to see how far along I was. I was in the birthing pool at the time. It felt so relaxing.
I somewhat reluctantly got out of the tub so the midwife could do the exam. She asked me if I wanted to know the results. I agreed for this time only. It had been previously established that I did not want to be updated with my “progress” as I wanted to avoid the feeling of disappointment, if I felt I should be farther along than I was.
I measured only 3cm dilated and my bladder was right behind my bag of waters, preventing the baby’s head from moving down into my pelvis. At this point, this being my first child, my midwife told everyone they might as well go home and get some rest, it will likely be a long night. She instructed me to lay down and try to get some sleep.
I laid down on the bed but was not comfortable at all. I think the fact that Feona knows me so well, and seeing me squirm on the bed, she knew I wasn’t going to fall asleep. Especially with how quickly everything had progressed so far.
She came up beside me and told me straight up,
“You can lay here and prolong what you’re feeling or you can get up and move around to get things going.”
Duh, I opted to get things going. She set up a circuit for me to try different positions to get my baby to engage.
From here on it is a bit foggy. I remember laying against the sofa, I remember laying on Lue as if she were a piece of furniture, I remember hanging in a deep squat from the Rebozo around Lue’s neck. I told Feona it hurt, I didn’t like it. She assured me that that is how it is supposed to feel. It meant that it was working. Right then a switch was flipped. I squatted deeper and mentally let go. I embraced the pain and got out of the way and let my baby be born.
That was when my water broke and a wave of relief rushed overy me… then I peed. I was very aware of peeing.
I even announced “My water just broke….. and I just relieved myself.”
Relief promptly stopped and on came the pain.
This is when Feona called the midwife back. She was on her way.
I remember wanting to go back into the birth pool but didn’t quite make it that far. I leaned over Lue for a couple contractions. She needed some water so she got up and I held Katrina’s hand while leaning on the yoga ball.
Pushing began. It was involuntary, it just started happening… and the midwife hadn’t even arrived yet.
Either Feona or Katrina asked me if I’m feeling “pushy”.
I grunted a yes. All I could do was grunt. Feona and Katrina had their own non-verbal conversation going on about what they were seeing. There were mouthed words and funky hand gestures going on that I had no idea about till way later.
They told me to just go with it.
It was happening.
I pushed with a contraction. Feona told me that I could touch my baby’s head if I wanted to. I wasn’t ready yet. I felt a little afraid to. She asked me if I wanted her or me to catch the baby. I absolutely wanted to!
At some point here, the midwife showed up. Lue greeted her, “Hi there, is there anything I can help you with?”
“No, that’s alright.”
“Ok, well just so you know, the baby’s head is out.”
The midwife kicked off her shoes and came running in.
She asked Feona if she should put counter pressure on my perineum. Feona was already doing that.
With the next contraction, I pushed and the baby came right out.
I caught him! His slippery little body fell right into my hands.
Katrina casually mentioned, “So, the umbilical cord is kind of around the neck.”
So I brought my baby back in closer to me, hooked my finger around the cord, and lifted it over the head, then brought my baby up to my chest as far as I could. The cord was really short.
Just then it was announced that it was a boy. Lue was right next to me and we both started crying. I was in a bit of shock that it had all happened so fast. It was so surreal that I was holding our baby boy.
It was 8:15pm. Only about 25 minutes after my water broke.
I just sat there and held him while he cried. He was so perfect. I sang to him and it calmed him.
After the cord was drained of blood, Lue cut it.
Everything became a whirlwind after that. There was blood, baby poop, and amniotic fluid all over me.
Lue and I looked at each other and agreed that his name is Wesley.
We got him (and me) cleaned up, weighed (7lbs-0oz), dressed, fed, and he was passed around while I passed the placenta.
Then we took pictures, toasted with champagne, and ate hor d’oeuvres while I got stitched up a bit.
Tears of happiness and laughter kept overcoming me. We finally had him. We finally became mommies. And he was perfect!
We are so grateful for all of the support from all of our friends and family. Especially Lisa and Erik for letting us have this amazing experience in their apartment. Also, for being a part of it. The room was filled with so much love, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Also, to my team of midwives from Pomegranate Community Midwives for their amazing support and all the information they passed to Lucien and me. We felt nothing but supported in every way during my entire pregnancy and beyond. Everyone on the brown team is absolutely amazing. I love you all!
And of course, I would not have had the experience that I did without my amazing Doulas, Feona and Katrina. Because of them, I felt no anxiety at all. I knew they had my back and would take care of me when it was go time.
Thank you, Feona, for being my guide and my rock when I need you during the birth. Thank you for all the valuable information that you gave me during my pregnancy, you gave me confidence that a home birth would be a positive experience.
Thank you, Katrina, for enduring the two days of prenatal classes that I quickly realized are intended for women that don’t have you and Feona for guidance. Thank you for reminding me of a coping strategy, the one thing we took from the class, and thank you for your cold hands when I was overheating.
To my wonderful wife, Lucien. My soul mate. You are my support, both literally and physically, everyday. You helped make all of this possible. Without you, there would be no Wesley. Thank you so much for all of the support and love and everything that you do to make sure we are ok. I love you beyond all the stars in the sky.
And, of course, my mom. My amazing mom. Thank you for teaching me what love is. How to love unconditionally and unrelenting. You made me the person I am. You taught me strenth and courage to be independent. Thank you for being so open and welcoming of, not only Lucien, but of her sisters and our nieces as well. We all love you so much and are so grateful that you were a part of Wesley’s birth as well. He is very lucky to have you as a grandma.