I’m not one who believes in birth plans. I didn’t with the birth of my first son, Ryker, three and a half years ago, and I didn’t with Oakley. I didn’t want to get my mind set on having things go a certain way and then be frustrated or disappointed when they didn’t.
Child birth is not a predictable thing-at all. I learned that my first time. With Ryker, I was induced due to some minor issues with high blood pressure. Part of me was ok with being induced-it gave me the satisfaction of knowing when he was going to make his entrance-but part of me was somewhat disappointed I wasn’t going to experience natural labour. To keep the story short, the birth was quick; to the point that my husband almost missed it. On top of that, the nursing staff I had were somewhat cold and unsupportive, we had some scares with baby having low blood sugars and gagging on mucus, and a complete lack of breastfeeding support-among a few other things.
This time we chose to be under the care of the amazing Barrie Midwives. And what an amazing choice that was.
I was due on May 21-but after getting through the day without even experiencing anything birth related, I went to bed somewhat disappointed that I seemed to be ending up going overdue. Unlike my first pregnancy, this one was rough on me. I was sick through most of it, suffered through a lot of back pain and acid reflux, and was just exhausted. Being pregnant and caring for an incredibly active 3 year old was a lot different then being pregnant with your first.
The morning of May 22, after getting a much better sleep then I had in months, I was awoken around 7:20 am with some stinging, consistent, what I assumed to be cramps-as to be completely honest, felt like I simply had to use the facilities. I lay in bed for a few minutes, riding a few out and trying not to get my hopes up that they actually meant anything. Yet they seemed to be coming steadily every ten minutes. Hauling myself out of bed, I tried seeing if I was able to get any relief, but seeing as they still continued coming-I started feeling that little flutter of excitement that maybe something was finally happening.
With my husband Ryan and Ryker still sleeping, I tried to see if I could get some extra sleep too, but that wasn’t meant to be. Ryker, unfortunately, is a morning person like myself, and within five minutes of me lying back down, he was calling for me to come take the baby gate down from his bedroom door, because as he puts it “the sun is up on my clock, Mommy.” (darn you, Gro Clock). As I got up to get him started for the day-changing pull-ups to underwear and heading down the stairs to let our dogs into the backyard-I realized the cramps were still very much coming frequently.
Ryan followed down the stairs about ten minutes later, to find me leaning over the kitchen counter in the middle of prepping Ryker’s breakfast- as the contractions were slowly starting to intensify, but weren’t coming anymore frequent. He asked me if he should be going into work that day, or if I felt like this was the big event and that he should be staying home. I sent him to work. The contractions were strong, but between them I felt perfectly at ease, and I knew they weren’t coming close enough together to think that things were going to start happening soon.
Reluctantly, he left, after I promised him that after I finished with breakfast, Ryker and I would get packed up and head over to my parents home across town, and closer to the hospital-so that in the event that something was to happen, I was with someone and there was someone able to care for Ryker.
I arrived at my childhood home with Ryker and hospital bags in tow around 10:30 am, still experiencing contractions that were refusing to come any closer together. My mom distracted Ryker with activities to do, while I rested on the couch and tried to time the length and the frequency of the contractions. They had moved to being now eight minutes apart, and I called my midwife, who advised to call her when they began coming closer to five minutes apart.
We hung out, ate lunch, chatted. Around 12:45 pm my mom went to bring Ryker for a nap-and that’s when things changed-and quickly. My contractions went from being eight minutes apart, to having three intense ones within ten minutes. When my mom came back down, I told her I needed to call my midwife again cause something was happening. Getting a hold of Andy, my midwife, she knew right away from the sound of my voice-and told me to meet her at the hospital as soon as I could to be assessed. Ambling around, the pressure was there, but I managed to collect my things and leave Ryker’s things with my dad, get into my mom’s car, and get a hold of Ryan to tell him to start heading home because we were heading to the hospital.
Arriving at the hospital, we headed up to the birthing unit and I was given a temporary admittance as I met up with Andy, and my other midwife Amy, to be assessed. Things were calm and we chatted amongst ourselves as the midwives did their jobs. Much to my mine and my mom’s surprise, I was already fully dilated and baby was right there, ready to make his entrance-yet my water was still intact. Andy told me if they broke my water now, or my water decided to break on it’s own-baby was going to be here quite quickly. We chose to ride it out until they either broke on their own or to break them when Ryan arrived.
In the hour or so before Ryan was able to make it, my birth photographer Amy (who also did our Fresh 48 session) arrived, and the group of us women enjoyed each other’s company-laughing, chatting, pausing for contractions here and there. A smoothie for me, coffee and tea for others. Things were so light and fun that we had nurses commenting they didn’t believe I was fully dilated, as my mom, Amy and walked laps around the birthing unit hallways. Pausing for a few contractions, Ryan soon arrived and I waddled back to the room with him-ready to get things on the move.
Having come straight from his job site-and me forgetting his change of clothes in our vehicle at my parents home-Ryan was given the full doctor get up-minus the work boots of course. We were ready to go.
Andy wasn’t wrong, that once they broke my water-things began moving quickly. Trying several different positions, to try and get comfortable, I ultimately ended upon my back again, as my contractions began to slow down. My uterus was tiring out- and our little man wasn’t out yet. After a quick examination, it was discovered my waters hadn’t broken all the way, and after they were broken again, things began to progress again- for a short time.
As it turns out, baby was deciding to come out with his arm in a Superman pose beside his head-making it extra difficult to get him out. On top of now having a tired uterus again, with contractions quickly disappearing-the muscles in my right leg kept seizing and my hip was locking, causing extra pain on top of labour. I was exhausted, nauseous and felt defeated.
But with the encouragement and support of my amazing team, husband, and mother- after several more excruciating pushes- our little superhero entered the world at 6:21 pm.
Welcome to the world, Oakley Willem Jakob! We couldn’t imagine life without you!
A huge thank you goes out to our amazing team from the Barrie Midwives-don’t know where I would’ve been without you ladies. And to Amy from Amy D Photography-you’re a rare talent and a true pleasure to have around.