Here readers can share their birth stories with mom's to be. Although I am a birth doula in Toronto, these stories can come from mom's from all around the world. If you would like to share your story on my blog, please contact me.
Muriel's Birth Story
I woke up Saturday morning around 7, and stepped out of bed. The moment I did so, I felt a gush of fluid between my legs. "Oh no oh no oh no," I spoke very loudly and quickly, waking my husband up. He asked me what was wrong, and I said, "My water broke, it looks like we will be having the baby today." He, as is his nature, was dubious. I went to the washroom, as the possibility that I had been incontinent had crossed my mind as well (I was hugely pregnant at 37 weeks, 5 days, so anything was possible). On the way to the washroom, more fluid came out and I was sure that it was my water. As per the midwife, we had to wait until 9am to call, so we spent the next two hours excited and scared, talking about all of the things that we needed to do before this baby came.
The previous day I had been admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital for borderline hypertension monitoring. All traces looked normal and my blood pressure was good while laying down. We were relieved because if my blood pressure had been too high, I may have been induced. We called everyone with a "false alarm" as we had initially prepared them with a potential induction. During the monitoring, the midwives had seen a lot of uterine activity and had asked me if I could feel any contractions. I couldn't, but it should have given me an indication that this baby was ready to arrive.
Later on Saturday, we called the midwife, Leah. She advised us to monitor the contractions, but wasn't really concerned about the delivery yet. She mentioned that I probably wouldn't have the baby until the next day. We called Steve's mom, my mom and Tricia our doula to prepare them as well. I told my mom to fly to Toronto as soon as possible - there was a 4pm flight from Calgary that wasn't too expensive. I really wanted her at the birth. Tricia wanted to know if we needed her at that point. As I wasn't feeling any contractions, I said no, but would let her know. Steve's mom decided to go to the market, get some food and then she would come over and help out. I was getting pretty nervous about our lack of preparation at that point. We hadn't installed the carseat, had no bassinet holder and did not have all of the supplies for the home birth. Nor was the basement setup for the birth. Also, I felt the urgent need to purchase lightbulbs as so many of ours were burnt out. As soon as Steve's mom arrived, we went to purchase the above mentioned items. At first my contractions were barely noticeable, but by the end of the errands, I was feeling them and just wanted to get home.
Once home, we had the rest of Steve's family and our doula come over. Steve's brother was a lifesaver and put together the bassinet holder, installed the car seat, and helped prepare the basement for the birth, which included blowing up an air mattress and lining the floor with brightly coloured, plastic picnic table covers so the tile wouldn't be ruined.
Around 7pm, the midwife came over as the contractions were getting a bit stronger, but nothing I couldn't handle. The midwife didn't think that anything would happen that night, and left to go to a concert. On this advice, we sent everyone else home as well. With just Steve and I in the house, I think the baby decided that it was time to make an appearance. My contractions started to get stronger and closer together. At about 9pm, we called everyone to come back. Tricia came first and helped with comfort measures, and calmed us down. I went in the tub for a bit, then turned on some music quite loudly and paced through the pain. Our sister in law came over to take pictures to document the birth. The midwife arrived and checked me. I had dilated 3cm, and was stretchy. She advised me to go in the tub, which I resisted. I just wanted to pace. Finally, she convinced me to go into the tub. Once in, I felt much better. Then, suddenly, I felt this awful need to push. I screamed the midwife's name. She didn't really want to check me again as my membranes had already broken, but she did - I was 9cm. It had only been 45 minutes since she last checked me. I got out of the tub and went to the air mattress prepared for the birth. My mother arrived just in time for me to start pushing. I was happy she was there, but didn't register too much as I was very focussed on giving birth.
I wanted so badly to push but the backup midwife hadn't arrived yet, so my midwife asked me to hold off pushing for a bit. It was really difficult, and I screamed when trying not to push. Finally, I was allowed to push and it felt a lot better and I didn't have to scream. I pushed on my back first, then turned over on my side. My husband was by my side, helping me by holding one leg. The time between the pushing was amazing, very relaxing and calming. I heard someone say they could see the baby's head, and I was so excited, but then they said it was only the size of a toonie, and I was a little disappointed - I thought I was almost done. By then, the backup midwife had arrived. I went back to my back, and after a few more pushes, my baby was born! She was put on my chest immediately, and I had a great big grin on my face. I wasn't wearing my glasses at that point, and asked, "What is it?" because we had not found out the gender. Nobody had even checked, and I had to ask a few times before I was told that it was a little girl! We named her Muriel. My husband didn't want to cut the cord, so my sister in law did the honour, and then Muriel attempted to breast feed. After some skin to skin with my new baby, I needed to deliver the placenta, and was given oxytocin to help it out. At the last possible minute, it plopped out, but only after the midwife threatened that we would have to go to the hospital if it didn't come out soon. Muriel was checked over, weighed, and pronounced perfect. As new parents, we couldn't believe how great the birth had been but were also exhausted and wanted to go to sleep. Finally, everyone left and we enjoyed the night with our baby.