Hey all! I’m dusting off the old blog to share the story of how our little Addie girl joined the world! Her labour was fast and intense and nothing like what I was expecting but it was also perfect in it’s own way. For this pregnancy I was under the care of midwives again, and we were planning a home birth. Since I laboured the whole time at home with Eli (read that story here), and only went to the hospital at the bitter end (lol), we just decided to eliminate the whole transfer part and stay in the comfort of our home.
I had frequent Braxton Hicks contractions during the third trimester and right around my due date I started having some contractions that were more regular and more intense. The contractions would start at about 5 minutes apart and last for an hour or so, and then slowly space out again. Although I knew that this was not “real” labour, I did think that it must be a sign that things were starting and that our sweet girl would be punctual like her big brother! I was, of course, wrong.
I was shocked (and frustrated/impatient/a weeping mess and just feeling all the emotions) when I reached 41 weeks pregnant. I was booked in for a non-stress test and ultrasound at the hospital which revealed that baby girl was healthy and happy as a clam. Although we were presented with induction options, we decided to keep waiting it out.
On Friday, (41+2) we attended my sister’s high school graduation. That evening I was having some contractions but since I was so used to having Braxton Hicks and prodromal labour, I did what every piece of advice says, “ignore them until you can’t ignore them anymore.” I ignored them so well that I didn’t even tell anyone about them because if one more person asked me, “Anything?!”, I was going to loooooooooose it. (Side note: just don’t ask… if there’s no baby, she doesn’t want to talk about it). I went to bed at 10:30 and fell right asleep… professional false labour contraction ignorer that I was (but also proof that these were not intense contractions and that I was not being a hero about it. You definitely can’t sleep through real contractions!)
At 12:30 AM I woke up with a strong contraction and felt that my water had broken. I crept out of the bedroom, thinking that I would labour alone for awhile and get some things ready before waking Brendan up. On the way to the bathroom I had an intense, breathe through the pain contraction, and I knew that things were happening quickly. I timed a couple contractions and they were two minutes apart and lasting for one minute. I woke Brendan up for his support and we timed my contractions for another 10 minutes before deciding that we had better call the midwife. At 12:45, she was on the way to the house.
I laboured through these intense contractions for the next little while and struggled with just how intense they were. There was no real build up (other than the false labour I had been having for a week), so it felt very difficult to manage the intensity. On the other hand, I also wondered if I was seriously wimping out because labour had literally just started and I imagined I must have hours to go. Wrong again!
Around 1:00, I had two back to back, super intense contractions and thought I was going to puke. I ran into the bathroom and kneeling in front of the toilet, realized that what I thought was the urge to puke was actually the urge to push. Except that it wasn’t so much an “urge” but more that my whole body was just doing it and there was nothing that I could do about it. Kneeling on the bathroom floor, I could feel her head… and there was no midwife around. I stayed kneeling there for a couple minutes, trying to stay as calm as one can when they think their husband will be catching their baby. I decided I did not want her to be born on the bathroom floor so I started crawling (yes, crawling… because standing was not an option) to the living room. I tried not to allow my body to push, but there was literally no stopping what was happening. It was a completely different feeling than I had experienced in my first labour. Brendan ran around like a crazy (but surprisingly calm) person getting things set-up, calling the midwife and my mom, comforting me, and calming down Eli who had woken up.
Brendan was in full on catching position when the midwives finally busted through the front door. And, four short minutes later, our sweet Adelaide Joy Melanson was born! She was perfect… screaming mad about her fast entrance to the world, but perfect! Just moments later, Brendan went and got Eli and he got to meet his brand new baby sister. There are no words to describe the feeling of sitting on my living room floor holding this little miracle, kissing my toddler, and marvelling at what had just happened in the last hour.
If Addie’s labour says anything about her personality, I am sure we will have our hands full with this one!