When I was pregnant I was super addicted to reading birth stories and so fascinated by all of the different experiences (and so hopeful that I would have one of the good ones). So, I have decided to share Eli’s birth story in case you’re into reading that kind of thing, and if not, I won’t be offended if you skip this one…
Like most women at the end of the long last month of pregnancy, I was seriously ready to meet my baby and tried everything to get things moving along (except castor oil, that sounds gross). I looked like an idiot walking half on the sidewalk half on the road because I read somewhere that it helped. I ate all the spicy foods, went up and down the stairs and bounced like crazy on the exercise ball. But, my babe was staying put. Looking back at this time, I should have just taken all the naps in preparation since I’m pretty sure nothing actually worked.
On the evening of October 10th (his due date) I started feeling some cramps but, I didn’t over think it and just went to bed. When I woke up to pee twelve million times that night I still felt slightly crampy, but was able to fall back asleep each time and continued to try to ignore it and not get my hopes up. I woke up at 6:30 to pee (yet again) and when I stood out of bed an unmistakable gush of water soaked my pants! My water broke and it was baby day!
A little while later, I called the midwife to tell her that my water had broken. Being GBS negative, there was no need to be on antibiotics so she told me to stay home and call her back when contractions were 5 minutes apart. I was so excited that it was finally time but as much as possible tried to just go on with the morning as usual, knowing that it would likely be a long time. Brendan and I worked on a puzzle because we’re old people like that.
The contractions felt like strong cramps and when they were 5 minutes apart around 1:00, I called the midwife back. She talked to me for a while, and said that she would come check on me after doing a couple more home visits. Well, she got to the house around 3:00 and told me that I was still in early labour. She let me know that it would likely still be awhile and that even though my contractions were technically 5 minutes apart, they weren’t strong enough to be in active labour. What did I know? I hadn’t been in labour before!
Brendan and I decided to watch a movie so we rented Tarzan on iTunes. About halfway through the movie I remember having to close my eyes and concentrate through contractions as they became more intense. After this point time and everything is a bit of a blur. Things definitely got more intense including some vomiting and shaking in the early evening. We were timing contractions and apparently not doing a very good job because all of a sudden (okay, not really all of a sudden) they were only 2 minutes apart. We called the midwife (this must have been around 10 or 11) and she said to time them for another 30 minutes to make sure. By the end of that 30 minutes, I was getting a little panicked because they stayed between 1 and a half and 2 minutes apart. This was the only point in labour where I seriously wondered if I could keep going. I had a brief freakout about how I wanted drugs and then I had the overwhelming desire to push. With the midwife on her way, I remember leaning over our bay window in the living room, trying not to push and praying that she would get here and that I wouldn’t have a baby on the living room floor! Our rookie mistake was definitely waiting so long to call her back but I was determined not to cry wolf a second time since she had already been to see me when I was only in early labour!
The midwife arrived around 11:30. She asked right away if I wanted to have the baby AT HOME since I was ready to push… I freaked out and all I could think of were my nice sheets getting ruined (#priorities). The plan had been to go to South Health Campus but since it’s about 20 minutes away, we decided to head to Rockyview Hospital instead since it’s about 2 minutes from our house.
When we got there, everything was really calm and while the midwives were getting settled and everything ready, they had me sit on the toilet and practice pushing. I was not super thrilled about this because a) it was weird b) it was kind of gross and c) I didn’t want my baby to land in the toilet. Sooo, I just hung out there and didn’t try very hard to push. Finally, I moved to the bed and actually tried since the falling into the toilet danger had passed…
I pushed for about 45 minutes and most of the time just made sure that Brendan was keeping his vision in the upper quadrant of my body. I was irrationally concerned about this (well, actually I watched a labour video when I was pregnant and you can’t un-see the miracle of birth… so really I was just trying to save him). I remember having my eyes closed and pushing, and then yelling, “Stop looking! He’s looking isn’t he?!?” My midwives laughed at me and assured me he was not looking (while probably thinking I was insane).
Our beautiful Eli James Melanson was born at 1:41 AM on October 12, 2016 weighing 8 pounds 12 oz. We were instantly in love and in awe at our tiny little miracle! We went home that same morning at 4:00 which was the most surreal feeling in the world. It felt like we had just got to the hospital and suddenly we were leaving with a baby. I remember thinking, “they’re just going to let us take him home??” But we did, and it was great.
All throughout my pregnancy I had been nervous about the whole labour and delivery part. We prayed a lot for a “supernatural birth” in the last few weeks and had some friends pray for us as well. I really think that God delivered! Everything went so smoothly… we were at total peace being at home together all day (Brendan was an amazing labour supporter), I was able to deliver naturally with no medication, Eli was born completely healthy and I didn’t even need stitches! I really can’t imagine it going much better! We also felt so blessed to have a midwife. I was accepted into midwifery care later on in my pregnancy and it was so amazing! They were so supportive throughout it all… including my millions of postpartum questions (I was with Aurora Midwifery in Calgary… if you’re lucky enough to get in, I can’t recommend it enough).
If you made it to the end of this, you’re a champ. xo