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Baby Charlie

Charles’ Gentle Birth
(as recorded by Doula Meredith)

“I did it! I fu?&ing did it! I birthed a very healthy 8 lb 15 oz 23 inch baby naturally
without so much as a Tylenol. Some how it was way less painful than my
nightmare hospital birth will all the painkillers I could ask for along with an
epidural!” Those words were your mom’s Facebook status on the day you were
born. Yes, your mom gave you a beautiful, healthy, gentle birth into this world.
What a great way to start off your life. I had the great honour of being your mom’s
doula at your birth and I’d like to share with you the story of your special day.

Your mom texted me throughout the evening of Thursday, May 2 to let me know
that she was having contractions and they were getting closer together. Finally,
shortly before 10:00pm, your dad texted to say it would be good time for me to
come. So, I headed to the Sawridge Hotel on the south side of Edmonton and
arrived around 11:00pm. When I got to the room, your mom was leaning forward
on the couch, having a contraction, breathing well, coping well, and labouring
like a champion. In between contractions, she asked me how to get her water
to break. For the next half hour or so, we tried some squatting and lunges, with
your dad helping your mom into certain positions, to try and get the water to
break. Heidi, your midwife, did an exam at about 11:45 (5-6 cm dilated).

Your mom took a bathroom break, then came back to the “living room” of the
hotel room to report that her water still hadn’t broken. She sat on her knees for
awhile, rocking from side to side, and listening to her hynobabies meditations.
At 12:37, she decided it was time to try the birthing pool. At 12:45, your
mom declared, “That’s about all I can take of that lady,” and we switched the
hypnobabies meditations for some relaxing classical music instead.

In the pool, Mom tried hard to nap between contractions, sometimes managing
to nod off. Over the next little while your mom commented a few times that
she would really like some morphine. But Heidi commented that morphine
doesn’t really help—only makes it hard for babies to breathe. And so, you mom
patiently, calmly, laboured on. At 1:15, your mom got out of the pool for another
bathroom break. By 1:50, your mom came back out and laid on the couch in the
“living room” for awhile. By this point, it was obvious that she was having very
strong, productive contractions. She was concentrating hard and I sat next to her
and held her hand as she started to grunt a bit with each one. Mom commented
that this was way harder than she thought it would be. Heidi reassured her that
she was progressing. At 2:17, your mom got back into the pool again and,
once again tried hard to rest between contractions. Heidi helped out by applying
strong pressure to her back.

At 3:55, your mom headed back to the bathroom and asked Heidi if she could
break her water, since she’d been labouring for quite awhile without it breaking.

At that point, Heidi did a vaginal exam and discovered your mom was still 6 cm
dilated, but reassured her that now that her water had broken things could move
quickly. She also found out you were LOT (meaning your face was towards
your Mom’s right), so she suggested some ways for your mom to move her legs
during contractions to get you into just the right position for birth. Around 4:30,
Mom got back into the pool and before we knew it, she was pushing, or rather
breathing, you out. As she pushed, Heidi applied pressure to her sacrum, I
applied pressure to her sides, and your dad held both her hands. Talk about a
birth team! At one point, Heidi and I could see about a quarter-sized circle of
your head. You mom declared, “I want a cesarean!” And Heidi gently replied,
“And I want a baby in the pool.” Soon after, very gently, very controlled, very
slowly, Mom eased you down the birth canal until at 5:15 am on May 3, you were
BORN! You were wrapped up in your umbilical cord in three places, around your
waist, around your arm and around your neck. You were a whitish-pinkish colour
and all wrinkly. Heidi lovingly unwrapped you and brought you up to the surface
where you took your first breaths and were welcomed into Mom’s arms.

The first words you mom said to you were, “You’re so ugly! I love you anyway…”
You were completely covered in a thick layer of vernix. Your dad started to tear
up and we all sat and enjoyed the glowing first moments of your life.

At 5:26, your mom birthed your placenta, and continued to cuddle you for quite
awhile. Eventually, you were handed off to Daddy, so Mom could get out of the
pool, have a shower, and get tucked into bed. You had a good cuddle with your
dad, who eventually fell asleep holding you in his arms. Around 6:30am, Mom
took you back to give you your first milk and you had a good, long feed.

After your milk and a rest, Heidi measured and weighed you. You were a very
healthy 8lbs 15 oz, 23 inches long, with a 37.5 cm head.

Welcome to the world, young Charles!