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Trying Everything

When my husband Kevin and I found out that I was pregnant, we were overwhelmed
as it was a complete surprise. However after discussing at length my desire to have a
natural labour and a possible water birth with a midwife, we started the process to find
an available one. Happily within a few days, Heidi had responded to our intake form, and
was indeed available! We were thrilled and looked forward to meeting her and having the
pregnancy under her care.

The pregnancy itself was uneventful for the most part. Besides some mild morning
sickness in the first few months, things progressed great, and I had lots of energy
throughout the whole 9 months.

As our due date approached, the anxiousness grew, and the excitement started to build.
Then the due date came and went, and so did another 2 + weeks!

8 days after my “due date” we decided to try a membrane sweep as well as evening
primrose oil to try to progress things in the morning, and then once again later that
afternoon. That night I had mild cramping, but nothing very serious. The next morning I
tried the lemon verbena cocktail that Heidi suggested I take, and I was sure it was going
to go and that we would meet our little bundle soon. However after another 2 days of
waiting there was still no sign of baby coming, and the frustration started to build. Heidi
was incredibly supportive, staying in contact every day, giving suggestions on how to
progress the process. 4 days later we tried another membrane sweep and another lemon
verbena cocktail, and once again nothing happened. It was time to start talking about
other forms of induction, and our patience was thinning! To top things off we knew Heidi
was going to be away that upcoming weekend, and knew there was now a good chance
of us having to use another midwife for delivery, something Kevin and I never thought
would have happened since we never thought we’d be 15 days ‘late’

We decided to consult an OB/GYN to get Cervadil inserted to start labour, and after 3
more days of waiting for the paperwork to go through, and the hospital to call we were
finally on our way to the Sturgeon hospital to have our little baby! (Note : our original
delivery hospital was the Royal Alex, however we were open to delivering anywhere that
could get us in by this point)

With our bags packs, our birthing pool in tow we got to the hospital to be told that we’d
have to wait for a while until they had another room available. So another 2 hours of
waiting, pacing and hearing other babies join the world we finally were told that we could
go into our labour room. They started by hooking me up to the monitoring machine to
check baby’s heartbeat, and when they determined it was slightly lower than they would
like, I requested they call Heidi immediately to consult her. Heidi, although was leaving
out of town hours later came to St. Albert, checked all the paperwork and calmed all our
nerves tremendously by explaining how the machine worked, talked about our delivering
midwife (Noreen Walker) and assured me that everything was just fine, and that I would
be able to hopefully go home to labour once the induction process was started. At 3:45
the Cervidil was inserted, and soon after we had a sad goodbye to Heidi for the weekend,
and we laid back and braced ourselves for the labour.

Once the induction kicked in however I was not going anywhere. Contractions came on
relatively quickly and fast, and the nurses on call strongly suggested I stay. My sister
who was also there with my husband for support called Noreen to give her an update, and
Noreen made her way to the hospital about an hour later. I loved her right away, as she
cheerily entered our room saying “well we have about 2 minutes to become best friends!
Let’s do this!”

My biggest concern at this point was how tired I was. The contractions were manageable,
but I was beginning to worry that my stamina might run out should the labour go well
into the night. Noreen was absolutely amazing at calming me, having me focus on the
current contraction, and talking me through each step. I also started to surrender to my
body, I became overwhelmingly empowered by how my body was naturally starting to let
the endorphins and adrenaline take me through this labour. After another hour, Noreen
checked me to see if I was in the position to break my water to speed things along, and
although I was skeptical of this, as soon as she checked, my water broke without her
having to do anything, and immediately the contractions got harder and faster. After
about another hour, Noreen suggested that I get up to go the bathroom, and that I stand
in the shower. Because it was suggested that I stay on the monitoring machine, setting up
my birth pool at this point seemed to become a distant idea.

As soon as I got in the shower, my body took over and I almost started to immediately
feel intense pressure. I requested laughing gas to help me get through contractions.
Noreen complied, and went to get the tank. By the time she got back however, I said
that I had to push, and she asked me to get back to the bed to check me. After an intense
transition to the bed during contractions, she stated that she could see the head, that
there was no time for the gas and it was time to push. I was thrilled, but also very weary,
and trying to focus on getting through the last phase. Fortunately for me, It took only 4
pushes, and I saw the most precious face in the world. My husband cut the cord, and told
me we had a perfect little girl! The time was 11:54 pm November 25, 2011. I was told
a few minutes later, that the umbilical cord had been wrapped around her head twice.
Noreen in her good humour and loving way told us she had come out gift wrapped! That
was the moment I knew that although she was quite the wait to meet, and that I didn’t
have the water birth I had been so prepared to try, that at the end of the day there was a
beautiful new human that has joined the planet, and that is truly a gift.

Seeing Heidi at our 3 day postpartum visit was fantastic. We told her everything that
had happened, and she was so thrilled for us. Having her and Noreen as part of this
experience was incredible. We couldn’t have done it without all the support that she
provided, and we feel very fortunate to have had such a wonderful team of people during
this wonderful experience.