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Baby Xander

In November 2009, I was diagnosed with Leukemia. During chemotherapy the issues of infertility caused by chemo were brought up. I began seeing a fertility specialist to see if we could harvest eggs to freeze embryos so that when the day came that my husband I wanted to start a family, we could. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible, as my body was not reacting to the fertility drugs I was taking. We were devastated but still held onto hope. I was blessed to be in remission in April 2010 and we carried on with life, readjusting to a new life after cancer. Talk of babies came up once in a while, but we lived life to its fullest and just felt blessed to be cancer-free. Fast forward a year and we began to think more about trying to conceive. We went back to our fertility doctor and had my blood work checked. At this point it was unknown whether or not I could conceive, so we tried for 6 months. After no success we went back to the doctor and he did more tests and ultrasounds and we were told the worst – I would never be able to have my own babies. He told me a 5% chance and that was being generous. He suggested looking at adoption and egg donors. I was absolutely heartbroken but we had faith in God that He would give us children. We prayed and focused on scripture that promised fertility and a family. In December 2011, I told the doctor I wanted to try some treatments in the new year to challenge that 5%....well to my amazement the only treatment that we needed was faith. Mid-January I found out we were expecting – All natural conception! My fertility doctor was speechless. He told us it was a miracle because science told him it was not possible.

So I went on to have a pretty good pregnancy – I was happy to experience all the normal pregnancy symptoms. By 37 weeks I was beginning to feel very uncomfortable, so much that it was hard to walk or sit without feeling pain in my pelvis. Along with Braxton hicks, I was so confused whether or not I was having early labour signs. Heidi checked me and I was 2cm dilated and about 50% effaced. I thought for sure I was going early (also hoped for it too!) Another week went by and I started acupuncture for induction, as well, Heidi gave me some lemon verbena to try and see if it would kick-start labour. Nothing. Another week went on and I was in agony with the pelvic pain. So Heidi suggested going to the chiropractor for an adjustment. Wow, did that ever make a difference. I felt so good, that I began to stop thinking about labour and was able to relax a bit more. The following week I woke up to a wet gush…my water broke. All day, I waited to go into labour and NOTHING. So that night I saw Heidi again to check me. I was 4cm and almost fully effaced. My water was still intact and it was a top leak so it good news. Heidi sent me home with lemon verbena again and after 3 hours of taking it (3:30am, Sun. Sept 23rd) I went into labour. It started with a few mild contractions within 10 min and immediately intensified into full labour within a half hour. My wonderful friend/doula, Cynthia, came immediately and began helping me through contractions in the bathtub. My husband was filling the birth tub in our living room and getting everything ready for Heidi to come. Once it was ready, I happily moved from the hard tub to the warm cushy birth tub. It was one of the best feelings. I was managing the contractions so well with the warm water. My contractions were so close together I could barely get a break from the pain. I was beginning to feel myself going crazy and I was losing focus. My body started telling me to push when Heidi checked me again. I was fully dilated and then my worst fear happened. Baby was bum first (breech). Heidi reacted very quickly and calmly. She called in another midwife (Noreen) who was experienced with breech babies as well as her back up, Tara. Everyone worked so well together and immediately called the hospital to give them a heads up I was coming. Noreen was a God-send. She got me refocused on my breathing and I was beginning to manage my pain again. I was even able to sleep between contractions. I got out of the tub and began controlling my pain on land which was much more difficult. By that time I was ready to transfer to the hospital. When we got there the doctor met us and unfortunately I wasn’t even given a chance to voice my own wishes. It was c-section and I had no other option. From all the time I had spent in hospital with cancer treatments, I had a lot of anxiety about being there. I so badly wanted my home birth, that I was devastated by the outcome. I finally gave in and felt that I had to go with the doctor’s recommendation in order to welcome my boy safely.

At 2:24pm on September 23rd, my husband and I welcomed our son, Xander Elijah to the world at 9lbs 3oz. He was the most beautiful boy I could have ever asked for. He was my little miracle that I prayed so much for. I was heart broken about the c-section but when I was finally able to hold him I knew I was in love for the second time. The little boy that grew inside me was finally here. He was gorgeous and healthy and brought me tears of joy. I was so thankful for everyone’s hard work. Heidi and her team were absolutely amazing and my experience with her was unforgettable from prenatal care all the way through my labour at home. I wish so much that I could have finished what I started and pushed him out on my own, but I have no regrets. Even though the circumstances didn’t allow me to finish, I am still so proud of myself for enduring the pain of labor and experiencing all that came along with it. Xander is the most beautiful gift my husband and I could have ever prayed for. We love him so much!