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Made it to 37 weeks

After months of trying to get a mid-wife, my Doula Pam Davey gave me a tip about Heidi having some availability around my due date and I was able to secure her services at 4 months into my pregnancy. I was so excited! My daughter’s birth had been the typical hospital birth complete with excruciating pain, an eventual epidural and an obstetrician to whom I had no sense of connection. I was determined to make my son’s birth a more pleasant experience!

The pregnancy went well and I got a chance to know Heidi and Pam well. My prenatal visit with Heidi at 37 weeks went great and I remember her saying, “Okay, you’ve made it to 37 weeks. You can have your baby any day now and it would be fine.” Well, Gavin must’ve heard her because my water broke at 3am that very next morning!

After waiting for my Mom to arrive at our house (to stay with our 2 year old our daughter Dahlia) we headed off to meet Heidi at the Royal Alexandra Hospital at 4:30am (she was already there attending another birth). She checked me over and I got my first dose of antibiotics for Group B Strep. We didn’t know for certain if I was positive for GBS at this point as the results were not back from the lab, but I decided to get the antibiotics as a precaution. I had tested positive at the time of my daughter’s birth.

With the use of a Hep-lock (as suggested to me by Pam as an alternative to having to drag an IV stand around through the entire labour and be confined to the hospital) I was able to get my dose of antibiotics, cap off the catheter into the vein, and then go home to let the contractions progress where I was most comfortable. I would have to come back in another 4 hours for my next dose.

After trying to get more sleep and having a light breakfast, we headed back to the hospital around 9am, got the next dose of antibiotics, and then decided to walk around (as walking & gravity supposedly help the labour progress) and check out the beautiful new Lois Hole wing of the hospital. We walked all the way to the food court and then things really started to pick up their pace! I had a great deal of difficulty walking back to the delivery room, but was determined to make it on my own! We called Pam as we slowly shuffled back (stopping now and then to breathe through a contraction and enjoy the Dairy Queen ice cream sundaes we purchased!). Pam met us at the delivery room at noon to start setting up the birthing pool.

I labored in the shower/bathtub of the room as the pool was getting filled---the warm water and darkness of the bathroom were a great comfort---as was the knowledge that two very experienced women, Pam and Heidi, were there to assist me.

The pool was ready for me at 12:20pm and only 10 minutes later I was ready to push! I was on my knees leaning over the side soft side of the inflatable birthing pool, hanging on to my husband for support, while Pam and Heidi encouraged me and reminded me to listen to my body.

After only 14 minutes of pushing, my little boy, Gavin Joseph Bright, was born at 12:48pm on April 30th, 2011. He weighed in at 6 lbs. 13 oz. and was just under 20” long. A good size considering he was 3 weeks early!! In fact, a whole 2 oz. more than his full-term sister! We were able to go home only a few hours after the birth to introduce Gavin to his big sister Dahlia and enjoy the company of family and the warmth of our own bed!

A much different experience from my first birth----this time everything went exactly how I had hoped. I was able to let my body do what it was designed for---no interventions needed---and we were able to go home right after. What an empowering and remarkable experience! I am forever grateful to Heidi and Pam for their expertise and knowledge with bringing my second child into this world.