Soaked My Pants

Zélica Faye Martin-LeBlanc (Baby #3)
*See Water Broke - Meconium (Baby #1) &  (Baby #2)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017: One week before your due date! I took the boys to the
zoo. That night, I had low abdominal cramping and felt nauseous. Something
definitely shifted! All the following week these same symptoms remained.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017: After my acupuncture appointment in the morning, my
mucous plug released in small amounts throughout the afternoon and evening.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017: Your due date! I went to the chiropractor with the boys
in the morning, dropped them off at the day home, and then went to the dentist to
pick up some new toothpaste for the boys. It was raining pretty hard while I was
driving around, and the radio station was announcing there were 100 km/hr winds
headed to Edmonton from British Columbia. I thought, “Papa better be careful
biking home in the rain with those winds!”

I went home and proceeded to clean up the house, did the dishes in the kitchen,
vacuumed and dusted the basement, and tidied up the boys’ playroom. I then had
the urge to burn the sage that Joni had left for us, to cleanse the house, but thought,
“I should wait until I’m in labour.” Little did I know that I was in labour!

I then tried to use the internet but the connection was poor at the kitchen table, so I
moved to our bedroom and was sitting cross-legged on our bed, eating chocolate-
covered almonds (yum!), having the same lower abdominal cramping, when I felt
my water break and my underwear start to get warm! I thought, “Eek! My water
broke! Here we go!” And I tiptoed awkwardly to the bathroom, through the
cramping, trying not to let the water get onto our bed, carpet, or hardwood in the
hallway. It was approximately 11:45am.

I made it to the bathroom and just stood there in shock, letting the water completely
soak my pants. I also had the urge to pee, so I let it all go! I stood there watching the
fluids puddle around my feet. I thought, “Okay, here we go!” and “Now what?!” and
“Whoo hoo! The fluid is clear!” I took my pants off, grabbed some towels out of the
closet and soaked up the puddle, put a towel between my legs, sat on the toilet to let
more fluid release, then when I thought it was all done, I stood up and watched even
more fluid release on the towel on the floor! I put a towel between my legs and went
to the kitchen to grab the telephone and the birthing phone numbers off the fridge
(Heidi our midwife, Mitzi our doula, and Vannessa our birth photographer). I went
back to the bathroom and started making phone calls.

Papa was the first one I called (obviously)! He was in the middle of teaching his
spring class, but he picked up the phone and took the call in the hallway. Whew!
What a relief. I told him my water broke and that I was hanging out in the bathroom
and was about to start calling Heidi and everyone else. I told him I was having the
same cramping I was having all week, but that it didn’t feel like full-blown
contractions like when I was in labour with Léo. I told him I would call him back
after talking to Heidi. Papa went back into the classroom and told his class that I just
called and my water broke and he might have to leave. All the students were super
excited for us!

Then I called Heidi, Mitzi, and Vannessa and told them the same thing – my water
broke, I was hanging out in the bathroom, and I had cramping but it didn’t feel like
full-blown contractions. They all said, “okay” and “let me know when you want me
to come over!” I think Heidi’s first response was “exciting!” or “fun!”  She also
thought that contractions should start within the hour. After getting off the phone
with all of them, I called Papa back and asked him to come home (and to be careful
of the rain and winds!). Papa arranged for the students to finish their day with
another teacher, sped-walked in the rain to his office, got dressed for the bike ride
home, and biked pretty fast through the windy and rainy storm!

By this point, the cramping was happening frequently, and I had to breathe through
them. I was starting to get a bit panicky, wondering whether the cramping was
actually contractions – I was home by myself! I felt like I needed to do something
productive, so I decided to start a bath, unlock the doors, and get some snacks. I
tiptoed to the front and back doors with a towel between my legs, then back to the
kitchen and grabbed a cucumber, yogurt, and gingerale, then back to my safe place –
the bathroom. 

The phone rang and it was Heidi. She was driving when I had called her the first
time so she called back to check in again and see how things were going. While
talking to her, the cramping was getting more intense and I really had to focus and
breathe through the cramping. It was affecting my ability to talk! I was starting to
realize that these were actually contractions! Heidi realized this and said, “Okay, I’m
coming over now!” It was reassuring to hear her say that, and confirmation to me
that this was actually happening! I got on my hands and knees in the tub and called
everyone back to tell them that Heidi was on her way and they should come as well.

Papa was the first one to arrive, shortly before 1:00pm. He was completely soaked
from the bike ride! He came to check on me in the bathroom, said hi, and I think I
just looked at him and smiled between breathing through the contractions. Then he
went downstairs to take off all his wet clothes. At this point, I was in the tub and
closing my eyes through each contraction. Heidi arrived shortly after Papa. At one
point I heard a camera click, opened my eyes and saw Vannessa had arrived. “Oh,
you’re here!” I said. I was thankful that my support team was showing up and I
wouldn’t be doing this alone! Shortly after that, Mitzi arrived and started setting up
the birth pool in the living room.

Speaking of the birth pool set up, that was a bit of an ordeal! We had renovated our
main floor two years ago, so the hose to fill up the birth pool would not hook up to
any of the faucets on the main floor. Papa and Mitzi brainstormed and figured that
they could hook up the hose to the washing machine faucets downstairs. Mitzi got a
second hose from her van to hook up to the first hose, so it was long enough to reach
the basement. Papa put the two hoses together and connected it to the hot water
faucet for the washing machine (instead of hooking it up to both faucets with the Y
hose!). Papa turned the water on and heard Mitzi yelling, “It’s too much hot water!”
from upstairs. Then he started to hear a strange hissing and spraying noise. He
started to go upstairs when he saw the hose spraying everywhere in the stairwell,
all over the walls and carpet! So he went back down to get a towel and tried to
tighten the connection between the two hoses with the towel, but the water was
burning hot! Mitzi came to see Papa saying “It’s still too hot” and Papa replied, “I’m
trying to fix a leak here!” Mitzi saw what was happening and said, “Maybe it’s
missing a washer. I have extra washers in my car.” Papa went back downstairs to
shut off the water. Then went back to the stairwell and unscrewed the hoses to
check for a washer and in doing so, all the hot water that was in the first hose
upstairs came out of the hose as he opened the connection, burning his hands yet
again! Needless to say there were a few choice words expressed! Papa confirmed
there was no washer and Mitzi grabbed one from her van. They hooked up the two
hoses again with the washer, hooked up the Y hose to both the hot and cold faucets,
and gave it a second try. Success! Second time’s a charm! 

Meanwhile, in the bathroom, time slowed down for me. I was on my hands and
knees in the tub for quite a while, then I laid down on my side in the tub, switching
sides every now and then. I felt like I was managing the contractions, but they were
increasing to the point where I was feeling a bit pushy, and I was resisting it a bit. At
one point, I thought I might be having the baby in the tub! During this time, I
remember having a nice cold cloth on my face – I think both Papa and Heidi were
taking turns wiping my face. The ice cold water was also lovely! I remember holding
onto the side of the tub while on my hands and knees, and squeezing Heidi’s hand
while on my side. I also remember pushing by hand against the cool tiled wall when
laying on my side.

After at least an hour, maybe more, everyone encouraged me to get out of the tub
and move into the living room to get into the birth pool. The thought of moving did
not interest me at all! It was definitely a team effort to convince me to get out! I had
my arms around Papa’s neck, and I think it was Heidi who was physically lifting my
legs out of the tub, one at a time. I then waddled to the living room while hanging off
Papa.

The birth pool felt nice and warm, and it was great to have some more room to move
around. I was on my hands and knees for a while, but would flip back and forth from
my hands and knees to my back. When on my back, I remember holding and
massaging my lower back, and massaging my lower abdomen where I was feeling
the cramping, trying to massage you down. At one point, the time came where I
had no choice but to start pushing during the contractions. I thought, “Oh man! Here
we go!” This is the part of the labour where I had the realization and recollection
about how intense the pushing is, how much pressure there is, and just how hard it
is! It is definitely mind over matter. I just had to let my body do what it was meant to
do and trust that you would come out! And I sure was vocal about it! I remember
thinking to myself, “Man, I’m loud!” My vocalizations went from low open-mouthed
“ahhhhhh,” to high-pitched “ahhhhh,” to whimpery/exhausted/crying type noises, to
grunting/yelling pushy noises, to yelling “Heidi, get it out!” 

After pushing for a while and feeling overwhelmed, Heidi said, “Oh, your baby has
hair!” I instantly thought, “Oh my goodness! You can see the baby’s head! Awesome!
We are close!” Heidi’s comment totally changed my frame of mind and helped me
bear down to push in a more focused way. You were almost here! Papa had been at
my head, giving me water and holding my shoulders. At this point, Papa and Mitzi
switched positions so that Papa could catch you! This was the first time that this
opportunity arose for Papa (with the boys’ births, I was hanging onto Papa with a
death grip, so there was no way for him to help catch them). This time, I had turned
onto my back and was supporting myself with my hands, so Papa was free to catch
you! I first felt your head emerging and it felt like you weren’t quite out, so with
another push, I felt your chin pop out! It had been stuck! Then with another couple
pushes your entire body came out! What a relief! I instantly opened my eyes and
reached down for you. Papa caught you and was starting to bring you up to me. Papa
was amazed at how soft, slippery, and warm you were! He had never felt any of our
previous babies like this before! He did not rush to take you out of the water, as he
recalls seeing other birth videos where the babies actually swim in the water for a
while after being born. He recalls Heidi giving him a look that said, “Is he going to do
it? Is he actually going to bring the baby up?” (In reality, instead of spending one
second in the water, you were probably in the water for a few seconds.) At that
point, I reached down into the water to grab you as well, just as Papa was bringing
you up. You felt so soft, warm, and squishy to me! Together, both Papa and I put you
onto my chest. You were finally here! I gave you the biggest cuddle and kiss, and
couldn’t stop rubbing your head, face, and body, feeling your soft, warm, slippery
skin. I was so happy and so relieved to finally see you! You were perfect! Your cute
little body, your face, your ears, your back, and your little bum. You started
breathing after a few seconds, coughing out some mucous, and then eventually
crying. It was wonderful to hear your voice! We continued to cuddle and kiss you,
talking to you, and welcoming you to this world!

While we were talking to you, I think I said “he” in one of my sentences and someone
asked whether we had checked to see if it was a boy or a girl. I had just assumed you
were a boy! I lifted your legs to see and to my surprise you were a girl! I couldn’t
believe it!!! A girl!?!? I looked around at everyone in front of me, showing my
surprise, and looked back at Papa, who also shared the same surprise! A girl!?
Imagine that!? We just couldn’t believe it. We kept saying, “A girl?! Really?! What?!”
I think we ended up checking two or three more times! Ha! You really surprised
us! What a magical addition you are to our family!

After birthing the placenta, cutting your cord, and about a half hour of holding you in
the birth pool, I gave you to Papa for some skin-to-skin bonding time. Just at that
moment, Mémère Francine called on FaceTime (a video function on Papa’s phone)
and saw Papa holding you on his chest in a blanket. Well, was she ever shocked! She
just kept saying “Oh my God! No! Robert! Viens voir!” She then left the phone to go
get Pépère Robert to come meet you. Everyone was so excited to see you!

I got out of the birth tub and Heidi helped me to the bathroom so I could have a
shower. The warm water was amazing! I wanted to stand in there all night! But I
listened to Heidi who recommended keeping it short (so as not to pass out!), got into
some warm clothes and into our bed. Papa eventually brought you back to me and
we tried nursing. You licked my nipples a bit but didn’t latch right away. I hand-
expressed some colostrum for you and you really liked it, sticking your tongue out
and licking your lips. 

Heidi eventually weighed and measured you, and checked you out to make sure
everything was okay. When I first held you in the birth pool, I had commented that
you seemed small (smaller than your brothers), but everyone else thought you
would be at least 9 lbs. Turned out I was right! You ended up weighing 8 lbs 3 oz,
smaller than everyone thought (and smaller than your brothers)! And you were 20.5
inches long.

Mononcle Eric picked up your brothers from the day home and brought them home
just before 6:00pm. Louis and Léo came to the bedroom door very cautiously and
peered in to see us cuddled on the bed. I started to tear up at the sight of them. They
came onto the bed and checked you out, commenting on all your small features.
Louis was very proud of the fact that he had guessed you would be a girl! Léo
mentioned how he thought you would be a boy (as did I) and that it was a great
surprise! It was so beautiful to see them interact with you, hold you, kiss you, and
then sing you happy birthday. Xoxo

Welcome to the world Zélica Faye Martin-LeBlanc, our little butterfly fairy. Xoxo You
have completed our family and we couldn’t be happier! You are already loved
beyond words. You are such a beautiful little creature and soul. We can’t wait to get
to know you better and see what the future has in store for us all! On t’aime
beaucoup! We love you so much! Xoxo