My Giving Birth Story

2:11 PM

To quickly give some background, I enjoyed a very healthy pregnancy - always wonderful & on track to my midwife's standards. I was given a due date of August 8th but was also told things were progressing nicely. Last night (Thursday) my friend Emily came over and we made Diablo Chocolate Cookies & watched Jersey Shore. No pains, no problems.

At 2am I woke up to contractions. I wanted to try and sleep through them but laying back wasn't comfortable & I couldn't make myself sleep sitting up. I watched a bit of HGTV and timed my contractions once in a while. At 5 or 6am they were feeling stronger and I decided it was time to make a call. My primary midwife, Hayley, was off call. (I felt my heart sink, in between minute-long, decently painful contractions.) Her partner, Brittany, was also off call. I was happy to hear Kathi, another midwife I'd met with twice, was working but when we talked she said she actually wasn't on call, she was teaching a class in the morning. So I tried the last midwife I knew, Andrea, and low-and-behold she was already at a birth. Not wanting to get discouraged I phoned someone else from the practice - Shawn.

Shawn drove to our house and examined me. She said I was progressing great but was way too friendly & happy to be in active labour. Get some rest and call again when you're grumpy, was her advice. She gave me Gravol and Calvin ran me a tub and I fell asleep (sort of) not long after.

When I woke up I was feeling really nauseous and thought it might be from 'working so hard' without eating so I had Cal bring me some fruit. Maybe 4 slices of strawberry later my water broke in a huge gush and I needed to run to the washroom. Calvin and I had a funny moment where I was trying to hand him the glass bowl of fruit, in panic, and he wasn't understanding what was going on. I think I yelled "WATER BREAK TAKE FRUIT CALL MIDWIFE" and that seemed to work. Calvin told her I was a bit grumpier now and they decided it was time to go to the hospital.

We checked into OB triage at Victoria Hospital at 10:25am, me in a wheelchair with my eyes closed and my total zen going, and Calvin already arguing with the nurse because she was so preoccupied with what kind of after-care room we could afford. (Not only did his TD Canada Trust benefits cover the cost, we didn't even want one...) They got me into a birthing room and I was 2cm dilated. I think until this point I hadn't really made any sounds, any pain I felt I just closed my eyes and breathed through it (Thank you Practice Loft yoga - you saved me!) Shawn asked if I wanted the tub filled and I started by saying no but then asked if it would decrease my pain and when she said yes I agreed. It would take about 20 min to fill.

I hopped in the tub and laboured for a while, with the constant attention of Shawn, Calvin, my mom, Calvin's mom Jody and my sisters. They'd each come visit me in the tub room and try to get my mind off the intensity of the contractions. This is around the time I started feeling the "I'm going to give up soon" feeling. I got a little noisier (not bad really, I was concerned about my family being sad to see me in pain, which is funny). At one point I just closed my eyes and said "Sarah, I need you to talk about where you're going to live in Toronto for a really long time." and she did. Another time I turned the jets on in the tub and then started a heavy contraction and realized the jets were driving me nuts. I scattered to attempt to turn them off but probably pushed every button except off. Angela and I thought this was pretty funny.

After being in the tub for 15 min or so I told Shawn I felt like I needed to push. She sort of laughed because at last check I was 2cm and you typically dilate 1/2 to 1 cm per hour, so the baby was expected around 8pm. It was maybe 11:30. She flipped me around in the tub and checked me - 9 centimeters. Everyone in the room was floored. She pulled me out of the tub and excused everyone from the room except Calvin.

Just in the nick of time Hayley dashed in the door like a hero and said "Sorry I'm late, let's have a baby!" They laid me on the bed and got my legs up. I didn't need any invitation I just started pushing. Calvin was right beside me the whole time being such an amazing support. On the 3rd push she said, "We can see his head." And so the 4th push was the great effort of my life. I used every ounce of energy the whole world had to offer and felt my little son slip out of me. It was 11:50am - only an hour and a half from when we arrived. Hayley brought him right to my chest and Calvin and I felt the sum of a life's joy in one moment. We both were checked out (everything's great) and I showered up. (*Update: I forgot to mention that at this time Oliver decided to pee all over Hayley - another good laugh.) Spent some time with family taking photos and being cute and then we headed home. I was on the couch and eating more Diablo Chocolate cookies by 3:20pm. No intervention, no pain relief, pure ecstasy!

So that's the story of 6lb 12oz Oliver Wolfe, born on August 5th.

The name Oliver comes from the olive tree which is a significant symbol of hope in the Bible. It is a part of famous chef, Jamie Oliver's name, and we both love cooking! Wolfe is a shortened version of another of our favourite names - Wolfgang - which is a popular first name in my heritage and is included in both Mozart & Wolfgang Puck's names. So again, a chef, and also music which is a great love of ours.

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3 comments

  1. Amy, I am truly proud of you and I love the way you have written your experience! Bless you and Calvin and enjoy this amazing gift from above!! Love the name, one of my kids carries the same as a middle name!

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  2. Wonderful to read from your perspective Amy, it was much different from our end. Getting that initial phone call at 4am this morning, and then trying to fall asleep was almost impossible, we were so worried. But I'm so glad everything worked out and in such a short time at the hospital. Jeff & I will be talking about fastening Oliver's car seat in your car earlier today for years to come, but we all know he'll be safe. All the best, Grandpa Paul.

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  3. Ah Amy...so happy for you and Calvin. Your beautiful story made me cry. I know what it's like to feel all the emotions you described and it all came flooding back to me. We have a little something for you so when you are feeling up to a visitor...let me know. Much love to all three of you. Yay...you're a mummy! :) xoxo

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