As I approach my sons 4th birthday, and I reflect on pictures from my pregnancy and birth; the well of emotions floods. I am taken back to being 35 weeks pregnant and hearing the ob-gyn in Stratford tell me I would not be allowed to have a "trial of labour" with my midwife at the hospital. It felt as though after months of planning and praying for a VBAC- it was being taken away. "I have reviewed the files again and I feel uncomfortable with allowing you to have your trial of labour at this hospital, we can schedule your c-section right now while I'm on the phone with you and I expect you to be in for your weekly check up next week so we can discuss a plan" was what the ob-gyn said over the phone after telling me the day before in person that she would sign off on my midwife assisted VBAC. This was the doctor I had trusted less than two years before to give me sound advice and deliver my daughter but the words she was saying felt wrong after all the research I had done. "Do I have other options?” I asked through choked back tears "Well I can refer you to London but I mean your midwife wont be able to go there and they are going to say the same thing I said.” and with that I was referred to London.
I messaged my friend Jess whom had just had a water birth at home and I poured out my sadness. "Ok my doula will take you on" crazy how those words later impacted so much. Within 3 hours Kirston and I set up an appointment to meet and discussed costs. I remember her saying her price and being totally taken back with panic, we had a 20 month old, my husband was on disability and I had no extra income. How would we make it work? But I met with Kirston anyways to talk and we clicked. She had my back and believed in me. I knew I had to figure it out. I sat down and looked at my budget and I saw that it would be really tight, but I moved things around and set up a payment plan with Kirston.
I went to London at 37 weeks met my doctor and she was all for my VBAC. I met with my midwife at 38 weeks I was 2cm dilated she did a sweep and nothing.I met my doctor at 39 weeks she did a sweep and nothing again. 40 weeks another sweep and nothing. Kirston and I met again a couple times. She was knowledgable, encouraging, calming, gave me birthing tips encouraged me and supported me in making a plan. 40+3 I ate an entire pineapple, the midwife did another sweep and nothing… NOTHING. I thought I was going to be pregnant for ever. People would send me messages every day " Baby yet?!” and it was driving me nuts I messaged Kirston one of those times "IM SO F***ING DONE WITH BEING ASKED!” her response was a joke link to a big no baby yet.. 41 weeks I felt SO done- I met with my ob-gyn in London and we agreed that at 41 and 3 we would do a c-section because I felt that was best for me. I remember crying and messaging Kirston feeling like I failed but she said "Trust your body and your baby".
I went to bed and woke up at 10pm with contractions that were 10mins apart and that's how they remained until morning. I text Kirston in the morning "OMG KIRSTON ITS HOSPITAL TIME OMG OMG OMG" and we met in London. The doctor that was in took a look at me laughed and told me to go walk around and see if it sped up contractions and they would check me in 3 hours. 3 hours later, I was sure the contractions were getting stronger. Kirston walked all around the hospital with me, kept me calm, suggested some movements to help, and we went back to get checked. Half a friggin cm that was all! They sent me to labour at home and said come back in when they are 5-7mins apart. So I went home and Kirston assured me she was available if I needed her…
Hours and hours went by, I took baths, sat on my birth ball, took more baths.. ate ice cream. I was still nursing my oldest so I nursed her to sleep and went to sleep between contractions. Then they stopped just stopped for like 3 hours I had none. I messaged Kirston freaked out and she said to take a break and get some rest while I still could. So I did and after 3 hours; boom contractions. At about 10pm, they were so strong I couldn't handle the pain so I got in the tub because they were only 8-10 minutes apart and I knew it wasn’t time. I sat there for hours riding the waves as they came being one with my body and listening to me body at 1am they were 5-7mins apart I knew it was time to go in. I messaged my mom(who was going to be watching my oldest as well as was our ride to London) and they waves started coming closer. Half way to London, around 2am at this point, I realized I didn't message Kirston! So I called her and she promised to meet me there. My contractions were between 3-5 minutes apart when I made it to the birthing floor but the moment i was put in the triage room they slowed almost to a stop. I was so scared they wouldn’t let Kirston in with me and my husband yet and my fear stopped my contractions. But the nurse checked me and I was 4cm and the reassurance that my body was doing its job which helped me relax and the contractions came back. They got me into a room and let Kirston come in at 3am. With every wave, I felt like I couldn’t keep going but Kirston kept reminding me to trust my body and of my goals. I begged for an epidural by 3:30am but Kirston gently reminded me of my goals and of all my progress. I was 5cm so I asked for the gas just to take the edge off and it was working for a bit. By 5am I was begging again for an epidural, I remember looking at Kirston not the doctor and asking seeking her opinion or approval or both I don’t even know lol.. they checked me again and I was "only" 6cm do I decided yes I wanted an epidural. At this point I had been in labour "forever" and I felt I couldn't do it anymore. It took them until 6am to come in to do it and after eight failed attempts they called in a new Anesthesiologist to do it. Through this time Kirston was there talking me through every contraction as I fought to sit still while they poked at my back. The second anesthesiologist did a few more attempts and finally they got it after an hour and a bit of trying to get it into place. They then checked me and I was between 8-9cm so the while time they did the epidural I was in transition and if they had of checked me right before I would have known I didn’t need the epidural.
I rested for an hour, then it was around 7:30am and I just needed to let the last little bit of contracting happen. At 8:30am I felt the pressure and I knew it was time but they told me I had to wait "NO GET A DOCTOR IN HERE NOW OR I WILL PUSH WITHOUT THEM" I had found my voice and I was ready to advocate for myself because of the support and encouragement of my midwife and Kirston. I was taking control of my birth & I felt like I roared it… I probably said it in a tiny voice but either way I was powerful. I started to push as I felt the waves come a doctor came in and within 5 pushes he was crowning. The doctor kept telling me to push harder. I looked at Kirston and blocked out the rest of the sound and she couched me in a gentle voice and within a few pushes I was ripping the hospital gown off and pulling my naked slippery meconium covered perfect baby boy to my chest. I kissed his head and listened to him scream and Kirston reminded them I wanted delayed cord clamping. I delivered my placenta with one tiny push and they took my sweet boy to weigh him and wrap him up. I remember kirston holding him and seeing the love in her eyes for her job and her telling me she was so proud of me. My husband was in the room the whole time but Kirston was pivotal to supporting us.
Looking back at the cost and the struggle of budgeting it vs the support and service I have no regrets. We sacrificed our cable and internet for 2 months and you know what? I can honestly say I would do it again tomorrow of I found put I was pregnant again. If I had not have hired Kirston I would have agreed to the plan for a repeat c-section and I would have missed the most healing incredible experience in my life.
Huron Birth Blog
Our blog will encompass our current happenings, findings, pictures, musings, and guest blog posts on an array of parenting topics.