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Pippa’s Birth Story – Baby Luc, born October 19th, 2007
Pippa shares the story of her labour and Luc’s birth, from home to the Lasalle Birthing Center. “It was the most powerful, incredible moment I have ever felt. I still feel that way. There are no words to describe the love that I felt then or now.”

Yogaspace - Pregnancy Yoga - Birth Stories     I wasn’t ready. Weirdly, I thought I would be. I thought I’d be more impatient than anyone else for the baby to come, but then I’d underestimated the enthusiasm of friends, neighbors, in-laws and above all, family who started called two weeks before my due date to ask, “So… how are you feeling?” (Code for: WELL?!?!?! Are you in labour yet!?!?!?!)

     Then, on a Friday, my husband, Gilbert turned to me and said, “Let’s go over some of those things in your book (“Birthing From Within”) on Saturday.”

     Saturday came and we went to a café for breakfast. I brought out the notebook where I had written down my fears and worries about labour and about being a mum. Gilbert was great and listened to me and shared some of his fears too and I listened. When we left the café, I felt like there had been a shift in my attitude – all of a sudden I felt that “Yeah, I AM ready for this baby!”

     Sunday, my body reacted. I had TONS of Braxton Hicks contractions and several menstrual-crampy ones. I didn’t feel like labour was starting yet – just that my body was “gearing up”. Monday was pretty much the same thing, except that strangely I was absolutely obsessed with getting our washable diapers – I had to have them, wash them, dry them and fold them all – obsessively – before going to bed that night.

     Tuesday morning breakfasting again in another café with Gilbert I felt some sharp pains in my abdomen and went off to the bathroom. No diahhrea, but some spotting! Does this mean?!? I went out and told Gilbert as calmly as I could “I think it might happen sooner rather than later!” He was so excited – it was beautiful to see.

     We went home and tried to live life as normally as possible – washing dishes, preparing food etc., but really we were too excited. My doula, Jo, came for a visit and when we told her what was happening, she said, “Hmmmmm… sounds like early labour. We’d all better get some sleep!”

     When Jo left, Gilbert started running around getting things organized (checklist: car seat, bags backed, cooler of food etc.) and I started e-mailing & blogging for family and friends.

     Then I took a bath, had a nap and when I woke – the contractions had stopped. I was disappointed and so decided to take a long walk in the sunshine – it was such a beautiful day. When I came home, I was exhausted! Contractions started again about two hours later – during the hockey game. By this time, I was a bit more pragmatic and decided to go to bed early to get some more sleep.

     This continued for two days – until Thursday evening around 5 p.m. when they started coming more regularly, every 20 minutes or so. Gilbert and I watched the hockey game, I worked on some knitting and we called Jo again to let her know that we had started labour (for real this time!)

     I laboured for most of the evening in my living room, rocking back and forth on a Pilates ball during contractions, but by midnight the contractions were getting stronger and I was getting nauseous, so I moved to the bathroom. There, I continued to rock back and forth on hands and knees to child’s position. The “ocean breath” wasn’t cutting it anymore, I had to start toning – softly at first but then louder and louder!

     By 1 a.m., Jo, our doula came over and hung out with me in the bathroom where I was toning (groaning?) and vomiting through the contractions. I started to lose track of time, but Gilbert and Jo told me that by 2 a.m. the contractions were strong and three minutes apart so they decided to put me into the car and take me to LaSalle Hospital. It was a strange car ride, in the backseat rocking back and forth while I heard Jo and Gilbert make conversation – it seemed to come from so far away.

     At the hospital we were put into triage while they tried to decide if I was in ‘active’ labour. It seemed to take forever. In the cubicle next to ours there was a poor girl who was obviously young and ill equipped for labour crying her heart out during contractions and asking the nurses if anyone had come for her yet. We all felt so terrible for her.

     Finally, someone decided that I was in active enough labour (I kept crawling on top of the bed onto all fours and toning through the contractions) and they moved us to the room where we would birth. LaSalle hospital is fabulous because all the rooms are private and all the rooms are equipped with a whirlpool bath – which is where I headed immediately!

     Things went blurry for me at that point. I remember very painful contractions (the toning was the only thing keeping me going) and living each moment in the moment – something I have never done before in my life – there was no future, there was no past – only that moment. People were moving in and out of the room – the room got lighter, nurses kept getting me to roll onto my back to examine me (which seemed like hell at the time!) and time had no more meaning. I was getting more and more tired. The two sensations that I remember clearly from labour were being in unbelievable pain and, more overwhelmingly, being more exhausted than I had ever been in my whole life – and having to work harder than ever!

     Later, I found out that I hadn’t dilated fully, but had already started to push and they were worried that I would have to go into a C-section. The doctor arrived around 8 a.m. (not that I could tell you what time it was – my eyes were tightly shut!) and stayed with us until 10:17 a.m. when she finally slipped Luc’s head through the cervix and suctioned him out with a vacuum. I was too exhausted to look at him or do anything but keep my eyes shut and cry. I didn’t want to see him. I felt his slippery little body on my chest for a few moments when the nurse placed him there but nothing more.

     Later, I found out that I had “pushed” for more than two hours and that Luc had been in distress (erratic heart rate, and he pooped all his meconium out in the birth canal). They took him off to the “pouponniere” immediately with his papa, while I was repaired.

     Of course, once I had had some time to recover, I started crying because I wanted to see my boys (Gilbert and Luc). The nurse who came took one look at me and immediately found a wheelchair to take me to the “pouponniere”. Luc was strapped up to many machines with wires etc. but he was still to my eyes the most beautiful baby in the whole world. After what seemed like an eternity (really 40 minutes). A nurse finally came and unplugged him so that I could nurse him. It was the most powerful, incredible moment I have ever felt. I still feel that way. There are no words to describe the love that I felt then or now.

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