Hayley’s Birth Story
by Corinne Smelker
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I was due on Sunday the 24th of August, but I really, REALLY wanted to go early. As usual I looked big — although I had gained only a total of 17lbs. Running after Teagan who was 17 months when Hayley was born, was keeping me pretty fit!
On the evening of the 19th, my husband and I dropped our son off at a summer programme that he was attending, took our younger child to the mall and walked for a couple of hours. Like me, Terry, my better half was anxious for us to have this baby. Of course, I felt no contractions, and I know that he was feeling a little discouraged. I had seen my OB on Monday and at that point I was 3 cms dilated and 100% effaced and the baby’s head was “right there”. We picked Warrick up from his programme and went home to bed.
As usual for our family, the alarm went off at 5:00am. I rolled over and poked my husband. He gets up early to be at work at 6:30am. He leaves the house at about 5:55am. I was not working that day, so I planned on lolling around in bed until 7:15am when I would have to get Warrick up for school.
I dozed during Terry’s shower and didn’t hear him go downstairs. At 5:45 am I woke up to what I thought might be a contraction. I went to the bathroom and then walked downstairs.
“Honey, I think maybe you should wait a while before going to work. I think I had a contraction.”
“Okay,” he said. Just then another one hit.
“All right, this is the real thing.” I said.
Terry called his mother who was coming to look after Teagan. Warrick was coming to the Birthing Centre with us. We told her not to rush because she would have plenty of time. My last labour was 6 hours long from first contraction to birth, so I figured this one would be about 4 hours in duration. Fortunately for us, she was already showered and dressed, so all she had to do was drive up here.
About 5 minutes after we called my contractions went from being about 10 minutes apart to being one, long, continuous contraction. We had already called Warrick’s birthing coach and told her that we would leave the house at about 8:00 am and that she should meet us at the Centre. We called back at this point and said, “We’re on our way right now!” We dragged the kids out of bed, got them dressed and left a note for Terry’s mom telling us to meet us at the Centre, because we couldn’t wait for her any longer. As we walked out the door, she was walking up the sidewalk. She stopped to get Teagan and while I hustling to the car, started to talk to Terry. I called out, “We had better get to the Birthing Centre NOW, unless we want to have this baby in the car!” At that point I think she realised just how close I was to giving birth.
We scrambled to the car and I was silently praying that we would make it to the Centre. We were fighting rush hour traffic. My husband who is normally a very laid back driver was cutting through non-existent gaps in the traffic and went through a couple of lights that I swear were red. By this time I was panting through the contractions because I could feel the need to push.
We screeched into the parking lot and I walked very quickly to the elevator. The attendant offered to get a wheelchair, but all I think of was getting upstairs and having that baby! We walked into the Centre and I calmly announced, through gritted teeth, “I’m ready now!” The pain was intense, and unlike my other labours where at least I would get a breather in between, I was having just one contraction that never stopped. The nurses were a little panicked because the OB wasn’t there, she had been paged, but wouldn’t make it for another 30 minutes. They immediately called a resident from the hospital next door. I really wanted to push, but they kept trying to hold me off until the resident arrived.
After about 5 minutes he walked in through the door, along with Warrick’s birthing coach, Amy. She has three of her own kids, but has never gone natural like I choose to do, so she was very excited about being asked to be there. At that point I started to push, regardless of what the nurses said. They were wonderful. Hayley crowned at the first push, and to ensure that I didn’t tear, they had me rock back and forth to relax the muscles. It helped too, because I didn’t tear at all. With the next push her shoulders came out. I bent over and pulled her the rest of the way out. What an incredible feeling that was! She arrived at 8:05am, 15 minutes after I arrived at the Birthing Centre. I think she would have come a few minutes sooner, but because I had to try and wait for the resident, I couldn’t push.
Hayley weighed in at 7lbs 12oz — my biggest baby, and yet there were no tears — thanks to the nurses! An interesting little side note — with all three of my kids, I have gone into labour at 6:00am on a Wednesday morning!
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