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Garrick Charles’s Birth Story
by Corinne Smelker 
Not For Sale
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We had originally decided that we only wanted three kids, but after the easy delivery of Hayley (under 2 hours from first contraction to birth) and the fact that she was an easy baby we decided to have another baby right away!

Having made the decision at the beginning of January, we tried immediately to get pregnant. By the end of the month I was pregnant (I know, I know there are many of you out there who hate me already!) My pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I was nursing Hayley who at the time was four and half months old, so my weight gain was slow. I continued to nurse her until 2 weeks before Garrick’s arrival when she weaned herself. I went back to the OB who had delivered my previous two children and I planned on delivering at the Family Birthing Centre again.

At 18 weeks I went for an ultrasound and we found out then that we were having another boy. Warrick was thrilled! He loves his sisters, but has been asking for a boy. Imagine his delight when we came home and told him that he was FINALLY getting a brother. We already had the name picked out, Garrick is one of the few boy names that we could both live with and Charles is the name of Terry’s (DH) deceased grandfather. The expected due date was October 17th. We kidded the entire time that he wouldn’t come on his due date because it wasn’t a Wednesday, the other 3 have all been born on Wednesday.

In June we moved to a new house that put us 25 minutes away from the birthing centre on a good day. Remembering the ride last time, where we only lived 10 minutes away and I arrived 10cms dilated and ready to push, I started to question my doctor on other options. He kept on pooh-poohing my concerns and said that in his 20 years of delivering babies only 2 had not made it to the hospital or birthing centre. I kept telling him that I thought I would be his third. I let it ride until the end of August and then voiced my concern to Terry. He agreed that the doctor was not taking us seriously. It was at that point we thought about home birth. We had talked about it when I was expecting Hayley, but never followed through on it. I called a friend of mine who had given birth at home and she recommended her midwife, Valerie, to us.

Valerie lives 10 minutes away from us, she is affiliated with a doctor who only does home births and she has another midwife who lives 6 streets away from us (Terri is her name). We met with them and liked them immediately. I liked the very personal treatment that we received, I liked the fact that not only would they check to see whether the baby was head down, but also his position as Valerie is well known for turning posterior babies. She seemed to think that my labour would be about 45 minutes long.
I saw Val and Terri on October 14th, at that point I was 4cms dilated, 60% effaced and at 0 station. I was certain that I would go into labour at any second. I had been 3cms dilated for 3 weeks though. October 17th came and went, I was expecting to go early because Hayley was early. I guess Garrick has a mind of his own. Val told me that if I hadn’t had the baby by October 21st that she would strip my membranes. She was not wanting to necessarily start labour, but thought that might relieve some of the pressure I was feeling. I went back to her house on the 21st and she checked me. I was now almost 6cms, 100% effaced and Garrick was at +1 station. She stripped my membranes and made a joke that she could almost feel his ears! I left feeling great, no contractions or discomfort at all. And that is how it continued for the rest of the day and the evening.

Dick and Star (FIL and MIL) came over for the evening. Star had packed a bag to stay the night because I thought that I would go into labour (just a gut feeling). At about 10:20 I had a contraction, followed by another 5 minutes later, followed by a third 2 minutes after that. They were short though. Terry noticed me getting up a lot and asked whether I was all right. I told him that I had had three contractions in the last 10 minutes. He looked at me and said, “Well, don’t you think you had better call Terri and Val?”

I called Terri and let her know what was happening. I guess I was still in denial, because I was very surprised when she said that she would be right over. She got here, checked me and called Kathie, the doctor, right away. I was 8cms dilated and I couldn’t sit down because I could feel the baby’s head. I got into the shower for the next two contractions (as usual with my contractions, I double and even triple peak) which is why I think my labours are so fast. After two contractions in the shower I wanted to push. Terry and Terri led me to my bedroom. Star went to wake Warrick who wanted to be present for the birth. He came downstairs just as I started pushing.

Kathie got to the house at about 11:00, just as I was ready to start pushing. On the first part of my contraction my water broke and then Garrick came right out. I was still pushing and Kathie said, “Corinne, he’s here!” There was very little effort on my part. In fact I didn’t even feel the “ring of fire” because he had been so low for so long. Apparently he had the cord around his neck, so they unwrapped it quickly and he immediately began to cry! He weighed 7lbs 13oz and was 19 inches long — my heaviest and my shortest baby. My entire labour was 50 minutes long, he was born at 11:10pm on Wednesday night. So, all our joking came to pass — all four children have arrived on Wednesday!

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