On February 1st, 2017 our second child was born. We named him Benjamin. I had a feeling it was a boy throughout my pregnancy. Although my gender instincts weren’t as strong as they were with my first pregnancy, I was still pretty sure that a boy was the miracle growing inside of me. From the way I carried to the way I pictured our family, and that our boy name was decided on while our girl name was a constant struggle. Benjamin is now born into the world and into our family, and we couldn’t be happier.
Leading up to the labour and birth of our second child was different this time around. I didn’t have time to focus on every little detail of my pregnancy like I did with my first. My pregnancy App was hardly used, and I even missed entire WEEKS of not knowing the specifics of my growing baby (insert screams). Was he or she the size of an orange or mango? Gosh, I just didn’t know. My world didn’t revolve around being pregnant, it revolved around running a household and keeping my toddler busy, happy and well fed.
The last weeks of pregnancy I was nesting non-stop. I was determined to keep my house spotless, even though it would soon be destroyed by my toddler running wild and free. I felt like I was chasing her around all day with a cloth and broom. Perhaps I went a little crazy on keeping things clean, but it helped to pass the time when I didn’t want to leave the house because it was just too freakin’ cold to go outside. Did I also mention what a chore it was to put on my boots?
As I mentioned in my last pregnancy blog, I was waking up in the night with contractions for weeks leading up to my labour. It was a bit annoying because I would prepare myself mentally each time to give birth to this child, and the contractions would just stop. I would then proceed with another day of pregnancy, chasing my toddler around and checking things off of my to do list.
I wasn’t in any rush to have this baby. I was just so prepared that I was tired of being ready and not knowing when it was going to happen. Does that make any sense?! All my type A people get me. My husband is not type A, which makes for some good laughs in our house. He was happy to book appointments and make plans for every day leading up to, and after my due date, even though the baby wasn’t born yet. I however, would never make plans because I was PREPARED at any moment to give birth, and plans would get in the way of my preparedness. HA! I’m weird…I know.
On January 31st, one day after my due date, labour finally began (picture was taken in early labour). Before contractions started, I went in to see my midwives for an appointment and check-up. I had bloody show in the morning, so I was prepping myself for labour to begin at any moment. Once I asked the midwife if it meant I was certainly going into labour within the day, she smiled and said nothing is certain. GAaaaaaghhh. I was 1 day overdue, and it was killing me not knowing when this baby would arrive.
By dinner time, I was starting to get contractions and was praying they wouldn’t go away. Thomas had an appointment booked for 6:30, and I wasn’t sure whether he should go or not. We decided it was best to cancel, just in case things picked up quickly and this was the real deal. We sent Norah to bed, and I headed to the bath as contractions were getting more painful. I applied 2 drops of Young Living’s Clary Sage oil to my belly, and soaked in a bath with Frankincense, Myrrh and Cedarwood Essential Oils. I listened to my pre-made labour playlist (yep, told you I was prepared), and dealt peacefully with each contraction as they came. I was feeling calm and ready.
At 10pm, my parents arrived so they could be with Norah. My contractions were coming frequently, but a little unpredictable and some weren’t lasting long. Ex, 6 minutes apart lasting for 45 seconds then 3 minutes apart lasting 30 seconds…some even 2 minutes, but the pain was still manageable so I knew I was not ready to go to the hospital.
By 10:30, we paged the midwife to see if we should head over to the hospital. I kid you not, the contractions basically stopped once she was on the phone. I remember this happened with my first labour when we called the midwife. My contractions shut off. I think I have a fear of being wrong, or waking her up from a nice sleep and it being a false alarm. My midwife waited on the phone for a while to see how I was dealing with contractions, but I only had one contraction, and it was mild. “I swear I’m not lying!” I said. I remember feeling a bit silly. So we hung up and Thomas crawled into bed for a little rest. Needless to say, he didn’t get much rest. Within minutes contractions were back and I was yelling “Push on my back. Do something. Get up. Help me!” Only a few contractions later, I was shivering and yelling to get our bags in the car, NOW.
In a bit of a panic, we grabbed our things and headed out the door. I was in the zone now, making strange noises and trying not to think about the snowy roads, or every red light that we seemed to hit. By the time we got to the hospital at midnight, my whole body was shaking and I couldn’t do much more than close my eyes, breathe and pray. This baby needed to come out.
The midwives checked me once we arrived. I can remember ripping my clothes off with no shame and saying, “I better be at least 7cm, please tell me I am at least a 7.” Much to my surprise, she said I was ready to push if I felt the urge to push. “But my water hasn’t broke yet!” I proclaimed. She said it would break when I was pushing, or she kindly offered to break it for me…but that meant the baby would be coming now, and I wasn’t quite ready to accept more pain, even though it was inevitable. So we waited.
My back labour was getting intense, and no position was helping to ease the pain. This baby was not in the ideal position, and my back labour only confirmed that. I didn’t move for a long time, because I just didn’t want to. It hurt! Finally after one hour I said, “Okay break my water, I’m ready.”
Thomas was there with cold cloths for my forehead, water and gentle words of encouragement. They offered me laughing gas to ease some pain, but I was already this close to the finish line, so I declined and persevered. I kept reminding myself that all this pain was a good thing, and my body was doing exactly what it was designed to do. That helped me tremendously.
After breaking my water, my body began to push on it’s own. During this stage, the pain was a bit easier to deal with. I could smile between contractions knowing our baby would soon be in my arms. It took one hour of pushing with a lot of support and direction from my team, and at 2:03am, our little Benjamin was born. His head came out sideways, and his little face was a tad bruised, but he was perfect. 9lbs 1oz of pure joy.
We are now adjusting to life with 2 children. It’s amazing, hectic, stressful, exciting and busy all in one. I can remember crying the first week, feeling overwhelmed, but mostly hormonal. I just didn’t know how I was going to do this. My crazy post-birth hormones have settled and our little family has survived thus far. We are growing closer, and enjoying our new way of life. Norah has at last decided she is okay to share her Mommy and Daddy with someone new and someone very special; her little brother Benjamin.