Kingsley's Birth Story
This is the birth story of our third child
I woke up at 3am April 27th with what I thought was just intense Braxton Hicks. After getting up to use the washroom & laying back down I felt a wave of light pain spread from my back around to my front abdomen. I forgot how early contractions felt so I just decided to pay attention & see if they were coming regularly. By 5am having them every 10-15 minutes apart, I was convinced that it was early labour. I texted my mom to catch her before going to work, so she could come & pick up our older two kids at 10am, after her morning school bus run. My husband & kids were asleep in the other room so I decided to sleep as much as I could & let them rest too. My husband had a "big" photo gig in the morning & I wanted him to sleep to be ready for what I knew would be a long exciting day.
At 7am I started texting people to let them know, Sarah, our doula. Stacey our birth photographer, & my good friends Andrea & Megan. When I finally got out of bed to help hubby with the kids for the morning so he could go to work, he was surprized I was in labour but then again, not surprized that it should happen on a day when he has an important photography gig! I told him to go to work with my blessing & that Andrea was coming over at 9am to help me get the kids ready to go to my moms.
Contractions were mild & 10 to 20 minutes apart. My mom came at 10 & took the kids & Andrea, her little guy Hudson & I set off to walk our property with tea and scones. (I also hung up my laundry on the line!) The only real bother was the round ligament pain that would randomly strike. Mat was done work quick & we decided to take advantage of the nice day & all go for a walk at the conservation area. Mat mostly skipped around off the trails exploring (this is what photographers do to find good locations) while Andrea, Hudson & I just chatted & walked along. It was so refreshing to be outside & pour all my thoughts out to a friend who was willing to listen. I'll always remember that early labour as so refreshing & 'warm'.
My birth book of births I've attended & photographed. Photo credit: Stacey Lorraine
Sporting my birth necklace. Photo: A&O
Walking with Andrea and Hudson. Photo: A&O
Belly love! Photo: A&O
Boiling away. Photo: A&O
Everyone has to have a good laugh at my labours. Photo: A&O
Sarah caught in between the "duelling cameras". Photo credit: Stacey Lorraine
After our walk we said goodbye to Andrea (who promised to drop off pizza for us & the birth team later) We came home for lunch & I went to lay down for a nap, anticipating a looooooooooong night as contractions were still 10-20 minutes apart, despite all the walking & homeopathic remedies I was taking.
It was a restless nap as I was trying to keep up with homeopathics every 15 minutes & was getting texts from everyone wanting updates. I decided at 4pm to get up & go for another walk around my mothers neighbourhood & see the kids.
We walked 3kms & the contractions were starting to close in on 10 minutes apart & starting to increase a bit with intensity - enough to make me stop & sway in my mother's kitchen. We had our doula, Sarah head to town & also had Stacey, the birth photographer, head in...even though we were sure there was hours left to go.
We got home around 6pm & found pizza in our oven! (thanks Andrea!) & Mat set to work blowing up the birth pool while I puttered around the house. Sarah & Stacey arrived & we talked & laughed while the contractions grew with strength. At one random point my friend, Jenni popped in (not knowing I was in labour) & she in tears, blessed my belly. It was hilarious that she should pop by at that moment, solely to drop off maternity pants I had lent to her! But it was so good to see her gentle smiling face & to have her pray over the birth of this baby.
At some point I had hubby, who was diligently boiling pots of water to fill the birth pool, put in Seinfeld for us to watch. I remember laughing between & sometimes during contractions & then distracting myself by telling the others random Seinfeld trivia (sorry if I bored you ladies).
I was getting nervous about labour taking all night & wearing out from tiredness & was ready to try new options other than the homeopathics I had been taking, but I never even got that far before things started to pick up on their own.
Around 930pm/10pm I was not having much relief from contractions with how I had been coping (on my knees on the floor with my head buried in to my couch & Sarah gently stroking my back & hips). I decided to get in the shower & use up the hot water there first before getting into the birth pool - which still needed a bit of filling up. I told Sarah to call Megan & have her come over while I was showering & if she could make herself as little obvious as possible as I was in a zone of wanting to "close ranks". (Megan ended up being extremely vital & more involved than I think even she was prepared for!)
Mat came with me into the bathroom & knelt by my side while I knelt down in the shower. The hot water jets on my back felt so good but the intensity was increasing & they were getting much closer. I was still sure I had hours to go though & complained to Mat that I just was not going to be able to keep it up. We prayed together that the Lord would make this a quick delivery (be careful what you pray for!) & Mat lovingly told me all kinds of sweet things to encourage me. <3
Still having fun...sorta. Photo credit: Stacey Lorraine
At 1030pm the shower got to be too much for me & I needed to get out. Sarah helped me get dressed & dry while Mat went to finish getting the pool the right temperature. As I was coming out of the washroom, I saw Megan on the couch at the same time another contraction was coming. I rushed for my former spot on my knees at the couch RIGHT next to Megan. Once the contraction was over I turned to her & said, "This sucks, you don't want to do this again."
I then had, what some call the "sleep" before the storm". A huge long rest before things really amp up. It was a rest of a thousand years too short. After a while another contraction came and I knew the rest that followed was my only chance to get into the pool but as far as I was concerned I was never leaving that spot if it would afford me another rest like the long one I just had.
Unfortunately I never got it because another contraction came & it was *INTENSE* & I said out-loud felt "pushy".
A few things kind of all happened at once. Sarah told Mat to page the midwives, she also asked "How much pressure do you feel?" I swore back at her. To which she laughed & replied, "I am just going to lift your skirt." Then I heard her say "Okay I see the head." Mentally I was so glad to hear her say that because I knew it meant the end was near. Physically though it was like a freight train was trying to rush out of me. And the midwives weren't there yet.
Everyone was calm & cool. Even I was totally fine, despite the intense contractions & wicked pressure.
When Liza, our midwife called back she was on speakerphone, and said, "Geez, Mat I don't even have pants on!" As she rushed to get dressed she talked through a few things with us. She told Sarah & Megan to lay me on my side ("Noooo way", I said!) to slow the baby from coming. The girls had to physically guide me to my side on the floor. Sarah got herself prepared to catch should the baby be born before Liza arrived & told me that the pressure was intense because my water had not yet broken. Mat talked with Liza on just how to find our tucked away little home. Megan took on the doula role holding me in a grounded secure bear hug/hold, talking affirmations & assurances in my ears as the pressure just grew & grew. (Note: I don't push my babies out, my uterus does for me.)
Meanwhile, the birth pool sits next to me uselessly ready.
Okay, now this sucks... Photo credit: Stacey Lorraine
It sucks & yet I am still making people laugh & smile. Photo A&O
Megan - my ground. Photo credit: Stacey Lorraine
All hands on deck! A sweet PG photo! Photo credit: Stacey Lorraine
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Partial Lotus. Placenta love. Photo A&O
He"s here! Photo credit: Stacey Lorraine
The worst part of being on my side wasn't the contractions, the "ring of fire", or even the incredible leg cramps (even though they were pretty horrible...I mean seriously, as *IF* I'm not in enough pain lets add some leg cramps to the mix...) The worst really was the slow receding of the baby back up the birth canal. It was a horrible feeling - knowing that all that pressure needs to come back down & out! It was so bad, I bit my couch...but at least I didn't bite Megan. ;)
At some point my waters finally broke & Liza came through the door...she arrived in something like 8 minutes. Sarah said, "It's okay the head isn't going back in, do you want to catch the baby?" "No." I said. There was no way I was moving from Megan's cuddle hold, her arms were literally keeping me grounded through the intensity.
Liza put on gloves, she didn't even have time to bring in anything from her car. Another contraction came & his head was out & with a whoosh the rest of him delivered all into Sarah's hands with Liza's next to them untangling the cord & then to my lap. Mat was right next to me the whole time. I immediately knew from looking that we had a new little boy with us & wasn't surprized to find Mat and I were right. Then seconds after being born, the baby pooped all over my birth necklace & we laughed as Mat said, "That's my baby."
Kingsley Justice Bailey.
I swore a whole bunch at Liza when she gave me the oxytocin to help deliver the placenta. She dutifully apologized but then laughed remarking "You're not really giving me much to work with!" When the placenta was delivered I praised God when it was really "all over". We kept baby & placenta attached (partial lotus birth) just for sheer coolness & a few photos.
Everyone helped me get set up in bed for a good first snuggle. Mat was on top of the world with excitement, buzzing around taking photos, making phone calls, checking out our new boy & helping with whatever needed to be done. And whenever he stopped for a moment he would turn to someone & ask "That was crazy, right?" It was. From the time I got out of the shower to his being born was just over 20 minutes.
I felt like I didn't even open my eyes since before getting into the shower so I am so glad to have had Stacey there taking photos. While the midwives did the newborn exam I went for the hottest most refreshing shower of my life because after all, it wasn't just the birth necklace that got pooped on!
Everyone did what they needed to seamlessly & it felt as if our home was a buzzing little hive of sweet activity, even Sarah's husband showed up with little Lutka for a midnight snack while Sarah prepped the placenta for encapsulation. By 3am the party was over & Megan was the last one standing....& doing our dishes. I could hardly sleep - births, at least my own, feel like a party, not a frat party ;) but a real true birth day party.
Hello World. Photo credit: Stacey Lorraine
Kingsley Justice Bailey Coker April 27th 11:08pm 7lbs 90z Photo A&O
All Love & Thanks to Sarah Stogryn (Hedgecraft Herbals), Liza Van deHoef (Quinte Midwives), Megan Irvine (MammaMila), Stacey Lorraine Photography, my husband Mat & of course, my Lord.