Boxing Day Baby

Warning! Birth story ahead! Don’t read if you don’t like hearing about waters breaking and dilation :)

I said earlier that all this being fully pregnant during the Christmas season was familiar. I didn’t know how familiar it was about to get!

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The kids woke up early on Christmas morning, and Peter and I got up with them. We sat by the light of the Christmas tree and they opened their stockings. I went back to bed for a bit and then we all had breakfast and headed off to church. My lovely friend, Anna, from Estonia was there.

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Right as church was ending, Ezra fell off a kiddie slide in the toddler class onto really hard floor, using his head as the landing gear. So, off to ER we went. JUST what you want to do on Christmas Day, as if we hadn’t delayed present opening for Eva for long enough.

Finally we were home and presents were opened in mass chaos. Lots of fun and excitement.

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And then… Supper! Ezra was having a late nap and had to be woken up and was super grumpy for all of supper. That’s always fun even when it’s just your family of four but it’s even more fun when it’s a table of 13. So thankful for Dora!

There was tons of laughter at the dinner table, actually there’s always tons of laughter when the Roberts’ get together, but one especially notices when one is 38 weeks pregnant (which I turned on Christmas Day). I kept joking, “ahh! You’re going to make me go into labor!” My abdominal muscles were hurting so much!

After supper we moved onto birthday celebrations. My little girl had turned FIVE somehow. At every Christmas supper I remember back to that first Christmas supper we had at the Smale’s house in Victoria. Labor started around 5:00ish and Miss Eva Marjorie was born at 10:32pm on Dec 25. So anyway, we went to the living room to watch Eva open her birthday presents, a moment in Christmas Day that we have worked hard to carve out and make sure is just for Eva.

After presents, my mom and Randy leave, and Mark and Erin return. I greet them and Mark is telling me something in the kitchen when I feel something funny and wonder if I’ve somehow wet myself! What an interesting and embarrassing feeling! I totally go blank, end the conversation and head to the bathroom.

No, I think. Can’t be. Can’t go into labor twice on Christmas Day. Can’t have a baby in Regina; that just isn’t gonna happen.

I call Peter in, and say those famous words: “I think my water broke.”

I think he’s in as much shock as I am. Even though we knew it was a possibility, and were recommended not to travel so far, and even though we packed a hospital bag with prenatal records and a car seat, I still just never once really believed I would have the baby here in Regina. If I had any thought in my mind that it would actually happen, obviously I would’ve stayed put in Calgary.

Peter advises that I discuss the matter with his mom (who has had 5 kids) to confirm. With Eva, the nurse broke my water for me at 8cm, and with Ezra, they broke 5 minutes before he was born, after being in labor for almost 2 hours. Water breaking before labor starting is a foreign concept to me, something that only happens on TV.

LaVonne confirms that my water has broken and Peter begins grabbing what we need. I sit on a chair in the kitchen surrounded by Peter’s family and fill everyone in on what’s going on. No one can believe it! We pray and Peter and I are out the door. As we drive, I reassure Peter that he doesn’t have to speed or run red lights as per previous labors. Contractions have not even begun yet.

We arrive at Regina General Hospital (for the second time that day) around 8:30 and admit through Emergency. The same guy who assessed Ezra earlier is still working. Once registered, we may the very long and confusing journey to the labor and delivery ward. I should’ve got a wheel chair! I sign a few forms and head to the assessment room where they confirm that my water has broken and I am a good 3 cm dilated. Contractions still have not begun and so the doctor offers to induce me, which catches both Peter and I off guard because we thought we’d have to wait at least 24 hours for labor to begin on its own before they’d offer induction.

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We ask for some time to think about it and call a few people (including my midwives, whom I paged 6-7 times over the next two hours and never heard back from!). We decide to give my body til midnight and go for a walk, and a drive to McDonalds for coffee for Peter (the only place open on Christmas night). After a few more phone calls, a fruit and yogurt parfait and some more prayer, we decide to go for it. If we chose to wait, they’d send us back “home” to Kerry & LaVonne’s where we wouldn’t really be able to rest and we’d just end up back at the hospital within 24 hours either because labor will have started on its own or to be induced. Might as well just do it up now.

I get into a gown, they take my blood and hook me up to an IV and I have oxytocin running through my system by 1:30am. I am the only patient on the ward. I visit with the nurse about midwifery and home birth while Peter naps. I try resting for a bit too but that doesn’t last long as stronger contractions begin about 2:15 and I am having to breathe through them. I wake Peter at 2:30 as things are starting to pick up and contractions are coming very close together, sometimes only getting about a 30 second break in between. I start to feel a little like pushing and they check me and ask me to try and just breathe through the next few contractions as I am only at 7 cm.

I try, but my body knew best and went forth without me and began pushing whether I was on board or not. I remember this same thing happening with Eva; the human body is amazing!

I pushed for 7 minutes and just like that, there was our baby on my tummy. Isaac Vincent, born at 3:11am on December 26. I could not believe what just happened! He was not even due til January 8, yet here he was just a few hours into Boxing Day.

I actually said, “That’s it? That was easy!” right after he was born. It certainly wasn’t easy but I just couldn’t believe how quickly it all happened.

After that, I spent some time nursing my sweet new boy and getting cleaned up and after a couple of hours they wheeled me down to the Mother Baby Ward where I would stay for at least the next 24 hours. The doctors and nurses were all so impressed with the fact that I brought my prenatal records, a hospital bag and a car seat! Of course, I knew delivering while on vacation was a possibility but I never actually believed it would happen! I’m very glad I chose to be prepared just in case.

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Hospital visitors included big brother Ezra and big sister Eva (sadly, no iPhone pics of their visit, just real camera!), Grandma and Grandpa Roberts, Auntie Keri-Lyn, Uncle Alvaro and Auntie Joy. Besides siblings, we were only able to give out visitor’s bracelets to 5 people, non-transferrable.

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After lots of poking and prodding (for Isaac and for me) we were discharged from the hospital. We went “home” to Kerry and LaVonne’s and my dad, Dotty, Grandma Kelly, Aunt Alana, Uncle Brad, Alexa and Cassidy all came up to meet Isaac. My mom and Randy joined us after a little bit and it was so amazing to be able to share Isaac with everyone just hours after being let out of the hospital. Thank you to everyone who made the trip to come see us, it really meant a lot to me and was a very special afternoon.

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Other visitors include our friend Leah (who lent us a bassinet for our stay in Regina) and Anna, our friend from Estonia!

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We stayed in Regina for all of Wednesday and then braved the roads Thursday. It was a long trip but still went very well, all things considered! The kids had a crazy week of fun and excitement, with Christmas and Eva’s birthday and also just being surrounded by Grandma & Grandpa, cousins and aunts and uncles. And sugar. And late nights. And earrrrrrly mornings (Ezra, 4:30 AB time!). So it was time to get home.

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And my sweet husband fully unloaded the van and unpacked everything, got the mountains of laundry going, has been taking care of and getting up with the kids, and cooking and cleaning up too. My mom and Randy are coming in a couple days and Peter’s mom and dad are coming on January 12.

A few people have been concerned and were sorry that I didn’t get the labor and delivery with my midwives as planned but Peter and I both feel like this labor and delivery were absolutely perfect and couldn’t have gone any better. We were so thankful to be able to leave our kids with lots of family members to love on them while we had to be away. The staff at the RGH were wonderful and caring and my labor was literally less than an hour long, with no complications, didn’t even need a single stitch and most of all we have a healthy baby boy. I don’t regret going to Regina and am so thankful for the way everything happened so smoothly :)

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4 thoughts on “Boxing Day Baby

  1. Michelle Wade

    Still amazing to read. I love reading others birth stories! I was the opposite. My water broke at home with three out of the four. Braelee’s had to be broken in labour. I hope Isaac’s jaundice clears soon and you get to catch your breath and settle into the new phase life brought you earlier than expected!

    Reply

  2. Merlin

    You made me laugh and cry at the same time with Your blog,
    Love You all!
    And Congratulations again!

    Reply

  3. Jackee

    Beautiful story to read Chels!!! Congrats to all of you……sounds like the perfect end to 2011. Wishing you all the best in 2012 and the many years to come!!! Love and miss you guys!

    Reply

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