A Birth Story: Eloise Valentina

*Warning some photos show birth*

Photo by Black Moon Boudoir

Fourth time around and I am so aware of all the signs I got to experience it this time. From the little movements to some tell tail pre labour signs. Being able to self check dilation (a little bit awkward to do to yourself) helped me just get into the zone. The last two weeks of this pregnancy I tried to just relax but at the same time take advantage to my knowledge and the fact it’s our last planed baby.

The day before my waters broke I definitely had the feeling of so much energy. I got some shopping done to fill up my new freezer. Organized a few things in our room to prepare for baby. As well as made sure to park our car on the street to allow our driveway to be available. I even cooked two large batches of mac n’ cheese and prepared some potato’s that are now in our freezer for when we just need to do a quick meal.

All week my husband an I would go for nightly walks after the kids all went to bed. Taking advantage of having his parents stay with us so we could sneak away. We live on the bottom of a very large hill and our walks consisted of going up the entire hill until it got flat. Mixed in a little bit of curb walking as well.

Sent this photo to my doula of the lovely waters all over my bathroom floor.

The night my waters broke was very similar to my first. Nice long walk and then to bed, waters breaking after midnight, this time was 12:40am. No contractions other then the few prelabour surges I was getting before. From checking my dilation before hand I was around 3cm, didn’t check them myself after my waters broke to make sure I didn’t introduce any bacteria. Around 2am is when things started to pick up. Called the Midwifes to come and just set up and help assess to come up with a game plan. Had my doula on her way as well.

Photo by Royal City Birth

I did get my midwife to check my dilation just to give me an idea to how quickly my body might be this time around. We were still at early stages but as birth can change very quickly, well aware it just gave us somewhat of an idea. Decided everyone should rest as much as possible so our midwife finished setting up everything and went home. Since it was now early morning our doula stayed with us, our photographer was also on her way over.

To help with labour we decided to do a variation of miles circuit. Rest, eat, washroom and walk. My doula and photographer walked with me up and down the giant hill I live on about 6 or 7 times.

Photo by Vancouver Birth Photographer

At one point we passed a car with a I ❤️ BC Midwifes sticker on it. One of our secondary midwifes was asleep in her car.

Photo by Vancouver Birth Photographer

Nikki put on the tens machine for me. First I just wanted to try it out since I never used it before for labour. Absolutely loved it. Just took the edge off with the bigger contractions.

Photo by Vancouver Birth Photographer

Moving between periods of rest, having small bites of food, emptying my bladder and walking. At one point I took a shower just to refresh and change it up.

While I was busy labouring my two oldest were playing midwife in their room.

Once labour finally picked up it all came very fast. I already had some good strong contractions throughout the day but once it turned into transitional labour it was very intense. Listening to my body I couldn’t settle on a position. Moving from being upright standing, kneeling with one leg to both knees on the ground. Cold cloths and counter pressure helped alot. I took off the tens machine at this point.

My oldest was a great mini doula, holding my hand, touch my head and little cuddles help me through. She was with me every step of the way. At one point as I got more vocal, she got very concerned so my husband had to reassure her it was very normal and I was okay.

Something felt a bit off but not a bad feeling, just a awkward feeling. My midwife picked up on it and ask how I was feeling. I couldn’t quite describe it but knew it was feeling off. Once she started to crown I just put all my focus on picturing baby’s head coming out. I placed my hand on baby’s head to help guide as well as help me focus on what need to be done. As baby’s head came out we then figured out what was probably the awkward feeling I had. Baby’s hand was up at their face, supermaning out! I was most likely feeling a funny position while going through the birth canal.

With help from my midwife guiding I birthed and pulled up my baby. Our second midwife helped wrap baby to keep warm. Our oldest got to announce to everyone if we had a boy or a girl.

We had a third girl! She was born on big sisters 6th birthday, a family tradition continues of shared birthdays.

Our youngest kept going up and down between our bedroom and the livingroom. He came and joined us bring up the grandparents who were just downstairs.

My doula made a tea that helps with birthing the placenta, my girls took turns helping give it to me. Birthing a placenta isn’t as bad as a baby’s head crowning but takes a little concentration sometimes.

I love placentas. Such a cool organ that gives so much. Looking forward to doing a print of this beautiful tree of life. Coolest part of my oldest being 6 is she was very involved in her sisters birth. Even cutting the umbilical cord.

Photo by Vancouver Birth Photographer

During newborn checks both my older girls watched and got to help a little.

After everyone left we called my parents to come join us to meet their new granddaughter and to have cake to celebrate our oldest 6th birthday. It’s definitely a birthday she will never forget and hopefully they will both treasure the connection.