It is truly incredible what we go through creating our tiny humans, and every mom’s birth experience is so different. After having such a rough experience with Logan (read more about his birth story), I’m so happy I’m able to share about a positive birth experience this time around.
As my due date crept closer, our family fell sick, talk about bad timing! Logan caught a cold a week prior, followed by my husband, followed by me. At 9 months pregnant I felt terrible. I was huge, uncomfortable, and had such a bad stuffy nose and head that even with the assistance of 5 pillows and a box of tissues within arm’s reach, I could barely sleep. That said, I had faith that my body would keep baby girl safe inside until it knew I was ready to go through labour.
To my surprise, my body knew it was ready before I wanted it to be. The morning of my due date (how crazy is it that I went into labour on my due date with both kids!?!) I started to feel weird crampiness in my abdomen. I kept trying to dismiss it and play with Logan outside, but after an hour or so and having the cramps come and go at regular intervals I knew it was early labour. I let Matt know what was going on but told him not to rush home because this stage lasted days with Logan.
After the contractions continued and got closer together I called my mom to come over to watch Logan, told Matt that it would probably be a good idea to come home sooner rather than later, and I finished gathering things that I wanted to bring to the hospital (check out my minimalist hospital bag packing list). As the day went on I was filled with so many emotions, and the hormones definitely didn’t help! I was so excited that we were going to meet our new baby girl, while wanting to cling to every last second I’d have with my baby boy before she’d get here. I tried to play and cuddle with Logan as much as I could in between contractions.
By 4:30 after 8ish hours of early labour things started getting more intense and I knew I wanted to start heading to the hospital. We live roughly 40 minutes away, and I did not want to be caught in traffic on the highway while I was going through intense contractions!
My midwife came over and I was only 4 cm dilated with contractions roughly 5 minutes apart. We decided to head out and that they would call ahead to have a room ready for me. During the drive things continued to progress, and just as we got to the other side of the highway I had my last pregnancy craving. I suddenly wanted an Oreo ice cream sandwich, so of course, we had to make a stop for that ????
As we arrived at the hospital things continued to progress until my midwife got there. Then for some reason contractions started slowing down. We decided to go for a walk to help labour move along and it worked really well. After a brief walk to get some snacks and some laps around the room the contractions were hitting harder and harder and getting closer together.
I knew going into this that I wanted to use the laughing gas, and I didn’t put pressure on myself for using or not using any further medication. But after roughly 2 hours of laughing gas, I knew I wanted to step it up and get an epidural, and I’m so happy I did!
After finding a great nurse who could find my vein (they’re notoriously hard to find) and receiving a walking epidural I had some sweet relief! It took a few more hours and a few different positions to get the baby into position. The labour was painful but nothing like labouring at home with my first. Instead of Matt having to squeeze the crap out of my hips to help with the pain, this time around he was misting boy, misting me with rose water to help cool me down after contractions ????
By 11ish pm I was exhausted from being sick and lack of sleep. The epidural was only minimizing the abdomen contraction pain (I have a high tolerance for medication) and I was feeling everything else so I debated getting a top up for the epidural. After a little chat with my midwives and nurse (who were all amazing!) we decided to do a quick check and if it was almost go time I’d hold off, but if things were progressing slowly I’d get the top up.
Thankfully, at around midnight it was time to push!! No top up needed and I’m so happy it worked out that way! I really liked how different the walking epidural was compared to my first birth. I knew when to push, and where to push, and I could fully feel my sweet baby girl coming. After roughly 45 minutes of tirelessly pushing we met our sweet daughter, Addilynn Terry Ann MacKinnon ❤️
We (kinda) got some sleep at the hospital, and thanks to my midwives and the good health of Addi and I, we were able to be discharged and head home by 9am. I was so excited to see Logan and be in the comforts of our own home with our own food, and settle into our new life as a family of four!
This birth was completely different than my first. I feel like birthing Logan and having a rough 4th trimester with him showed me just how strong I am. It taught Matt and I how to help each other and communicate with each other through times of intense stress and sleep deprivation. This time around it feels like I was able to experience the birth I deserve and although tiring, these last 3 weeks have been so nice with her fitting into our family just how we need ❤️
I’d love to hear a bit about your birth experience. Please feel free to share in the comments below or by messaging me on social media @JannineMacKinnon