Gavin’s birth story: Remember this post where Adriana at UmlaPhoto captured the “day in the life” of bebo mia’s Becky during the last few weeks of her pregnancy? Well, at midnight on April 1st, little Gavin arrived and we are finally sharing his “Fresh 48” photos! Here’s a little piece of his story from Becky, and the amazing photos from UmlaPhoto:
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was writing my first post for the UmlaPhoto blog on my Journey to Motherhood…and now I’m here! Having a newborn who loves nothing more than to eat (and eat, and eat, and eat…) ALL DAY LONG has made for some one-handed typing to finally document his birth story, but here we are. I have written Gavin’s birth story in much more detail on my personal blog, but here is a little about Gavin’s arrival, along with our lovely newborn photos.
The Early Signs
We had a busy Easter weekend scheduled, full of plans for family dinners all outside of the city. Feeling fine, we stuck with our plans and enjoyed a fabulous time (and fantastic food!) with our families. Until EARLY Easter Sunday morning… It was 2:00am when I felt the first little cramp. Thinking nothing of it, I tried to go back to sleep, until another came along a few minutes later, followed by another yet a few minutes later. After “timing” for a while, realizing the cramps were consistently about 4 minutes apart, I decided to wake up my husband. We both decided it would be better to hit the road for the 2 hour drive back to Toronto then, instead of waiting to see if things intensified, which would make for an even more uncomfortable drive. My mom decided to come with us and we made the long and VERY uncomfortable drive back to the city. My surges weren’t super intense, but definitely enough to make us know that this was the real deal. Once we arrived at our condo, we called Emilee our doula, I put on my Hypnobirthing CD and tried to get some rest. Emilee arrived and was there for the LONG haul! Things had slowed down a bit, so we trieddoing some stairs, and I spent a lot of time rolling on an exercise ball or stretching on my hands and knees. We waited for things to speed up, but were in for a long 18 hours of early labour.
Active Labor and Intensity
Finally, by that evening, I was starting to really feel tired and wondered how much longer I would be able to continue with things at that pace. When my surges were finally getting stronger and were 4 minutes apart again, we called our fantastic midwife Sara and she arrived to check me. I was 6cm at this point, and things were getting more intense by the minute. It seemed that as soon as I hit the active labour stage, things took off! Only about an hour later, I was 8-9 cm and my surges were a lot longer and closer together. Finally, 40 minutes before Gavin was born, my water broke, and with it came the strongest surges yet. I was told to try not to push as I still had one cervical lip left to dilate. Nice try! Once my water had broken, my body was pushing whether I wanted it to or not, and the surges were so intense it was all I could do to get through one before the next one hit in full force.
My midwives were consistent with checking baby’s heart rate and everything was going well until after my water broke. At one check, his heart rate was extremely low and it seemed to go up and down from there. They decided to call Emergency medical services for backup and Sara told me we couldn’t wait to fully dilate, I had to push past that last lip and get baby out as fast as possible. Hearing those words was terrifying, especially since I knew this was the opposite of our plan. We had just gone over pushing with Sara, and how we all wanted to do it as naturally and gently as possible, breathing baby down with her direction so there was no tearing. I knew things were serious when all of this went out the window and Sara told me to pull my knees back, chin to chest, hold my breath and push as hard as I could for as long as I could to get the baby out NOW. What felt like FOREVER turned out to only be half an hour of very intense pushing. At one point, Sara had me on a birth stool on the bed and I was so exhausted I was seeing spots and thought for sure I was about to pass out. Luckily they gave me some IV fluids which I’m sure gave me just enough to keep going. I finally believed he was actually coming out when I heard my husband say he saw lots of dark hair. And then, within a matter of seconds, our baby was born, cord cut and he was taken down to the floor where he was given oxygen. After asking repeatedly if baby was okay, my midwives encouraged me that he was responding well, and I asked if it was a boy or girl, and heard the wonderful words, “it’s a boy!”. Having felt it was a boy all along, I didn’t even have much of a reaction, I just thought, of course he’s a boy! Sara kept asking for the time of birth, and I remember so clearly hearing one of the paramedics say, “ït’s 12:00 exactly”. Of course. Our little April Fool’s Baby 🙂
One of the most upsetting parts about the whole experience was the fact that I wasn’t able t o have any skin to skin time with Gavin right away, or really even see him. He was whisked away so quickly but I was thankful he was receiving the help he needed. I was able to finally hold my baby boy four hours later at the hospital, and was given the go ahead to try feeding him at 15 hours old. He latched like a champ and hasn’t stopped eating since! We are so thankful for our supportive team, and I’d like to especially thank our doula, Emilee. I shouldn’t say this, but at one point we were really considering whether or not we really needed a doula. I laugh at the thought now. Having Emilee there through my 22 hours of labour was incredible. She was there every minute to offer support, guidance, relief for my husband and encouraging words throughout the scariest moments. Along with having midwives that you like and trust, my biggest advice to expecting parents is FIND A DOULA!
Capturing the Moments of new born
Since we had a short hospital stay for tests and observation, I asked Adriana if we could wait until we were back home for Gavin’s “Fresh 48” photos. So 48 hours after being home, Adriana arrived to get the photos of our little man where he was born, at home. We could not be happier with the photos, capturing how completely in love we are with our son. Thank you, Adriana!
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