The Birth of Drew
(Written by Miranda, Drews Mom)
October 8th, 11:50pm
After crawling into bed an hour before, I put my phone down and turned over on my side, ready to submit to the discomfort of 39 week pregnant sleep but, still sleep, none the less. Within minutes, I had my first contraction. These had been coming on at night for weeks, so I lay, waiting to see if this time was different. Within an hour, they intensified and were 10 minutes apart. I got out of bed and began rolling on my birthing ball – texting my husband, Jeremy, to let him know what was happening and that he may have to return from his night shift sooner than planned.
By 3 am, the contractions were 5 minutes apart, lasting about 45 seconds. I called the maternity ward and they suggested I come in to be checked. I texted my doula, Jenna, and let her know I would be heading in. It took us about half hour to pack up the car, my mom by my side. But, by the time we were heading down, the intensity of the contractions had died down and they began to space out. I decided to go anyways to see if any progress had been made. When I arrived, they checked me and I was 3cm. They monitored me for half hour but, since contractions were coming at about 10 minutes apart and I wasn’t dilated to 5cm (my birth plan specified that I preferred to go home if less than this), we decided it was best I return home and get some rest.
It was 6am, October 9th, before I arrived home and I immediately went to bed as I had a strong feeling this baby was coming today. I woke again around 11am, contractions were irregular but intense so Jenna told me to try to get some more rest and see if they pick up — I did exactly that and they most definitely picked up! Contractions woke me at 1pm — they were strong. I decided not to use the contraction timer, as it felt much better to lay, relax, listen to hypnobirthing affirmations and breathe through them. Jeremy was home and asleep next to me. I woke him and told him my contractions were strong, that I hadn’t had lunch and asked if he could go grab something for us to eat before things got more intense.
I got up and began walking around and swaying through contractions. when Jeremy came back with lunch, I had to eat quickly as contractions were about 5 minutes apart and lasting close to a minute. Once I was finished eating, I decided to have a bath to relax while labouring at home. Jeremy filled the tub and put drops of lavender essential oil in the water. I texted Jenna before getting in the tub and told her that things were intensifying and that I was going to take a bath to stay relaxed. I got in the tub, but it seemed no matter what position I chose, I couldn’t move with the contraction as I wanted — as if I wasn’t weighted and didn’t have enough control. Jeremy massaged my lower back through a few contractions but I couldn’t fight the feeling of wanting to be grounded and move through the surges. After a half hour, contractions were very intense so I told Jeremy to text Jenna and ask if she could come over now, she said she was coming right away! By the time I got out of the tub, Jenna was just arriving and I began to feel pressure. I was confused as I had really only been feeling regular contractions for 2.5 hours and didn’t think this was a normal feeling for early labour. Jenna told us we need to leave, now.
When we arrived at the hospital, Jeremy went to register me and Jenna quickly retrieved a wheelchair and brought me up to the maternity ward. I was immediately brought to a room and checked: 8 cm. I was no longer confused by what I had been feeling – this baby was coming fast!
I felt a few surges while standing at the bed and Jenna did counter pressure on my hips. Although the contractions were strong, I felt good and ready to bring this sweet baby down. Jenna suggested I get in the shower and within minutes of being in there, I found peace. Jeremy running the hot water over my back and legs, my sweet sister fanning me, Jenna’s reaffirming words, my ability to sway and lean into the grab rail in front of me — it felt like exactly where I needed to be.
Within the hour, I was checked again and was at 9 cms. I decided to return to the shower to continuing labouring and after another hour, I asked about breaking my waters as I was getting tired. Jenna gently reminded me of my birth wishes and how I wanted my waters to break on their own — I knew that’s what I wanted and, even though my OB was on his way to the room to tell me if he would break my waters or not, I was ready to decline once he arrived. I welcomed one more contraction and with it, the strongest urge to push so I breathed it down, hard, and with it, a slight push and that’s when my waters broke! I began to squat and shout that the baby was coming NOW. My nurse Stephanie checked me and said the baby is still descending and that we have time to make it to the bed. My OB walked into the room as I was walking to the bed, he checked me and I was fully dilated! Before my next contraction, I told them that Jeremy would be announcing the sex of the baby as we did not know, and they happily agreed.
Finally, it was time to meet this sweet, sweet stranger. The first surge came and I was shocked by what I felt — physically, emotionally. There was so much to be felt. The head was out, we were halfway there, baby was halfway here — between two worlds and this one, ours, was soon to be forever changed. The second surge came, I surrendered to the strength I didn’t know I had and suddenly, she was earth-side! A 6 pound 13 ounce warm, little body was placed on my stomach and I grabbed for her, euphoric, in love — so. Much. Love. I didn’t know who this was, if I had a son or a daughter, I just knew I loved them. For those few seconds, it felt as though I had entered a different world, it was Jeremy’s announcement, “Its a girl!” that brought me back to earth as it felt as though my heart weighed twenty times heavier — it grounded me and the intensity of this love came full circle. I have a daughter. My little girl. My Drew.
After her cord was cut, I embraced her, welcomed her to my breast, I loved on her. I inhaled her scent, I touched her long, dark hair. I fell deeper in love with her with each second that passed. She did not leave my chest — I felt as though we were still one, two hearts, one body, one love.
Her big brother was welcomed into the room. We snuggled in bed. He touched her hair, he smiled at her, he held my arm, he loved on her too. We sat in this moment of a family of 4 for some time before welcoming in the grandparents and sharing with them the news that they have a granddaughter — my Mother-in-law’s first little girl, as she had 3 sons of her own. Their reactions were so beautiful! We announced her name: Drew Karen. After Jeremy’s Grandmother — my Mother-in-law’s Mother, Karen LeDrew, who passed very suddenly in March of 2016.
I could feel all of their love. Love for Drew, for me, Jeremy, Eli, each other — all tied together, all family. My mom kissed me, my sister fixed my hair. Bliss. So much bliss. All in awe, all in love, all together.