Friday, June 5, 2015

Nolan's Birth Story

     I imagine most people who read this blog, also follow me on Instagram. If that's the case, then you probably know that our little man made a quick arrival on May 21st, right here in our home. Nope, it was not because he arrived quickly, but because I planned for a home birth with him. I did a lot of research prior to making my decision and knew it was right for me and my family. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment below. Today, I wanted to share Nolan's birth story (as I documented it for him), along with how I felt about this birth and what helped with my recovery this time.

40 w + 1 day
{40 weeks + 1 day... 3 days away from meeting our little man}

My Dear Nolan,

     You are finally here and you have filled us all with so much love and joy, it's almost unbelievable. While it is still fresh in my mind, I want to share with you the story of your birth.
     Thursday started out very much like any other day we had, had recently. I woke up and felt a little sad and discouraged that my body seemed to be making little to no progress on delivering you to us (I actually read this article the day before and teared up a little, afraid I may be induced and miss this whole home birth experience). I shared this feeling with both your Daddy and Grandma, but tried my best to stay positive. Grandma and I took Halle to the park, came home for lunch and then I was meant to get on a phone call, but it never happened. Instead, I took a nap (I was feeling more exhausted than usual), then ran a few errands to pick up some things for dinner. When I got home, I took the rest of the afternoon to cuddle on the couch with your sister and watch some of her favourite shows. I texted with a few friends about how sore and crampy I was feeling that day, but it was pretty on and off so I didn't expect it to mean too much.
     We all ate a quick dinner after Daddy got home from work and then headed to his softball game. We loved cheering him on and I spoke with just about everyone on the team about how anxious I was for you to arrive. By the time we left the ball field for home, it was nearing 8:30, and I was feeling very crampy and getting quite a few intense Braxton Hicks. 
     We arrived home just before 9, and while Daddy gave Halle a bedtime snack, I let the dogs out and used the washroom. I felt like the cramps weren't easing up at all, so I told Daddy to inflate the birthing tub again (it had a slow leak)  just incase, and then sent a message to my Doula Kim to let her know what was happening. After giving her a heads up, I took one sip of the tea Grandma had made me and my water broke right on the kitchen floor. Your sister exclaimed, "Dada, Mama pee'd on the kitchen floor!". Grandma and I laughed and explained to her what had happened, letting her know that you were going to be born. She was so excited, she started to dance around and thank me. 
     This was all happening around 9:10 and Daddy started to fill the birthing tub and get Halle ready to go to a friends for the night, while I updated Kim and Grandma started timing my contractions. We noticed right away that they were coming every three minutes and lasting about a minute each, growing in intensity with each one. Daddy paged the midwife on call, who said I was in active labour, so she would finish up a few things and be right over. We continued timing my contractions, which just continued to come closer together and get stronger. Within 20 minutes Daddy called the midwife back and told her they were now two minutes apart and very strong, so she said she would be right up. I climbed into the birth tub, and the midwife and Kim arrived just before 10 - at which point, I already felt the urge to push. Erin (the midwife) told me to do my best to breathe through my contractions while we waited on the second midwife to arrive.
     When Erin was done setting up she checked your heartbeat and noticed it had dropped, so she started to get me to move around to different positions to see if we could get it to recover. I continued to push as we tried to get your heartbeat back up, but it wasn't working. The only position that worked was me standing, and I did not have the strength or energy to do that. The midwives didn't like how things were going, so they had Daddy call 911 for back up, while one of the midwives called the hospital to let them know we would be coming in. 
     Of course my top priority at this point was to deliver you safely (and quickly), so I continued pushing, hoping I could deliver you before we had to transfer to the hospital. I heard the paramedics arrive (apparently there were two ambulances that responded), and heard them discussing with your Dad the best way to get me down the stairs and into the ambulance. Then I heard Erin tell someone to get me a housecoat and tell me we had to go... so I pushed... and pushed, even without contractions, and at 10:48pm you entered the world, screaming and crying and letting everyone know that you were just fine.

May 22 2015
{Nolan's first photo, in bed after everyone left in the early hours of the morning}

     In that moment, we were all so happy. The midwives checked you out and were pleased with all of your vitals and with how I was doing, so they sent the paramedics on their way (who had been discussing with your father, his fine craftsmanship of our dining room table and light fixture) and then called the hospital to tell them we were safe and would not be transferring after all.
     I spent a long time cuddling you on the couch, talking quietly with Daddy, Grandma and Kim (check out this article on the benefits of an undisturbed first hour - worth including in your birth plan, no matter where you are delivering), while the midwives worked quietly to care for us and then gave us lots of quiet time. After you were weighed and measured, I cleaned up in the shower, while Daddy and Grandma got some cuddle time with you.
     Your Daddy and I were so thrilled to be safe and comfortable at home with you. I loved being able to climb into our own bed, have something to eat and keep you nearby, in this house that we will raise you in.

May 22 2015
{The morning after he was born}

     We didn't have to endure a long or uncomfortable hospital stay (though the hospital you would've been born in, is very nice!!), we got to eat all of our own food at home (like chocolate chip pancakes the morning after you were born) and there were no uncomfortable car rides to the hospital and back (getting there before I delivered you may have been a bit dicey).
     Halle went to stay with good friends for the night, but she was able to come home to us bright and early the next day, anxious to meet you. Right away she told me how cute you were and she hasn't been able to stop talking about you, holding you, kissing you, helping with everything and always being the best at calming you down. It's made us so happy to see her fill the role of big sister so wonderfully.

Nolan & Halle
{Sibling love - she can't get enough of him}

     I wrote more to him, in the journal that I keep for him, but that is all that I wrote in regards to his birth. 

     I found for the few days after Nolan was born, I just sat back and reflected on his birth with a smile on my face. Despite his heart rate dropping, I was so pleased with how his birth went. Thrilled that his date and time of arrival were a complete surprise (I was induced with Halle, so I was not as lucky) and that it was quick and I needed no drugs - only my body, some positive affirmations that I repeated to myself and my wonderful group of support people. He was not born in the tub as I had hoped, but he was born at home, safely and into my arms, surrounded by people that I knew and trusted (plus 4 paramedics in the background).

     I did a lot to prepare for his birth, though of course I can't say exactly what contributed to my quick labour. I drank Red Raspberry Leaf tea, attended prenatal yoga for a number of months, and did a lot of reading and research on natural child birth and home birth. My reading and research helped so much to prepare me mentally for everything, and if nothing else, I highly recommend doing at least the last part. I never researched with Halle, and I wish I had educated myself more.

     As for recovery, having a birth I was happy with helped and so did being at home. Of course, not everyone will have these in their back pockets. One thing I want to really stress is physical care. Rest, hydrate, have healthy food and snacks ready (both for the hospital and at home - I had a bunch of these baked up and frozen for an easy to grab breakfast or snack and I love them) and if you can - make these pads! I had the same kind of tearing this time around, as I did with Halle, but I found I healed much more quickly using these wonderful, frozen healing pads. I also had some extra witch hazel that I added to my peri bottle. Within a couple of days climbing in and out of bed and walking came much easier. 

     We're struggling a bit more this time around with nursing. I think my supply is low, so we're spending a lot of time trying to boost it back up, so that he can gain some weight. Other than that, life seems to be moving along nicely for us and we are thrilled to finally be a family of 4!

     Have you ever had or are you considering a home birth? I'd love to hear from other's about their birth stories, whether at home or in the hospital. Each of us has such a unique story for how we came into this world.


  1. This is so beautiful Kerry!! Love hearing birth stories from strong and beautiful women!

  2. I love this! I'm so happy I wrote out Benjamin's birth story. Our kids will love to one day read how they came into the world! Our memories of the day will fade over time so it's great to get it all down while it's still fresh. I hope to have a home birth with any future children!


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