Oli's Birth Story {part 4}

While Brad fumbled to contact our planned babysitter, I was starting to get excited. I knew I was going to meet my boy today, but had no idea what to expect. I'd heard with Lily that first babies are always on time or late, and that first babies generally take well over 12 hours to deliver. Lily was 8 days early, and born in 7 hours. So what did this mean for baby number two?

Erika was at a conference with no cell phone reception and after several calls and texts, we realized we needed to contact a back up ASAP. Thankfully another dear friend, Lindsay, was free and eager to help. She was at our house within 20 minutes, just in time for Erika to text me and say "I'm sorry! Do you need me to come over!?" haha. Lindsay held down the fort instead, so she was able to tell our friends who were also at the conference the exciting news and pray for us.

After giving a few instructions and tips to Lindsay, Brad raced to St. Marys just in time for them to break my water. Yes, my water had broken the night before, but not fully. Which explains the lack of contractions or additional fluid. After a huge GOOSH and tons more water I was in active labour within minutes. This was around 4pm and we were joking that Oli should hurry up so we could catch the 7pm Habs game. Little did we know, he was listening :)

I knew after enduring many hours of excruciating contractions with Lily that I wanted an epidural EARLY this time around. I didn't have the guilt or worry like I did last time, I was on a mission. Every nurse that came in I was like "don't forget the epidural!" even though my contractions were still tolerable. So when the doctor came in to give me the epidural we thought it was smooth sailing from here on out. By 6:30pm the contractions were getting very painful (but not as bad as I knew they get!) and my epidural was yet to set in. He said wait another ten minutes, but in the meantime the contractions were intolerably painful and I had dilated to 10cm. WHAT!? Yep. Second babies come fast. And epidurals don't always work.

I was panicking a great deal because I'd not mentally prepared to deliver Oli without pain relief. I've heard of friends who opt to go au natural, but they are also mentally preparing (especially with Hypobirthing) for weeks and even months before. I just kept crying out to Brad "why isn't it working?!" but of course I was too far gone for them to try a second time. This was very scarring to me and made the birth experience difficult. If the epidural worked, that would be been great. If I didn't get one, and experienced the pain, but planned for it, that would have been better than this. But not knowing you're going to experience such awful pain and then getting a big ol' SURPRISE at your most vulnerable was bad bad bad times.

Thankfully my OB was on call that night and she was wonderful. Same with my labour nurse who birthed 4 daughters in 5 years. She was such a friend to me during that time. She grieved with me that I was feeling unexpected pain, she voiced my emotions when I couldn't (think "I know this isn't fair Emily, but you are doing amazing!"), and cheered me on as I was pushing my heart out.  Highly encouraging people were all around me, which made the unplanned element less awful, but I'd still never go that route again.

Let me just say, birth is a gory affair. It's not pretty, even though it's beautiful. Having experienced child birth with the epidural and without, I'd go epidural, hands down, for our next baby. I can't even imagine choosing that pain! Yes, I survived, but gollllllllllllllly it hurt. And it didn't need to. Can you tell I'm still a little bruised by the whole thing? A little.

My OB was great at telling when I should push and when I should just let my body naturally move him out. It was like ten minutes of the most painful game of red light green light, but it helped me deliver Oli with no tearing which was great. And after ten minutes, there he was. My boy. She slid him right onto my chest and there he stayed for almost an hour. I stayed in the delivery room for near two hours, just cuddling, breastfeeding, bonding. In the end, of course, it was worth it and amazing.


  1. At least it went by so quickly! I did not have an epidural with Josiah (and I did with Tessa), but like you pointed out, we planned it that way! We prepared weeks ahead of time. However, it still hurt!So much! My water broke around 4pm and I delivered him at 11:43pm...40 mins of pushing (Tessa took 30)-and since his head had crowned with the first 3 pushes, I felt the ring of fire the entire time! =( My second labor wasn't as easy as everyone said it would be! But, it wasn't bad either. And I'm not sure I could do it natural again. The epidural was certainly nice the first time around!

    I'm excited for you both with your decision to have number 3! I'm hoping to wait until both of these two are potty trained, but we will see what God has planned!

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