William’s Birth Story

Before you read William’s birth story you need to know my labour was exactly how it was meant to be. Although, it was not my birth plan, not even close… my plan was not God’s plan.


My birth plan: Home birth, water birth. Delayed cord cutting with baby (we didn’t find out the sex) put immediately on to my chest for skin to skin. No drugs or intervention and we were going to save my placenta for encapsulation. That was my beautiful, beautiful birth plan. I know you can’t plan out a natural birth so I made sure to write in “hospital as back up if mom (me) or my midwife feel it is necessary.” And yes, in the end the hospital was necessary.


The night that we found out (May 5th) we were expecting our little babe I put What to Expect When You’re Expecting on the TV so naturally that is what I watched the night I went into labour, right? In this case, heck yes. (Why didn’t I try that earlier?!)

I went to sleep around 11:30pm at my parents house the night I went into labour. Michael was out of town and for the first time I thought it would be a good idea to stay at my folks place… you know, just in case! At 12:45am on January 5th I woke up in pain. The pain was not braxton hicks, I’ll tell you that right now! I never thought my contractions were braxton hicks but that might be because I was experiencing braxton hicks since I was 16 weeks pregnant. After many trips back and forth to the bathroom (yes, I went there) I finally went to wake my mother up at 1:30am.

When we started timing my contractions they were already 2-3 minutes apart lasting between 50 seconds – 1 minute. All I could think was “you’ve gotta be kidding me” but it was no joke! Labour came on fast and it came on strong.

We called my midwife just after 2:00am and my mom was on the phone with her when my water broke. My midwife decided to head over to my parents because I was Strep B Positive and I needed to be on antibiotics. She could hear me during my contractions and she really believed I was close to delivering my baby. She asked if I needed to push and if she should call her backup midwife to get her to come. I said no because I knew I wasn’t ready to push yet…..

I WAS ONLY 2-3 centimetres when she got there. “NO (flippin) WAY.”

We made our way to my house where the planned home birth was going to take place. I called Michael and he woke up and started his 4 hour drive home. My contractions got worse and my mother had to push on my back for every contraction. That was the start of my back labour….

At 8am, and no sleep later, I had to stand for all of my contractions. Each contraction got worse, as they do. My back labour was worse because William wasn’t descending. With every contraction he was pushed harder against my pelvic bone, intensifying the back labour. I needed my mom to push on my back during each contraction, someone to push my hips together and someone to hold my hand during my contractions. I swear to you, all I said is “this is horrible” for every single contraction I had. I tried to cry, I really tried. I couldn’t. It sucked. I wanted to cry. So much sucked. Not all labour sucks. I just kept thinking WHY DID I GET A SUCKY LABOUR?

I took way too long of a shower before (I actually don’t remember showering at all) and used too much hot water so Michael started boiling water on the stove and it took hours. When I was finally able to get into the pool it felt so friggin’ nice. I fell asleep…. well, in between contractions. Generally the pool speeds up contractions but my contractions actually slowed down when I was in the pool. I was so comfy (and obviously William was too!) so they made me get up and do stairs. BOOM the contractions came on fast. I was practically running up the stairs, in between contractions, in hopes to get my baby out of me!

My support team would say “each contraction is getting you closer to meeting your baby”. No. No it wasn’t. Call it ‘maternal instinct’ but I honestly didn’t think this baby was coming out the way it was supposed to. It wasn’t supposed to be how it was… it was not supposed to be that hard.

By 5:00pm I had been in labour for 16 hours and it was time to go to the hospital and get pitocin because my labour needed to progress and I was only 6 cm dilated.

I thought I was screaming when we got into the hospital, like a labour scene in a movie screaming but I guess I was actually pretty quiet. (Any other moms think they acted worse than they did?) HAHA.

My midwife looked at me and told me I needed an epidural. I was the 4th mom she has told that to out of all of her moms in labour… just to paint the picture for you.

The pain was so bad. William was posterior and hitting my pelvic bone. The back labour was excruciating and he wasn’t descending. So I decided to get the epidural…

The epidural kicked in and my contractions picked right up. I was having 6 contractions in 10 minutes. THANK GOD for modern medicine… My body needed to relax to get the show on the road. I was able to do my makeup, laugh, listen to music. I was so thankful that I could enjoy a bit of my labour… dream, pray, wonder if I was about to meet my son or my daughter.

After a few hours of easier labour I was nearly 10cm. I would get to 10 cm then I would go back to 9.5cm… it was a “fun” little game my body was playing on me! Finally I reached 10cm for good and was able to push at 1:20am. By this point I was in labour for over 24 hours. Longest and hardest day of my life! I pushed for 2 hours and he still wasn’t descending. I had both of my midwives pulling my pelvis apart in hopes to get him to move down. Seriously, thank GOD for modern medicine because I wouldn’t have made it through all of this pain. With each push the midwives and Michael could see his head coming closer but as soon as I stopped pushing any progress I had made went away. It was good news that I could push… I knew what I was doing. I felt confident. It came naturally to me and I seriously wish I could have pushed him out. But he just wouldn’t fit.

The OB came in and talked to me about my (our) options. William’s head was too swollen so the vacuum wasn’t an option. The OB checked and said the forceps were not likely to work. He said my pelvis was so small he wasn’t confident William would be able to come out with forceps. He said if we tried the forceps there was a chance he would get stuck, I would have a 4-5 degree tear and I would end up in a c-section. SO. I decided a c-section was the safest option for William and I.

At this point, my epidural was off. They had to turn it off in order for us to decide what option we were going to choose… Once I chose the c-section route they called the anestisiologist to come back in. I tried not pushing till the epidural kicked in again… but when a contraction comes there is no way in the world you can NOT PUSH.


William’s heart rate kept dropping and we had to prepare for an emergency c-section.


I felt so messed up from all of the drugs. They said I would feel a lot of pressure and I did. It didn’t hurt but it felt so weird… At 4:25am Michael stood up and yelled “It’s a BOY”. I heard my new baby cry that is like music to your ears. My son was born! But I felt like I could hardly comprehend it… I was about to throw up, my hearing was going and then they handed me William for skin to skin contact and I could hardly hold him because I was so weak.

William 20.8 inches long and weighed 7lbs 13 oz when he was born, 1 day before his due date.

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A while later (because really, I have zero clue how long they took to close me up) we left the OR. Michael and I spent the next hour in recovery, cuddling the crap out of our new born son. We were parents. He was ours. He will always be our little baby.

• • • • • • • • •

I didn’t want a c-section. I didn’t want an epidural. But without a doubt I wanted a healthy baby. This wasn’t my birth story, it was his birth story. It was how it was supposed to be. I don’t regret getting a c-section or an epidural now… I absolutely without a doubt hit my max.

This will mould him to be the man he is supposed to be. As the song in William’s birth video says “it’s the ups and downs that turn you into the man you were born to be.”

This is just the beginning. His beginning.

You can watch William’s Birth Story
by Kristina Nichol @ Sonetto Box Photography here:

Gentleman:
by: Kristina Nichol

I wait another day 
Just to hold you in my arms 
It’s never easy waiting for the things we love 

I — 
I—wait 
I—wait for you 

Now that you’re here 
We’ve latched on and wont let go 
There’s a light that burns inside you 
That we want the world to know 

I am a Mother to a dream maker 
I am a Father to a dream maker 

You have a good strong heart 
Just like your Mama 
And may you grow up to be a Gentleman 
Like your Papa 

Cause it’s the ups and downs that turn you into 
The man you were born to be 

You had us 
You had us 
You had us from the first breath

Life-Altering Green Smoothie

My girlfriend Jamie made this for me a few months ago….. and it is exactly how it sounds. It is so good, so fresh and my life actually changed once I tried it! I made this smoothie *almost* every day I was pregnant for the last few months. I felt more energized and overall a bit more healthy. I wanted to make sure I was eating enough green leafy veggies so I could fight any sickness that came my way! I switch it up from spinach to kale to a mixed green blend (which I did today). If you don’t have pineapple, add mango. No mango? Peaches. I had bags of frozen peaches from our trip out to BC and I used them up in no time!

This recipe makes 4 smoothies… because of the avocado and the can of coconut milk. To make the smoothie you can put the other 3 in freezer bags to make your mornings (or night time cravings) easier! Or make the whole batch for a brunch at your place!

Ingredients:

1 avocado, peeled, pitted 
and quartered – don’t throw the pit out!
4 cups peeled and chopped pineapple – I have used mango and peaches before.
4 handfuls baby spinach (kale or mixed greens)
1 can coconut milk
2 limes, halved with the skin off
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 quarter size pieces of ginger (I do extra think pieces)

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I have altered this original recipe a bit from Clean Eating because I find that I like these portions better. It is easier to just throw 1/2 of the lime into the blender or bag instead of squeezing the juice out and same with zesting the ginger. I am a mom… who actually has time for that anymore? And I add more coconut milk because who doesn’t love it extra creamy?! Alter it however you want!
Throw 1 smoothie portion into a blender… add water if it is too thick. POOF!
Delicious and nutritious. 
WITH THE PIT you can put it in the over at 250° F for 2 hours. Take it out and carefully cut it into pieces, blend into a powder and add it to future smoothies! The pit is nutrient dense, full of fibre and antioxidants. It is bitter so add a little for the first time!
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Enjoy!

Our first 9 months together

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I have always dreamed of being a mother. When I was in school my teachers would ask me what I want to be when I grow up and I would say “a mom“. People have different definitions of what success means to them and mine has always been to be a great mom. I spent years being worried I might not get to experience a pregnancy of my own because at the age of 15 I was diagnosed with endometriosis. Along with the endometriosis I suffered from ovarian cysts that were very painful and if you have had them, you definitely understand! However, I had faith that one day I would be pregnant because I knew and still know God made me to carry my own babies! The only way to overcome having endometriosis is in fact getting pregnant… seems tricky, hey?


One night I had an overwhelming feeling of wanting to have a baby with Michael. I was crying and I felt so strongly that it was our time to bring a baby into this world to love on. The next morning when I woke up I told Michael I thought I was pregnant. He didn’t seem to think it could happen that quickly b u t it does, it did, and I knew it. My body changed so quickly that the signs of pregnancy were unmistakable. I started feeling dehydrated right away, chapped lips and hands that couldn’t be smoothed with moisturizer. My boobs hurt almost immediately, faint nausea set in and I just felt pregnant. My nails grew stronger. I didn’t want to drink coffee. I was in a lot of cramping pain and it was n o t period cramps.


May 5th 2015, Cinco de Mayo, was the day I found out Michael and I were expecting a baby. I hadn’t missed my period yet and I figured I would wait till my period was late to confirm because pregnancy tests are expensive! I was already taking folic acid so I wasn’t too worried about waiting a few more days to find out for sure, but my sister spilled the beans that I thought I was pregnant so she and my mom came over with a pregnancy test. Somehow Michael was oblivious to all of this and didn’t know I was taking a pregnancy test… *whoops, sorry hunny* but I went upstairs to take the test anyways. Since it was the evening and I figured it would be negative because I have heard you are supposed to take your pregnancy test in the morning when you’re newly pregnant because your HCG levels will be higher… After the 2 minutes I turned the test around and read “Pregnant 1-2 weeks” – and I g a s p e d! I knew I was pregnant but I was still surprised when I read it.

Within  two hours of finding out I was pregnant I started applying for a midwife. In Calgary midwives are in such high demand I thought I was about 1-2 weeks too late to send off the applications! Michael and I watched What to Expect When You’re Expecting while I sent off applications to every midwifery service in Calgary, praying we weren’t too late.

While we were waiting to hear whether or not we were going to have a midwife I booked an appointment with my naturopathic doctor to follow the pregnancy (if any of you live in Calgary I highly recommend Dr. Marnie Wachtler as a naturopathic doctor). I was having major cramping pain and I was sent for a ultrasound to rule out ectopic pregnancy because of the severity of the pain. Yes, thankfully it did come back negative because we now have a beautiful baby.

After 5 weeks of waiting I got the confirmation call that we had a midwife! We felt so blessed to be under midwifery care because we wanted a natural pregnancy and labour. We had a solo midwife which meant every appointment we had we saw the same midwife. At our first appointment I started crying right away because I so desperately wanted to hear our baby’s heartbeat for the first time…. and it came in loud and clear. S/he had a very healthy heart rate of 160 bpm which caused me to believe even more than s/he was a girl!

We decided not to find out the sex of our baby because 1. ultrasounds can be wrong and 2. because we were happy with a boy or a girl. My mom came to my 20 week ultrasound appointment with me and I was very clear to the ultrasound technician that we didn’t want to know the sex so we closed our eyes, and covered with our hands just in case we had the urge to peak! I missed hearing this comment from her but I guess she said “Good thing you weren’t looking because you would have known what the sex was.” Ha! And yes, we had a beautiful baby boy.

º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º º

I was so blessed with a perfect pregnancy. Perfect for me, that is. I didn’t throw up once but I sure was nauseous. For anyone who hasn’t have a baby, imagine being hung over all of the time BUT you don’t even get to drink! I had strong braxton hicks start at 16 weeks and they continued until I was in labour. I started feeling my baby kick early for a first time mom and at 17 weeks and 5 days our baby started really kicking hard. The best part of that first strong kick was my husband Michael was actually able to feel it. Baby D (D for Dozer, a nickname my husband came up with, haha!) was head down from 24 weeks onwards, sunny side up (but you’ll hear more about that when I post Williams birth story). My colostrum came in at 26 weeks. When I would go to my midwife appointments she would say that everything is looking great and refer to my pregnancy as a boring ol’ pregnancy because everything was going exactly as it should!

Between 36-37 weeks I started to get very uncomfortable in my low back… but only on my left side. Being in pain was the strangest feeling because I seriously loved every minute of being pregnant up until that point. I started going for more regular massages, craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, yoga, chiropractor – you name it, I tried it. The pain was dulled a little by the work but the pain wouldn’t subside so I started the eviction process at 37 weeks!

I started acupuncture to induce labour, taking homeopathic medicine, eating pineapple and spicy food, drinking castor oil, sex, walking, squatting, taking evening primrose oil… seriously. If I missed writing something down, you bet I still tried it. It really is true when people say the baby will come when the baby is ready. BUT PEOPLE, you don’t say that to a pregnant lady with raging hormones! We still want to feel in control of ourselves and of our bodies. With us crying spontaneously and having a human in us we so desperately want out so we can meet, there is no telling how we are going to react. I was reminded it’s God’s timing while I waited the 39 weeks and 6 days for my baby to bless us with his arrival. God knows exactly how long our baby needs to develop to be perfect for US.

Everybody is different, every body is different, every baby is so different…. every pregnancy, every mom, every experience. My experience doesn’t have to be yours. I do wish for you to have a perfect pregnancy, perfect for you, just as God intends it to be.

Guilt free chocolate cake

Gluten free – Dairy free – Vegan (option) – Guilt FREE.

My girlfriend Tiffany gave me this recipe after she made me this cake for my birthday this year. I don’t know how I lived 23 years without it! It is moist, delicious, chocolatey AND healthy. Seriously, what person doesn’t want to eat a cake that is actually good for them?

I recently made this for my mom’s birthday and it was a huge hit! My dad even liked it….. and if you know him, you know it’s pretty hard (impossible) to introduce him to new food. Needless to say this cake is divine and even the pickiest eaters will be scraping their plate clean!

(If anyone knows my dad please do not tell him there is quinoa in it or that it was healthy!)

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Chocolate Cake ingredients:
2/3 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup almond milk
4 large eggs OR egg substitute**
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted & cooled
1 1/2 cup sugar (coconut sugar is a bit better if you’re looking for an alternative)
1 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate Cake Directions:
• Rinse quinoa before cooking, it will take away the bitterness.
• Bring quinoa and water to a  boil. Cover, cook for 10 mins. Turn off heat and leave for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and let cool.
• Preheat oven to 350°
• Grease 2 8″ round cake pans with parchment paper (I have used only 1 pan)
• In blender combine milk, eggs & vanilla. Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa & melted coconut oil and blend until smooth.
• Add sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt to blender.
• Mix well, pour into pans
• Bake 30-40mins and use toothpick to see if cake is cooked through.

**You can make this cake recipe vegan by adding chia seeds instead of eggs:
1 tbsp chia seeds & 3 tbsp water replaces 1 egg. 

Raspberry Sauce

I absolutely l o v e fruit (I did through my whole pregnancy) and when I found this recipe I put it on everything I could!! I used it as jam, waffle topping, cake topping… anything!

Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:
• 2 1/2 cups raspberries
• 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 tbsp cold water
• 2 tbsp cornstarch

You can add 1/3 cup sugar or preferably raw honey to the raspberries when cooking if you need the extra sweetness but I love the natural sweet and tartness to it!

Raspberry Sauce Directions:
• Cook the raspberries and lemon juice in a pot for 5-7 minutes until the raspberries start to break down, make sure to stir often.
• In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and cold water then add to the raspberry sauce.
• Cook for 30-60 seconds, until thickened.
• Let cool and store in fridge.

 

Coconut Whip Cream:

Coconut Whip Cream Ingredients:
• 1 can coconut milk, chilled
• Maple syrup or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or both!)

Coconut Whip Cream Directions:
• You want to make sure the can of coconut milk has been chilled (in fridge) for a few hours. That will allow the milk to separate and you will use the top layer (cream)
• Whip to your desired consistency
• Add maple syrup to taste or pure vanilla extract
• Whip till it is evenly mixed in.

 

Enjoy a piece… or two! ♥