September 19, 2016

Morley: A Birth Story

It’s hard to believe that 15 months ago those two little lines made an appearance telling us that a baby was on the way. Now that 6 months have passed since our baby girl entered the world, I figured there’s no better time than now to sit down and share the story of her birth.

Morley: A Birth Story
Morley at 1 week old.

The due date was set: March 25, 2016. However, from about the beginning of my third trimester, my doctor had started telling me that she wouldn’t be surprised if baby made an early appearance. The more people I told this to, the more told me not to get my hopes up. I, on the other hand, was in full on panic mode. What did early mean? One week? Two? When should I leave work? Was I going to give birth on the subway?

My 39 week appointment fell on Wednesday, March 16. According to the doctor, I was 4 cm dilated. Before she walked out of the room I heard her mutter the words, “Maybe see you next week, maybe not.” I like to be prepared for things, and hearing that, I definitely did not feel prepared. The more I thought about what she said on the way home from my appointment, the more I started to freak out . Isn’t 4cm almost half way? How will I know if I go into labour? Shouldn’t I be feeling things already? I knew Google would have the answers I was looking for. 

The next day, we picked up my sister at the airport. She was flying in from Edmonton and didn’t want to miss her niece/nephew’s debut. That night, as my husband and sister celebrated St Patrick’s Day the way most people do, this preggo hypochondriac sat on the couch and continued to Google “How will I know if I’m in labour?”.  The last thing I wanted was to have this baby in the bathtub. Clearly I have issues.

Learn how to take your own at home silhouette maternity photos here

The morning of Friday, March 18 was more of the same, spent on Google. To calm my mind, we decided to make a stop by the assessment room at the hospital, just to see if things had progressed at all. I definitely did not think we’d be there long, but to be safe, I had laid a few overnight items out on the bed, along with baby’s bag that had been packed for a few weeks. 

I sat hooked up to monitors for what seemed like hours, when in reality, it was more like an hour.  Apparently the nurse saw something because she told us to go walk around for an hour and come back. We went to the mall, the logical place for some walking.

At 4:30pm, we ventured back to the hospital and I was immediately hooked up to the monitors again. About an hour later, the nurse came back. I for sure thought we’d be sent home because I still was not feeling anything, despite now being 5cm. “How do you feel about having a baby tonight?”, she casually said. I really don’t think we had a choice in the matter, but my husband and I both looked at each other and said, “Let’s do it!”. The preparations started immediately. I was whisked off to the delivery room, and my sister got on the phone and called our parents to let them know and went and collected the belongings from our apartment that I had laid out earlier that morning. 

Because I wasn’t in ‘active labour’, my water needed to be broken to get things rolling. I had learned a few weeks before that my doctor would be on vacation around the time of delivery, and had fully prepared myself for the doctor welcoming baby to be a stranger. Male or female, it really didn’t bother me, I was just ready to get the little human out. My husband had also prepared himself for the uncomfortable fact that the doctor could be male, but he too just wanted to meet baby. Our hospital is a teaching hospital, so when a male resident doctor came in to break my water, prepared or not, the look on Steve’s face was priceless. Anyways, details spared, the resident couldn’t do it, so he had to get the doctor on call. A few minutes later, the doctor who would be delivering baby walked in. To rewind a bit, our 20 week anatomy scan was done by a male doctor. If you saw this guy on the street, you would not think he was an OB. He was tall, dressed well, and for lack of a better term, was a silver fox (both my husband and I agreed). For the sake of this story, we’ll call him McDreamy. So, when McDreamy walked through the delivery room doors to break my water, both my husband and I’s jaws dropped. “Of course”, is what I hear my husband say under his breath. All I could think of was how I needed to tell my mom, sister, sister in law and mother in law to check out the doctor that will be delivering their future grandchild/niece/nephew. 

By 6:30pm, my water was broken and the contractions started immediately. Now I definitely knew I was in labour. I don’t even think I made it an hour before an epidural was ordered. Although I consider myself to have a high pain tolerance, I had decided early on in my pregnancy that I would have an epidural. I applaud those that go with a natural birth, however, it was and is not for me. 

By this time our families had all made it to the hospital, and were anxiously awaiting the arrival. At 11:00pm, the delivery room was cleared and it was ‘go time’. To say the labour was easy would be a lie, I was exhausted. There are two things I remember most about that hour. One, my hair would not stay tied back and I was constantly fidgeting with it. Never again will I go for the ‘mom cut’ that close to being due. And two, at some point I told Steve, who was lovingly holding my hand and encouraging me the whole time, that we would NEVER be doing this again. 

A short hour later, at 12:01am on March 19, McDreamy said the words we are still shocked that we heard, “It’s a girl”. We had a daughter, and we were beyond excited. Morley Michael Theresa had entered the world, weighing a whopping 8 lbs 2 oz and measuring 21 inches in length.

She came out wide-eyed and quiet, absolutely no screaming. The nurses tried their hardest to get her to cry and clear her lungs, but she just wasn't having it. We saw a bit of panic in their eyes, which in turn made us a little worried as well. When she still hadn't cried after being poked and prodded, she was hooked up to an oxygen monitor, "just to be safe", which of course made us panic even more. Little did we know at the time, her lack of crying was just an early sign of her personality to come - happy, content and super easy going. Or, stubborn like her mom. 

After things had calmed down a bit, Steve walked out into the waiting room to share the news with our family. Everyone pulled an all nighter as we celebrated the new arrival, and first grand child on both sides. 

We often get many questions about her name and where it came from. Michael and Theresa are family names, representing my dad (who has always wanted a girl named Michael) and Steve’s mom. The story behind Morley is a bit different, and makes us sound either super hip or like a 70 year old couple. On CBC radio, there is a talk program called Vinyl Cafe. The host, Stuart Mclean, shares many short stories from listeners across Canada and of his own writing, such as the adventures of a quirky couple named Dave and Morley. To say we love Vinyl Cafe is an understatement - we listened to it on our journey home from Alaska and despite only planning our wedding at the time, both agreed that if we had a girl, she would be Morley. And at 12:01am on March 19, we had our Morley.

Let's take a look back at the past 6 months...

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