|Devon, Ewan and Sianhan
The birth stories of Caroline's three children, vaginal deliveries, two with epidurals, one unmedicated
My first child, Devon was born on St. Patrick's Day, 1997. I was exactly two weeks late and was induced. My doctor, the FABULOUS Dr. Jan Moreau of Barrie asked me to be at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, where we live, at 7:30 a.m. and he would break my waters and hopefully get things started. After four or five hours of walking the halls, my husband, Rick, and I were getting discouraged. Dr. Chevy (his nickname) checked me and decided to put me on a drip of oxytocin. OUCH! The pain was almost instantaneous. At about 6:00 p.m. "Chevy" informed me that he was off duty and would NOT deliver my baby. To say that I was disappointed is an understatement! He had promised that if I were induced, he would be the one to deliver my baby!
By 6:30 p.m. I was in extreme pain. I asked for some pain relief and was given Demerol. That was a big mistake because it made me feel nauseous and "out of it." At 7:20 p.m. I had an epidural. AMEN! I was still a little out of it but the pain was easier to bear. I began pushing at 8:10 p.m. and our son, Devon, was born at 9:25. He was the only baby to be born at that hospital on St. Patrick's Day, 1997. Devon was seven pounds, five ounces. He stopped breathing when he was born because the Demerol had slowed his system. Between ten and twelve nurses and doctors rushed in after he was born, and rushed him to the special care nursery. That was the scariest moment of my life. Surely I hadn't gone through 14 hours of labour to lose a child now! I didn't. Devon is without a doubt a gifted child and if we could all aspire to be like him, the world would be a better place.
My husband's best friend, Patrick (aka Pat) passed away from cancer in July of 2000. He was the best man at our wedding and was tickled that Devon was born on St. Patrick's Day. Pat was 32 years old when he passed away, just a couple of days shy of his 33rd birthday.
We named Devon after the port that my husband's great-great-great-grandfather had sailed from when he came to Canada.
My second son, Ewan, was born on August 19th, 1999. My pregnancy was extremely easy and I worked up until the week before I was due to have him. My due date was August 12th. I was scheduled for an induction on the 20th, which is our wedding anniversary. However, on the Tuesday prior, Dr. "Chevy" informed me that he was going to be out of town for a wedding and unless my body decided to go on its own, it would have to wait until Monday the 23rd of August when he got back.
On Thursday August 19th, for some strange reason, my husband decided to stay home from work. As he worked in the city and commuted, I found this unusual. I had been having pains, but as I had had a bad bout of gas the week prior, it didn't occur to me that I might be in labour. After speaking to my mother on the telephone and having her convince me that I was indeed in labour, I arranged for her to care for my 2 1/2 year old son, Devon. I awoke my husband and drove us over to my parents' home where we could leave Devon, just in case. I proceeded to drive us to the hospital, still not thinking that I was in labour.
When we finally arrived at R.V.H. at 2:15 p.m., I was told that I was 6-7 centimeters dilated and that I wasn't going anywhere! The pain wasn't that bad yet, but about two hours later I began to ask for some pain relief. I had some laughing gas. I had a little and after about another half hour, I began to beg for an epidural. The nurse told me that after one more contraction, I was going to be pushing and there was no point in giving me the epidural. She was right, because after about four or five pushes, my precious boy, Ewan entered the world and at nine pounds, one ounce, and I am proud to say that I delivered him without any drugs! (Not to say that it didn't hurt!) We named Ewan after the actor, Ewan McGregor, because we like names that aren't popular. His middle names are James William after his great-grand fathers.
My third child, Sianhan (pronounced Shannon) was born on February 21, 2001. Her birth was the one I will remember most. Perhaps, it is because I knew that she would be my final child. My husband and I had decided that after our third child was born that our family would be complete. I had decided before I went into labour, that I would try to make it the most pleasurable experience it could possibly be.
When I went a week past my due date, I was feeling rather depressed. Not just that I had gone late, but I had literally felt the moment of conception so I knew that my dates were NOT incorrect! I was due on Valentine's Day. Celine Dion was due on the same day and she had gone six weeks early! Our friends Christine and Steve were due about the same time and they had already had their baby. I felt as though I couldn't do anything right!
Dr. "Chevy" decided that since I knew when I was due that he would just break my water and stretch my cervix and that would get things going. So on February 21st, 2001, I arrived at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. I was more nervous than I had ever been. Maybe it was knowing that if we didn't have a girl that this was "it!" "Chevy" got things started and hoped that we would be done by lunch. No such luck... By about 1:00 p.m. I was in pain and hoping that it would be done soon. I got into the whirlpool at about 2:00 p.m., which was incredible, and it really did move things along. I was able to concentrate on the jets of the spa rather than focus on the pain of my contractions. Eventually, it got too much to bear and although the baby had almost completely dropped, I was still only eight or nine centimeters dilated.
I had the epidural. It was the best thing I have ever done. There were two nursing students in the room who had never witnessed a birth. I didn't even have to push, as Sianhan was ready to come out. Dr."Chevy" rushed in, took my hands and placed them under the baby's shoulders and told me to pull. I pulled her from my body. At that point, I felt no pain; it was pure and simple joy. No pain . . . the nursing students were crying with joy and it was only until the doctor pulled her legs back and away from me that we knew we had our girl! She was 7 pounds 13 ounces. Sianhan slept for six hours that first night and has been a wonderful baby ever since!
This is when your life begins. Treasure it because they grow so quickly. The "good times" are when your children are young and you are the only influence in their lives. It is not an easy task to mold someone, but we can only do our best. Enjoy every second!