I can’t believe that after months and months of waiting, we finally have our little Goldie here with us. I suppose that unless you had in-person contact with me you likely wouldn’t have known we were expecting a 3rd little baby. Was that intentional? Hmmm, maybe. Very likely actually. This will be a lengthy post so congratulations if you make it all the way through.
To start with, we made the conscience decision to keep the news to ourselves for reasons that took me a few weeks, maybe even months to sort out. In case you hadn’t guessed…this pregnancy was a complete and utter, mind blowing surprise. We struggled for years to conceive Elijah, and finally decided to get some assistance to have her. As it turned out I wasn’t ovulating consistently and thats why we didn’t get pregnant. Regardless of this issue, we still knew we COULD get pregnant so I went on birth control when Elijah was just about 2, but I ended up having major health issues associated with it and decided to go off of it. Not even a month had passed that I stopped using it did I conceive this little munchkin.
Why did I have such a hard time talking about it and why did we keep her a secret, even from our parents, siblings and close friends? I’ve had some time to think about it and I think it was just a classic tale of poor timing.
I had JUST started feeling like myself. I was starting to wean Elijah off breastfeeding, I was wearing regular people bras, I had lost all my baby weight, Elijah was sleeping though the night and we made it through the very difficult “baby phase” with her. We had been traveling with the kids without any issues and I felt like I had FINALLY recovered from the possibility of falling into postpartum depression.
Fun fact - I experience an extreme case of PPD with my beautiful boy Kahzik. I didn't have the proper support system at the time and I suffered silently. Not only did I have PPD, I was actually diagnosed with postpartum psychosis 10 months after his birth. The events that transpired during this horrific time in my past still have ongoing consequences that I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life. I was treated for it with Valium and was basically a zombie for a few months when I should have been enjoying being a mother. I didn’t talk about it with anyone because I was nervous to be viewed as someone suffering from mental health issues, which now looking back, I kick myself for not being truthful with the people in my life. This is actually the very first time that I’ve thrown this information out there for people to know.
Moving on…I had obvious fears around Elijahs birth but I was proactive about finding ways to deal with the possibility of PPD or PPP. I was successful. I kept myself very busy, I avoided triggers, I was hypersensitive to the signs my body were giving me and I addressed any negative feelings that I recognized from the past. The biggest difference this time…I leaned on my support system. I had great friends that I trusted this time and I made sure not to hide how I was feeling. I won. I felt like I won the lottery in fact. I successfully bypassed depression. I kept telling myself that I would never have to go through this again because our family was complete and I had closed the book on this part of my life.
I guess I was wrong
I found myself in a very strange space when I found out I was pregnant. Because I had mentally disconnected myself from pregnancy and childbirth. I found myself upset that I was now in this extremely vulnerable state. I was completely annoyed at the idea that people would be offering me congratulations once they found out, because I didn’t think it was anything to celebrate. That’s what initially caused us to be so tight lipped about it. But then the days became weeks, and the weeks became months and the next thing I knew was that we hadn’t told anyone. Possibly even crossing into the awkward stage. I mean… who tells their family they are pregnant when they are 35 weeks along!? So alas…we decided to turn our secret into a fun surprise!
And now, here is her birth story:
Goldie Bloom Hamilton – April 4th, 2019
Around a week and a half prior to my due date I started feeling painful contractions that I knew were more then just Braxton Hicks. They would start in my back and work their way forward and would increase in intensity. I started timing them and all the signs pointed to early labor, so I would prepare myself for that. We knew we would be having a home birth so I didn’t have a hospital bag ready but I did need to organize my children to stay with a friend, so the first day I started getting these contractions I sent them away once they started getting closer together and more painful. I let my midwife know that I MIGHT be in labor but I would check in with her once I was certain. The contractions continued for about 8 hours steadily, and then died off…hmmm strange. So, I figured it was just stage 1 of labor and that it would likely happen in the next day or so. I was so very wrong…
This awful pattern continued on for days! A week and a half to be exact. My body would attempt to go into labor, each time causing even more painful contractions, causing me to lose copious amounts of sleep due to the pain and discomfort. I had a midwives appointment scheduled and I showed up in a complete fog because of the strange thing my body was doing. I explained to her what was going on and she offered to check me for dilation. I was completely desperate, so I agreed. I had previously decided I wouldn’t ask to be “checked” with this pregnancy because in my previous births, the numbers meant nothing. I’ve gone from a 0 – 3 in 20 hours, and a 3 – 10 in 10 minutes, so I don’t find that it helps me determine where I am in the stream of time and only causes me more pain. I agreed this time though because I needed to know what was going on down there. She said I was maybe 1cm, not fully effaced but that it didn’t matter for a 3rdbaby. She said my cervix was super soft and that I could go at any time. Great. I was so desperate that I actually considered induction. I figured it would be better to get it over with then continue this daily pattern.
A friend of mine recommended that I call an Osteopath for help – Teara Ashby. She helped flip her baby and I’ve had so many clients rave about her and her magical abilities. So I called her, and she told me she was on her bathroom floor basically dying of food poisoning. I could hear how sick she was over the phone and I felt awful for her. She said she wasn’t able to help me that day but she stayed on the phone with me for 30 minutes telling me a few things I could do on my own and that if she was better in the morning she would come over. And luckily she did!
Teara came by the next morning and diagnosed all my issues by simply looking at me and touching my belly. When I say this woman is amazing, I truly mean it. She has a gift. I don’t know how she does it, but she was spot on with everything that was wrong. My baby had not flipped into her proper position like she should have, and was lying posterior with only a small portion of her head sitting on my cervix. So that’s why my labor refused to progress. With a few hand movements and some adjusting, I literally felt the baby gently engage into her proper position. It was truly amazing. She told me the baby just needed to sit there for a little bit to lower into my pelvis, and that she would come back to see me in the afternoon to do the final adjustment. She told me this was the calm before the storm and that I should relax, take a nap and do some belly hangs until she returned. So I did. At this point and time however, I was completely disillusioned to the idea that this child was ever coming out. Despite all the rave reviews about Teara, I was still skeptical and I didn’t truly believe her when she told me I would have the baby that day. It wasn’t until she returned that afternoon that things got real…I mean realer then real.
My son had come home from school and I asked my friend who was going to take my children to come over. We were just chatting causally when Teara came back and she did the final adjustment on me. She even let my kids feel my belly and told them what she was doing and everything just seemed to feel normal. Once she was done, she told me that I might want to consider packing my kids up and sending them with my friend and calling my husband home from work. Even at this time I was thinking that might not be totally necessary yet. And no sooner had I finished that thought; I got a contraction…a MEAN one. It actually kind of caught me off guard. And then another one, and another…they started hitting me hard and only 3 minutes apart. These weren’t early labor contractions either, these were the type that buckle your knees and make you need to squat for a bit. So needless to say, my friend and my children hightailed it out of there and I texted Lee to come home NOW. By the time he arrived, I was already in hard labor.
One thing I’ve never done during labor is cry. This time though, I think I cried the whole time. I was in a panic. I wanted the pregnancy to be over and no longer be in pain, but I also knew what awaited on the other side…a baby. A little person who was going to need every inch of me, despite my having two other children to care for. Someone who would be keeping me up at night, someone who would steal my quality time away from Kahzik and Elijah, someone who was going to alter my relationship with Lee. So much negativity was going through my mind, as it had the entire pregnancy. I cried, not only because this was so much more painful then I remember, but also because I felt like I was about to lose so much of what I love about my life. And I didn’t know how to repair it, grieve it, or accept it. I cried because I was so so sad that this little girls beginning, was what felt like my end.
The midwife arrived and started setting everything up. She gave me an IV in case I needed help after the delivery since I had low iron the whole pregnancy. We didn’t end up needing it. I spent a bit of time in the shower, which seemed to help a bit with the pain as well. Lee attempted to put on my Zen birthing playlist which I quickly shut down because I wasn’t in the head space I expected to be in for the birth. I had envisioned a more serene situation, but what I turned into was basically just a grown woman crying like a baby and yelling at my contractions as if they could hear me. Lee got the bathtub ready for me and he helped me to the basement. The water felt amazing and whether or not it helped with the pain, I’m not sure, but it was comfortable.
Shortly after getting into the tub, I entered transition. I’ve come to know transition as the point when my body goes into what I describe as “shock”. I started shaking uncontrollably and became unresponsive when spoken to. I had a similar experience when birthing my son. The pain was not as intense with his birth, but I remember feeling as if I was slowly leaving my body and going somewhere else. Not sure where, just somewhere. I did not have this experience birthing Elijah.
This time, after I started shaking I remember saying out loud “I just need to sleep. Just a small sleep and I can finish this”. In my mind at the time, this was a completely reasonable request. It was only Lee and I in the bathroom at this point and I’m sure he was speaking to me, but I couldn’t hear anything. The next thing I knew, I felt my body go limp, my head dropped and I was gone. Everything was black and I could hear voices, but not what they were saying. I remember thinking about my two kids, and about how I was about to meet another one, and that’s when I was reminded how much I love her, and I didn’t even know her. But I decided then and there that I wanted her, that I wanted to know her, and I wanted to meet. I felt something in my body burst, and for the first time in a while I was able to speak. “My water just broke”.
I waited for the sensation to push, about a minute passed and there it was. All I needed to give was one big push. As I was pushing, I felt someone pull me out of the water aggressively. I started to scream because I knew the baby was coming out and I no longer had my arms free to catch her. The next thing I remember is coming back to full consciousness and hearing the sound of my daughter crying. I was standing in the tub screaming my head off, and I didn’t even know why. I later found out that after I had gone limp, my bottom was too close to the base of the tub and there was no room for baby to get out, so Lee and the midwife had been telling me to move but I couldn’t hear them, so they had no choice but to lift me up and thankfully the midwife caught my daughter. She came shooting out like a bullet after only one push, and two minutes after my water broke.
After I settled down, they helped me sit back in the water and handed me my baby. The world stood still a moment while I stared at her and she stared at me. I was in love.
We waited a bit before cutting the cord, and Lee hugged her tight and gave her skin-to-skin while I delivered the placenta. I’ve never seen my placenta before and I figured since this was my final baby I would take a peek at it. Kind of gross, but kind of neat at the same time. The midwife helped me out of the tub and brought me to a bedroom that she had prepared with a tarp, pee pads, pillows etc. I lay there with my baby and that’s when the second midwife arrived. Now it was time for the moment of truth – The Damage Report
I’m not going to lie; I’m terrified at the idea of getting stiches on my nether regions. I’ve never had them, and never want them. Which is why I put so much effort into caring for that area before labor. She took a look and let me know that I was good to go. No tearing, no damage, a big sigh of relief.
Those beautiful midwives brought me down a snack, fixed my pillows when I needed it, cleaned up the tub (the birth water was surprisingly clear from some reason! I was expecting a blood bath!). They put all the used towels in the washing machine and bagged up all the garbage. Everything was so clean, nobody would have guessed what just went down in that bathroom.
Next thing I knew it was just Lee, Goldie and myself.
Have my feelings changed about her? Of course! I think its common to have fears when your pregnant, especially an unplanned pregnancy. But once I laid eyes on that baby, I knew I didn’t love her any less then my other two children and that I would learn to make it work. All the hard stuff that I fear is only temporary. She wont be a needy newborn forever. I’ll ask for the help I need instead of relying on myself, and I’ll figure out a way to give each of my kids the most important parts of me that they need at the time that they need it. This story has a happy ending, and I’m so glad to have been able to share it with you.
Here are a few of my favourites from this gorgeous session. There's just something about that connection between a mother and her new baby. It's might even be the most profound of all human connections. I adore those beautiful stares between mother and child, trying to figure each other out, learn about who they are and what they'll grow up to be. It's a beautiful thing.