Wednesday, August 03, 2011

On the day you were (Angela) Jean

Just like your brother, your story actually starts on the day before you were born.

The first contraction. I opened my eyes and looked at the clock it was 4:00am, on the dot. I drifted back to sleep until the next one, twenty minutes later, woke me up again. This went on for a couple of hours and then at 6:30am I woke your Dad up and told him I thought things were starting. We were both extremely excited....and terrified.
Daddy quickly got out his Palm Pilot and
opened up the excel chart he had designed specifically for the task of timing contractions. He had a stop watch and would record the exact times that each contraction happened. You could tell we were first-time parents.
I knew the key to keeping labour going was to stay on my feet so we got out of bed and went for a walk in Cedarvale Park. We walked along the path that filled with morning joggers. More than one of them seemed a little alarmed to see me doubled over with contraction pain every 10 minutes. They kept running...faster, in the opposite direction. I wanted to keep walking, but by 7:30am it was already too hot outside.
We went back to the apartment and waited. Not sure what to expect.
At 9am I called your Auntie Sara. She was going to be my birth coach, so she and 12-week-old Baby Nicolas drove up to Toronto with Beppe and Nonno.
Daddy and I kept timing those contractions.
The St.Thomas crew arrived at about 1pm. And then....well....we waited.....and waited. The contractions kept on going, but never got closer than about 7 or so minutes apart.
We ordered supper, and continued to wait.
As the evening progressed I was starting to get frustrated. I wanted to meet you so badly. I could hardly wait. I felt like I was going to be in labour forever.
At about 10pm I suggested that Daddy go to sleep. I wasn't sure how long everything would take and at that point it seemed like things were stalling. I wanted him to get some rest in case we had to make a trip to the hospital in the middle of the night. By about 10:30 Auntie Sara fell asleep on one of the couches. Beppe stayed up til 11 and then fell asleep too. Nonno promised to stay up with me (we were still timing the contractions) but he fell asleep in his chair about 10 minutes after Beppe. There I was, laying on a couch in the living room of our little apartment (and yes, in case you're counting, we did have 3 couches back then) surrounded by a bunch of snoring family members. At 12:30am I decided I was being ridiculous. I needed to lie down in my bed and try to get some sleep.
I tiptoed to the bedroom trying my best not to wake up Daddy. I heaved my gigantic self into the bed and as soon as my head hit the pillow I heard a POP! followed by a gush of water. It was the last thing I expected to happen! I jumped up, my biggest concern was not to get the bed wet, and nearly doubled over with a huge contraction. Yes! Things were really starting now!
The commotion in the bedroom woke everyone up and we called the hospital, not sure if we should head there or not. The triage nurse told us to wait awhile. Within 10 minutes of that call I knew it was time to go. The contractions seemed very powerful and very close together.
Auntie Sara nursed Nicolas and left him at the apartment with Beppe. Nonno drove me, Daddy and Auntie Sara to the hospital. I have no memory of that car ride.
We arrived at the hospital sometime around 1:30am. The next several hours are a real blur for me.
I remember being 'checked' in triage and being told by the student doctor that I was 7cm dialated. The supervisor doctor checked me again and said the student doctor must have small hands because I was really only 4cm.
I was taken to the labour room and because I had said I wanted to have a drug-free birth I was able to sit on a birthing stool and walk around the room freely with no IV. I remember that the room was kept dark and that none of us said much. I remember trying to concentrate on relaxing during the contractions and flappping my lips like a brass player as I exhaled. The first nurse we had, pretty much stayed off to the side. Every once in a while she would come over to check your heart beat, just to make sure you were OK. At some point, Beppe and Nonno brought Nicolas to the hospital lobby and Auntie Sara left so she could nurse him.
At about 6:30am two new nurses came in and they were amazing. They suggested different positions for me to try to see if we could get you to move down . I spent the last part of my labour on my knees with my arms leaning over the head of the hospital bed. That must have been the position you liked the best because you really started to come down quickly. I have a vague memory of nurses starting to move quickly and unfold paper sheets and call for doctors because they knew you were coming soon. All I remember is feeling like my entire body was going to split apart. You crowned while I was on my knees, but when the doctor came in she wanted me to turn over to deliver the rest of you. I told her I couldn't turn, and she told Daddy and the nurses to just pick me up and flip me over. If I had been a more experienced Mom, I would have refused and insisted on delivering you the way I wanted to, but I didn't know any better and Daddy and the nurses flipped me over. You didn't waste any time and came flying out about 2 seconds later. You screamed your head off and they put you right on my chest.
You were chubby and red, slippery, slimy, and covered with hair. Your nose was smooshed and your eyes were squinty. You were the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. You were perfect in every single way. 
I knew that I loved you from the minute I knew you were coming, but the moment you were born you, Daddy and I became a family.
August 3, 2007 8:55am


  1. Ahhh... simply beautiful... Happy Birthday little girl!

  2. It's very sweet of you to share this with Amelia and all of us :^) Happy Birthday Amelia!

  3. Happy memories! Still feel like I wish I'd stopped that doctor from making you turn over. Still remember nursing Nicolas in the hospital and wondering what was happening upstairs! Also remember borrowing a diaper from you the next morning and it was so tiny on him! Que il tempo vola!