Colin, your birth story truly starts on May 25th, your big brother, Connor’s, birthday. You see, that was the day that I needed to get through before you were born. I really wanted you both to have your own birthdays so I was determined to keep you cooking. Now, you weren’t “due” until June 4th so most would say that I had nothing to worry about. BUT, having two babies born before you come early, meant that for me, it was a real possibility. I was having contractions here and there prior to May 25th, but nothing too alarming.
Then, May 25th came.
A cloudy, rainy, full moon day where the pressure dropped and so did you. Connor had his end of year picnic that day and it was inside because of the weather. I truly cannot remember much of it since the waves of pain I was having were so severe that keeping my mind on anything else was difficult. Still, miraculously to me, Connor got his whole birthday as his own. The day came and went as we celebrated him with a heating pad on my back for the majority of it. And then, the next day also came and went as these “pain waves” started to decrease with movement and heat and I began a regiment to get you facing the right way which I was sure you were not.
In fact, not only the next day came and went but, 12 days came and went. Each day, the contractions actually decreased in time and intensity and started to become more sporadic, totally throwing me off my “I know the drill!” game. My due date, for the first time in any of my pregnancies, came and went. It was nothing short of a miracle for me to have you in there that long. After June 4th, I was truly ready… and I think you knew.
June 6th – 2am
Your Aunt Becca called to tell us that she was in labor. Baby Benjamin was coming a day earlier then his due date and I still hadn’t had you yet! Excited and awake as we got off the phone, I started to feel differently than I had that night before I went to bed. I started to feel like I was getting waves again. Not painful but not Braxton hicks. These felt contraction-like but were so low my first thought was sympathy contractions. HA! I woke up a few more times that night with these weird, could be early labor could be something else, contractions. I ended up getting up with along with your Dad around 6am since I wasn’t sleeping anyway. Once I got up, the intensity of the feeling I was having changed and became more intense but didn’t wave like contractions I have had in the past and again were so low that I didn’t even feel them above my belly button. I told Daddy to go to work but to be close by because “if I had a couple more like (that one), I’d want him home.” (I was nervous that you’d come quickly. So was everyone. We all wanted to make sure we made it to the hospital. No car baby here!)
Well, I had a few more while Daddy was gone so I called him home. I also notified the birth crew - Tierney (lovely friend who wished to witnessed a birth), Ebony (Birth photographer), and Gigi (your maternal grandmother) - that I thought this could be it. (I had cried wolf a few times towards the end of this pregnancy but this definitely felt like something was happening.) My contractions were strong and intense however, they did not wave, were hard to time and they didn’t seem to be patterning or getting close together. They kept throwing me off; these weird, low, intense, untimable contractions. Daddy came home (7:15am) and Tierney decided to come over to help where needed (9am) and around 9:30am Ebony showed. Connor and Killian were still hanging out with us and Gigi would join us when we were ready to go to the hospital – which was the question of the hour! Every time someone asked, I still didn’t think it was time, despite the intensity of the contraction.
We hung out at the house and then walked the boys over around 10am and it was lovely. Saying bye to them was harder than I thought it would be but it was time to focus on you. We went back home, ate a snack, and then around 11am I noticed the contractions started to waiver a bit. By 11:30am, I was nervous that this was another false alarm since I didn’t feel like I had any decent wave in 30 minutes. Small ones were happening but nothing that made my mind believe my body’s signals that you were coming. Tierney then suggested changing the music. Paul changed it to more upbeat tunes and I got off my ball and walked around a bit. Boom. 3 strong contractions back to back. Call Gigi, its time to go. Funny thing though, after each contraction, I was alert, smiling, talking – you would never believe I was in labor and only a few hours from having you.
In the 45 minute car ride, I had 5 ish contractions. Your play list was playing and I was singing along in between contractions. I was so happy to have that music I picked especially for you. Your song, Connor’s song, and Killian’s song played back to back, bookended by songs that reminded me of Daddy or of great family times. I’d be remise not to add that on the way, two tractor trailers departed their lanes without regard for others around them but your Daddy maneuvered quite well, keeping us safe.
We arrived at Inspira Medical Center Elmer (12:45pm) and parked far away so I could walk up. These contractions were intense for sure and took all my concentration but weren’t patterning closely and made me second guess where I was in your labor. Bernadette, my midwife, the perfect midwife to be on call for me, met us at the door. Another contraction hit before we walked into room 103. I was nervous to be checked since I had no idea what my body was trying to communicate with me. Check was 7cm/8cm, 80% and -1. I was shocked I was there but disappointed in your station. You had been SO LOW my entire pregnancy and now you’ve popped back up and cleared my pelvis. I reminded myself to have faith in you. You knew what to do and there was a reason you were up there still. Bernadette also echoed my thoughts as she asked what I wanted next.
I wanted the tub.
Tub was filled. I got in. It got real. All of a sudden, I felt like I was actually in labor. My waters were still intact and I kept wondering which contraction would break them. I stayed in the tub for about an hour and some with your playlist on, Daddy by my side, the lights off, and my mom, Tierney, Bernadette, and my nurses in and out of the room. I started to feel pushing urges at the peaks of the contractions that still weren’t waving but definitely had a point, I had to grunt to get past that point to feel better. A few uncontrollable grunts in the tub and Bernadette came in to help me out. (I did not wish to birth in the water.)
Then - Gravity. OMG – Gravity. I never felt gravity like that before as I tried to get out of the tub. I went back down. “Nope. Can’t do it.” I said. Bernadette, knowing exactly what to say as she does said “Let the gravity help him move down.” I remember thinking, “Yes – If I get out, gravity will do the work for me. I’ve had two babies before. He’ll just slide out with the monumental weight of gravity.” ;)
I got out of the tub with Daddy and Bernadette supporting me and got into bed on my knees, kneeling over the top of the bed. I started grunting at that peaks but still had a little cervical lip and my waters were still remarkably intact. Daddy stayed by my side, holding my hand and supporting me. If he moved even slightly, I reminded him that I needed him there. Right there. I felt very connected to your Daddy during your birth. He was trying to get in place to catch you, as was the plan, but I kept pulling him back.
I moved onto my side and with my permission, Bernadette helped out the lip at 2:55pm and a gush of water followed with my next push and, quiet suddenly, I felt you move right into place. Two more pushes and
You, Colin Paul Everett LaPlante, were Earth side at 3:02pm, assisted by Bernadette, Daddy caught you and I brought you up to my chest.
My first words upon seeing you were “You’re so minnie!” Um, no, Mama. Not minnie. In fact, you weighed in at 8lbs 9ozs and 21.5 inches long, my biggest baby yet by over a pound and 2 inches! Funny what the mind sees! You were wrapped in your giant, substantial cord three times (nuchal, wrist, and shoulder). You were perfect. You eagerly started nursing only minutes after birth, while still connected to your placenta.
This story was written for you, Colin. My third perfect boy. Happy Birthday. I love you.
Cat is the founder of Birth Freely Birth Services. Her passion is empowering women through education and providing them with continuous labor support so they can have the birth they desire!