Oliver, you were born into the brightness of morning. Looking out the window as I arrived at St. Mary’s hospital that May 29th, 2013 morning, I reflected on how different this delivery was already gearing up to be than my labour with your brother. In a sentence, it was smooth sailing.
It was just your dad and I – my labour with you progressed quite calmly (as calmly as labour can be anyway!). I had Braxton Hicks contractions the whole day before and was quite certain you were going to arrive very soon. I texted my good friend Amanda, who was my doula for Shae, and asked her what she thought. She was confident that “real” labour would commence probably in the early morning. And just after 2 a.m., I had a strong contraction that woke me up. I lay there trying to fall back to sleep for half an hour but it wasn’t going to happen. I got out of bed and eased myself onto the couch and Googled labour and when it’s a good idea to get oneself to the hospital! I remember reading a bit about if you can still talk through your contractions, you can probably stay at home still. So I sat there and talked to myself through a few contractions.
“I can still talk through this, yeah, it’s pretty strong but I can still talk…oooo….that was a bit stronger than before.” I giggled a little at how silly I must have looked.
The contractions continued at around five minutes apart and about a minute long and were growing in intensity although they were still quite manageable. I decided to have a shower. I was not going to the hospital with greasy hair this time, that was for sure. That was the first shower I’ve ever taken at 3 a.m., Oliver.:-)
After my shower, I crawled back into bed with your Dad who awoke. We lay there for the next two hours deliberating over when we should call my doula, Brit, and our friends, Julie and Bryon, who would be looking after your older brother. We agreed around 5 a.m. based on the progress on my labour.
By the time Julie arrived, I was not talking so well through those contractions anymore if at all. Julie was excited as was I and while your dad took our dog to a friends house to be looked after, Julie prayed for me and you and the delivery. I felt peaceful and confident as Jesse and I drove 25 minutes to the hospital in Sechelt.
Arriving there, we walked ourselves straight up to the maternity ward and the night nurse greeted us warmly and led us into the spacious room where you would be born. Through the huge windows that overlooked the Extra Foods grocery store and other shopping venues, I could also see the ocean and lush coast line. This was so different than Richmond. What’s more is I was the only woman in labour of the two other women in the maternity ward so I had both nurses to myself.:-)
Dr. Bryson arrived shortly after us, around 6 a.m., and together, we awaited your arrival. That was it. No drama, no fuss, no worry, just a mama doing what her body was designed to do and lovely nurses telling her she could yell as loud as she liked because there was really no one around anyway. Funny though, I didn’t holler nearly as bad as I did the first time. But as with my labour with your brother, I got to thinking that epidural sounded mighty nice and like last time, it was just too late to get it because guess what, I was already fully dilated by the time we got to the hospital! I whimpered between contractions because I knew that even though they were hurting bad now, they were about to get a whole lot worse! In a comedic moment that I wasn’t actually able to laugh at because of the contraction I was experiencing, I looked over at your dad who was steadily gazing into my eyes with a gaping mouth and a bobbing head. I realized that he was trying to remind me to keep loose hands and a open mouth (something Amanda had told us was important during labour). I wish I could have snapped a shot of your funny dad, Oliver.
And then, I felt your head crowning and in about 20 minutes, I felt that head swoosh out of me as I hung off the back of the upright bed on my knees. I heard your cry and breathed in sweet relief. It was 8:09 am. It was done and I was no longer pregnant! And there you were, blonde fuzzy hair and what’s down there? …..Balls! We had another boy and within a couple hours, we decided that you were Oliver Wesley Bowen – 6 lbs, 6 oz. and 21 inches of beautiful baby with enormous nostrils and a sweet, heart shaped face. We love you so much!