On this day that would be Gabe's first and only first birthday he will ever have, I have decided to post Gabe's birth story as told by my husband, Dave.
Gabriel's Christopher Yarema's Birth Story
Stats: Weight: 7lbs 3oz. Length: 21.25 in.
Ann was... preoccupied but really calm and in control. Ann "the nurse" took over.
It all began around 6:10 am. Ann had a big contraction. She did some email. Then the contractions started again around 6:30 am. About that time Ann decides to have a shower. Around 6:40am I wake up to the sound of the shower and Ann talking fairly quietly to herself. As I clear the fog of morning from my head I realize she's saying, "Oh Dave. Dave. Ohh... Dave (breath, breath) etc." I'm instantly alert at this point and ask if she's OK. Who do you want me to call? Joey Fournier (friend & neighbour), Connie Elder (friend that lives further away) or the ambulance? She's thinking call Joey and let's get in the car to go to the hospital.
I'm looking at her thinking, "Is she gonna make it?" Her water hadn't broken so I started implementing 'Plan A'. 6:44am, I call Joey, tell him to come over to watch the kids. I hang up. Ask Ann how she's doing. She's lookin' like she's going into hard labour. I'm wandering what do I dress her in? There's no way she's wearing pants at this point. I go downstairs to open the door for Joey. Ann tells me her water just broke. Call 911. I now KNOW, with absolute certainty, we are not going anywhere. I call 911 and let Joey in the door (6:47am). The 911 number didn't work! "F$%# you!", I say and try again. It works. Joey walks in the door. Ann screams real loud. Joey freaks out. I'm talking to the 911 guy as I get upstairs to check on Ann so I can tell the 911 operator Ann's current status. He's getting ready to instruct me as to what the next move should be. I tell him not to worry about the "delivery part". I got to the bathroom door to find Ann holding the baby in her hands with one foot in the bathtub. The other on the floor. Blood dripping down the side of the tub leading to a small pool of blood. Cord not tied around baby (thank god). Baby's colour was amazing. I was there to hear him take his first breath at 6:50 am.
Not too much blood in the tub (also good). Still a huge mess. Placenta drops out. 911 operator instructs me to find a shoelace or some string to tie off the cord. I use one of Ann's laces from a shoe in the closet. Paramedics arrive. They see the guy (Joey) freaking out at the door and think he's the dad. Everything is basically done at this point.
Medics check to make sure everything is good. I got to cut the cord. We bagged the placenta. Kids get a brief look at the baby. Ann showers. Gets dressed and walks out to the ambulance. I make breakfast for the kids. Connie Elder arrives in the meantime to watch the kids for the rest of the day. Joey goes off to work with quite a story to tell. I get to the hospital around 10:45 am. Arrived home at 5:30 pm. Drank Fort Garry beer and ate a fantastic roast chicken. Watched '24'. I'm very thankful for my friends.
What a day. God is good.
Happy birthday, Gabe! We love you.
Gabe's birth story from my perspective...
So I woke up at 6:08 Monday morning with a pretty serious contraction. But with all of the false starts I had already had, I thought that I would just wait and see if this would actually be true labour. I was too uncomfortable to lie back down so I checked my e-mail for the day and then I decided to get into the shower just in case this was the start of true labour. I decided to let my husband sleep because I didn't want to disturb him if this was nothing yet again. I did not have a watch or a clock to know the actually timing of everything so I am happy that Dave took note of the timing of certain events.
At approx 6:30am I climbed into the shower. In the shower, I quickly realized that this was not false labour and I wondered how I could ever have forgotten what true labour was like. My contractions were on top of each other and intense. So intense I was wondering how I was going to get my husband up. Thankfully I was loud enough that Dave came into the bathroom. He asked me who he should call. At this point I wasn't really even thinking that we needed EMS. Dave decided to call our closest (in proximity) friend (Joey). Joey's wife overheard me on the phone and told Joey that he needed to go fast because the noises she was hearing were delivery sounds and not labouring sounds.
Dave was on the phone at the time when I managed to get out of the shower and dry off. No mental memory of that. I just know that I managed to get out. I quickly began to realize that it would be impossible for me to get into our van to get to the hospital. I was bearing down and thinking to myself, could I possibly be that far along? I couldn't help it, my body took over and knew exactly what to do. I hardly had time to adjust to the realization that I was in labour let alone realize that I was about to deliver my baby. My water broke at this time (6:47) with a contraction. Or should I say burst. I yelled to Dave to let him know that my water broke and to call 911. The nurse in me thought "I should check to see if there is any cord". I reached down and could feel baby's head and thankfully no cord.
I stepped into the tub, thankfully had a good two minute break between my contractions to take a nice cleansing breath. With my next contraction, baby was born and I caught him (6:50). He looked wonderful. I tried to dry him off the best I could with a towel and stimulate him and there was the wonderful and glorious cry. I looked around the tub just to monitor the bleeding. Thankfully not too much blood. A few moments later the placenta came out. I wanted to lie baby down to dry him off really well but where do you lie a baby down in such an unsterile environment? You also don't think how awkward it is to hold this baby with the placenta attached. Joey, our friend from around the corner was on the phone with EMS at this point... I could hear the quivering in his voice and I told Dave to grab my shoe lace from my black shoes to tie off the cord. Joey very matter of factly told me to keep the cord level and tie the cord off six inches from the baby. EMS then arrived. We clamped the cord, Dave got to cut the cord and then EMS took Gabriel to check him over. They weren't too concerned about me because I was still standing and able to talk to them. I requested to quickly shower off and then I went out to the ambulance. At this point, I saw my other three kids, went down on my knees to grab a nice deep breath. Surprisingly, I felt a little winded and then I got up and walked out to the ambulance.
Whew! Who knew what was going to happen just fifty short minutes before. Gabriel was 7lbs 3 ounces. 21 1/4 inches long and is doing great. Born on his due date. Wow! Now, what just happened?