Tuesday, March 31, 2009

birthing experience

Tonight, at 7 pm in Tilley Hall on the UNB campus, Birth Matters is showing the movie "The Business of Being Born" followed by a panel discussion with a local obstetrician, midwife, nurse and mother. It is a powerful movie and I watched it many times before giving birth to Charlotte. I convinced Tim to watch it as well, and after seeing it, he finally understood why natural birth was so important to me. He was willing to get a doula (a person who provides labour support), which made ALL the difference in the delivery of Charlotte. I posted my version of Charlotte's birth story on the fredkid website... click here to read it. And add your own to the forum. I think it is really important to share your story after you give birth, it helps you process the life-changing experience that has just happened to you.

I am going to share an excerpt from a letter that our doula, Emilie, wrote to Charlotte. She explained her birth story in a beautiful way. It is tucked in Charlotte's baby book, for her to read and discover someday. I couldn't thank Emilie enough for what she provided for our family. She was a calm, steady comfort throughout the whole experience. She knew how my contractions progressed and how to encourage me through each one. She allowed Tim to get a coffee and some food after 24 hours of labour. If you are thinking about getting a doula, GET ONE!

"At the DECH, your mom's first nurse was Barb. She took the time to explain to your mom and dad what they could expect from the hospital. She explained the different pain meds available, and how they would keep an eye on you to make sure you were happy and healthy on your way out. At this point, your mom was about 2 cms dilated, but she was effaced quite a bit. That was a good start. Pamela tried the ball for a while, and walked around the labour and delivery unit. After a couple hours, though, she hadn't dilated any further. So, she and your dad decided that it would be best to labour in the comfort of home.

At home, your mom was doing well. She was cheerful and excited. We all went for a walk, Ava included, on the walking trail nearby. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, people were out walking and playing baseball. The only thing unusual about that day was that every so often, a very pregnant woman would stop and lean into her husband's arms and slow dance her pain away! I watched your mom and dad go into their own little world during every contraction, and I must admit that it was the most beautiful thing I had seen in a long time! Back at the house, we passed the time. By now, the contractions were stronger and after a quick visit with some friends who dropped by with good wishes, your mom decided to try the bath. This helped things along, and the contractions started coming faster and harder. It helped a lot to have a cold cloth on her forehead, and to have water poured on her belly during contractions. When your mom started having trouble focusing, and I noticed her getting shaky and losing her good humour, I suggested that we head to the DECH again. This was starting to look like very active labour! However, things were not quite as they seemed…"

It was hard, my love, but amazing the moment you arrived. I love remembering the day you came into the world to be with us, bringing joy to our family.


  1. That post brought tears to my eyes, Pamela....it is so wonderful that you have that letter to give to Charlotte...I wish I had something like that...my memories will surely fade as the years pass and it will be difficult to tell my children about their births. It is also wonderful that you have this blog to look back on and to be able to remember the little things about how Charlotte has grown and developed over the last months!

  2. Wow Pamela, it brought tears to my eyes too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Pamela! I stumbled onto your blog through the FredKid website and realized...say, I know these people! Reading this post brought back some wonderful memories of Charlotte's birth. I'm happy to see that you're all doing so well. Blessings! Emilie

  4. Hi Emilie! Thanks for your comment. I have been thinking about Charlotte's birth a lot lately, especially after watching "The Business of Being Born" on Tuesday and seeing Dr. Frecker in the panel discussion! I tell everyone I know that is having a baby that a doula is SO important... we honestly would not have had the experience we did without you. I hope your family is doing well! I'm glad you found the blog :)