March 14, 2014 was the magical day that Marie-Eve and Sanel met their second child and their six-year-old Noah became a big brother. Being no stranger to motherhood, Marie-Eve already knew what to expect: the unexpected. For her, the best way to brace herself for the whirlwind of change that would soon become her life was to embrace it…as best she could. “If you’re a bit of a control freak (like me), it may be your biggest challenge,” she says. What she found helpful was identifying her support system beforehand and recruiting her hubby right from the start. As hard as it can be in the early days of sleepless nights and feeling like you’re fumbling around in the dark all the time, Marie-Eve says: “Take the time to enjoy your baby. You are a first-time mom only once and it is a privilege. Live in the moment and don’t think about tomorrow!”
Having had a first baby six days late and weighing 10.45 pounds, I was getting really antsy as my due date drew near. I was convinced she was big and that just like the first time around, I would need to be induced to get her out.
And so, I took matters into my own hands. I visited my health food store and got myself some raspberry leaf tea since I was told drinking this helped contract the uterus and induce labour naturally. I drank a few cups per day for a few days but nothing happened.
I spoke to my MD sis and she suggested castor oil. So right back to the health food store I went. I took a tablespoon at around 6 p.m. and waited for the side effects. At around 10:30 p.m., my irregular contractions became regular and by 10:45 p.m., we were on our way to the hospital with painful contractions about four minutes apart. It was a bumpy and snowy ride to first drop off our son at my in-laws, but we made it downtown to Mount Sinai Hospital fairly easily by about 11:30 p.m.
I went to the triage where a nurse examined me. She determined I was already about four centimeters dilated and set me up on an IV. I was taken to my delivery room and requested the epidural almost right away. I was looking forward to resting until it was time to push. Meanwhile, my mother had left from Montreal in the middle of the night, hoping to catch the birth. We were calling her every half hour to make sure she was safe on the road.
As time went by, I realized that my epidural did not take as well as it did with my first delivery as I could still wiggle my toes and move my legs. The nurse even tested my senses with ice and realized that I was only frozen partially. Regardless, things progressed fairly quickly.
By about 4:00 a.m., I was about seven centimeters dilated, at which point my doctor broke my water. After that, my contractions got more intense to the point where my epidural was fading away with every contraction. The doctor then decided to drain the remainder of my fluids with a catheter. Within ten minutes of that procedure, I was ready to push. I was urging the nurse to get me ready as she was calling the doctor who could not get there on time.
It was surreal and everything was going so fast. The intensity of the pain wasn’t something I was mentally prepared for. All I wanted to do was to push and get her out! Well, it didn’t take long! Within less than fifteen minutes of pushing, she was out. The first thing I asked was whether she was a girl. I really needed to confirm that right away for whatever reason.
What came next was a beautiful blur, but it was surely joyous and filled with positive emotions. My husband and I enjoyed our time alone with our baby girl, Naella, inspecting her every physical detail and realizing how just like that, we were now a family of four. We felt so grateful.
My mother made it safely to Toronto, about one hour after her birth. I was then moved to the recovery ward and jumped right back into nursing and caring for a newborn. I was nervous at first, but it’s true what they say: it all comes back to you.
I am forever changed as a mother to a beautiful baby girl, now caring for the lives and upbringing of two citizens of humanity. It is a huge responsibility, but one day at a time is my new motto.