Introducing Lawson Marie

Tuesday, February 10

I had been feeling crappy the past couple of days. Nothing that new. I feel crappy pregnant - particularly when I am REALLY pregnant. In the morning I took Calder and his cousin, Pace, to CJ's for a play and dropped them both off at their respective daycares for lunch so I could have a nap.

I woke up from my nap at around 3 pm with a jolt. I was immediately confident my water broke. There wasn't a ton of fluid (like when my water broke with Calder), but I was pretty sure I was going into labour. I called Hugh at work. I wasn't in a hurry to get to the hospital. The contractions I was having weren't any stronger or any more frequent than my Braxton Hicks, but we needed to get some things in order and Hugh's hands and muscle would come in handy. I called my sister to come out and look after the boys until my mom could arrive from Tisdale. Hugh loaded the car, shovelled the driveway and we were on our way to the hospital around 5 pm. I still wasn't having much for contractions and they certainly were no where near regular.

Last photo pregnant. Ever.
We got to the hospital and they hooked me up to listen to our baby (who was very happy) and did a couple of tests to see if my water did indeed break. The first test is a visual test. They make you cough and see if fluid is released and then they take a sample and look at it under the microscope. I failed both tests. I was completely deflated. Not only was I sure that my water broke while I was sleeping, I had had other moments during a few contractions where more fluid was released. The doctor said my story sounded good and even though the tests came up negative for amniotic fluid, they were going with my story. By then it was 7 pm and Hugh and I were hungry. We headed down to the mall on the main floor of the hospital to eat and walk. I still wasn't having much for contractions and I definitely wanted to have our baby that night. Both my other labours were quick (Calder 12 hours from water breaking to delivery and Boone 5 hours from regular contractions to delivery), I was confident this would be the same if I could just get it going and so was the resident and nurse. And, I needed to get it going. Hugh's birthday was the next day and birthdays are important to me. I didn't want our baby and Hugh to have to share.

After a quick bite to eat, Hugh and I walked around until about 9 pm. At that point I had gotten my contractions regular at about 4 minutes apart and they were strong enough that I wasn't talking through them. We decided to head up to the maternity floor (mostly because it was more walking than I had done in a month and my legs were getting so tired!). The minute we hit the maternity floor my contractions basically stopped. The next one I had was 8 minutes apart and the one after that 12. What a waste of time! I asked the resident if I could go home for the night and after referring to the obstetrician on call the doctor came back and told me that because of my c-section I had an increased risk of a uterine rupture, so they wanted me to stay. They found us a quiet room at the back and Hugh and I settled in to try and get some sleep.

I didn't get much for sleep. I was having painful enough contractions that they were preventing me from sleeping, but they were still no where near regular. I felt so annoyed. I knew that I was going to be exhausted before I even really got into the hard part of labour! I did a bit of reading during the night and did the best I could to catch some shut eye.

Wednesday, February 11 (Happy birthday, Hugh)

In the morning my doctor came by before I even got breakfast. She let me know that if I hadn't gone into labour by noon, they would move me over to the delivery ward to be induced. I was not going to let that happen if I could help it, so Hugh and I headed down to the mall so he could eat and I could start walking. An hour and a half later, I wasn't having any real contractions. It was already 10:30 am and rather than wear myself out, Hugh and I decided to just head back upstairs for some rest.

We arrived back at our room to find we had a roommate who was a familiar face! A friend from book club was overdue and had been called in to be induced that morning. We had a quick chat and both settled in to wait for our call.

Around 12:30 pm a room was freed up on the delivery floor and I was moved over to be induced. This was a completely new experience for me. For both my natural deliveries I was rushed over to the delivery ward 10 cm dilated and wanting to push. It wasn't until after I had Boone did someone tell me that when you are on the delivery wing you get your own nurse who watches over you. With Boone and Calder I felt neglected (which is how I got to the "ready to push" stage without anyone even noticing - and trust me, Hugh and I were both vocal about it in each case - just no one was listening), but this delivery would be different and I was excited about that part.

We had an amazing nurse. I was feeling very nervous about being induced and about labour. She helped to explain exactly what happens when you are induced which helped ease some of my anxiety.  She also listened to my previous birth experiences and said in all likelihood I would have a quick labour just like the other two. The induction would just jump start it. It was about 1:30 when the oxytocin drip started. I spent the next couple of hours focusing on my breathing. I was really struggling with my fear of delivery. When I was pregnant with Boone I did lots of reading about hypnobirthing and even spent hours listening to the hypnobirthing soundtrack in order to prepare. During this pregnancy I did neither of those things. In fact, I figured that because I rocked it delivering Boone, that I would just repeat the process with this child. Easy. Peasy. I was wrong. I was so scared at that point that as Hugh napped in the chair beside me, I silently cried. I was so afraid of the pain and that I wouldn't be able to do it. When I was going into labour with Boone I had this sense that my body was built to give birth and that I was a warrior. Somewhere along the way I had lost all my confidence. I was definitely not feeling like that this time around.

Around 3:30 the resident came in to check me. I was still 3 cm dilated. As she did her check she realized that the placenta was still intact at the bottom. Apparently, when my water broke, the placenta ruptured at the top. This explains why I didn't lose a lot of fluid and why I was only having small releases during contractions. The resident broke the membrane in hopes of moving things along. She also noted that the baby's head was turned sideways. Both the resident and nurse explained that this was very common and that often times, particularly when it is not your first birth, the baby will turn its head the right direction on its own and that often times when the baby does this it really accelerates labour. In order to facilitate the baby turning their head, my nurse got me propped up on my side with my leg elevated. At around 5 pm my contractions began to get very painful. They were about 3 minutes apart, so the nurse had the doctor check me again. I was now 5 cm, but things were moving slowly.

I tried to focus on my breathing for the next half dozen or so contractions. I was starting to panic again. The pain was intense. It felt like my 10 cm pain from my previous deliveries. I once again began doubting my ability to make it through this experience. I pictured hours more of this pain and in a split second decision I decided to have an epidural. I had done a lot of reading while pregnant with Boone and felt it was safer for both of us not to get one. My fear and circumstances took control when I called for the nurse.

By just after 5:30 when my epidural started to take hold. It was very painful getting it put in. The needle wasn't fun, but more so I found it really hard to be sitting up during contractions. The epidural immediately took the edge off, but there was still pain. The nurse did a check and called the anesthetist back. He pulled the needle back a bit and gave me another shot of the drug. Very quickly, all I was feeling for contractions was pressure. My labor for the next hour was actually quite enjoyable. And I truly mean that - enjoyable. I was feeling lots of pressure during contractions, but a little focus on my breathing and it would pass. Hugh and I chatted and all of the fear I had been feeling was gone.

Just before 6:30 I told the nurse I felt more like pushing. I had basically been feeling like pushing since right before the epidural, but I was still 5 cm at that time. She called the doctor and she announced that I was 10 cm. Finally! They asked me to take a practice push on my next contraction before they got everything in order and called the NICU team. I pushed for about 3 seconds before the doctor shouted for me to stop. Apparently, this baby was ready to come. I had to breathe through about 3 more contractions until everyone had arrived. It wasn't stressful waiting, like it had been with Calder and Boone, because there was no pain.

When everyone was in place and set up, I started pushing. I pushed through 2 contractions when our baby arrived. It was 6:39 pm. The doctor announced, "It's a girl" and placed her on my chest. She screamed and Hugh and I did a mixture of crying and laughing. We could not believe we had a girl; we were both so sure we were having a boy. In fact, I was obviously in a state of disbelief, because when the nurse said to me "Do you want to see for yourself?" I realized I had been trying to sneak a peak at her bottom half for at least 30 seconds! Her umbilical cord had been in the way and I couldn't see! I loved all 4 of our delivery room surprises, but our daughter's arrival was definitely the most shocking of group.

After a few minutes cuddling our girl, the NICU team took her to do their thing. I didn't ask what her APGAR was, but it must have been good, because they left her with us and headed on their way. Our little girl was 20.25 inches long and 8 lbs 5.5 oz. Hugh and I had made an over/under bet in the delivery room about the baby's weight. At my last scan a week and a half prior, Dr. M told us that it estimated the weight at 6 lbs 13 oz. We chose the weight 7 lbs 2 oz. I went under, Hugh went over. We were so far off that Hugh didn't even brag about winning ;-). 

Thursday, February 12

Lawson had blood taken early in the morning and we spent the day waiting for results. At one point they were concerned about some of her alfa veto protein levels. Hers were 96 000 and Dr. Whittington's protocol suggests that a value greater than 80 000 suggest NH. This caused a bit of panic by the NICU team. We were told that we needed to keep her umbilical cord wet so that if they needed to put an IV in they would have a site. Later that day Dr. S, the neonatal haematologist, came to see us and put our minds at ease. Lawson did have levels that Dr. Whittington's protocal said could be indicative of NH, but those levels were also still in the normal range for a baby that was 1 day old. Dr. S talked to Dr. Whittington and he said he wasn't worried about her numbers at all, but to be safe they wanted to take her levels again the next day before they sent us on our way.

My mom had come in to look after the boys and brought them to the hospital for supper along with some McDonald's. Both boys were very interested in our new baby for about 4 minutes. They then ran around the room like holy terrors for the rest of their visit. We lucked out and got the Victorian Room (private and similar to a small hotel room - including a double bed), so there was lots of space and privacy to conduct a good visit with the kids.

After supper, with my mom, Calder, and Boone on their way, our baby girl was still nameless. Hugh and I had so been expecting a boy that we didn't have any idea of what to name a girl. I had been looking feverishly in baby names book for girls names during my pregnancy. I had found a few I liked, but nothing that felt like "the one". Hugh and I scoured the name lists we had made when I was pregnant with each of our 3 boys. I kept all our lists in a single book, so we had all our previous ideas to look at. In the end we short listed 4 names - all from our previous boys name lists. Hugh told me that it was my girl and that I should have the final say. It was a really hard decision. I was fairly confident in my #1 (It had been my #1 for most of the pregnancy), but it wasn't on Hugh's top 3 list. He did like the name and told me to go for it. Before I could change my mind, Hugh sent a text on Thursday night to all our family and friends announcing our girl would be named Lawson Marie. Marie is my middle name. . . and my mom's. . . and my grandma's. . . and my great-grandma's. Lawson is 5th generation Marie :-)

Friday, February 13

Lawson had her blood taken in the morning and we were discharged in the late afternoon. Lawson's alpha feta protein levels were 71 000. She was given another all clear the following Wednesday (Feb. 18 - Tripp's bday) when we went to the hospital to have one more set of blood work done.
 We are so thrilled to have a healthy baby and can't wait to learn all about who she is. Best adventure ever.


  1. Congrats Jordan and family!!! What a great story! Love live her name. Welcome little Lawson!!!

  2. Congrats, Jordan! Your daughter is so lucky to have 3 big brothers to look out for her; I have no doubt that she'll be able to hold her own as she gets older! I hope you are enjoying your mat leave - I bet it is tough to juggle the schedule of 3 little ones though. Keep the updates coming (when you have the time and energy, of course).

  3. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this post made my day!!!! she's absolutely beautiful! Congrats to you and your family on this miracle!!
    can't wait to see more pics!

  4. She looks perfect. Congrats!

  5. Congratulations! She is lovely :)

  6. Congrats! Glad it all went well and you all look so happy!

    Just wondering though, do you mean the amniotic sac tore at the top, not the placenta? The placenta would be sort of dangerous.

  7. I had to come back and look at her little smooshy newborn face again.

  8. Yes! It was the amniotic sac. Good catch :-)

    Thanks for all the well wishes, everyone. We are so happy she is here.


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