Can’t believe it’s been one month of non- stop cuddles with our Zoey. Her birth is still pretty fresh in my mind so I thought I’d share a little story about how that went. I love hearing and reading birth stories because they are the tales of how women bring life to earth. And here is mine:

I was putting Zasha and Zaphora to bed and started feeling my usual Braxton hicks contractions. My mom was staying with us that night and after taking a good look at my belly she said I probably had another week to go because she thought the bump hadn’t fully “dropped”. Up to this point I had been feeling pretty good. And by good I mean doing everything a mom needs to do to keep up with 2 small kids; carrying them, running after them, squatting to help put on their winter gear etc. Unlike my previous pregnancies where I had to be induced due to low birthweight, this time the baby was growing perfectly fine which meant she would come whenever she was ready. 

That night I was waiting for Z to come home and as I was changing into my Pj’s I felt a sharp pain that knocked the wind out of me. I thought surely it was a one off incident but the pain had paralyzed me and I didn’t want to move. Luckily it didn’t come back and when Z finally came home I joked that I was going into labour. I asked for his help to get off the bed so we could go watch Netflix to the living room but halfway through reaching a full standing position I felt another sharp pain. This time there was no immediate relief and tears came down as I coped with what felt like a full blown contraction. We looked at the time – 10:00 PM. It was go time. As I looked around the room, I spotted my hospital bag but immediately became overwhelmed with the clothes spread out on the floor and the dirty dishes from dinner that I didn’t get a chance to put away. In a state of semi-panic I began tidying up the house while going over my hospital bag a million times to make sure I had everything I needed. I just remember feeling so nervous- walking around the house waiting for my next contraction and not knowing what to do next .

I decided to take a shower to calm my nerves. The hot water helped relieve the pressure I was feeling on my lower back and I suddenly wished I could give birth in the shower. After getting dressed I called my midwife and she told us to head straight to hospital. I’ll never forget that car ride. Literally out of a movie! I was holding my belly and screaming the whole way. For sure I thought my water would break any second and I’d give birth on the side of the road. How could it have progressed so quickly?! It was snowing that night and pretty sure it was deathly cold out but I couldn’t feel a thing. My midwife was waiting for us at the entrance of Mount Sinai hospital, wheel chair by her side and by this point I start loosing consciousness and everything becomes blurry.

Its 11:00PM and I’m screaming off the top of my lungs with every contraction. Guys, I’m not screamer, I don’t scream – EVER. But screaming somehow helped me cope with the contractions. It really did. Pretty sure I terrified everyone on that floor because they came to shut the door. Meanwhile my midwife was getting everything set up but by the look of how things were progressing it wouldn’t be long before I had to push. I changed into my gown and processed the reality that I would not be getting an epidural this time around either. They handed me the nitric oxide mask but I couldn’t figure out how to use it for the life of me. Somewhere in between I must have figured it out and suddenly I crossed into a much lighter reality.  I preferred the light headed reality a lot more but I was still well aware that removing the mask would send me back into the unescapable pain of childbirth. Pushing this baby out was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my whole life. I pushed for about an hour and a half and with every push I could have sworn the baby had come out. I’d open my eyes to find Z and my two midwives telling me that I was so close but had to push even harder. Are you kidding me?! I wanted an epidural. I wanted a C- section. I wanted the baby OUT and kept telling them that but there was no other way around it.

Zoey Malik was born on January 16th at 1:31 AM. She was 7 lbs and 48 cm in length. I was 39 and 4 days pregnant. Zoey came facing upwards, facing the sky and ready for the world. We could not be more grateful to our midwives and their great care. I also have to say I have the most amazing husband for sticking through 3 pregnancies and deliveries, always front and centre giving me all the support I could ever need. We are so happy with our 3rd baby girl. She is such a ray of sunshine and could not imagine a more perfect addition to our family.