To my dear sweet Malia, on your 3rd birthday. It is your birthday and my day of birth. Today you made me a mother and I am forever grateful that you chose me.
Your entrance into this world brought wholesale changes that no one could have prepared me for. Life has been an adventure with you and it started when I went into labour in Whistler after a truly relaxing weekend of massages and photo shoots.
[October 5, 2015. Post massage relaxation in preparation for your arrival the next day]
I remember each contraction on the drive from Whistler to Vancouver while on the phone with my doula (Jacquie Munro). She tuned into the pauses in our conversation, the sounds that came from within. She said to me, “this baby is going to arrive today, make your way safely back home and I will see you when you need me”. Sea to Sky highway will never be the same.
I was terrified of labour, though while I was in it I accessed one of the calmest, most connected and present places I have ever been. Each contraction took me deeper into myself and a little bit closer to knowing you, accessing a strength that I didn’t know existed. A strength that I would need to pull from for the days, months and years that followed.
Our doctor always said to me “you are stronger than you think you are”, this statement came to life during those 16 hours of labour with you. My labour was progressing well up until the end when I got an infection in my womb that went sepsis and I hemorrhaged. Our little corner suite in the Cedar wing of Women’s Hospital filled with doctors and the rest was a blur.
Birth notes as written real-time by our doula:
. . . . .
Dr. Plavsic running the show now
Calling OB Dr. Rhone
1036pm everyone here - lots of people
Nurses Denise and Caroline
(Shoulder dystocia preparation just in case)
1037 baby’s head crowning
To mum's chest
“You did a great job,” says Dr
Her name is Malia
1041 placenta out
You are gorgeous!! Says mum to Malia
1050 baby to the pediatrician to help her cool down (temp up)
Baby’s heart rate still high
Fever in Sabrina - need antibiotics and Tylenol
39.7 temp Sabrina
Need blood cultures done - where is the infection?
Lots of bleeding - done oxytocin and getting clots out
Blood work is done
Baby’s temp still high but temp now 37.5
1133 Drs check in on mum and baby
1156pm Sabrina temp 38.8
Dr. Plavsic determines Sabrina needs to go downstairs for observation until everyone stabilizes
. . . . .
It took me weeks to get over the trauma that I silently felt after that. I didn’t talk to anyone about those dark moments, in part because I had you as my little miracle to show for the battle that I won. After 3 years, I still feel the process of grieving that was never truly processed and I welcome each moment.
Feel it. Better out than in.
Today I celebrate you. Today I celebrate me and the village that has held me up these last few years.
With love and gratitude xoxo
Your chosen mama