This Mama Shows the Humour in Giving Birth! (Muskoka Birth Story Series)

How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?

So I was super happy when we found out but so shocked it was stressful. When we started trying I thought it'd take months but turns out it only took a week before it happened, I just didn't figure it out until weeks later. So it was overwhelming because it was almost unexpected, but we were happy.

Who did you first tell when you found out you were pregnant?

Husband was the first to know because he was sitting in the bed waiting for the results . Followed closely by an old friend who had messaged me out of the blue for a 'whats new,' chat and I was in so much shock I spilled the beans! A few days later when I was about 7 weeks I told my parents and my in-laws. Then everyone else at 12 week mark. We posted a picture on labor Day weekend that said ''our labor Day isn't until March 2017.

Jamie Haffner tells her birth story!

I have a wonderful husband and beautiful daughter. It actually feels like I just gave birth six months ago, I cannot believe it’s been almost 2 years since our family of two became three.

© Jamie Haffner

© Jamie Haffner

I’ll start with a fair warning.. I had an absolute dream pregnancy and a fairly “easy” birth. So for those of you who had a rough go of either, I bow to your strength because I can’t imagine how terrifying any form of complications would be.

So, step one; I got pregnant right away. Almost faster than I could process. After my husband forced me to pee on a stick because I was rather “moody,” I almost didn’t believe it. Positive, and right away… no waiting the recommended 3-5 minutes, there were two lines right away followed quickly by some panic. It was what we wanted believe me, I had just mentally prepared for it to take a few months. So I called the doctor and we booked an appointment to start this sh!t show.  I'll be honest here, that first appointment I lied to the doctor about not knowing when my last period was because I knew they’d have to do a dating ultrasound if I didn’t know. I wanted so badly to see my little squishy I lied and said I had no clue, so they sent us downstairs for an ultrasound. The first ultrasound was crazy, the little heartbeat and the little squish just hanging out, amazing.. but not thaaat much to see, yet but still amazing.

© Jamie Haffner

© Jamie Haffner

So after a few more weeks and a lot more cover-up lies, it was finally time to tell people about our secret once we hit 12 weeks. My husband was more than pumped to announce to the world, but I was always still so scared to say it out loud. I probably came up with 100 different ways to tell people I was pregnant without actually saying “I'M PREGNANT.” I still don’t know why it was so hard, I think maybe because I still felt so young? I was married with a house and a great job, seemed like we were ready, but still so weird we were going to be the new parents. We told close family first.. sorry my husband told close family first, while I stood awkwardly giving a thumbs up because I didn’t know what else to do. (No one tells you how awkward it can be to tell people you’re pregnant.. like woohoo we had sex and now there’s a thing growing in me).

Anyways, first trimester was grand, no symptoms, no cravings, no sickness.. half the time I'd almost forget it was happening. Second trimester, same thing, great, no complaints. Third trimester, FINALLY people start believing me I’m pregnant because my little girly decided to start poking out a bit. Sleep started to be a pretty hot commodity. Uncomfortable all the time.

I’ll take this opportunity for a PSA for everyone around pregnant woman - never ever say “oh you don’t even know uncomfortable…” I’ll explain.. I was not very big while pregnant, which gave everyone the opportunity to tell me I didn’t have the right to complain which actually raged me so bad. I was in really good shape prior to getting pregnant so my tiny bump might not have looked big, but it felt like a sack of potatoes to me. So if a pregnant woman says “oh I’m sore,” just say “aw that’s too bad, it’ll all be over soon, get well, take a nap, blah blah..basically anything but “you’re too small to complain.”

Other than your average raging hormones, it was a super uneventful pregnancy. When we got close to the end, and I had appointments every other week then every week I remember mentioning to my OB that these appointments seemed to pointless, then he said “you should be grateful they’re pointless for you, some people aren’t so lucky.” That made me feel really bad actually, and I realized how effing lucky we actually were to have gotten where we were so easily. So once again, anyone out there struggling or who did struggle, you have my utmost respect.

Step two; labor… bum bum buuuhhh. I’ll start this with, I chose to not attend any classes, or read books or make a birth plan or anything. I chose this way because I’m a control freak. I knew if I had a plan, and it didn’t go as planned I would have a mental breakdown so I thought, I’ll stay blissfully unaware of the hellish experience waiting for me at the end of all this. I knew I wanted hospital birth, and sure I’d try naturally but if I couldn’t I'd take drugs, I don’t need to be a hero. That’s as far as my planning and research went.

So March 18th, 2:00am-ish. I was woken up by a crappy feeling in my lower stomach, I just chalked it up to being pregnant and not being able to sleep.. ‘contractions’ was not a word in my vocabulary yet. After all, everyone woman in my family was late and/or induced. My Junie wasn’t due for another few days so wasn’t even a thought this could be the beginning so I fell back asleep.

March 18th 7:30am, “ Ugh my god why am I up so early, I'm tired, I’m not working anymore, go back to sleep.. Oh ouch what the hell..ah I gotta poop”.

Bathroom trip one. After a shower I go downstairs to watch tv, have breakfast and force back this raspberry leaf tea everyone talks about. A few hours pass of being uncomfortable.

Bathroom trip two. By now it’s about lunch time but I’m not really hungry, maybe I'll watch a movie and nap on the couch.

Halfway through Thelma and Louise, bathroom trip number three… Whilst having trip number three I start googling what to eat while pregnant with diarrhea. Then, thanks to google it hit me “Many pregnant woman report bowel movements while in labour as the body tries to empty itself….” holy shit balls, this is it. So I started texting my sister in-law who just fed my ego about giving birth and pumped me up and I was feeling okay about things. I made an excuse why we couldn’t come for dinner with my parents because I wasn’t telling anyone until I knew for sure this girl was coming.

March 18th 3:00pm, husband's home from work. I let him know I feel like crap but I don’t really know what’s going on so do whatever, I’m fine. So I lay on the couch beside him while he played video games.

Bathroom trip number four. After I started to feel pretty crappy because A, I was unknowing having contractions and B, I had pooped out everything I’ve ever put into my mouth. So I forced down some toast and I don’t remember what else.

March 18th 4:30pm, I turn into a psycho pants and yell at my husband for ignoring me while I’m in labor. Poor guy was so confused, I had just told him I feel alright, do what you want but that’s how quickly things go I guess. So I suggested maybe he go shower and I believe my words were “get your shit together, please.” By now I am fairly convinced these pains are contractions and that I should get ready to go birth a watermelon. But, a little voice in my head, well my boss’ voice in my head saying stay home as long as you can, don’t go to early or they’ll send you home. And me still having some pride and dignity at this point, refuse to be the first-time mom that gets sent home for false labor. So I suggest "hey, we should bath the dog so he’s clean for your parents in case they have to watch him when we go to the hospital."

March 18th 5:00pm, dog is clean, this sucks, time to load the truck, I'll poop again then it’s time to go. So by 5:30pm we're packed up and headed out the driveway, but again me not wanting to go too early I force him to stop for gas to delay, delay, delay.

March 18th 6:00pm, we're at the hospital. After a 200km walk to the doors we were inside and headed up to labor and delivery. We get checked in, I get checked by a nurse annnndd told I’m only 3cm. Damn it we came to early. So we were told to go walk for an hour then come back. This was the hardest thing ever, walking around the halls where there’s people everywhere, everyone staring at me while I’m having to keel over with contractions. So after maybe 40 minutes of stairs (because that’s the only place I could be alone) I said "nope, I'm done" and I secretly sat on my butt in the waiting room not walking until 55 minutes had past.

We go back to labour and delivery, I get checked in the triage area and I'm 6cm so congratulations you get to stay, you’re having your baby. She also took the time to tell me my baby has a lot of hair, guess she could feel it while she was up there.  By this point I was feeling sick so they gave me a shot of gravol in my hip. We were actually ignored a lot in the triage and I’m still pretty bitter about it but whatever.

So after a few hours of horribleness, we're at about 12:00am I finally snap and tell my husband to get the nurse back behind this curtain because I can’t not push anymore, my body was taking over. Once the nurse is back I say "I think my water just broke and I feel like I have to push." She says “I don’t think you’re far enough, I can hear you through contractions and I don’t think you’re ready. “Well my water broke or I just shit the bed so either way, check what’s going on down there.” So I don’t know how many nice ice cold fingers go up there, but it was enough for her to realize I was 9cm and this baby was coming. So I kid you not, she pulls out her walkie talkie and slams up the bed rails and I was actually ran down the hall to a delivery room.. finally.

Then legs up, and lights on and holy man this is crazy. At this point I decide, this is too much, I need an epidural please. My nurse politely says, “hunny you’re too far into this, that ship has sailed.”  What in the actual f#$%!? So, needless to say, I needed oxygen for a few minutes to calm down and a little pep talk from my amazing nurse helped and I was ready to go.

So after a few minutes of pushing, my girl's head is poking out, then in, then out, then in.. and which time the doctor says we’ll need some hair clips for this girl she’s got lots of hair if you want to see.. I said "no, I’m good thanks." Then more pushing and nothing still. Then I realize there are 20 people in my room. I again started to panic, that maybe there was something wrong with my baby and they weren’t telling me so I stopped to ask why everyones there! I kid you not, one nurse said “nothing, were just here for the birthday party!”  Must have been a slow night.

So more pushing, still just in and out, in and out, and again my amazing nurse says “just a few more good pushes and you’ll get to meet your baby girl.” And just that little sentence was a complete game changer. I was so preoccupied by my own pain that I had forgotten what I was actually doing. I was so close to meeting my girl all I had to do was get her out. Then it lit a fire under my ass, well maybe a ring of fire in my vagina, and I gave up any fear of projectile pooping on the doctor and pushed with every bit of strength I had, doctor told me to stop pushing, then boom it was all over.

March 19th 12:48am, she was out, crying and I instantly felt so much better. Juniper Reigh 6lbs 5oz.

© Jamie Haffner

© Jamie Haffner

Side note, literally seconds after she was placed on my chest, my amazing nurse looks at my husband and says “are you the Haffner's from Heidlburg?” Turns out this rockstar of a lady was my husband's friend's mother. She knew him all along but wanted to wait to ask. Perks of small town living.

A few pokes, a few stiches and some clean sheets and it was like it never happened. Amazing, she was finally here, hell was over and we were all in great shape, and she had so much hair. I stayed up with her for I think 48 hours straight just staring at her because she was so unbelievably perfect. After exactly 24 hours of being admitted, our daughter finally had her first poop and we were allowed to leave the hospital.

© Jamie Haffner

© Jamie Haffner

Step Three is a whole other magical, scary, emotional rollercoaster journey into parenthood.

All in all, I know I'm one of the lucky ones and I really cannot complain about by birth story. Aside from being left to labor in triage behind a curtain while a nurse scrolled facebook, it was all perfect and I wouldn’t change it for the world. The doctor, the student doctor and my nurse were all amazing and my poor husband did pretty good too. He failed hard in giving me ice chips, literally missed my mouth every single time. But other than that he stood by me, held my hand and kept his mouth shut just like I asked.