I didn’t think I’d have the time, energy or will to ever write up a birth story. Every detail of our labour experience has been deeply entrenched into my brain. I’ll never forget the moment I thought I was in labour. The first round of painful contractions. My attempt at washing my hair and blow drying before speeding off to the hospital. The heavy weight of my Sorell's. Even those moments where I wanted to hit Ali for doing nothing but trying to soothe me. I was a wreck, as any 7 day overdue, exhausted, hangry, labouring mother-to-be would be. But I still wanted to put into words the series of events that turned our lives upside down and brought us our first born beauty of a daughter, Hayat.
Ali had arrived from Qatar 10 days before Hayat was born. That was the first sigh of relief knowing that he’d made it for the birth. But Hayat was insistent on being 7 days late for her anticipated arrival. I personally didn’t mind as much because we had those days to relax and prepare ourselves. We watched movies, took many walks, ate delicious food and took the time to mentally prepare.
It was a cold January morning in Quebec at 2:30 am when I first felt a pang in my belly. I had spent the last few hours finalizing the last touches to our wedding experience guide that I had been wanting to finish before baby joined us. Talk about commitment! I was so happy to finally press ‘send’ to the printers at 2:00am. Exhausted, Ali and I went to bed hoping to get a full night’s rest before any real onset of labour. Of course, life doesn’t work that way. Within 30 minutes, it had begun. I wasn’t too sure if it was the real thing because I had been feeling cramps over the past month every so often. As Ali excitedly began counting the frequency of each contraction, all I could think of was wanting to feel clean and fresh before anything happened. CLEAN and FRESH. That’s what I was thinking. Silly, silly me. Maybe it’s a first-time mom thing?
I don’t know how I managed to shower and blow dry my hair before losing my ability to stand through a contraction. As they quickly grew stronger by the minute, much faster than we expected, we were on the phone with our midwife by 4am and I’m pretty sure the accidental pee in my pants was - in hindsight - my water breaking. Just like on TV. Ali drove us over to the hospital by 5:30am. It was surreal when we arrived at Montfort Hospital early that morning. It was as if it was completely empty, like those dreams you have when you’re in an empty white hallway of nothingness. Or maybe I was in shock at the speed of everything. Luckily upon my arrival, I was far enough along in labour to be admitted. At this point, things got a little blurry for one big reason: pain. And yes it’s as bad and horrible as everyone says. Pain. Pain Pain.
During the pregnancy, Ali and I had talked about getting the epidural if I needed it. We thought for sure we would need it considering my super low pain tolerance. But my labour evolved so fast and the pain was so intense that I couldn’t lie down or sit still. I wanted the epidural and at one point turned to Ali and said matter-of-factly, “What’s the big deal? Get me the epidural”. My midwife (an incredible person who embodies all that is hipsterism) told me it was too late to get one — it was a big wtf moment for me realizing that I’d be feeling ALL of the pain until the very end. I have no clue how we got through the next 3 hours, but that’s all it took until we were ready to push. Our families received one heck of a surprise text message that morning at 8:30am, a few minutes after Hayat was born. We were discharged within 3 hours and by 11:30am were hanging out with our families at our place with a new human in stow.
An added detail that no one needs to know, but since we're in a sharing mood, what the heck. Against my better judgement, I let Ali press ‘record’ on the Go Pro that he excitedly attached to his forehead minutes before Hayat came into this world that Sunday morning. That footage that no one except Ali and I will ever see.
And just like that, within 6 hours (I know, that must be a record, don’t hate!), we welcomed baby Hayat into our chaotic, adventurous lives.
If you’ve actually read this far along, then I’m glad I didn’t bore you to death! We’ll be blogging more of our personal and travel posts in the coming months as a way to document all of our adventures in one place. Feel free to sign up for our email list to get updates about our #lifewithhayat. Until next time!