My Non-Scary Non-Gory Labour and Birth Story – Part II


You Can read My Non-Scary Non-Gory Labour and Birth Story – Part I here.

At The Hos­pi­tal, The First Assessment

There was no traf­fic on the way to the hospital—the city was still asleep. I didn’t want to be alone so I went with Feng in the park­ing lot and we walked from there to the obstet­ric unit, instead of him drop­ping me off, park­ing the car and meet­ing me there. The walk was slow and painful but I was grate­ful we were together.

The nurse on duty was the same one I had called ear­lier. She was very wel­com­ing and reg­is­tered me, then put me in the exam room. At this stage, I still wasn’t sure whether I was in labour.

A quick exam later—blood pres­sure, baby’s heart­beat, every­thing was fine—and the nurse asked me to take off my clothes and went to get the doctor.

Unfor­tu­nately, he was busy some­where. I waited in the exam room, cold, tired and in pain. The nurse kept on apol­o­giz­ing and even­tu­ally decided to assess me herself.

Yep, you are four-centimeter dilated and your waters are burst­ing,” she announced. “You are hav­ing that baby today! I’ll get you a room.”

I was the first one shocked. Seri­ously, already four cen­time­ters? And seri­ously hav­ing the baby today?

The Birth

Feng and I were brought to one of the nicest hos­pi­tal room I have ever seen. It was huge and bright (bonus for the sun­rise view!), with a big bath­room attached, com­plete with a Jacuzzi and tub. It didn’t feel medical—I love it. Again, I felt grate­ful for the Cana­dian health care sys­tem and pub­lic hos­pi­tals! We had access to a small kitchen and lots of food. I helped myself to half a chicken sand­wich, fig­ur­ing I’d need the energy.

I needed antibi­otics because I had tested pos­i­tive to the GBS test. More nurses were called because appar­ently my veins were too small for the catheter and IV. Mean­while, I wasn’t being too helpful—I was tired and the con­trac­tions were strong.

Feng went to get the bags from the car and some break­fast was brought. I found very funny that it included maple syrup—only in Canada! Yes, in between con­trac­tions I was tak­ing pic­tures. Go figure.

I was going to hop in the hot tub after my IV went through—40 min­utes, I had been told—but I never had the chance. The con­trac­tions got stronger and stronger. I was cold and tired—but trust me, you can’t really sleep between contractions!

The nurse and the med stu­dents I had allowed to stay were try­ing to make con­ver­sa­tion and I was try­ing to sound nor­mal. Mean­while, the ob-gyn on duty and his team of interns came by, as well as a sub­sti­tute nurse when mine went on her break. “I’ll be your doc­tor if you have that baby before 4:15,” the ob-gyn announced. I glance at the clock. 9 a.m. It felt unreal.

Even­tu­ally, the pain got bad, so bad that I was scream­ing on top of my lungs on the bed, under lay­ers of blan­kets. It felt like my insides were melt­ing and push­ing out—not a pleas­ant thought or feel­ing. “Don’t push” advised the nurse. “That’s the baby’s head you are feel­ing in your back, it’s okay.”

She had me change posi­tion on the bed: on the side, on all four, on my back… I just obeyed.

The nurse kept on check­ing on me. “You are five cen­time­ters dilated… six… You will have this baby in the after­noon,” she said.

I couldn’t think straight. Could I stand that much pain for a few more hours? But get­ting an anaes­the­sia team for the epidural, and then wait­ing for it to work, seemed too much hassle.

Come on Juli­ette, take the drugs,” Feng begged me at one point.

You are eight cen­time­ters dilated,” announced the nurse. When I heard that, I thought I could do it with­out painkillers. I told myself it was the hard­est stage and that it would be fine.

More pain and more scream­ing. Like, scream­ing. No swear­ing though.

Get the doc­tor, the baby is com­ing!” singsong the expe­ri­enced nurse.

I felt  a warm rush of liquid—my water break­ing, finally. “My waters broke,” I said, almost incred­u­lous. “That’s right, and the baby’s head is com­ing!” added the nurse.

The team came, and encour­aged me. “Push!”

I had energy but push­ing seemed counterproductive—I was scared to do so because it was painful. It was a strange feel­ing: I knew I had to push but couldn’t help hold­ing in.

But I still pushed—and screamed. And at 11:04 a.m., much much ear­lier than I had expected, baby Mark came out. They showed it to me and I heard it was a boy while see­ing it for myself.

I heard the team encour­ag­ing Feng to cut the cord—he did—the baby was cleaned up very quickly and handed to me. I was cry­ing and laughing—easy, the pain had stopped! “We made that!” I said to Feng. “We made that kid!”

I had a second-degree tear and was stitched up by two med students—again, no pain—while the baby was weighted and taken care of under Feng’s watch. Mark was 6.1 pounds and 45-centimeter tall—no a big baby, like all the doc­tors had said, but healthy and doing fine.

The pla­centa came out and I asked to see it. Yeah, I don’t find that kind of things gross and I was curi­ous. Fas­ci­nat­ing thing actu­ally. The baby’s umbil­i­cal cord was very short, the doc­tor explained, unusu­ally so. Weird. “You aren’t going to bury it under a tree?” the nurse joked. “Nope,” I con­firmed, “no tree in the backyard.”

Last Pic Preg­nant? Arriv­ing in the room, in pain

Our Med­ical Chart

Room 8, Where Mark Was Born

Maple Syrup at Break­fast, Only in Canada!

Hav­ing Break­fast While in Labour

With Baby Mark

I Didn’t Look Too Bad 40 Min. After Giv­ing Birth!

The Birth Timeline

Room 8, Where Mark Was Born


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Every­thing went very well, con­grats!! When I arrived at the hos­pi­tal I was dilated at 7–8 cm, I have never beeen hap­pier to heard that num­bers! But still it hurst! :)

    • Same for me! I remem­ber read­ing all your preg­nancy posts archives when I was preg­nant this sum­mer, they helped a lot No epidural either, right? I had such a great expe­ri­ence, I feel very lucky.

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