We are happy to share that our daughter, Sofia Langlais was born in Montréal on May 2nd, 2021.
I officially started my parental leave on May 1st 2021 and nothing indicated so far on that day that the baby wants to come. Just before the dinner started, I texted my friends Sam and Senff that it does not look like this will happen on May 1st. Ironically, as I was done with the dinner and got up from the table, my water broke. I know people say it usually does not happen like in the movies but this was exactly how it was for me – I had no contractions and only water breaking. At first I was not sure if it was the case but as it kept on leaking, I called the hospital and they said to take our time, pack our bags and head there.
I called Senff to pick up our dog and about an hour later, we were on our way. Nicolas was always worried about the traffic going to Montreal but Sofia chose a good time – it was 8pm on Sunday evening and there were almost no cars as well as the parking in front of the hospital was completely empty.
When I came into the birthing center, I have to go through triage and a few tests which lasted about two hours and they eventually decided to admit us. Apparently, I was having contractions but was not feeling them. At that point, I was about 2cm dialated so they decided to start me on oxytocin to stimulate stronger contractions. They started the stimulation at about 2am and by 4am, I wanted to climb the walls from pain and asked for epidural – it is not that the pain was not tolerable, it was possible to deal with but the main thing is that contractions were very intense, lasting for about a minute and spaced about 20-30 seconds apart so you had no time for a break.
Thanks God for the modern medicine – the epidural guy seemed like a God at that moment. He mentioned that I will be feeling some pressure when getting an epidural but to be honest that huge needle felt like a mosquito bite compared to what contractions feel like. The nurse started suspecting that the reason why my pain went up so fast is because I was dialating fast so she decided to check again – in two hours on oxytocin, I went from 2 to 9cm which explained why the pain was intolerable.
Once the epidural kicked in, I felt like angels were singing in my head. I was finally able to rest a bit. At 9am, I was at 10cm but the baby was not in the right position facing sideways instead of anterior. The doctors decided to try doing some exercises to flip the baby – we did those for some time but she did not want to turn and by 10am, I felt the urge to push.
The nurses initially said it might take up to an hour but the baby came out in about 25 minutes. Since her position was not right, the doctor had to turn her manually but it worked well at the end and she positioned herself right. Because epidural numbed my pain, I was actually in good spirits and the whole process was not as bad as you would imagine. I think it allowed me to relax and focus on what was happening. And here she was, seeing the world for the first time at 10:33am born at 39 weeks and 2 days, 52cm long and 3.285 kilos in weight.
It is hard to describe what you feel when your child is born – it seems like the time stops for a moment and here she is, that little alien landing on your chest and changing your life from what moment on.
I can’t thank enough the medical team at St. Mary’s hospital in Montréal – the nurses, the residents and the doctors were all amazing. They were caring, supportive and attentive. Our first nurse, Marie, was there getting me through that wall climbing pain and helping with epidural and the second nurse (did not get her name), a Russian lady in her 60s felt like a mother being present there. She was speaking Russian with me, cheering on and after the birth even gave me a hug as we parted – she said she knows it is hard not to have family close but that we will be fine. That made me tear up for a second.
I am thankful for the fast labour – I know that I won the genetic lottery there. It was mostly fast and mostly painless. I also only have one stitch on the outside because the baby needed to be turned but it is insignificant and almost does not hurt. The doctor said that epidural was the best solution for my case because if they had to turn the baby without it, it could have resulted in much worse tears.
As for the recovery, I am doing better and better every day. I even started taking small walks a few days after giving birth. The first week with the newborn is overwhelming and the thing that I found the most helpful is going out of your house to get out of that constant circle of sleep deprivation where you don’t know anymore what is day and what is night. For memories, I am leaving here the picture of what my belly looked like 3 days postpartum.
Welcome to the world baby Sofia – we don’t quite know you yet, but you are very loved.