Here, finally are some photos of Emily as well as her birth story!  Sorry about the delay.  My motherboard crashed on my main computer, so I had to wait until I got a new one to post.  I lost all my actions and haven’t had a chance to get them back into Photoshop yet, so these are all pretty much straight out of camera (with the exception of the black and whites, of course!).

Emily Mikaela Mai Vuong

Born March 28, 2011 at 5:55AM

Emily’s birth happened really fast. The night before, I told Vu I was having Braxton Hicks. He timed them and said, “They’re every 5 minutes. Should we call your midwife?”

“No. They don’t hurt at all.”

I fell asleep to Shawn Gallagher’s Hypnosis for Childbirth CD,which I’d been falling asleep to for the past month or so.

I woke up at 4:20AM needing to go the bathroom, but also having cramps.

I started worrying thinking, “Gee, I don’t want to have this baby on the toilet. I better time these in case they’re contractions.” I checked the microwave clock. They were mild, but coming every 4 minutes. I called my midwife.

She timed them and said, ” You are probably in the early stages of labour.” “They are only lasting 10 seconds.”

“How long was your last labour?”

“6 hours.”

” I better come and check you. You were GBS +, so I need to come and give you the antibiotics anyway.”

I agreed.

I woke Vu up at around 4:50 AM. I actually felt a little bad for calling my midwife, Mahnaz, since I thought it could be awhile longer. Mahnaz arrived around 5:05. She asked me if Tatyana, the student midwife (who had just started with the clinic last week) could check me, but said she would also need to check me. I said I would prefer only one check. I had a few contractions (but not many), then she checked me.

Her expression changed as she said, “Danielle, I don’t believe this. You are 9 centimetres. Don’t push. Vu-get the receiving blankets” She ran to her car to get her birthing kit.

Tatyana arrived (in what would be her first ever homebirth, as she is from Ukraine and they don’t do homebirths there).

My mom came as I had called her right after I woke Vu up. It was 5:30AM.

I told my midwives I wanted to push. I had to wait until they got the antibiotics into me. I told Mahnaz I was really itchy. She told me later that she had Benadryl just in case, but decided to concentrate on getting the baby out, since there were 2 of us to worry about-me and the baby (the right decision as the itching went away).

When they finished the antibiotics, I started to push.

I did the first 2 pushes with my face, then Mahnaz explained how I need to push farther down and my mom said to push in the shape of a J.

I pushed and my water broke. There was meconium.

They said, “Call the paramedics now. It was only a little bit, so hopefully it is ok, but we need to call them” (I wonder if they said that so I would be more calm).

My mom left the room to do that. Then they said, “Level 3, ask for level 3.“ Vu left the room to tell my mom to ask for Level 3 as I pushed. I was highly motivated, since I knew meconium could be dangerous. Then they shouted out, “Cancel the paramedics.” She had already come out! After only 7 minutes of pushing. It was 5:55AM. My mom and Vu were in the kitchen when she came out. They did the cord blood retrieval.

Everything happened so quickly!

She weighed 8 lbs, 2 oz. and her head circumference was 37.5 cm. Somehow, I did not tear (but the after pains were probably worse than labour).

Julia woke up around 8AM and wanted to give her a stuffed lamb, then asked to cuddle her. She was pretty excited to be a big sister!

Emily was born at home at 5:55AM just one day before my birthday on March 28, 2011.  We were very happy she held out that long, as I had threatened preterm labour at 29 1/2 week and lived at Sunnybrook for just over 2 weeks.  She came at 39 weeks, 4 days-exactly the same as her sister!

Emily gets weighed in the fish scale midwives use.  We were very surprised that she was 8 lbs, 2 oz! We thought she looked about 6 pounds. It’s amazing how quickly you forget how small newborns are.  My mom took this photo.  I’m glad I showed her how to use my camera!

Newborn being weighed

Emily just before getting dressed for the first time.  Somehow, I managed to take this photo right after giving birth.Just after birth

Mahnaz and Tatyana get her dressed.

Midwives with Emily

Julia wakes up about 2 hours after Emily is born.  This was how she reacted upon first seeing Emily.

Julia wakes up and sees her baby sister for the first time

Julia asked if she could cuddle her baby sister.

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My post-birth breakfast.

Post labour breakfast

Julia insisted on wearing this pink dress.  I guess she knew it was a special day!

Proud big sister

My birthday is the day after Emily’s birthday.  We still managed to celebrate with a little cake.  Another image by my mom.

My birthday

Julia wanted to kiss Emily.

Sibling kiss

Emily reacts to her big sister kissing her.

Big sister kissing newborn 2

Here she is!  We were surprised by how much hair she has.

Emily

She sleeps a lot. Thank goodness for that!

Newborn yawning

We decided to start putting her in her crib for naps, since when we started putting Julia in the crib when she outgrew the bassinet she wailed.  Emily seems quite  content in the crib so far.Swaddled in crib

Our little bunny.

Newborn in bunny hat

You have to love a sleeping newborn!

Sleeping baby

Newborn in bucket 2

Newborns are like little angels.

Newborn angel

Look at all that hair!

Newborn hair

Happy baby bunny.

Newborn in bunny outfit

In the pea pod.

Baby in pea pod

Surprisingly, she fit into this doll bed.Newborn in doll bed

Photos with daddy.

Newborn and father

Happy with daddy

Julia made this for Emily with help from an older friend.  She was so proud of it, she stuck it on the fridge herself!

Picture Julia made for Emily

Check out the fabulous maternity photos Amber Williams took just a couple of weeks before I gave birth!

Danielle’s Maternity Shoot!