Emerson’s Birth Story


It all started on the evening of  Wednesday, May 9th, 2018. My mom had arrived two weeks earlier to make sure she was here for the birth of baby boy or girl!

We had all just gone to bed around 10pm. I was laying awake when I started to have what I thought was contractions. I woke up Dan to tell him I think this was it. I know they say to rest during early labour, but let’s be honest, who can possibly sleep when they think they are about to have a baby!? Instead I got up and went downstairs to eat a bagel, fruit and drink some water – something I was told to do during early labour. I downloaded a contraction app on my phone to start recording the contractions.

At 1:15am, I decided to wake my mom who was sleeping across the hall in the spare room. Two hours later, the contractions were starting to get much more intense and I wanted to call my doula. For those that don’t know what I am referring to, a doula is a paid, trained, non-medical professional who supports someone through childbirth. My doula suggested that I jump in the bath, which I did for an hour. I had incorporated water into my birth plan as I heard it could help move things along and ease pain.

By 5:20am, we thought it was time to call my midwife. I had opted to use a midwife when I was about 13 weeks pregnant. Midwives are healthcare professionals who provide primary care to pregnant women and their newborns – similar to an OB doctor – however, for low risk pregnancies. My midwife offered a home or hospital visit to see how far along I was, and based on my pain at the time, I wanted to go to the hospital regardless. It was never my intention to have a home birth.

When we got to the hospital, I was only 1 cm dilated. I remember thinking – you have got to be kidding me! After some morphine and gravel, we returned home and I slept for a few hours. I awoke after the morphine had worn off and started to vomit. I swear I must have spent more than half my labour in the bath, as I got back in the tub where I stayed for the majority of the day. I always thought would have my mom at the top of the bed when I delivered, so she wouldn’t see anything – HA! By this point in the day, I was in so much pain, my mom was sitting with me recording my contractions while I laid naked in the tub. I swear, all dignity goes out the window during childbirth. Am I right, mamas!?

My doula arrived at the house around 1pm, and by 4pm, we called my midwife again. I will remember this so vividly. I was sitting in the bath, when my midwife asked my mom and husband on the phone if my demeanour had changed. Apparently your demeanour changes notably from early to active labour (4cm). My mom and Dan thought it was very much the same at the morning, but I wanted her to come check me. My midwife arrived at the house by 4:30pm, and by then, I was 6cm dilated. Thank goodness! I kid you not though – the pain at 6cm, felt exactly the same as the pain at 1cm. I felt no escalation in intensity like they describe of typical labour.

We arrived at the hospital (again!) around 5pm on the Thursday. I jumped in the birthing tub at the hospital (gotta love those baths!) for an hour. I can recall having no control over my body in that tub. My entire body was shaking violently, and I decided at that time that I wanted an epidural. I was exhausted – give me the drugs!!

When I got out of the tub at 7:30pm for my bloodwork, I was 9cm dilated. No wonder my body had been shaking, I was in transitional labour.  Unfortunately, my contractions were still too inconsistent to start pushing. By the time the epidural arrived, it was 9:30pm – two and a half hours after I voiced that decision in the tub. I remember saying how ridiculously long it was multiple times. After the epidural, they broke my water and shortly after 10pm, I was asleep. 24 hours after contractions had started. Hallelujah! I had only slept the two hours that morning since Tuesday night. 

I was awoken periodically to roll side-to-side to keep the contractions progressing. At 1am on Friday, I was 10cm dilatated and they administered oxytocin shortly after to encourage a regular contraction pattern for pushing. At 3:30pm, I was able to start pushing. At 4:20am, (yep, 4:20!) our baby boy was born. I know this doesn’t happen for everyone, but for me, the feeling was overwhelming, immediate love. 

Emerson Graham Haight – 8lbs 7oz and 21.25 inches

I’ll write another blog post someday about postpartum care, as I sure learnt a lot those first few days, and let me tell you – postpartum healing is NO JOKE! After 30 hours of labour, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. But for now, I want to leave this story on a happy note. Emerson’s birth was definitely the greatest physical, mental, and emotional challenge I have ever endured, but it was also the most fulfilling. It was the day I became a mom.

Love Always,



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  1. Jean Webster
    November 10, 2019 / 4:50 am

    I am so thankful and happy that you and Dan invited me to join in Emerson’s birth. It is such a beautiful experience to share and one I’ll always treasure. I love you Laura!

    Mom. Xoxo

    • lovealwayslaurablog
      November 22, 2019 / 5:57 pm

      We were so lucky to have your love and support during both labours. Love you too Mom!! xox

  2. Kaitlin
    November 11, 2019 / 5:13 pm

    I LOVED baths while I was pregnant and in labor. I took at least 5 at the hospital and then I took 3 a day for months while I was pregnant.

    What a beautiful birth story. That sounds incredibly difficult, you definitely are wonder woman. I would have been at the hospital every hour like “give me meds!!!”

    • lovealwayslaurablog
      November 22, 2019 / 5:57 pm

      Hi Kaitlin! Yes, baths while pregnant and labor are so so necessary eh! Haha I was like that with my second delivery. As soon as I knew I was far enough along that they would admit me to the hospital, first thing I said when I got there was “I want the epidural asap!” lol. I will share that birth story another time. 🙂

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