Birth Story – Willow Mertina Juliette

It’s Willow’s official due date today (December 10, 2010) but here’s a little secret… she actually joined us over two weeks ago!

Willow Blaskie was born on November 24, 2010 at 6:36AM. She weighed six pounds, thirteen ounces and measured nineteen and a half inches long. She was also born with a full head of hair which her pediatrician calls, “Awesome.”

Her journey into this world started four days before November 23, 2010 when my husband and I were given an induction date by our OB/GYN. We were being induced because of my high risk for blood clots. I needed to have an actual date so that I could stop Fragmin, my blood thinners, at least 24 hours prior to going into the hospital. Our induction date was set for Tuesday, November 23, 2010 and we were told that we would be called sometime that early morning.

By the time Tuesday rolled around, my anticipation levels were through the roof… I could hardly wait to get the show on the road and get into the hospital to have my baby. However, we didn’t get a call from the hospital in the morning so at 10:30AM, while sitting at Cora’s for breakfast, I called the hospital to see where we were at in the queue. Turns out, the hospital had an insane number of people having babies so our induction was pushed back to the afternoon at least.

Heading back home from Cora’s, I napped, made a YouTube video and anxiously awaited the phone call. By 3:00PM, I still hadn’t received a call so I called the hospital to see where we were at in the priority list. We had been told earlier that day that we were next on the list to call due to my situation but I was super anxious and couldn’t wait. The hospital informed me that they were still too busy but that I should come in at 7:30PM to have a non-stress test done and we would go from there.

My mom and dad came over after work and we ordered some dinner, although I couldn’t actually eat much, and Steve and I headed over to the hospital for 7:15PM. The nurse in the childbirth triage centre hooked me up to the non-stress test machine and monitored my contractions and the baby’s heartbeat for about an hour. After the hour, my doctor came in to check me and it turned out that I was already 2-3 centimetres dilated and 75% effaced. They decided then to go ahead and admit me!

We called my mom, as she was my other labor support person, and headed into our birth suite. At this point, everything started to become much more real… While we waited, I made another YouTube video and my mom showed up, ready to see her daughter through the labor process.

At around 12:55AM, my doctor came in to break my water. The process was painless but definitely uncomfortable as the gush of fluids started the labor process. The one thing that nobody told me about labor was how messy it was from the very beginning. I wasn’t expecting all of the leaking and the fluid but it came on quickly and didn’t stop.

After my water was broke, I decided to take advantage of still being able to move around and my mom, Steve and I walked the hallways. At this point, my contractions had started getting stronger and I had to stop many times to hold the handrails in the hallway and breathe deeply. I couldn’t believe how powerful the contractions felt and how quickly they came on. I walked the hallways until the pain was getting too much to handle in the public areas and then I headed back to my room.

Sometime around 2:30AM, my doctor came back to check me and I was already five centimetres dilated! They were assessing me at that stage to see if I needed a Pitocin drip or anything else to speed up labor and the contractions but because of how far my body was already, it was not necessary. I laboured through each contraction by breathing deeply, having cool washcloths applied to my face, switching positions when I became uncomfortable and getting my husband to massage my lower back.


Around 4AM, the contractions were becoming unbearable. I was in so much pain that I knew I needed pain relief so I requested the epidural. At that point, my contractions were so strong that I could barely breathe through them and I was in tears. They gave me the gas option to try (I forget the name of it now) but it was useless for me. It only made me feel lightheaded and did not take any of the pain away. The nurse prepped my IV and ordered blood work. I had to have the blood work done so they could ensure that my blood type was on hand should I have bleeding issues.

The blood work was taking forever to complete and I was getting angrier by the minute as I just wanted relief from the pain. My contractions were coming on quickly and lasting for quite some time and I was getting tired. They finally got the blood work back and the doctor who was performing the epidural came in to issue me pain relief. They finished the epidural and I instantly felt better. My doctor then checked me only to find out that I was already TEN centimetres dilated! Turns out, I had laboured through to ten centimetres all on my own, without needing pain medication!


Once I had the epidural, I could feel the pressure of contractions but it wasn’t painful any more. I could feel the pressure all in my bottom and each contraction felt more and more pressure filled. By 5:30AM, the nurse had me start practicing pushing. She prepped the stirrups and got me into position and I began practicing pushing. I ended up being successful at pushing, even through the epidural, so she realized that I was probably able to start pushing for real so she started timing them with my contractions and I began pushing.

At this point, I could feel a lot of things happening “down there.” It felt like this burning sensation and it felt super dry. I hated the sensation of having something RIGHT THERE that I just couldn’t get out. My nurse did not expect me to progress so quickly though because she called the doctor but didn’t put any rush on it. However, during one of my final pushes she said, “Push! Push! Push! Wait… don’t push!” and she had to hold the baby’s head slightly while the doctor rushed in. My doctor barely got her gloves and her gown on before my little girl was delivered into this world.

Even with the epidural, I could still feel when her head passed and then the two little pops of her shoulders and then the rest of her came out. The doctor held her up, placed her on my chest and I was in complete and utter amazement.


You can see some of the hospital footage here in my labor and delivery video.

After she was placed on my chest for skin to skin contact, they took her over to the warming unit to clean her off and get her crying. She did cry, although not much, but she was also grunting a bit which meant that she had a bit of fluid on her lungs. They gave her back to me for awhile and I was able to breastfeed her, which she did so perfectly and right away, and then they took her to the special care unit for some oxygen. She stayed in that unit for approximately five hours until she was doing well enough to be out on her own.



I then had the placenta delivered, which was done by my OB/GYN massaging my uterus through my belly, and I was stitched up due to my third degree tear. My child had a giant head 😉 I was then wheeled into our recovery room a little while after and we got our baby back from the special care unit and we were able to start the process of getting to know each other.


The entire experience was amazing, exciting, overwhelming and scary but it ended up being all okay in the end. Here is the first video of Willow and I that I shot from the hospital.

Love you baby girl.


  1. JessieMarieBrakken says

    Your birth was a lot like mine was! I went in the night before (May 10th, 2011) to be induced. I had to get cervadil inserted that night and needed the piton drip (early the next morning) though. i went from a 4-8 in a hour and a half then i had to wait for my doctor for about an hour of feeling the urge to push! I couldn’t even do practice pushes because he was RIGHT THERE and i got to touch the top of his head! then two contractions and he was born! He was also born at 37 weeks 4 days! weighing in at 5lbs 3oz and 18″ long May 11th, 2011 at 4:12pm! Congrats on Willow she is so beautiful and i love watching your vlogs

    • says

       @JessieMarieBrakken That is awesome!!  We did have similar birth stories – love it!  Thanks so much for your kind words about Willow :)  She’s our favourite little person on the planet! xo Erin