Our birth story isn’t exactly how we would have imagined it. For me, I feel like I envisioned a quiet night at home with just Justin and I … (and Nacho) just like in the movies, I would wake Justin up in the middle of the night with a gentle nudge “it’s time” and off we would go down to the hospital. I feel like I would have ‘known’ it was coming and I would be totally prepared. Half of that was true … but our birth story was nothing like we expected, but now looking back it is everything that we wanted it to be.
Leo was due on August 21st … we didn’t know if he was a he or a she, and we were excited that I would be done work on the 6th of August giving me a full 2 weeks off prior to his/her arrival. Well, this is not entirely true, as Justin and I were supposed to drive to Vancouver on the 10th and 11th for 2 FINAL Love it or List it reveals … everyone knew this was risky and the ‘baby’ was the real boss … but regardless those dates were set.
So here’s what really happened. August 3rd, Twas the night before Christmas, (or Leo’s Birthday) Justin and I were just winding down for an early night, as we were set to film a BIG exciting day (more news about that to follow) and wanted to get a good nights rest. We were shuffling things around in the nursery for filming the next day and I told Justin that I thought my water had broke. Which was really confusing because (sorry for the graphic details) but it was more of a slow, slow leak and the doctor told us only 10% of women’s waters actually break.
But, we were fresh from a prenatal class and I could tell Justin was in the mood for a mission. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that your water breaking ‘could’ be a slow leak … so, we followed Doctor Rosengarten’s orders, I had a shower, packed my bag and we calmly made our way down to the hospital.
Ok, there is another part to this story that I need to cover … we live in Kelowna but I am only there on weekends. We had to get a doctor in Vancouver to follow my pregnancy (I am there during the week) … and we only got a family doctor in Kelowna to take care of the delivery portion, on Tuesday, August 2nd. We thought we still had tons of time to transition over to our Kelowna Doctor (Dr. Koldkind) … we met her 19 days before our due date and loved her from our first meeting … who would have known the second meeting would be 2 short days later on Leo’s birthday…
We went down to the hospital on the 3rd (again, as a reminder just a day after we met Dr. Kolkind) and found out much to our surprise, while I was 3cm dilated (OMG!!!) my water had in fact NOT broken and so back home we went. After talking to Dr. Kolkind and Dr. Rosengarten the next day, we were told that we could stay at 3cm until the due date … or expect our special delivery the next day… we decided not to tell anyone and just carry on with our regular business.
On the 4th, we got up and carried on like nothing happened the night before. We filmed a VERY long day for our new pilot (ok we are “leaking” some clues here) and after 13 hours of work, I was BAGGED. Actually, Justin is here telling me I was a wreck. I was groggy and cranky and emotional. But I blamed it all on working too hard at 9 months pregnant.
We had another BIG day of filming the next day, the house was totally pulled apart and full of cameras and lighting equipment and I just wanted to go to bed. Kaitlin my makeup artist was in Kelowna with us, and of course, Sam was over … the girls and Justin were having a few drinks and I went to go walk Nacho down at the beach. Kaitlin came with us and we thought it was a great idea to go for a little sunset swim with our clothes on.
I remember floating in the lake, Nacho swimming towards me and feeling so content and warm. I was so happy and CALM even though I was SO exhausted … it felt like a really special night. It was so warm and the sunset was gorgeous (some of you may remember my snaps from that night!!).
We walked back home and more company was over, our neighbor Chantal, my aunty Mary and my cousin Steph. So at this point … 6 people and the film crew were staying just a stone’s throw away at the hotel (this was at about 10pm).
Justin wanted to sleep in our new camper that night, and so Sam agreed to crawl in with me in case we had another ‘leak’ … when I was changing into my pj’s she said “OMG Jill you’re leaking!!” (again sorry for the graphic details and if you don’t know who Sam is by now you have to follow me on Snapchat, she’s my cousin, but also best friend … like a sister. I explained to her that we had already gone down to the hospital the night prior and it was nothing … but then … it really started to flow …
This is the funny part. At some point in my head, I had decided that my vagina was some monstrous vacuum and I told Sam “you know what, this is probably from the swim in the lake, I just sucked up a bunch of water” and crawled back into bed … I remember her staring at me from the end of the bed looking at me like I was crazy, or maybe she was really curious about my vaginas new special abilities to suck up so much water lol … I got up one more time and just like the movies, my water broke. Like big time … SPLOOOSHHHH.
Exactly like the night prior, I put my bags aside, I got in the shower, had a nice big long hot shower and felt totally calm … until Sam came into the bathroom and told me the film crew was on their way …
WHAT THE FRICKKKK WHAT!?!?? NO, umm no no no. How did they know? This wasn’t part of the deal? JUSSTTTTINNNNN!!!!!!!! …. Justin came into the room and I told him, no no no, I love the film crew (they are my team from Love It Or List It Vancouver, I’ve worked with them closely for the last 4 years) but this was TOO much. It was bad enough that I had already been engaged on national television, I was NOT going to have my baby for the world to see!!! LOL …
… Justin looked at me and said “Come on, this would be such a special moment for our babe and who gets the opportunity to capture a moment like this??!!” I went back to my zen (or crazy) self and said, “Ok. But they can only get us walking into the hospital … that’s it” Justin agreed.
Now, in the movies, once the water breaks everyone races down to the hospital. Not us … after the shower, I heard everyone celebrating in the kitchen and I was in disbelief … is this REALLY how our birth story was going to happen???
So, I did what I wanted to do, and I crawled back into bed. Kaitlin & Sam came into the room and we decided now was a good time to take some photos. That’s when this photo was taken.
A few minutes later I heard our producer Stephen and Justin talking outside the room and so I invited them both in. So here we are, the 5 of us and Nacho hanging out in my bedroom making the plan of attack for the night. Oh yes, and Chantal my wonderful french neighbor was sitting in the kitchen drinking wine waiting to see where ‘she came in’ … lol.
So, off Justin and I went again, for the second night in a row, down to the hospital, and sure as shit, the film crew followed (1 camera guy, 1 sound guy, the producer, and the director). They filmed us walking into the hospital and when we got to the door, Justin and I looked at them to say “come on, let’s keep going” … and so into the hospital they came (ps I can’t believe this was happening this way!! LOL).
The resident and nurse confirmed our babes time was here … our water had broke, and we were having a baby!!!! (I’m crying right now by the way!!!) …
We called our Parents, Cousins, Brothers, Kaitlin, Sam, and told them the time had come to meet our little babe!
Before I knew it, I was in the delivery room, with the entire film crew, my Dad, Kaitlin, Sam, Tori, little Max … and of course the medical team.
Most of you know that my pregnancy was text book. I was SO lucky… up until this part of the story so was my delivery. I remember thinking I LIKED the contractions (omfg am I delusional or what!?!) I loved all the company and was laughing between every contraction. It was one of the most amazing few hours of my life. So, fast forward to 5cm dilated, and 3am…
Shit started to get gnarly and the contractions were NOT fun anymore. It was like zero to sixty and I remember I was NOT laughing anymore. All I could think of was EPIIIIDURRALLLLLLL. At this point, it was time for the film crew to leave. SEE YA LATERRRRR!!!
The epidural made me feel AMAZINGGGG but, that’s when things got a little crazy. We found out that the umbilical cord was wrapped around our little babe twice, and during the contractions, his heart rate was plummeting. I could hear it slow down, and we started to panic. I tried changing positions, moving around, but nothing.
We were told, that if I didn’t dilate quick, we were going to have to proceed with a C-section. I didn’t want a C-section, but I remember Justin and I knowing at that point, we had to do whatever it took to get our sweet babe out … QUICK.
Just as they were going to take me into the OR, they checked my cervix and I was 10 CENTIMETRES!!!!!!!! WE COULD NOT BELIVE it!!! I remember having NO energy to push but I knew it didn’t matter, we had to get the baby out!
Our medical team was AMAZING, there was our Doctor, Nurse, Resident, a Pediatrician and an Obstetrician. I can’t believe the love and support that was in that room that night, especially Justin. I’m a pretty independent person but I remember locking eyes with Justin SO hard and literally DEPENDING on his encouragement. I’ve never felt so dependent on someone in my life. I knew we were BOTH about to deliver the best thing that ever happened to either one of us. It came time to push, and after about an hour of pushing, some major ripping, an episiotomy… we welcomed little Leo, at 6:02 am…
He was beautiful, and life was beautiful. I remember feeling like I was truly ‘LIVING THE DREAM” …
After Justin saw that little Leo and I were healthy and happy, he asked if he could go tell “the guys” the news … I remember asking “guys?” Where’s the girls?? The way the night went down, My mom wasn’t well and slept through the delivery, Justin’s mom wasn’t in town, Sam, Kaitlin and Tori all went back to bed … and in the waiting room was literally A BUNCH OF DUDES … that’s it. Justin’s best friend Matt August, Justin’s Brother Matt, Justin’s Dad and of course my Dad (who had stayed throughout the ENTIRE delivery since 10pm) … I thought that was so odd, but then since we just delivered a sweet boy that the guys were wishing for the entire pregnancy… I thought it was kind of fitting … So Justin went out to give everyone the news. The hospital was so silent and I remember hearing his footsteps go into the waiting room, and he yelled throughout the ENTIRE hospital to the guys, “IT’S A BOY” and I heard the entire floor rumble with screaming and yelling and laughter and high fives, pretty sure they woke up the entire maternity ward…… and I just laid there holding our little boy with tears POURING down my face…
Literally, THE BEST DAY of our LIVES and I am so happy I am able to share it with all of you.
Thank you all for your patience with this little story, life has been a whirlwind and I wanted to include as much detail as possible!!!
ALSO thank you all SO much for the LEO love and support during our pregnancy, delivery, and our families expansion!
JILLY, JUSTIN, LEO