First, as many already know, mom and big sister Catherine have been vacationing in Northern Ontario since mid July. Dad arrived from Dhaka at the end of August and was present for the birth!
Dave, Robin and Catherine celebrated the Labor Day weekend (also a holiday in Canada) with family and friends who had made the trip north to celebrate the long holiday weekend. We had wonderful sunny weather and enjoyed dock days and lots of walking on Bear Island and swimming around the island. Saturday we attended and dressed up for a “come in poor taste” party (hilarious), and Sunday we were invited to a neighboring island for a cookout.
Saturday night, Robin had some cramping, and we chalked it up to Braxton Hicks. Her due date was another 10 days away. Sunday, Robin had some more significant cramping that only lasted 30-45 seconds, but as Dave timed them very casually, they were about 10-20 minutes apart. No worries from anyone about that.
We all attended a great cookout, where Robin (and everyone else) feasted on venison burgers, salads, cake and homemade ice cream and toppings for dessert! There was discussion about the betting “pool” that had been devised to guess the baby’s arrival date and weight (only side bets were taken on the sex, as folks had a 50/50 chance on that). One party-goer hoped Robin would deliver the next day, as September 1st was his birthday! We returned home, and Robin continued to feel “pressure” and there was still an idea that these could be Braxton Hicks.
Robin was not tired at all and was not interested in “trying to sleep” and/or see what happened “later”. Because of our fairly remote location, the plan had always been to head off the island as soon as Robin's water broke and Robin started to feel “something”. Well, the water had not broken, but as it started to get later and darker, the decision was made to head north to the town where the hospital was located. This required Robin’s dad to come over to the cottage (his cottage is located on another island), take us in the boat – about 20 minutes – to the mainland where the car was parked, drive the 20km down the winding gravel road, and then another 60km on the paved highway to the hospital.
We went to a hotel near the hospital and checked in about midnight. Robin continued to feel pressure, and it was still not evident that this was it!? About 1AM, we decided to get into bed and try and get some sleep. After about 1 minute, Robin was in the bathroom and then in and out of the bathroom for the next 5-10 minutes. Once Robin began to moan, the decision was made to head for the hospital! A quick call by Dave to give labor and delivery a heads up was made on the way out the door.
Outside of the hotel, Robin dropped to her hands and knees and said, “this really stinks!” Dave misinterpreted this to mean the situation was not great, but really she was referring to the ashtray full of cigarette butts right at her eye (nose and mouth!) level once she was down on the ground at the front door! Robin decided to get into the backseat so she could stretch out and move around if needed. The contractions were just a few minutes apart at this point.
Once in the labor and delivery room, Robin headed straight for the bathroom. The nurse really wanted to check Robin, but her focus was on going to the bathroom. She finally agreed and the nurse got on the telephone, paged our doctor (he was in the hospital on call-what luck!) and could be overheard saying, “Doctor, Robin Martz is here. She is fully dilated and ready to go.”
Robin got into the bed, holding onto the handrail with one hand and Dave’s hand with the other. We spotted some flip-flops coming in through the door and realized that our doctor had arrived! Robin began to push and as the doctor’s delivery note said it best, “the patient presented at 1:40AM fully dilated. She pushed for about 5 minutes and delivered a healthy female infant by spontaneous, vaginal delivery”
Robin delivered about 2AM and was discharged at 7:30AM! We left the hospital and headed back to the hotel, out to lunch and shopping at the local Wal-Mart. We returned to the island the next day with everyone feeling good and excited to reconnect with family.