It’s a little late but here is the story of how Vanek Kyle Enns came into the world.
Vanek Kyle Enns born on July 29, 2017 weighing in at 8 pounds 6 ounces with a length of 21.5 inches and a head circumference of 14.5inches. Here is his story:
Sunday July 23 was a typical evening in the Enns household. Sam and I were playing Bohnanza and enjoying silence as Nixon was asleep. Sam’s contractions had started but she hadn’t told me for about an hour. Once she told me she began to time them. They were still quite far apart and not lasting very long but this was a good sign of things to come. Or so we thought. We went to bed hopeful that things were finally starting and this baby would be on time unlike Nixon. When we woke up things had slowed but not completely stopped. I convinced Sam to call the midwife and see what she said. Sam didn’t want to get her hopes up in case this was false labour. The midwife said to wait until the contractions get stronger and closer together. I went to work that afternoon hoping I would soon get a call to leave early and drive to the hospital. Except the contractions didn’t get closer together or stronger, they did the exact opposite and went away. False labour. The rest of the week went as normal until Friday.
Friday afternoon started normal, a trip to Costco for groceries and hot dogs was on the schedule. As I flashed my Costco card to the employee at the entrance Sam winced in pain. Maybe this time it was for real. All throughout the Costco trip she had contractions. We left Costco and the contractions continued throughout the afternoon. I had plans to go golfing that evening but offered to stay home just in case. Sam said to go because there was no guarantee anything would happen that quickly and she didn’t want to get her hopes up. So, off I went to the golf course. Things progressed that evening, through the night, and into the morning. The contractions had gotten closer and stronger and it was time to call the midwife. The midwife said to come in when contractions were lasting 1 minute, 5 minutes apart for 30 minutes straight. Contractions reached those parameters, we called my mom to come grab Nixon, and off to the hospital we went.
We got to the hospital at 12:30pm and the contractions weren’t exactly where the midwife wanted them to be anymore. They were within the parameters but had slowed slightly and gotten weaker and her cervix was barely 4cm dilated. (Once you’re 4cm dilated they admit you.) Not this again, we thought. Luckily, we got to the hospital during a rare instance; it was slow. So slow, I even commented to the nurse “it looks like things are slow.” Apparently I had said Voldemort in the maternity ward. Oops. The midwife told us to go eat, walk around and come back in 60-90 minutes.
We went to Subway, stopping at all the stairs we could so Sam could squat her way up them in hopes this baby would drop and get things moving.
We made our way back to the hospital and continued to do stairs and stairs and stairs until finally the midwife saw us doing stairs and said “I think you’re good, save some energy for labour.”
We went back and Sam was a solid 5cm dilated.
Our nurse Jackie brought us to our room around 2pm.
We got settled, did paperwork, and the nurse took vitals for baby and mom. All was good.
We went to playing games and relaxing, stopping when Sam had a contraction to get through.
This continued with walks here and there.
The midwife came in around 7:45pm to check Sam who was now 6cm dilated. She offered to break Sam’s water to help things along. Sam agreed and she immediately went to 7cm and the baby dropped quite a bit but not quite enough. The contractions did get stronger. Each one was no longer a wince in pain but a full on stop, bend over and ask me to squeeze her hips together (don’t ask me why this helps but she said it did). The midwife said she wanted Sam to try and get the baby to drop further so Sam went to sit on the toilet and dealt with her strongest contractions yet. This is the part it is hard to watch, I’m sitting there watching my wife scream in pain and all I can do is encourage her, again, like last time I felt pretty useless. Sam had to get off the toilet to check her and baby as the cord from the machine wasn’t long enough to reach the bathroom. Baby’s head had dropped to +1. Baby positions start at -5 (still deep inside) and go to +5 (head fully out). For reference, Nixon never got past 0. This was good progress.
At 9pm Sam started to push but the exact same thing as last time started to happen, stabbing hip pain. The midwife suggested she try laughing gas for the pain but it was nothing more than a good distraction. Then we tried fentanyl (yes, the same drug we hear about people overdosing on, but obviously this is a proper dosage in a proper environment done by professionals). It helped, but not enough. From the beginning, Sam had said she wouldn’t do this without an epidural. The midwife encouraged Sam to keep pushing because Vanek was close to coming out but the pain was too much. Sam demanded, as in “I’m not doing this without an epidural, someone call the anesthesiologist to get this epidural in.” It was about 9:45pm. The anesthesiologist was the best. He was so calm, super aware of Sam’s pain and accommodating of Sam’s wish that he do it right after a contraction so she doesn’t have to sit through a contraction while there’s a large needle in her spine, just millimetres away from paralyzing her. He obliged, got the needle and the line in quickly and things were looking up. The drugs took longer than last time to kick in but they finally did around 10pm when Sam started pushing. No hip pain. Immediately, Vanek’s head started moving well and the midwife said she could see the head and this baby would be out within 20 minutes. Sam didn’t believe her. Things never moved like this with Nixon so I don’t really blame her. I peeked to see the head because I didn’t really believe her either but I saw hair so that meant there was a head. To be completely honest, I thought our kid was going to have a messed up head. You know that curve in the cartilage of your ear? The part on that looks like a C? Well that’s what I thought I was seeing but the midwife said that was his head. ‘Great, our kid’s gonna have a big C on the top of his head,’ I thought.
I told Sam I could see the head and encouraged her that she could do this. She didn’t think she could, she couldn’t with Nixon but this time I knew she could do it because the head was right there. She started to believe in herself a little and said “babe, we’re gonna have this baby in here, not the OR.” I agreed. This is hard to put in context but throughout the pushing process all the way from no epidural to after the epidural, pregnant women are a little coo coo. Seriously, they’re at their most irrational point in life with the raging change in hormones. Things they say don’t make sense and as a rational person listening to them speak it’s hard not to laugh. I won’t share everything Sam said as to not embarrass her but hilarity did ensue. One thing she did was constantly repeat, “babe, I’m actually gonna do this, how is that possible?” Again, other than the pain she was in disbelief. Sam kept pushing, without hip pain, and within 15 minutes Vanek was out. 10:16pm to be exact. I caught the baby but I don’t actually think I was focused on catching the baby because next thing I knew the baby was in the midwife’s hands and she was asking me to tell Sam what we had. I had totally forgot to look. I saw a penis. We had another boy. I then got to cut the cord and Vanek was placed in his mom’s arms for the first time. It was incredible, Sam had done this all on her own this time. He was left skin to skin while the midwife finished what she had to do with Sam and about an hour later we finally got to see how big this kid was. 8 pounds 6 ounces. Sam said “that’s little!” The nurses said that wasn’t little. Sam said, “when your first is 10 pounds 1 ounce, 8 pounds 6 ounces is little.” The nurse agreed. Everyone was healthy and happy and much less tired than the first time around.
We were then moved to our recovery room to get some sleep. Family and friends came to visit the following day and we stayed one extra night to make sure everything stayed the same and all were healthy. We went home the following afternoon and Nixon finally got to meet his little brother. He hated him. Anytime Vanek made noise Nixon would bury his face in our chest and cry. Things have gotten better and now anytime Nixon sees Vanek he gives him a “kiss” (he places his face on Vanek).
For those wondering where Vanek’s name came from, here’s the story:
I was setting my fantasy hockey lineup one night and I was browsing the waiver wire for a replacement on my team. Thomas Vanek had been hot at the time and Sam saw his name on my screen. “what about Vanek for a boy’s name?” she asked. “Yeah I like that” I responded. And so it was, Vanek would be our second son’s name if we had a boy. Giving Vanek my middle name is carrying on the tradition from my dad. My dad’s name if Jeffrey (Jeff) and my full name is Kyle Jeffrey Enns.
Everyone is still healthy and happy and we’re so grateful for how this story turned out, much easier and less stressful than Nixon. I’m so proud of my wife for doing what she did; it was a really cool experience to see her accomplish something that difficult all on her own and see the joy it gave her. Until next time (which won’t be as soon as this one).