I have always said that Katie was my worst labour.

With Rebecca, I was in labour for 10 hours. We got to the hospital too early, and they made me walk around the cafeteria for a few hours. I remember I spent most of that time in the bathroom at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, having contractions while sitting on a toilet, with  my mom in the next stall, trying to talk me through it. When they finally admitted me, I spent most of the time in a hospital room with just Keith. They barely checked on me, it was awful, and then, when it was time to push, she had some heartrate decelerations and they had to vacuum her out. I had a really severe tear, and my mom ended up holding her for her first hour of life while I got sewn up.

I always thought that labour was bad until Christopher was induced, and the pain was a LOT worse. Much harder to cope with. (he had to be induced because my water broke, and he was a high risk pregnancy and had to be born during the day when all the doctors were around, since he had a serious heart condition. He passed away a few weeks later).

And then there was Katie. I had been in early labour for about 5 days, but not making much progress. Regular contractions would happen for about 2 hours and then go away. We went to the hospital several times that week and they kept sending me home.

Real contractions began at midnight, and she was born at 5:15 a.m. It was fast, and the pain was incredible. Just awful. THAT was bad. That was the measuring stick I always used for how bad labour could be.

Until this week, when I saw my daughter in labour.

She had the opposite problem with Katie. Katie came quickly but horrendously painfully. Rebecca was in labour for a full 23 hours, and for about 10 of that she was having regular, painful contractions, but she was stalled.

Through the entire 23 hours, the longest break she had was 6 minutes. When she finally did progress, her pain was as bad as Katie by far, because she went from 6 cm to pushing in very, very little time. The only difference was when she went through that she had already been in labour for like 20 hours.

Yet when it came time to push, her whole demeanor changed, and Connor’s demeanor changed, and she was a champ, and he was out in 15 minutes, and he’s just perfect.

Grandbaby Born

It is very, very hard to see your daughter in labour when labour is hard.

But it is amazing to see your daughter (and your son-in-law!) with a baby.

Rebecca with her baby

He’s 8 pounds 1 ounce, and he’ll be coming home in a few hours. Katie spent yesterday with us getting to know her nephew.

Katie with Alexander

And my mom came down too to meet her great-grandson.

Nana Sheila with Alexander

He’s eating super well, and everything on him is working perfectly. So we’re all very grateful, if a little bit tired. (P.S. I have amazing pictures of Connor with the baby, and he honestly is an amazing dad, but Katie took them with her phone, and it’s early here, and I don’t want to text her to get them. So just trust me that he’s awesome with the baby, and I’m sure that pics of him with little Alexander will make their way into subsequent posts!) Pics of the new grandparents will have to suffice.

Keith with the baby

Grandparents with Alexander

But Katie will no longer be my standard for a bad labour. Really, the worst labour is the labour that someone you love is going through, when you can’t really help much. That’s the worst. But what makes it bearable is the tremendous blessing you get at the end.


I know that some of you are going through difficult times with infertility or baby loss, and I hope this post doesn’t add to your pain. Believe me, I’ve been there. I’ve had a miscarriage, and I endured a baby death. And I know what it’s like to be petrified through an entire pregnancy that something bad is going to happen. In the broader circle of those who work for the blog, Joanna has also had a life-threatening miscarriage this year, and she’s been dealing with struggling to conceive as well. She shared a few posts on that, too, especially on learning to go to baby showers despite what she was feeling. 

But we also had so many praying for Rebecca during her pregnancy, and I wanted to give this update. Thank you so much for those of you who aren’t just on the email list, but are also signed up for our prayer list. So I understand how hard baby stuff is to read about, and I hope this hasn’t added to any pain. I just also want to share our joy at being grandparents, and it’s sometimes a hard balance to find.

And for something completely different: I had quite the big threads on Twitter last weekend about Emerson Eggerichs giving sermons where he minimizes abuse. You can see one such thread here

Quite the firestorm. So there’s lots going on in my life, and lots to update you with! But right now I’m grateful for the 10 hours of sleep I had last night after not sleeping for two nights straight, and we’re on our way to pick up two new blissful parents and one baby, and bring them all back home.

What about any of you? Any awful stories about labour? Let’s talk in the comments!