Shea’s Birth Story

I always like to write about my children’s birth stories, mostly so that I don’t forget everything that happened and I have a place to look back and reflect.

Shea Melissa Dennis was born on Wednesday, March 8th (International Women’s Day) at 3:16am. She weighed 8lbs 2oz and was 19.5 inches long.

This pregnancy was different than my other two because I was feeling relatively good throughout the entire thing. I put my back out a couple of times but as I sit here writing this, my back is out again so I’m not even sure it was pregnancy related.

We decided not to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. We have two boys aged 2 and 4. We found out we were having a boy for our second child so I thought, we might as well let this one be a surprise. I kept telling everyone that if it were a boy, I would be shocked because I was so convinced that I was having a girl.

On Tuesday, March 7th, at 39 weeks pregnant, I had an appointment with my obstetrician. I opted to have a membrane sweep to see if it would help move things along. I was told at that time that I was 4cm dilated.

Throughout the rest of Tuesday, I had light contractions and assumed things were going to start to process soon. We had planned for my mom to come stay at our house to be with our boys but when I went to tell my husband that I called her, I found him curled up on the couch, sweating and shivering. The stomach flu that our boys had the last two days had found its way to my husband.

I could tell he was trying to psych himself up and rally to take me to the hospital but I didn’t want to have to worry about him while I was labouring. I told him that my mom would come with me and he should go get some rest. Luckily, he didn’t put up a fight which also meant he was feeling really miserable.

My mom and I arrived at the hospital at 11pm. When the nurse assessed me, I was still only 4cm dilated and my contractions were roughly 5 mins apart.  I told the nurses that my previous child arrived very quickly once active labor began. I was given the option to walk around the hospital for 1-2 hours or go home and labour there. Knowing my body and how it handled the other two births, I decided to walk around the hospital to see if it would get things moving. I only lasted for 35 minutes before my contractions became stronger and were happening every 2-3 minutes. When I returned to the unit, the nurses were like “Ok, this is a big change. Let’s assess you again”.

Upon assessment, I had progressed to 6-7cm dilated. Around 1:30am, I had to have a quick Covid test and an IV was inserted prior to being moved to the birthing room where all my babies were born.

I was in a lot of pain when the contractions hit and because we knew that I deliver quickly, the nurses didn’t want to give me any Fentanyl because it can make the baby sleepy and I just didn’t want to risk it. Instead, I tried the gas which didn’t help the pain but it did help me to concentrate on breathing in and out during the contractions.

I felt “best” on my left side when my contractions hit. The poor nurses were scared that I was going to roll myself off of the bed. For about half hour or a bit more, I felt like it was time to push. The epidural hadn’t arrived until I was 9cm and the Anesthesiologist explained it likely wouldn’t work but she would try! She informed me that it worked by gravity so she adjusted my bed in hopes that it would kick in but unfortunately, I didn’t feel the effects of it.

By 3am, it was time to push. I asked the nurses to put the bar attachment onto the bed to hold my feet up instead of trying to hold my knees back myself. I find that part to just add to your exhaustion so the bar really helped.

The OB on call was Dr. Keddy and she was amazing!! She talked in calm tones telling me when to back off pushing so that I didn’t tear and when I heard her say “meconium fluid” to the nurse and I asked what that was, she took the time to explain and inform me that there would be a few extra people in the room during delivery incase the baby needed help breathing. She said it so calming that it didn’t phase me. My job was to listen and push when told. 

After two cycles of pushing, at 3:16am, I gave birth to my third child, a baby girl !!! She was whisked away by the NICU nurse (who is a very great friend of mine) and the respiratory therapist to ensure baby girl was breathing ok. Seeing my friend step in to help, made me feel comforted knowing that she was the one caring for Shea. I wasn’t able to hold her very much while she was in hospital but I am making up for it now!

Shea remained in the NICU for 3.5 days. She had to be on the CPAP machine to get her oxygen saturation levels above 90. We were able to come home on Saturday and have our two boys meet their new baby sister. They are absolutely smitten by her. They are constantly chatting to her, asking to hold her and showing her off to anyone that comes to visit.

If you enjoyed reading about Shea’s birth, feel free to jump over and read about Leon’s birth story.


For those of you who know my Mom and our relationship, you are likely wishing you could have been a fly on the wall in that delivery room. I must say though, whether Mom was scared I would kick her out if she said too much or what, but she was awesome. She had a cold cloth when I needed it and let the nurses do their thing to keep me on track. I’m grateful that she was able to experience Shea’s birth with me as the name Shea comes from my Mom’s maiden name O’Shea. And how cool for Shea to be born on International Women’s Day, surrounded by women kicking ass at their jobs and well for me pushing her out haha!

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