Gagnon, and Loki’s father, Nicholas Van Den Beld, are all smiles after the wild birthing ordeal. (Contributed photo)

Gagnon, and Loki’s father, Nicholas Van Den Beld, are all smiles after the wild birthing ordeal. (Contributed photo)

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Frédérique Gagnon had every expectation of giving a normal birth to her first child.

Her son, who was named after the Norse trickster god, Loki, had other ideas.

The mischievous infant decided to make his way into the world when his mother was in his grandparents’ driveway.

READ MORE: Pregnant in a pandemic: Expectant B.C. moms change birth plans due to COVID-19

After being woken up by a burst of pain on Monday (Aug 3) morning, a pregnant Gagnon realized her contractions had started, and called the hospital to see what she should do.

“They told me I could come to get medication if I wanted to, and they would check me to make sure I was actually in labour, and not false labour,” she said.

Her partner, Nicholas Van Den Beld, drove her to Royal Columbian Hospital, where she was checked and given morphine and Gravol.

“My contractions were two minutes apart, but they didn’t think that was enough, so they sent me back home,” Gagnon said, noting she was told it would probably take another four-to-five hours for her baby to be born.

Not wanting to drive all the way back to Pitt Meadows, the couple opted to go to Van Den Beld’s parents’ house in Port Coquitlam, so they’d be closer to the hospital.

Gagnon said she took a bath and her partner drove home to pick up their pet.

“Maybe 20 minutes after he left, I felt like the pain was way too much and then I felt as if something was coming out, so I started freaking out,” Gagnon said.

Her mother-in-law, and Van Den Beld’s sisters – who Gagnon said have each had at least three babies – thought she might be over-reacting but after a quick look, they realized the baby was ready to be born.

They called 911, and a dispatcher was able to give them some advice until paramedics showed up.

“At that point I was having a contraction every minute that would go for 30 seconds,” Gagnon said, “But the paramedic thought we could make it to the hospital.”

The paramedic broke Gagnon’s water – as she was in a lot of pain – and then helped her get down three flights of stairs on the way to the ambulance.

“As we got in the driveway, there was this stretcher laid out and as soon as I sat on it, I knew the baby was coming,” Gagnon said.

“I just pushed once, and his head came out – but the cord was around his neck, so that was bit stressful – but the paramedic said we’re good, and fixed it, and then I pushed a second time, and he just came out.”

Gagnon said she didn’t pay much notice to the audience surrounding her wild moment, but found out later, there were over a dozen neighbours gathered around.

During the ordeal, Gagnon said the onlookers were amazed at how relaxed she was.

“I was kind of calm because of the morphine,” she said, “I think without it I would have been freaking out a lot more.”

She also noted, having people with a soothing energy around her helped.

“My partner seemed really calm but he said he didn’t know if he wanted to throw up, or cry, or freak out, but he seemed really calm, so that’s what mattered.

A knowledgeable paramedic was crucial too.

“It was this paramedic’s 11th time delivering a baby,” she said, “He was super good, and calm, and that made things way better.”

Sarah Morris, a media relations officer for B.C. Emergency Health Services, said pre-hospital births -unplanned/early, ambulance and side-of-the-road deliveries – are quite common in B.C.

“B.C. Emergency Health Services responds to an average of 1,450 pregnancy and childbirth-related calls each year,” she noted.

“Our call takers, dispatchers and paramedics are medical professionals, trained to provide childbirth directions and assistance, whether by phone or once paramedics arrive on scene.

“Through the feedback BCEHS receives from individuals/families and through our Thank a Paramedic/Dispatcher program we often hear how grateful new parents are for the calm nature and professionalism our staff display during what is often a emotional, stressful life moment.

“Their reassuring words of encouragement and clear, concise direction are often cited as key to assisting in the patient(s) remaining calm and having a safe delivery.”

Morris said staff are awarded special “stork pins” after delivering a baby.

“These pins are coveted, revered and a true point of pride amongst our staff.”

For young Loki, the story of his birth will not soon be forgotten.

“He’ll definitely hear about it a lot,” Gagnon said.



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BirthsPitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Gagnon is helped down three flights of stairs in an attempt to get to the ambulance. (Contributed photo)

Gagnon is helped down three flights of stairs in an attempt to get to the ambulance. (Contributed photo)

Baby Loki’s first look at the world was blue sheets, a blue garbed paramedic, and blue skies. (Contributed photo).

Baby Loki’s first look at the world was blue sheets, a blue garbed paramedic, and blue skies. (Contributed photo).

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Group fitness classes are on hold at the Nelson and District Community Complex. File photo
Group fitness classes cancelled at Nelson, Salmo rec centres

Parking enforcement is also coming to the Nelson and District Community Complex

Nearly 4,000 magazine are available to be read digitally through the Nelson Public Library. Photo: Tracey Therrien
CHECK THIS OUT: The internet before the internet

From Avi Silberstein at the Nelson library

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read