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

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police seek suspect after woman nearly robbed while getting out of vehicle

Incident occurred before 7 a.m. Feb. 17 in parking lot off Cordova Bay Road

Goldstream Food Bank president Gayle Ireland is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Community Volunteer of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Two-week stint at Goldstream Food Bank turns into 35 years of volunteer service

Goldstream Food Bank’s Gayle Ireland is the 2021 Community Volunteer of the Year

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after cancellations on Friday due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Gabriel Swift, 23, is one of three Victoria filmmakers chosen to receive $20,000 Telus Storyhive grants to produce Local Heroes documentaries. (Courtesy of Gabriel Swift)
Three Victoria filmmakers producing ‘local heroes’ documentaries with $20,000 grants

Telus Storyhive providing $20,000 to 40 Western Canada productions

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Most Read