My partner and I had not been actively TTC when I fell pregnant last year though given a few hours to get use to the idea we knew it was a wonderful thing. My son (9) had been wanting a sibling (a brother in particular) for ages so it was lovely news for him as well. This pregnancy wasn’t as trouble free as DS’s when I was 10 years younger that’s for sure - my back and pelvis were tremendously sore at times and at 13 weeks I was in the emergency ward for 2 nights with heavy bleeding. That was so upsetting. But we soldiered on and for the most part I enjoyed the pregnancy immensely and couldn’t wait for our beautiful little “Mugwai“. (Well I know he’s beautiful now - his 18 week ultrasound gave the indication he’d come out looking like a fat Montgomery Burns - not a prospect we delighted in!)
Bubby was due on the 11th of July however that date came and went. When I was scheduled in for a 41 week checkup I scoffed at the administrator (Sorry!) as if that was one appointment I was never going to keep. Well I did! I was given a stretch and sweep, and, as I was 2-3 centimetres dilated and favourable, booked in for an induction on Friday the 21st. Wow, those last couple of weeks dragged on forever. I was so full-up and internally crowded!
Even so, me n my man were still managing to dance the “cha cha” (as the lovely DIJ ladies put it) and after a particularly well choreographed slow dance, midnight Wednesday morning, we heard two strange cracking sounds, (like glo-sticks being snapped) and my waters started to flow! Eeeek!
I was planning on hanging around for a cuppa as it was only a 10 minute drive to the hospital from where we were staying, but I began getting lower back pain immediately and thought it was best to get going. It was an exciting trip for DP and a nerve-wrecking one for me. I was scared - my partner is a 2 meter tall giant, I am a midget in comparison and I had to squeeze our big healthy boy out my poor schmoo and survive. Yow! Just as ladies have said before me - I was very keen for this labour to be past tense! As it was, I didn’t have to wait too long.
A very efficient midwife, B, allocated us a birth suite and after a quick once around to locate all the important facilities for Greg - coffee room, chip machine etc we settled in.
By settling in I mean Gregory nervously chowing down every snack in sight and me suffering through rapidly intensifying contractions. My birth plan had specified minimal intervention and the desire for a drug free labour, so we were left to ourselves for much of the first few hours. During which I spent my time either hunched over a dinner trolley or on the toilet in an attempt to relieve some pressure! Eventually, the volume of my desperate noises was enough to penetrate those soundproof walls and raise the alarm. My midwife returned to find me 8cms dilated and despairing “I don’t wanna do this anymore!!” When she threatened to leave again I begged her not to go anywhere - she was the one person who was going to tell me it was time for the pushing stage, when perhaps I could perceive a tangible end to the agony that was threatening to consume me, rather than just fantasising about one. She was my lifeline, I wasn’t about to let her leave!! Maybe I was in transition?? Yah think??
I felt like I was about to seriously lose it. I didn’t know where I wanted to be. I felt like I couldn’t have both feet on the ground at once - I kept disappearing into the bathroom to hang off the metal rails. Greg read the situation well, seeing I was trying to vanish myself away, he stayed in the background and let me come to him when I need to. He helped me into a hot shower where I stayed for a short while, and from there onto the beanbag where I laboured on all fours, until I felt I was sure my back was going to break and I would poo myself simultaneously.
After an internal B indicated that this was it, I could begin to push. Nature decided to give me a little break between what had been four hours of furiously relentless contractions at this stage and I sprawled out on my back. I didn’t think it was possible but second stage of labour proved to be even more intense than the first. (But thankfully not as long!) Unlike my firstborn - whose whole body kind of slipped out after his head was birthed - this little man needed to be strained out every inch of the way! I did my utmost, with a wet washer over my face and my eyes clenched the whole time. (I wasn’t joking when I said I was trying to disappear myself!) Greg’s voice was full of emotion, telling me I was doing a great job and the baby was nearly here. I believed him, I didn’t need to look. At some stage B had been joined by more help and with my final push I was told that baby had his umbilical chord compressed against his shoulder during the birth and that he needed oxygen quickly. I was told he would be fine and would be brought straight back for a cuddle. I snuck a brief squint from beneath the washer at his limp body between my legs and urged Greg to go with him. In the short while it took for Greg to get back with our Bubby my body had fast gone into shock. I was shuddering uncontrollably all over. A yummy cuddle with my baby should have warmed me up but instead when my little purple man was given to me, he started shivering too. Lying on a beanbag on the floor in a pool of blood with a cold sweat never really had any appeal to lose - Bubby really needed to go under the heater and I desperately needed a hot shower and fresh jarmies on, so, instead of waiting for the third stage of labour to proceed naturally, I requested a shot of oxytocin. With one final slow push the placenta was out and labour complete. What relief!! With our beautiful big baby boy and my very proud and relieved man to distract me, I was locally anaesthetised and stitched. (Thank you B! You must have been trained in reconstructive surgery somewhere along the line because I swear it looks better than ever! Either that or it‘s retracted in on itself in fear that it will be used for the same purpose again!) Finally I was able to clean myself up and cuddle up in bed with our boy Anakin Christian - Son to two very proud and devoted parents and little brother to an adoring and patient big brother. Born on the 19th of July 2006 at 5 past 5 on a Wednesday morning. He was measured at 8lb 12oz and 53 and a half centimetres long, with a head circumference of 35 and a half. What a beauty he continues to be!