We had Noah, 3.61kg, 50cm on the 10/10/11, 6 days early.
I woke on the morning of 10th October, 6 days before the estimated date of arrival for Noah. I wasn’t that fixed on the date so I had decided that he would come in October sometime however I did think that he’d be late by about 3-4 days.
I went to the bathroom and found a sticky clear jelly type thing, I showed it to Mark and we decided that it must be the plug. I still had 1 week of jobs I wanted to do but we decided I’d have a quiet day at home just in case something happened.
I walked Zeus and didn’t feel any different to any other day. When I got home I hopped on the internet are looked up plugs and what they meant and essentially it could mean that labour might start within next 48hrs but could be up to 2 weeks away. I emailed Mark and he was excited because it meant that at some stage our baby would arrive. I still didn’t think anything would happen for 10 days or so.
I had a shower and hopped into bed to read a book (Bryce Courtney, Fortune Cookie)(something I wanted to do before the baby arrived). At 9am I had my 1st contraction. It was just like a tightening across my stomach. They came every 20min approx till midday. Most of the time I could continue to read but some I had to stop reading and gently move my legs from side to side. I breathed my birth breathing but wondered if this was really this. I didn’t have any Braxton hicks so I thought this might be them. At midday they had been consistent for a few hours so I called Mark to let him know i thought it was happening. He was excited but I told him I was fine and not to come home because I wasn’t sure this was it but maybe get his day in order in case it was.
I got up and had lunch and tried to watch some TV. The contractions increased over the next 2hrs to every 5-10 min so I called Mark to come home around 2.30pm. At this stage there was no pain I just kept using breathing and had to hop on the floor on my knees leaning against couch (sitting mustn’t have been comfy but it wasn’t a conscious choice to move during contractions I just did what felt right). I was saving all other Hypnobirthing techniques and rainbow relaxation until i needed them.
Mark arrived in a taxi which I was surprised at because I had told him not to rush. I had a text from Uncle Gregory trying to org a day together that we could hang out before baby arrived, I told him I thought I was in labour and he was surprised because how could I not know. Another friend wanted to catch up that week and I told her I was maybe in labour but I’d let her know. Mark eventually told me I was in denial and that I needed to accept the fact that sometime in the next 24hrs I’d be having a baby. We called Karen our midwife to let her know that we had started labour and she said we sounded like we were progressing well and that it was happening and to keep her posted. She wanted me to say on a scale of 1-10 how my contractions felt and they were bearable so I said about a 7. I later retracted this because I didn’t know how bad it might get and didn’t want to say 7 if the scale was actually 1-100. I was focused that I could do it and I don’t think I doubted myself.
Over next few hrs contractions continued. Mark wanted to watch birth videos which I said he could but I wasn’t interested myself because I’d watched enough and I just needed to focus on the birth at hand. Instead we took photos of my belly and of Mark and me. Whenever a contraction came I would stop talking to Mark and close my eyes and breathe. Often I would hop onto my hands and knees. Mark would give me light touch massage which I hated during a contraction but found great in between contractions. Mark had dinner and tried to make me eat a sandwich and apple. By this stage contractions were at least every 5 min sometimes closer and up to 90sec.
It was around 5-6pm that I shifted to J breathing, the process of breathing the baby out. I remember asking Mark at what stage could I start this breathing and he said whenever I wanted. I remember thinking it was early to be doing it but the discomfort during contractions had changed and I was so much more comfortable breathing this way. Mark would time them for a period and then we wouldn’t do it for a while. We listened to John butler and I sat on the toilet as I felt comfy here and this is where I had practiced my J breathing. We put the affirmations CD on which helped me focus on me and the baby.
Mark made me use shower around 7 (he had been asking me for couple hours if I wanted to but I didn’t want to use the pain helping techniques until I needed them). The contractions were coming 2 in 5min lasting up to 90sec. The shower was great. I was on all fours or standing and Mark would come and go but mostly sit and chat to me. In the background I could hear the affirmation cd. We ran out of hot water around 7.30-8. I got out of the shower and hopped on all fours on the yoga mat covered with a shower curtain in the lounge room. They were coming really quickly now and I had to focus all my attention on them. I told Mark I needed to dry my hair and he took forever to get a towel. I was getting really cranky and yelling at him when he arrived with the hair dryer to which I couldn’t believe and told him to not be so stupid and get me a towel (in hindsight that was really sweat but at the time I was astonished). It was around now Mark said he wanted to go to hospital. I said if he thought contractions were close enough than ok. I didn’t realize but he was worried that it was going to happen soon. I think I assumed that it would keep going for a bit longed. He called the Karen and as he was dialing her no. my water broke. It was about 8pm. It sounded like a big pop and than a splash of water. Mark spoke to Karen and told her that he thought my water had broken and I yelled out it definitely broke. She arranged to meet us at the hospital by 9pm. It was 8.20pm.
Getting dressed and into the car was interesting to say the least. Mark had to find me clothes and a pad (which was interesting as they were already packed into the car). In between contractions which were now coming very regularly, probably every 2min, Mark was urging me to hurry up, I was yelling back that I was going as fast as I could but I had to stop everything I was doing when a contraction came so that gave me about 30sec to min to actually do anything. It took me about 20 min to get dressed and get down to the car. Mark was waiting at the front passenger door for me but I looked at him and said there was no way I would be able to sit down. So we went around to the back seat behind the driver and I climbed in. I positioned so that one leg went under driver’s seat and the other went in between the two front seats and I forward leaned into the back seat. It wasn’t a comfortable position due to my legs but better than sitting. We were off and the next thing I know I’m thrown around holding on for dear life, yelling at mark what the hell was he doing. It felt like we took the corner at the bottom of Goulburn St at about 100kms/hr (Mark assures me we didn’t). I climbed up completely onto the back seat and gripped the baby capsule for support, bottom to the window (I had a skirt on so it was ok). From the first corner on Mark gave me a audio navigation for every corner and light (coming to a left corner in 20m) so the trip was bearable. It was in the car that I really was feeling bub moved right down.
Arriving at the hospital I had another large contraction as I got out of the car and another in the lift up to the birth center. It was around 9pm. We were ushered into the birth suite by another midwife as Karen hadn’t yet arrived. I could feel a huge pressure in between my legs and a big urge to breathe bub out. The midwife started to run the bath and as she turned to me I had a contraction to which she told me I shouldn’t be pushing
yet. I said to her that I could feel a head between my legs. She didn’t think that could be right but she said for me to remove my clothes. I threw my skirt and underwear off. At this point the midwife noticed we had meconium on the pad and she said we would have to move into the hospital birth suite but essentially I was in my own world by then and was down on the mat birthing bub. I still felt most comfortable on all fours. Thankfully at this time Karen (my midwife) arrived and she said we weren’t moving anywhere as she could see the baby’s head. For the next 15 min or so in between each contraction Karen tried to use the Doppler to monitor bubs heart rate but every time she put it on me I had another contraction. It was really annoying me. She put a mirror in between my legs so she could see easily which also allowed me to see bubs head. Each contraction bubs head would out slightly and then suck back up. Karen tried to get me to change position to one knee up but I didn’t understand her and couldn’t do what see wanted. I said I couldn’t do it and hopped back onto all fours. The next contraction Karen decided she wanted bub out so she said I really had to push. Until this time I was trying to breathe bub out using the natural pushing reflex. So next contraction I really pushed, Mark was next to me the whole time and this contraction he spoke to me saying breath bub out Aims, J breathing, breath baby out.. I breathed bub out but I also pushed really hard. The head came out and next contraction the body came out.
The next minute or so felt like forever (it was apparently 30sec to min max), I yelled to Mark to stay with the baby as Karen apparently cut the cord and bub was rushed out of the room. I couldn’t hear anything and was just sitting there a little distressed as I didn’t know what was happening. I said to Karen that I couldn’t hear bub crying and was it all right. She said it was all fine and that she had heard a cry and that meant bub was fine and would be back any second. It felt like forever and then Mark brought bub back to me and I held and cuddled him. I then found out he was a boy and he had a feed. I also had to be injected with syntocin because there was a lot of blood and she couldn’t tell where it was coming from. Before I had the chance to object the needle was in and my placenta came out. She checked it and it was intact and the umbilical cord was really long, that’s when Mark told me it had been wrapped around his neck twice. We sat there for a while and ate lollies while Mark took everything back to the car. Karen asked me to move onto the bed so she could examine me and this is when she said I had torn but I needed to be examined by a doctor because she couldn’t tell how bad it was. While waiting for doctor Mark, bub and I sat in bed, bub feeding and Mark and I went through the possible name options. This was when we named Noah.
Up until this point labour and birth was a beautiful and wonderful experience. From the point I was injected with the syntocin and the tearing was assessed my memory and experience was not to plan. I had to have surgery and the whole saga was very dramatic. I am rewriting this part so that in the future I remember it this way instead.
After I had spent a couple hours with Noah and fed him twice I had to go and get fixed up so Noah got to spend some wonderful quality time skin on skin with Mark. During this time they cuddled and bonded. When I came back I held Noah skin on skin to my breast on my stomach from 1.30/2am until Mark returned at 7.30am. I slept very little just dosing watching Noah. He is a beautiful baby whom I am astonished is now in my arms rather than inside of me. The love I feel is intense and I am focused on 1 thing, getting us out of hospital and home.
Mum and Dad and Gregory visit and we see Matt and Mairead and Ryan who are in a room up the hall.
The best moment is waiting with Mark and Noah at 9pm to leave and walking out of the hospital to take our little man home.
Noah is a beautiful calm baby and birth was also fantastic not perfect but we did it mostly the way we wanted. I love my family, Mark and Noah (oh and of course Zeus).