No posts for a while, with a very good reason!
On the 20th of February, 2014 – a little earlier than expected – we welcomed the third member of our family into the world! While it hasn’t all been smooth sailing (more on that later), it’s hard to imagine what life would be like without him. Six weeks old today and he’s growing up so quickly – these two week old photos already seem so long ago!
So how did CJ come into the world?
On the 19th I had a midwife appointment. I’d been battling a lot of pelvic pain that week, combined with Braxton Hicks contractions and so my aunt took me to the appointment. At that appointment, the midwife discussed that since my blood pressure had gone back to “normal”, I was no longer a candidate for induction. With the amount of pain that I was in, I was actually really disappointed. I’d said to Papa M the previous night that if someone offered me a C-section right then and there I would take it. I think one could safely say that I was over it! My aunt said later that I was in a filthy mood on the way home and I would believe it. I had a big hour-long sobbing jag that afternoon… thanks pregnancy hormones!
Whether it was the cry or whether it was just time, I’ll never know. At around 11pm that night I went to the bathroom as I was heading to bed. While on the loo, I suddenly felt like I was going A LOT more than usual. After finishing, I was standing at the sink. I started to feel… ahem… uncomfortable. Either I had peed myself (unlikely, given where I had JUST been) or my waters had broken. Spoiler alert – it was my waters breaking, although it was a slow leak that would continue through the night.
I rang my midwife (standard procedure) and she told me to get some sleep and ring her in the morning, where we’d discuss a plan for if I didn’t go into labour naturally. Knowing that tomorrow or Friday would be the big day, Papa M went to bed in the spare room and I went to bed thinking “Sweet, I’ll get six/seven hours sleep” – famous last words!
I awoke just after 2am with my first contractions. I’d always wondered if I would know that they were contractions, rather than the painful Braxton Hicks I had been having. Yup, definitely did! Around 3am the contractions became more established although they were still quite irregular and could be up to twenty minutes apart. At 5am, they were coming more frequently (although still irregular – and they never became regular contractions) and I decided to wake Papa M up because I didn’t want to do this alone. He woke up, amazed that I’d been laboring for three hours already, showered and had breakfast so he was prepared for the day. At some point he called the midwife to put her in the loop and by 7am we’d called my aunt (our support person) to come on around; this baby was definitely coming soon.
One thing I’m really proud of doing is listening to my body – at one point I wanted my back rubbed through contractions, at another point I just wanted to labour by myself and I booted both hubby and aunty out of the room. As the sun rose and the day started, my contractions became more intense and we got the go ahead from the midwife to head to the maternity unit. The ten minute drive seemed to take an eternity – contractions in a seated position are the worst, or at least they were for me – but we arrived and were shown to the delivery suite. I was assessed and was found to be already six cm dilated – what a relief! I’d been so scared to get there and find out I was only a two!
The midwife had called ahead and let them know to fill the birthing pool. I’d packed a tankini top in my labour bag but decided at that point that I really couldn’t be bothered trying to get it on between contractions so into the pool nude it was! I’m usually quite modest so this still surprises me! The rest of my active labour stage is a bit of a blur to me – my aunt contacted my dad and my sister and I told my sister not to do it… hahaha. I started using the gas and air (entonox) for pain relief. The first time I took it I felt dizzy and a little queasy but the midwife told me to give it another go and I’m glad that she did. I do remember, at one point, feeling a hand on my head but knowing that everyone’s hands were accounted for. I was either REALLY high, or (as I choose to believe) it was a bit of a spiritual moment, with my mum choosing to show her presence.
Just over two hours after arriving at the maternity unit, my midwife left the room and it was at that point I realized I needed to push. She says that this often happens! Twenty minutes later, after some active coaching from my midwife, CJ made his way into the world gently in the water. I was a bit shocked – I really had expected it to take longer! It was a really magic time, to be able to sit in the warm water with him cuddled to my chest, wondering that this little dude that had been inside me for so long was now part of the outside world. He was still coated in vernix, a nod to his early start in life, and very squirmy – a trait that had been present ever since he was a teeny fetus! His APGAR scores were perfect 10s; he was definitely ready to meet us, our not so little, not so big, 8lb 1oz baby boy.
It’s funny – so many people’s first question is “How was the birth?” and for me, the birth was easy. It was after that first day that the adventure really began!