I can’t believe that as I write this blog post, Miss M is 6 days away from being 6 months old. How does that happen? But what I do know is that the few days leading up to her birth are extremely clear in my mind.
Master E arrived at 36+6 weeks so I was prepared that Miss M may come even earlier.
But as the 36th week passed, I just couldn’t wait to have my baby.
Pubic synthesis and back problems throughout two-thirds of my pregnancy meant that at 37 and a half weeks I just couldn’t take it anymore, the pain, the discomfort.
I remember having a feeling in my body that I just couldn’t explain, a feeling that told me I was going to have my baby soon, it wasn’t going to be another two weeks or more.
I’d been having mild period like cramps for a number of weeks and went to my routine check up with my obstetrician. She checked to see if I started to dilate and what my feelings were spot on, I was 3 cm dilated. My obstetrician said she wouldn’t be surprised if I had the baby on the weekend.
I went on with my usual routine, one of them being my weekly ritual with my mum visiting our favourite cafe and eating cake on a Saturday morning.
My necessary dose of coffee and cake consumed, I walked out of the cafe and immediately felt a sense of nervousness envelop my body, I thought my waters had broken.
Mum and I made the quick trip home and then Mr G and I headed to the hospital.
A false alarm?
With the monitor strapped to my belly, I lay for 20 minutes in one of the delivery suites so the midwives could see if there were any regular contractions. There was nothing. The midwife then carried out a test to confirm if there was any an amniotic fluid present, there was nothing. I remember feeling a little disappointed but that feeling was still in me. I knew it wouldn’t be long. Even the midwife said she wouldn’t even put my chart away, confident she’d see me back on the weekend.
If I was going to get this baby to make a move, I was sure a five-kilometre walk with Master E to the park and back would do the trick. But still no contractions by Saturday afternoon.
The last option
I was so adamant I was going to have the baby on the weekend I considered my last option. It involved Mr G and I’m sure I don’t have to elaborate on what it was but both it and the walk must have done the trick because at 4:15 AM Sunday morning I was woken by an all mighty gush. The hospital told me to come in but to have a shower first. I felt like I’d let go of a pool of amniotic fluid, it just didn’t seem to stop, but there were no contractions.
This was it
At 5.30am we arrived at the hospital where I was taken to the same delivery suite and the monitor was again set up on my stomach. I knew it was all going to happen this time.
My contractions only really started around 6:30 AM and they were still very mild at 7 AM. It was at this point that I really needed to go to the toilet but the midwife showed real concern. “Be very careful, we don’t want a baby in the toilet!” I reassured her that it wasn’t that ‘pushing in the bum’ feeling. I knew what that felt like!
At 7:30 AM contractions really started to get intense. I would have two very close together with a longer break and then another two close together.
The bets were on
At this stage, I found out that my mum and mother-in-law both had bets on as to when the baby would be born. One mother said 10:30 AM and the other 8:30 AM. ‘No bloody way,’ I remember shouting. ‘That is not possible, don’t be silly,’ I said while I looked at the clock realising that 8.30AM was only in one hour.
But how wrong I was. It was about 8 AM when I felt as though I needed to go to the toilet again. I knew I didn’t need to do a poo, she was coming! There was never going to be any time to have an epidural, this was going to be fast!
The gas was turned on and it became my friend. I concentrated on my breathing as the contractions became more intense. As I lay on the bed where I felt the most comfortable, I closed my eyes and visualised my breathing and focused on getting through the contractions, looking forward to the next time I could take a big puff of gas.
I pushed a couple of times and although I didn’t see, I knew Miss M’s head was out. Mr G told me she just looked around at the big new world and not making a sound. It was one more gigantic push and Miss M was born at 8.25AM. Looks like I lost the bet!
I lay in exhaustion and amazement that it was over, that I’d actually given birth again. Tears of joy filled my eyes as her warm body lay upon mine, the cord still attached. Time stopped for a moment while she lay there still, knowing she was in the right place. She made little squeaking noises, no cries, just squeaks. I was full of amazement. She was beautiful. The moment was beautiful. I finally experienced that feeling people talk about after not feeling overjoyed and an immediate bond when I had Elliott.
But what amazed me even more, particularly after the difficulty in breastfeeding Master E, was how intuitive she was with her breastfeeding. Mila knew exactly what to do but little did I know at that point it would only last three months and that’s another story.
Master E came in to see his baby sister. We sat together on the bed as a new family of four. It was one of the most emotional and beautiful moments of my life. Our family is complete.