Feeling a bit nostalgic about my own experience, I thought I’d share with you all my birth story (my mother’s group already heard this story yesterday – can’t remember why I was telling it, but anyway, I digress), bones and all. I apologise in advance because I’m a bit of a story-teller so this will probably end up a bit of a novel, but hope you can stay with me. So here goes……
It was Wednesday the 4th August 2010 and I was sitting in the waiting room of my Obstetrician reading the same magazine I’d read every visit. It was the ONLY pregnancy magazine on the table. That’s right – ONE pregnancy mag in an obstetrician’s waiting room. Anyway, I was called in to the Dr’s room and I was dreading the news. I knew he was going to want to cut me open. I was 37 weeks and my little man had decided right way up was the right way up – he was breech and had been comfortably so since about 32 weeks. Dr Cullen (settle down ladies – not any relation to Edward) performed his examination with a whisper in my ear not to say anything about the baby’s position, as he gestured for the intern to have a push around. I will never forget the look on the kid’s face (yes, he looked like a kid). It was a mixture of confusion, curiosity and panic, presumably about how he was going to tell a 37 week pregnant woman that her baby was the wrong way up. As he muttered “Breech?” to Dr Cullen, I secretly did a little happy dance inside. He had got it right. Maybe one day my kid would be that smart – how many 18 year olds (ok maybe he was 24 or something) can push on a woman’s tummy and know what an unborn baby is doing! Incredible I say.
I jumped… no… I rolled, somewhat like a walrus, off the exam table and took a seat in front of Cullen’s desk. “Now, you’ve still got a breech on board. So we’ll have to look at a caesar. How’s Wednesday next week for you?” “WHAT!?” I exclaimed, he really was seriously just gonna whip my baby outta there! I muttered something about giving the baby more time to turn and managed to bargain Cullen down to an extra week and a half with my baby belly bubble. He’d see me the next Wednesday and make the final call, but Friday week was d-day. So I walked out of the offices beside myself that I would have a new baby in less than two weeks. I mean – what did I think was going to happen!? I guess it was just weird knowing when you were going to have it – at least with the element of uncertainty it was just that – uncertain. For someone often so organised, I really don’t know what scared me about the ‘knowing’ thing. Anyone would’ve thought it would make it better…
That afternoon, I walked in to see my accupuncturist. We had been trying all types of hurdy-gurdies and hoodoo gurus to try and get my baby to turn. Now that I was classed as term though, she could try some extra needles. They say that when your body approaches labour it gives the baby a signal to turn to the correct position, so with this in mind, these ‘new’ needles were meant to stimulate ‘labour-like’ hormones or something in order to get that stubborn boy moving. So she needled away and I sat back and chilled out, sending my little bubba so much E.S.P. that I think I got a mini-headache. Turn, turn, turn… There is a season… Turn, turn, turn… I sang inside to my little baby. That night at yoga – I kept up the E.S.P. messages. No movement at the station yet **sad face**. I mentioned to my instructor that this would be my last session because my class card had run out. She nearly talked me into paying for just one extra week, but I declined. I kinda liked the fact that I wouldn’t have to walk to my car in the rain for the next few weeks as I left the yoga studio. Why did it always rain when I left yoga and didn’t have an umbrella!
Thursday morning and I’d set up the ironing board against the couch so I could lie ‘upside down’ for 30 minutes, encouraging the baby to turn. The torch to my belly the night before had my boy very active but no turning action was to be had. I went about my day, E.S.P.ing my heart out but bubs wasn’t in the mood to listen apparently. Hmmmm…. maybe I’ll give up trying to change him – isn’t that what they all say?
Thursday night arrived and I think my baby turned into a gremlin. It was like a scene from Alien. There was a head sticking out, then some feet, then a head, then a bum, then more feet, then a trombone! Ok, maybe I lied about that last one. Bubs was on the move! Woo Hoo! Well done little guy. Keep it up. I went to sleep that night knowing that in the morning I would wake up and my baby would ready to go, head down, bum up, no worries! If only I’d known how almost right I was; I might’ve had a shower at least.
5.45am, Friday 6th August. I awoke. I weed. In bed. OMG! I WEED IN BED! ‘Damn it!’ I mumbled as I ran to the toilet. Whipped down my undies, went to sit and Weeeee… hang on… that’s not wee. Uh oh…… Waters. I straightened myself up and a sense of calm washed over me.This was it. Go Time. And I was cool. I walked back to the bedroom and woke my husband. “Jarrod, my waters have just broken. I’m going to call the hospital” I said as cool as you like. “Hmmmm” he groaned back. “Jarrod,” I said a little more urgently this time, “my water’s have broken, It’s time to go to the hospital”……… “WHAT!!!!!! Are you serious?….. Holy Sh!t” He exclaimed as I nodded my head – this time he was wide awake.
I called the hospital and I was to come in right away. With a breech on board there was a very real chance of cord prolapse and that could be very bad. I quickly gathered my things and by 6.45am we were at the hospital and in a delivery suite. I had no contractions but my waters had definitely broken. My Obstetrician rocked up, grumpy (hah!) and mumbling something about missing breakfast. I exclaimed “How do you think I feel! I’m about to have a freaking baby! I would KILL for a McMuffin!” As everyone had a giggle at me telling off the obstetrician, I was wheeled to theatre and Jarrod left my side to go and grab the camera from the car. I was so worried as anesthetists and surgical staff fussed over me, that Jarrod would be lost, but thank goodness he found his way back and turned up in scrubs next to me all of a sudden.
They wheeled me in and prepped me for a spinal block. An intern was instructed to let me lean on him as they inserted the tube or whatever they do. It was a little funny for me to note that the intern was shaking with nervousness. What a crack-up! Here was I about to have major abdominal surgery and he was the one shaking like a leaf. I remember he smelt nice. Funny. I get a needle shoved in my spine and all I could do was enjoy the scent of a young male intern (Jarrod honey – if you are reading this, I still love you and have no feelings for any interns whatsoever – it’s a girl thing…to remember smells. That’s all. A girl thing that only other girls get.)
There was lots of talking by the staff and I was laid down on the bed and a curtain went up. I looked over as Jarrod was let back in the room and noticed that my smart ‘Breech?’ intern was in the theatre too. I wondered if he remembered me. Then they were cutting me – although I had no idea. Cullen taunted in a teasing sing-song “I know what it i-i-i-s…”…. I was desperate to know for sure that we had our little boy “If it’s a girl you have to put it back!” I yelled at him. Then from behind the curtain, at 8.29am, emerged this gorgeous, puffy little blue face and I was in love. With a smurf. (Gawwwdddd, I’ve got tears now – stupid blog)
He wasn’t really a smurf. He was a gorgeous little boy. All there, all working. As he let out his first scream my tears of joy ran thick. Jarrod was looking at me and I looked at him. We had made this beautiful little baby and I don’t think I’ve ever loved my husband more than at that precise moment. We were a family and it was the most happy I have ever been. I so wanted to hold my two boys and touch their faces. Wipe the tears from Jarrod’s cheek and kiss the tiny head of our new precious bundle. We were both so engrossed in our new family that we completely forgot to take any pictures in the delivery suite – but that didn’t matter. We have a lifetime to capture our little boy.
William Alexander. You were so very welcome. xxx