Little Joan's birth story

Our sweet baby girl is here! She arrived 3 months ago, and when she decided to come, she came fast! I still haven't wrapped my head around it. It was so unexpected and so different from my other two labours. 

October 5th was my due date, but I was pretty confident she wouldn't come till the 7th because 1. Both Nancy and George were two days overdue and 2. The 7th was my birthday. It seemed inevitable to me that she would make her entrance on the same day I did and that my birthday would forever more be forgotten.
Sure enough, my due day came and went, and Friday morning, the 7th of October, I woke up to Nancy and George bringing me a milkshake in bed and some steady, uncomfortable contractions...

I relaxed for a bit while Ty got the kids breakfast, trying to keep track of the contractions and over-analysing whether this one felt stronger than the last one. They stayed consistent and eventually I decided to text my mum and sister a warning that today could possibly be the day (and that they should come spend my birthday with me regardless, haha!). They both live an hours drive away so I had to give them a bit of notice. Mum text back that she would leave in a few hours, pick up Lizzie, and hopefully arrive at midday.

By the time they arrived, my contractions had slowed to every thirty minutes. It was a bummer, but we decided to make the most of the day by going out for lunch and browsing some antique stores. At 5pm mum and Lizzie headed home, Ty got home from work, and we started the usual routine of dinner, bath and putting the kids to bed. 

At 7pm contractions started to pick up again. I didn't think too much of it since I'd resigned myself to an induction (2 days overdue, I was being a bit dramatic) so I settled into bed to read. At about 9pm a contraction came that was strong enough to make me put my book down. It was then that I wondered if this was the real thing and as soon as I thought it, I knew it was. I text Ty (who was only in the lounge room but I was being lazy) and told him that I just had a contraction that was a little more than uncomfortable and that we should both probably try to get some sleep.  

I tried to rest but it quickly became obvious that I wouldn't be getting any sleep that night. Around 12pm the contractions became too sore for just laying in bed so I jumped in the shower, which is my favourite thing for period/birth pains. I was determined this time around to be calm, to breathe, to loosen my body and to stay in control. I was feeling pretty proud of myself because it seemed I was handling this labour better than the last. But at 1:30, disaster struck. The hot water ran out! I'd been expecting it, but part of me was hoping that it would miraculously stay warm for another few hours yet. Ha! Outside the shower the contractions were considerably worse but I still felt like I was in control. I woke up Ty to give him another progress report, and guessed that 4am would probably be when we would leave for the hospital.

Around 2:30 the contractions suddenly slowed to ten minutes apart. They were still pretty painful, but really spaced out and I thought that they were going to die off completely again. I was pretty frustrated, but also kind of glad that I would finally be able to get some sleep. Suddenly a contraction hit that was strong enough to send me to my knees and think now I remember why women get epidurals! Another one came only a few minutes later and I hurried to the toilet because there was so much pressure. During the third contraction I gasped out to Ty that we needed to go to the hospital straight away and to call someone to come watch the kids. 

Admittedly, I didn't think the baby was coming too soon because my last two labours progressed slowly; I just desperately wanted to get to the hospital so I could use their hot water to help with the pain! Ty must have been thinking along the same lines as me because he pretty casually said he would have a (cold) shower to freshen up for a long haul in the labour ward. A few minutes later I'm still sitting on the toilet and I get intense shakes. While Ty was calling his mum to come watch the kids I tried to use my phone to call my mum but my hands were shaking so much I couldn't keep a steady grip and kept dropping it. The contractions kept coming and kept getting more intense and I stuttered out to Ty that we needed to go NOW. So Ty picked up the pace and got my bags out to the car while I got dressed and tried not to cry from the pain. Within the space of 20 minutes I had gone from being in control and feeling confident to completely not in control and bordering on the I can't do this anymore. At 3:05am Ty's mum arrived, took one look at me and all but pushed Ty and me out the door, promising to call the hospital and my mum who still hadn't been contacted. So at 3:10am we were on our way to the hospital. 

The car ride was the worst. 

Being strapped into a seatbelt with limited movement while in labor is horrible. With each contraction I was arching my back, breathing like a bull and trying to tear the handle out of the door. Meanwhile, Ty was cruising along at a safe speed because he still thought we had hours of labour to go. He got a text from his mum saying the hospital knew we were coming and that my mum was on her way. 

We get to the hospital at 3:25am and I had another contraction in the car park.  Ty saw the nurse attending the emergency desk rush to press the buttons to open both the entrance and the elevator doors and it finally occurred to him that maybe she knew something that both of us were still oblivious to. Another contraction in the elevator, another walking down the hall and another just as we entered the birthing suite. During this contraction a midwife hurries down the hall  (or so Ty tells me, I was preoccupied) and leads us straight into a birthing room. 

At this point I'm sobbing through my contractions, repeating over and over that I couldn't do this anymore. The midwife checks how dilated I am and tells me I'm 7cm. Ty says "that's great! You're almost fully dilated!" and I'm thinking "that's terrible! I'm not fully dilated!". So I ask if I can jump in the shower and she says I can do whatever I need to do.

In my room the shower head was over a huge bath so Ty and the midwife had to help me climb in. As soon as the water was running I had another contraction and to my horror the water didn't help at all! It was the worst one of all and I was sobbing and yelling "I can't do this! I can't do this! I think I have to poo! I can't do this! I'm so sorry if I poo in the shower, I can't do this! There's so much pressure!"

(I may be a yeller during labour but at least I'm a polite one.)

The midwife ducks out of the room and I start crying to Ty, because I'm sure that if I'm only 7cm I've still go at least half an hour to go and I cannot do it. I'm sure I cannot do it for much longer. He rubs my back and tells me I'm alright and I'm doing great. Another contraction hits and pressure. There is so much intense heavy pressure that I can barely breathe but I still manage to yell out that I need to push just as the midwife walks back in. She takes one look, and bam. Her business face is on. She asks if I think I can get out of the shower. I emphatically say no. So she tells Ty to turn off the water, and then proceeds to climb into the massive bathtub with me. Suddenly Ty realises that I'm about to push out a baby and gets his super-supportive-husband business face on too. Another midwife appears out of no where with towels and gloves and a pillow for Ty to put behind my back and I start pushing. 

Two minutes later, around 3:35am, little Joan is in my arms and I'm elated and shocked. 10 minutes from the hospital car park to Joan being in my arms. She came so much faster than the other two, but it was also far more painful. 'The ring of fire' suddenly made sense!  But I feel great because it's over. Nothing seems to hurt as much. She's here and healthy and I'm healthy and Ty is bursting with pride and he's texting family who are awake waiting to here the news and no one believes us when we say Joan has already arrived. In fact, Ty's mum responded with "haha. How dilated is she?" 

Meanwhile, my mum was 20 minutes away. She didn't make it! Instead of arriving to help me during birth she arrived just in time to watch little Joan get cleaned up and weighed. I don't think she minded missing it that much because she was just relieved this one wasn't like Nancy's labour. After I got stitched and cleaned up, Ty and I had some much needed rest, Joan snoozing happily by our side. 
Ty's parents brought Nancy and George around midday to meet their new little sister. I knew Nancy would fall in love instantly, but George really surprised me with how loving and affectionate he was. He kept leaning up really close to her face, staring at her intently, then poke her gently on the cheek and give her a kiss. So so sweet. 

Three months on and life is so so good. She is such a content little bubba (and so chubby!). She loves to feed, loves to sleep and loves to smile. We all adore her! Joanie girl, it is the greatest privilege being your mumma.

1 comment :

  1. Oh I held my breath the whole way through the story!! Yup that ring of fire is something eh!'xx