My last post said that we'd be going to the hospital Wednesday morning for my waters to be broken and get labour going. In the end, things didn't work out that way so I thought I'd write a bit about the events of Wednesday and Thursday - resulting in our beautiful baby boy being born.
Wed 29th 8am - arrived at Hospital. Had been experiencing some definite contractions since 6am but nothing frequent or major. Tom and I were all psyched up for having our baby by this afternoon one way or another. Tom in particular was really excited and positive which was good for me. Then we were advised by the Consultant and Senior Registrar to think about delaying breaking the waters until Friday and hoping that spontaneous labour starts before then. They told us this would be our best chance of having a natural delivery. So, we opted for this. The doctor "swept my membranes" which can get contractions happening well and we left the hospital feeling a tad bemused but optimistic.
9.30am - Went to Hornsby shopping centre and was aware of ongoing contractions - they mainly hurt in my back area. Bought a back massager and then left as the atmosphere and people wasn't too conducive to focusing on managing the contractions. Went to a nearby park and bushland area and worked out that stomping my legs and counting "1-2" out loud and moving my arms in time took the edge off the back discomfort during contractions. Tom did this with me - we must have looked hilarious to passers-by since we were stopping to do this every five to eight minutes. Went to our local shops for Tom to get lunch and stomp in front of some more people.
1pm - Called Mum to tell her we thought we were in labour and asking her to keep looking after Beth for us. Sent her into a fluster - but in a good way.
3pm - Had a lovely hot bath. Called the hospital to let them know what's happening. First advised to stay at home until contractions became more frequent and regular (still coming 5-8 minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds) but then they called back and asked us to come in to err on the safe side and see how I was progressing. Realised on the way to the hospital that Tom didn't have his wallet - both of us too flaky to think straight about when he last had it. Usually this would have really annoyed me - funnily enough it just wasn't a priority at this point in time.
5pm - Monitored for a bit at hospital. Still only 3-4 cms dilated and contractions not regular yet. Told this is early labour and things were happening but not particularly quickly. Given the option to go home after midwives were happy that bub wasn't distressed. Wanted to be at home rather than at the hospital so decided to go. Drugged up with temazepam (sleepers) and panadeine forte for the pain and advised to try to sleep!
8pm - Got home. Drowsy but could not sleep through the contractions. Stomped some more.
Tom cancelled his credit card (at least one of us was on the ball).
10.30pm - Back in the bath and Tom starts timing the contractions again. Ranging from 3-6 minutes apart about the same length as before. By 11.15pm Tom insists we call the hospital and we're advised to come in again.
Midnight 30th August - Arrive at hospital. Used a hot water bottle on my back to survive the car trip there. It all feels very surreal in the middle of the night to be in labour and knowing that bub will arrive sometime in the next 24 hours. Our midwife Heidi gets all the monitoring set-up so that bubba's heartbeat and my contractions are being graphed. Although I'm still only 4cms dilated the cervix is nice and thin and Heidi assures us this is typical for first labour. She tells me she can feel the waters below bub's head and is almost tempted to break it - I'm glad she doesn't.
1am - Heidi consults with the Doctor. They decide they'll let me labour until about 5am and then they'll break my waters then to really get things going. This way, if I do need an emergency caesar there'll be more staff around after 5am than in the middle of the night. Tom crashes out on the couch to get some rest. It's amazing how well he can sleep anywhere, anytime. I stay on the bed with the hot water bottle behind my back and I try to relax and breathe through the contractions. Heidi offers me pethidine but I don't fancy it. Spend the next 3 1/2 hours in this way mentally reciting the mantra "one contraction at a time" with each one. Feel like an AA convert.
4.45am - I'm now 5 cms dilated and the cervix has thinnned. Dr. Josh Florida arrives and breaks my waters. I immediately throw up. There's meconium in the waters which keeps gushing out with each contraction. Heidi attaches a fetal heart monitor to bub's head so that they can get a constant heart-rate. This is great since it means I can get off the bed and move again. If bub gets distressed I know it will mean emergency caesar. So far, baby's coped brilliantly and I'm hoping that will last. Tom comes with me into the bathroom and I have hot water jets directed onto my back and belly to cope with the contractions. I'm doing a lot of swaying and moaning to manage the intensity of it. Heidi keeps coming into check on how we're doing. She can tell it's upped in intensity. I tell her I'm worried I'm pushing because the pain is so low now. She says it's the baby moving down and that's ok. She tells me to let her know when I get a pushing urge and that I will know when I get it. Tom is amazing. He helps me stay focused; telling me it's healthy pain, the baby's moving down, my body is doing what it should, baby's nearly here.
6-ish? - Suddenly I get a pushing urge. Heidi's right it's unmistakable and irresistable. I tell Tom and he races out to get her. Now it's all go. Heidi's on her knees and tells me she can feel baby's head. I yell as loud as I can with the pushing urge while I'm in the bathroom - yelling feels good. Heidi throws towels over me and says she needs me back on the bed. Tom tells me he can see the baby's head. I can't quite believe it. I thought it would take longer to get to the pushing stage. I was convinced Heidi would tell me I wasn't ready to push even though I had the urge. It feels so good to know that we're nearly there, baby will be born soon. Heidi talks me through how to push - to get all my energy down to the birth canal and "bear down". I push about three times with each contraction - it's bloody hard work but Tom and Heidi are enouraging me all the way and telling me baby's coming. I can feel the head. After three contractions bub's head is out. I still can't quite believe it. As we rest and wait for the next contraction I babble to Tom that I can feel baby kicking me inside my uterus whilst bub's head is out of my body. Truly bizarre.
6.19am - With the next contraction I push baby out and Heidi flops up bub onto my belly. I ask what sex baby is. Heidi says, "you tell us". Then Tom looks and says, "It's a boy!". He's all slippery and wriggly and he's all ours. Everything feels surreal. I'm so happy and relieved that he's arrived. Tom's grinning from ear to ear. He cuts the baby's cord. Delivering the placenta swiftly follows. Then there's the annoyance/distraction of having stitches which for some reason I find harder to deal with (pain-wise) than the labour. Once that's over - Tom and I get to enjoy our little boy. Barnaby Edward Goodfellow. I keep saying over and over how beautiful he is. I'm instantly in love with him (which didn't happen with Beth). I think the euphoria of surviving labour must help with this. I'm overwhelmed with emotion. We did it!