Yes, I am jumping on the birth story bandwagon. I can only warn you that these are the "birth stories" of my children, meaning they are written from my perspective, as the birther, and the oh-so-wonderful adrenaline kicked in which means while some of it is clear in my mind, some of my memories are vague. I would just like to pop here that I should have "Professional Labourer" on my resume, because damn, I do a good birth. Here is the story of how Master S. made his grand entrance into the world.
Master S - A Christmas Gift.
Due Date: 20/12/2008.
So, being as heavily pregnant as I was, and it being the busiest shopping time of the year, I avoided leaving the house. No, it wasn't so much going into labour buying wrapping paper that scared me, but on my E.D.D on the 20th I went out only to see a woman from my ante-natal classes wheeling her new baby around in time for Christmas. "He came early" she says, "Haven't you gone yet!? When are you due?" she asks. "Today" I say through clenched teeth mentally punching her in the face. Of course, I hadn't given birth. What gave it away, you crazy cow? The fact I was waddling around like a beached whale, or the fact I was BABY-LESS? I figured the only way to avoid unintentional stupidity and a possible prison term when I hauled my fat arse and roundhouse kicked someone in the face, was to stay home and wait. Wait for another few days.
Everyone made jokes, "Due on the 20th? You'll have a Christmas baby!". My naivety scares me, now that I think about it. "I won't. It's a public holiday!" Regardless of the fact Christmas was drawing near, and I was getting grouchier, I was positive I'd see in the festive season fat and without having met my baby.
Four Days Overdue.
Mr M. left for work, and left me resting in a pool of drool, sweat... hang on, that's not sweat...
I casually waddle inside to my Mum. Mum knows everything.
I knocked on her bedroom door.
"Mum" I whisper. I didn't want to cause a commotion as it was my S.I.L's birthday [she and my M.I.L are Satan and were staying with us for a few weeks, and I did NOT want to give birth on her birthday] "What does it mean when you're wet but not excited?"
"Wha...!? Sounds like your waters have broken, ring the hospital out in your room" [Yes, my Out-Laws were that bad that even in labour I had to hide from them so as not to have them piss me off].
The midwife was very excited for me, and asked me to come in. I had my card, and was on my way to the hospital with my parents. I was hooked up to a monitor, experienced an internal [OH DEAR GOD!] and told I was in the early stages of labour, to go home and come back at 7pm to be checked on.
Wow. I was in labour. I was incredibly excited, and rang Mr. M [who worked half an hour away] to tell him I was in labour, but he could finish his shift at work because it is early stages. No word of a lie 10 minutes later he walked in the front door.
How he managed to [obviously] speed home during the Silly Season without getting booked amazes me even now.
My M.I.L was watching me ever so intently. I was pregnant, in labour, and although the contractions were like a tiny period pain [mild compared to some doozy pre-menstrual cramps I've had before] anytime I wriggled to get comfortable, she was practically screeching "Was that a contraction? How long did it last? Tell me when you get the next one!" I didn't. I watched the clock myself. The rest of that afternoon was a blur, come 7pm, I was ready to high tail it out of my own house, just to get away from her.
Mr. M and Mum escorted me to my check-up at 7pm, where they discovered my leakage was a dirty colour. Meconium. I wasn't going home. I sat down watching Carols by Candlelight thinking about my birth plan.
I am a sook. A stubbed toe, jammed finger or a splinter can have me in a screaming rage. My birth plan was: DRUGS, DRUGS, SWEARING, DRUGS & MORE SWEARING!
Right in the middle of my favourite Christmas Carol [Oh Holy Night, for those of you playing at home] it happened. The sharpest abdominal cramp I had ever felt at that stage of my life. I couldn't sit. I had to stand, so I stood. The pains kept coming, but for some weird reason, I was aware of the machine I was hooked up to, to monitor my baby. My Mum casually mentioned "here comes another one" and sure enough, the contraction hit me like a wave. I breathed, curled up into a ball and waited for it to pass. Again, and again, and again. That machine was my lifesaver. It told me when the contractions were coming, when they were peaking [not that I couldn't feel it, or anything] and finally, when they were easing off.
I felt light-headed after what felt like hours of it, but now that I look back, it wasn't, so I asked if I could go for a shower. By this stage I had an audience. My M.I.L who was NOT a support person felt she deserved to be present. I agreed because I didn't want to have a dispute with Mr. M. [We'd had previous arguments about her presence, mine being 'She's going to see my snatch, have some respect for me!' and his being 'She has a right to see her grandchild born'... this ended in me attending my final ante-natal appointment and having a note stuck on my file that she was NOT to be present, and asked to leave if she insisted on staying].
In the shower, I felt calm. I locked the door, I was alone, had an awkward monitor around my middle, and I was... probably as happy as anyone can be in labour. I turned the hot water on and sat in the shower burning my leg with the water when a contraction came. My midwife, Mum and Mr. M made regular dashes to the door to check on me [unbeknown to me they were wrapping Christmas presents and having a pizza/coke party in the birthing suite]. At one stage, they ducked out for cigarettes and left my Nana & M.I.L to listen out for me. When my M.I.L came to the door, I tried to say 'I'm fine' as calmly as I could so she wouldn't come in. I was alone in my little room and I wanted to stay there. I noticed a chill shooting up my bare back, which was facing the door, and realised my M.I.L had left the door open. I was angry. I screamed out to someone, anyone, to shut the door, and my midwife came in.
I vividly remember her sitting next to me on the floor, helping me pop my gown on to come back out. I wasn't embarrassed, oddly enough, and she gave me no reason to be. She simply looked at me and said in an even but firm tone: "Tara, I know how many support people you have listed on your file. Give me permission, and I will tell the extra person to fuck off". I was eased by the fact my midwife said fuck. In fact, by that stage, even I hadn't and I was the one in labour. Instead, I cried and told her I didn't want a fight. She wasn't having any of that. By the time she helped me out of the bathroom, and back onto the bed, my M.I.L was gone. I didn't know at the time, but it wasn't my midwife who got rid of her. Mr. M decided that it was best she DIDN'T see me like that and told her to get out. He even went as far as blocking the door with his foot so she couldn't get back in. Go Mr. M!
Once on the bed, it was time for another internal [OH DEAR GOD!]. The doctor had made an appearance at this stage. He was a tall, gangly bloke with curly hair and a too cheerful face. I wanted to kick him already, but when he tried to do the internal, I was even more disagreeable. I clearly remember saying "You are hurting me, you curly-headed fuck", as my Mum, Mr. M and midwife pinned me down for the internal. I wouldn't settle and my baby was blocked by a bubble of water. I wouldn't listen to anyone. He needed to pop the bubble, so my baby could come into the world. No, No, No. That curly-headed prick wasn't touching me, his fingers were long and creepy. In the end, the midwife took over, and my Mum gave her the go ahead. I remember feeling the pain, and then relief. As if I'd been able to pee after holding it in all day. A thick murky liquid spat out everywhere [have you ever seen Coneheads!?]. I moaned in relief and asked to go to the toilet. The midwife agreed, and as soon as I made my way into the toilet, sat down, I was pushing like I needed to pee, but nothing was happening. My Mum came into the bathroom as I threw myself into her unsuspecting arms, "I need to push". Mum "Oh fuck, can you get out onto the bed?".
Half dragged, half crawling, I got to the side of the bed, and could not budge. I was on my hands and knees and I could not do anymore. I needed to push. The midwife, doing God knows what behind me [obviously checking everything] gave me the go ahead to push. I held on to Mr. M's hands across the bed, using his strength against my own to give me more power. The midwife coaxed me, telling me how long to push for, how hard, when to stop, as my Mum rubbed my back. I wouldn't have recognised my own voice, had I been watching, I let out a primal, deep, moan as I pushed. I felt a stinging burning, and was told to stop. My baby's head was out. Mr. M let go of my hands to come around and watch his baby's grand entrance [for someone who admitted to having a weak stomach and didn't WANT to see anything, he was intrigued and immediately abandoned my hands]. I was preparing to push again, as Mr. M said "why is he blue and not crying?"
"WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?" I panicked. My baby's head is out and I am freaking out. My midwife quickly nipped the drama in the bud and told me [and Mr. M] that he won't cry until he's out, and he was perfectly fine. The rest of the labour was vague. I remember one, big push on my part and then the stinging slither of arms, legs and body as he was delivered safely into the midwife's arms. I was frozen with relief, and at that moment the most beautiful ear-piercing scream filled the room.
My little blue-ish bundle was wrapped up and laid on the bed in front of me as the cord was clamped and cut. Honestly, everyone else could have been having a picnic, or chewing on my cord as far as I cared, I was in awe. My big manly husband burst into tears and hugged me, thanking me, kissing me. I was taking everything in. His fingers, his toes, his hair, his nose. The only thing I could say was "Thank God he's not ugly!" [That was my greatest fear as my husband was an ugly baby, with a massive head].
Everyone around me was abuzz. My husband, my Nana, my Mum, my Midwife. After 5 hours & 40 minutes of drug-free labour where I said the "F" word once, I was told by my midwife "2:06am on the 25th of December. You've just given birth to the first baby in town on Christmas Day". I didn't care what day it was, he was with me. Weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces, 51cm in length, he was perfect. It would have felt like Christmas whenever he decided to join us.
I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of delivering my placenta and all the other ya-da-ya, but for those of you who are wondering how my M.I.L responded to being kicked out of my birthing suite by her own son... let's just put it this way, she didn't end up staying for 2 weeks. She left two days later to go home, and my S.I.L actually had the nerve to say I deliberately went into labour to ruin her birthday. Yes, psycho, I am an evil genius. Do you not think had I been aware of this magic power I would have brought on my own labour DAYS AGO!?