Deciding to have a baby with someone you have known for less than a year may sound crazy to some but for Richie and I it felt right. Almost every weekend had been spent together since meeting, despite living three hours from each other. We had made a promise to each other to spend our lives together and we wanted to start right away.
We were fortunate enough to fall pregnant with ease and although I spent most of my pregnancy feeling sick and nervous of miscarrying (I think that comes with the territory when you are making a life in your womb after loss), it was otherwise uneventful.
The project Richard was working on had a workshop which he had to attend in Canberra the day after Fox was due so I was determined that he would arrive beforehand so that Richie could be there for his son entering the world.
My body gave me a couple of practice runs in the week or so leading up to the birth. “Lie down, have a rest and if the contractions stop then you aren’t in labour”. These are not words you want to hear when you are feeling as big as a house and your partner has to be in Canberra the day after you are due.
When I broke down in tears to my midwife after the second false alarm, she booked me in for a stretch and sweep. Not pleasant, but it revealed that I was already 1cm dilated and potentially helped get the show on the road.
I woke up the day before Fox was due with what I thought was again just a practice run. My contractions, although regular, were not really getting any closer together but were quite painful. Eli had a soccer match, followed by both kids being dropped off to see Disney on Ice.
I swayed through the soccer match, at times having to breathe through the discomfort. Gritted my teeth on the drive to Disney on Ice and managed to survive a trip to IKEA because meatballs, yum! We headed home; all the while my contractions were getting closer together.
By evening my sister Milly and I were slightly delirious from all the walking, laughing, breathing, crying etc that had been done for the past 24 hours. She entertained me by taking silly snapchat filtered videos. I had strapped on a TENS machine and was using it to help with the pain of my contractions. Oh that little electrical current was amazing!
The contractions had started getting closer so we phoned the midwife on call and were told to call back when they were around three minutes apart. A few hours went by, another teary phone call to the midwife and I decided to get into a warm bath for pain relief.
It was heaven but the contraction pain was getting more intense and I told Richie that I wasn’t getting out, we were having this baby at home. When I got a bit of an urge to push Richard called the hospital and told them we were coming. He and Milly basically had to wrestle me out of the bath, dry me and re-strap on the TENS machine between contractions.
The car ride was the longest fifteen minutes of my life! We arrived at the hospital by midnight and the midwife did a quick internal exam, only 5cm dilated!! “Promise me you won’t let me have another baby! PROMISE ME!!” I said to poor Richie.
We decided right away to do another stretch of my cervix and then break my waters to see if that helped move things along. I waddled to the bathroom to wee and spewed up my meatballs, not so tasty second time around!
Richie helped me into the birthing bath and by now I was having the most intense contraction pain. I could no longer talk and had to breath / silently cry through each one. It’s all a bit hazy but I do remember telling Milly and Richard, not so nicely, to stop wetting my hair.
I started to push and by the time the midwife came into the room I had reached down and felt my little baby crowning. Another couple of pushes then they pulled Fox up and put him on my chest. I stared down at him and fell so in love “Richie, I want another one”
I was oblivious to what was going on around me until they said they had to cut his cord. We had wanted to do delayed clamping but as his cord had been around his neck during the birth they had to take him away to make sure he was okay. Thankfully he was back in my arms after a couple of minutes and latched on to for his first feed right away.
We decided to keep the placenta but promptly forgot to take it home with us when we left in the morning, the first of many forgetful moments on my part!
Our little Fox was earth side – safe and oh so loved.
Part of this blog was originally written for and published over at Hacche Maternity