For those of you who don’t have time to sit and read the ramblings of a sleep deprived but very proud new mother – here is the abridged version:
Our daughter, now known as the Blonde Bombshell, was born by emergency Caesar on Wednesday 8.06am (5 days early). Weight 8 pounds 1 ounce (3.655kg), height 50cm, light brown hair, dark gray eyes. Perfect in every respect.
Here is what really happened (skip to the end if you don’t want the gory details):
I started maternity leave on Monday at 39 weeks. On Tuesday I was feeling a little crampy but didn’t think too much of it, as the baby hadn’t engaged and was still situated somewhere in my left lung rather than anywhere near my pelvis. I had morning tea with a friend, lunch with my sister, and an afternoon appointment with my obstetrician. I told him that I had been having cramps and what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions since lunchtime. He didn’t seem overly concerned (ie he didn’t do any sort of examination), and went ahead and booked an induction for 41 weeks assuring me ‘don’t worry, I am sure you won’t make it that far’.
The ‘Braxton Hicks’ continued, probably 3-4 times an hour when Mr Paycheck came home from work. He was heading into the city for a hair cut and because I didn’t want to be alone I joined him. So there I am, sitting on Maurice Meade’s nice white leather couch having 10 minutely contractions while the staff hovered around asking me if I wanted ‘a nice cup of tea or perhaps some towels’. Before long, the owner of the salon asked Mr Shaggy ‘is that your wife [having a baby on our nice leather couch?]’ and when he said yes, the owner shoved the junior out of the way, finished the haircut himself and kicked us out.
So we came home and I pottered around filling my hospital suitcase, asked Mr Useful to put on my TENS machine and began timing the contractions. They were about 6-7 minutely. Naturally, my beloved went to bed.
By about 10.15pm I said I would call the hospital ‘just to see what they thought’. Strangely enough they thought I should come in! On the labour ward at about 11.30pm someone finally came to do an internal exam. I was 4cm dilated and fully effaced. Mr NonBeliever was gobsmacked. He admitted he thought I had been over-reacting.
I had requested a natural, non-intervention, non-drug, non-anything labour. So they left us to it for a few hours. They came and monitored the bub every so often, but it was so relaxed it seemed to sleep through the contractions. After 5 hours it was time for another internal. We all expected I would be fully dilated and ready to go, but alas, things began to go pear-shaped as I had only progressed another centimetre or so. They called the doctor who wanted to induce me, but I stubbornly refused. After two hours of 2 minutely contractions, the doctor came in and examined me. Still no more progression. They broke my waters and while things (ie. pain) kicked up a notch, nothing else happened, and after an hour I swallowed my pride and asked for an epidural. The epidural didn’t work.
It took them another hour to bring on any sort of effect but by this stage the doctor had decided that the baby was stuck and would not be able to be born naturally – he said I needed a Caesar, and soon. The baby still hadn’t engaged, it was lying in the wrong position, its head was stuck, I hadn’t dilated past 5cm, and I had been in labour for over 12 hours.
The Caesar wasn’t any fun at all. I had been strongly anti-caesar so I cried through most of it. I remember being absolutely freezing and they had to cover me with blankets: tell me, why do they put the theatre table right under an air conditioning vent? But with Mr Excited at my side (and about 30 people in the room all staring at in innards (and out-ards!!), at 8.06am they pulled out a little blue baby girl. They placed her by my head for a quick kiss and took her away. Mr Surgeon was able to cut the cord (we have photos!!) and he held her while they stitched me up. The doctor was so proud of his handiwork he even called my beloved over for a look. He saw my uterus – eugh!
In Recovery I was able to breast feed for the first time, although the epidural had gone all the way up to my chest and I couldn’t really feel much (big mistake), but my little girl seemed happy enough. Then we were wheeled to our room, the baby in my arms, Mr Packhorse pulling along all of our dozen suitcases and bags (note to pregnant women: despite what baby magazines say, it is NOT necessary to bring a CD player and relaxation music to hospital).
The day after the birth I was out of bed, showered and walking around the room. By the following day, all the tubes were out and I was free! The baby was a bit jaundiced and liked to sleep. A lot. I didn’t think that was so bad.
In all, I was in hospital for 6 days, arriving home last Tuesday (the day after I was due). Mr SleepOnTheFloor was able to stay with us in the hospital as a boarder. No one got any sleep. But gee we were fed well! Three course meals three times a day plus morning and afternoon tea! Brilliant!
Today is Saturday – Day 10. I had to check my diary to see what day it was. Apparently it’s June, but I wasn’t aware of that either. I barely recognise myself these days. Despite having the baby’s room all set up, we don’t use it. We have moved everything into the family room, so it is now the kitchen, the bedroom (I have been sleeping – if that’s what you call it – on the couch), and the bathroom (for baby, not us). I schlep around in my pink PJs, haven’t brushed my hair since last week, and spend most of my day interacting with one bodily fluid or another. Our life is now all about ‘trucker burps’ (she has a whole repertoire of fascinating bodily noises), nappies, milk, little feet and hands, avoiding being peed on, spending money on even MORE baby things we hadn’t previously thought of, and trying to remember what life was like before, and telling ourselves that life will be normal again, at some point in the future.
She is truly beautiful, even when she is doing explosive poo on you and it lands on the floor. She has an angelic face, even when she is doing farts that would make a bogan cringe. She has the sweetest noises (even when she is squawking she sounds cute), and her little hands and feet make me cry every time I see them. I spend hours just watching her. Which is why I have only just made it to the computer.
So that’s the story of the Bombshell, her first 10 days anyway. Thanks again to everyone. As I catch up on sleep and get into a routine I will begin checking my email more regularly.
With lots of love
Shannon, Hubby and the Bombshell (oh, and the Bunny – we haven’t quite forgotten him. Yet).