In the tradition on birth stories...

9th December 2008, babies due date...

11.00 pm

I woke up.

I was always waking up. Waking up around 100 times a night. Waking up needing to pee while a certain baby lent on my bladder.

However on the 9th it was different. When I woke up I knew something was different.

My tummy tightened and felt different.

I felt an uncomfortable period-like pain.

But different.

In denial about the whole state of affairs I walked around the house. By 1.30 am I had called the hospital who informed me that I was indeed in labour. I would probably have a baby by lunch time. I should go back to bed. Sleep was not an option. I was too excited to sleep. I sent my sister a message instead. I walked around the house. I cleaned. I woke my husband around 3am and told him his baby wanted to be born. He asked me how I knew that and went back to sleep. I sent my sister another text message.

The arrival of my sister and mother at some point early morning was met by the departure of my husband, off to his last day of work. "No worries baby, I will call you if anything happens or you can meet me at the hospital". My sister studied, my Mum and I talked, I walked, my sister fell asleep on my bed, I walked and reminded my Mum about how uncomfortable it all was, my contractions did their irregular thing for hours. The pain increased and with it a pain began in my back. No more walking. I was on all fours trying to find relief from the pain in my back, totally unconcerned by the contractions. A midwife told me to go to the hospital.

No longer able to kneel or move, strapped in to the car seat I was in agony.

At the hospital my labour stopped. I was only 1-2 cm dilated. I felt cheated. I was dismissed with two pain killers and two sleeping pills and ordered to take them when I got home. At home again the contractions were 5 minutes apart. Of course. The pills made me groggy and unable to move into the position that provided the most relief. I was crying in pain but I did not want to go back to hospital. Two hours later I gave in and tried not to yell at a midwife when I told her that I could handle the contractions but not the pain in my back.

The second trip into the hospital was worse than the first. I wanted Dave to get there as soon as possible, but go as slowly as possible and mind the bumps. The back pain was intolerable. I held my seat with white knuckles trying to get through that car trip and made Dave promise that he was not taking me out of that hospital until there was a baby in my arms. I was examined and informed I had around 6 hours of labour to go. At this point I had been in labour for 24 hours. I was exhausted but still climbing the walls in pain and trying any position to get some relief from the crippling pain in my spine.

I had wanted a natural birth. I wanted no intervention. Ha. It was not to be. We discussed pethidine and epidural and I was advised to go with the latter and have a sleep before I had to push. PUSH?? I had forgotten about that bit. Fine. Give me an epidural. Whatever. Just give me the baby. A very young Dougie Houser administered the needle. I had a little button I could push to give me more of the drug.

Push. Push. Push. Push.

When my waters were ruptured they were merconium stained. The midwives started to worry. A sign of distress. A long labour. They kept an even closer eye on me. They poked and prodded and said their was a cusp on my cervix where it was swollen and the baby was stuck. When they thought I had an hour to go they took away my button. No more push. push. The pain came back. My leg. My god my leg. I must have pinched a nerve laying there unable to feel it. But when I could feel it again? I wanted to chew through it I was in so much agony with it. And then a contraction and my leg, oh my god. Nausea hit me and while I kept repeating that I felt sick no one listened until I actually was.

Someone told me to start pushing. They told me when I was doing it right. For some two hours I was apparently doing it right, but there was still no baby and he was distressed. A professor

appeared at some point and told me that if I did not push this baby out in 20 minutes she would have to help me. Had I not been in so much pain that I could not talk, I would have yelled


11 th December 2008

11.32 am

The baby was delivered with forceps. 36 and a half hours after labour began. I touched his head. The cord was cut. They took him away. Finally they put him on my tummy, bruised from the forceps, one eye swollen shut, he was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I fell even more in love. I cried tears of joy. Dave held him before the midwives said they had to take him away. Tears of fear. An hour later they brought my baby back and lay him on my chest to have his first feed. He had a cannula in his hand. He lay on my chest and started wheezing. Several midwives ran into the room when they heard him and he was quickly taken away again to special care nursery.

Later I was wheeled to the nursery. I wad able to feed him and hold him. I did not want to let him go.

In the ward I was surrounded by family. Dave and I introduced them to

Cohen Byron Allan Lowry.

4280g / 9 pounds 4 ounces
51.5cm long
38cm head circumference

Happy 1 st Birthday my beautiful, cheeky, sweet, clever boy!

We love you more than anything.

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