Thursday, 18 July 2013

Even more down to earth with a bump (16)

Welcome Sofia Faith (PART 2)

As we were getting in the car, Simon stopped to chat to a neighbour. The enormity of how close our baby was to arriving, simply didn't register with him. But I was all too aware. 


Sitting was impossible, instead I leant over the back seat. As Simon began to drive he clocked me in the rear view. Then at last, he decided to put his foot down. Finally, he realised. Perhaps it was because by now, I was unable to talk. We flew 100mph up the A3.



Thank God rush hour was over! I couldn’t answer him when he asked if I was okay, it took everything I had to hold on to the baby. And I was so desperate to push. Yet, I knew there would be a babe born in the car if I did. I held tight as we zoomed toward the hospital.

So much for a planned delivery, what to wear etc. We dumped the car outside the entrance and flew in. I was trying to run but momentarily had to keep stopping for a contraction. They were coming so fast, I barely had time to catch my breath in between. Simon said it was still quite busy with a lot of people milling around. Looking back, I realise I didn’t notice anyone.

Up on the labour ward all was calm and quiet. That seemed so odd to Simon and I. Surely there ought to be mass panic upon our arrival? 

A midwife led us into a room. She had just come on shift, it was gone 8pm and her name was Corrina. A very good omen... it's a friend's name.

“I need an epidural, now.” said I. 
“How do you feel about pethidine?” she replied.
“Let’s examine me first and talk pain relief after?” 

Dropping my knickers and only in the top I was wearing I awkwardly climbed on to the bed. I was having an out of body experience by this point. 

Writhing in pain, Corrina gave me the gas and air to suck on. It kicked in immediately and I liked how it made me feel. I also liked that Corrina then said, “You are fully dilated, ready to go.”

I wanted to deliver my baby in the birthing pool. Lucky me! It was vacant. I was so excited, I was going to have the delivery I'd always wanted. How very different to my first birth experience. Everything about this time was text book. Natural. Not a drip line, needle, ventouse or even doctor in sight!

I asked Corrina to break my waters for me. She told me they would probably go if I gave a first push. And by God they did. Up the wall; everywhere. Simon gave a yell in surprise and Corrina shot back out the way, narrowly dodging the waves. YES! Waves.

Sadly my waters were murky with meconium. This meant the baby was distressed and that my water birth was now out of the question. Such a shame, that would have been my ideal. Never mind, on with it. 

I had Simon station the photo of my Gran up where I could see her. That photo means so much to me, it’s the one where she is holding a six week old Esme with me beside her. Generations of arms wrapped about each other.

I was on my knees at this point leaning over the bed. Together, gravity and mother nature took control as I sucked the gas and air and held on for the ride.

A ride that wasn’t to last long. Within twenty minutes, our gorgeous baby girl was born. Another daughter. How blessed were we?

I had spent that time alternating between looking into Simon’s eyes and my grandmother's eyes. Simon's face was pale but his eyes were bright; full of both love and excitement. 

Using the gas and air, and telling myself that gran was with me, holding Simon's hand, I began to push my baby out.

Her head was born in one go, I panted through the pain, afraid of tearing, but she had other ideas. Then as soon as her head was out, her body followed in the same hurry, I imagine it was like watching a calf slide out from a cow.

After such strident speed, there was a still silence that lasted too long. I wasn’t particularly aware of it myself, but Simon was to tell me a few weeks later that two midwives had been manipulating and massaging our shocked bundle to life in those first long minutes. 

They were off to call the crash team when an initial feeble squeal sounded. It was to be replaced with a stronger cry and then an even stronger yell, as our bundle turned from purple to pink. A whole 8lb's of pink!

Placed on my tummy, she turned to my breast to suckle immediately. Finally she was here. And once again, at the birth of our child, we were amazed. 

And immediately, and ever so fiercely, in love.