You hear all the horror stories about birth and rarely the lovely stories ¬ there’s a reason for that I’ve discovered.
Since my last blog I have given birth to a beautiful baby boy who is happy, and healthy and we are a very very lucky family… but it wasn’t before going through almost 20 hours of drug induced hallucinations, different accents, abusing the midwives, and having my ever loving partner laugh so hard at me that it made his ribs hurt, two days later!
Let’s start from the beginning though. You know how they say every month has around 30 days except the last month of pregnancy which has about 1432 days, at least, that’s how it feels. Well that part is true. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part, I quite enjoyed being pregnant. I enjoyed eating everything I wouldn’t normally indulge in ¬ Whoopers, chocolate, diary products, ice cream & the like. I relished in the fact I put on 20kg’s, and did not care at all. I was growing a human afterall. I didn’t enjoy the kankles or the mid January heat wave or being so emotional that I was crying at Kleenex ads, and feeling so sorry for the carrots I was cutting up I shed a tear for them as well. It’s hilarious in hindsight, but at the time you feel like a crazy fat person!
However, coming up to the due date every niggle, every twinge, every tickle, every single movement I thought was time. I quite enjoy American Football, but this year the Super Bowl was spent ever so quietly in my own lounge room without a Budweiser in sight! I wouldn’t let Big Kev go more than half an hour from me at night time and heaven help him if he should look at me the wrong way. But at that stage, I had no idea what I was even feeling for. I had no idea what the beginning of labour felt like. Hell, I never even had period pain before this so how on earth would I ever be able to tell if I was going into labour. And what on earth would I do if I was out on the farm alone? This, along with the hourly pee breaks, kept me awake at night!
Thankfully, in Mildura we have a wonderful clinic available to us at Mildura O & G. I can not speak highly enough of the doctors, midwives and staff in this place. I really can’t and I’m not sure I would’ve coped with my first pregnancy so well without them and my beautiful midwife Sally, who reminded me of my own Mum a little. The guidance and reassurance was amazing and in the week that we had gone past my due date, I think the doctors could see that I was over it, stressing out and ready to go, so go we did.
At one of our weekly check ups the decision was made to induce that day!
“HOLY CRAP!!! I’m not ready for this, what do you mean today? Holy crap!”
Isn’t it funny how you’ve had 9 months to get ready & prepare, but when the time came and they said, “yep, lets have a baby today” I started to freak out. I was ready, I had been ready for months, but when you get that green light for GO your mind starts to play crazy woman tricks on you.
The induction process was all very routine, like I was going into hospital for a mole removal. Go check in, they bring me my paperwork, my dinner menu, the option to have access to the TV! PS. What is that all about. You have to PAY for TV in public hospitals now? Health insurers don’t cover that either ¬ maybe they should! Well, mine certainly didn’t.
Big Kev turned up to be with me, and thankfully there’s Indulge Apartments right next door to the hospital so he didn’t have to head back to the farm overnight, which was a blessing because things tended to move a little quicker than anticipated.
The doctors performed the induction (the tape) at about 9pm on the Thursday informing Big Kev that he could go home because nothing would happen until about lunch time the next day.
WRONG! By midnight I sent him a text simply saying “I wouldn’t get too comfortable if I were you.”
By 1am my text read “GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE NOW. IT’S GAME TIME!”
What followed over the next few hours were contractions which are apparently much like period pain. Now, as I mentioned, I’ve not ever had this “period pain” thing before, and in fact, I thought it was a bit of a myth. Something that chicks used to get out of exercise, school, etc. Can I just apologise to all of the sisterhood right now and say, I’m sorry. If this is what some of you go through each month is it any wonder we get cranky. Try kicking a man in the goolies and see how jovial they can be! I’m sure they’d change their tune if they had to take a kick in the peanuts every day for a week and still had to function in life!
At about 3am they took me over to the delivery room where I promptly asked for access to their Nitric Oxide (the gas). Wow. That certainly took the edge off. Why is this stuff not on the PBS and available in all women’s homes? We’d certainly be a lot less cranky during Uncle Tom’s visit if we had a canister of this stuff beside the couch!
Not only did it take the edge off, it also changed the tone and speed of my voice, and apparently my accent and completely removed that filter between my brain and my mouth.
Upon hearing the English midwife speak to me, I promptly burst into an English accent and started reliving my time spent living in England. Apparently we had many conversations about Chessington World Of Adventures, pubs around Soho, Chinatown and the English country side. I, however, can remember none of this.
There is video evidence that exists of me explaining to Big Kev how I was going to give birth to a lot of BBQ chickens to feed the human race and save humanity. I kid you not. It is horrendous to watch.
My loving partner of course could barely contain himself at my silliness, especially when I started talking about Zimbabwe and their cricket team and proclaimed at the top of my lungs, whilst a couple was at the desk doing their booking in appointment, that “THAT IS THE REASON NO ONE BELIEVES IN UNICORNS!” Apparently all staff at the desk had to pause for a giggle. I have a voice that carries the entire maternity ward apparently.
I must say, I’m glad everyone else was entertained, I can only remember the painful bits and how that stabbing pain brought me right back to reality as I tried to suck a lot harder on that hose. By 11am I had bitten right through the mouth piece!!
I do remember at one point the doctor coming in telling me they needed to give me some drug to make the contractions harder because the baby hadn’t advanced. Ok cool. Do what you have to do.
“Would you like an epidural?”
“I don’t know? Do I? Is the pain likely to get worse than this?”
“Yes Jade, it will get worse! A lot longer and more intense.”
“Ok, I want the epidural.”
It was about this time I learned something about big Kev. This big burly bloke who is farmer, kills his own meat, makes his own sausages, spent time as a kid helping his Dad in his butcher shop, can’t stand the sight of blood!!
WTF???? Are you kidding me? You’re excusing yourself whilst they do this to my back? Hahaha. You idiot. Ok, go get a coffee and I’ll continue to be here trying to bring your child into the world.
I had no idea this man, this love of my life was so squeamish! I mean, I knew he can’t parallel park, but I thought he was ok with things like this.
At this point things almost came to a stand still. I could no longer feel much, nor could I push properly so the decision was made to give the bub a helping hand in theatre with the old forceps. They are pretty scary looking things to say the very least. Thoughts of 1890’s period TV dramas came to mind, but I was informed of the risks and at the end of the day, I’m not a medical professional, you guys do what you have to do to get my baby to me in the safest way.
So off to theatre we went and within a couple of hours I had a beautiful baby boy on my chest looking up and me and big Kev, and yes, we both cried! I saw a different side of him on Friday 13th Feb 2015. A much softer, joyful, emotional side that doesn’t show itself very often.
I’ll spare you the rest of the gory details but it was certainly a very memorable birth, for everyone else. To me the first 15 hours felt like being 22 years old again sitting in our garage in Fitzroy smoking joints! Hazy memories, big smiles and ridiculous chatter.
At the end of the day, I now have a beautiful son and the doctors and midwives at Mildura Base Hospital are simply amazing. This is their job! My goodness, they do this everyday! They must feel so satisfied with their contribution to society and humanity. What amazing people. Even my after care staff were just amazing! Helping with breastfeeding, sleeping, anything I wanted to know they were there and I can not thank them enough.
Wow, when choosing a profession, taking care of people was never on my radar but these people who do this day in and day out at the most amazing people on the planet as far as me and my new family are concerned.
So if you’re looking forward to your first birth, you should be. It’s such a precious time regardless of how you give birth. You’ve created a life. When you hold that little person in your arms and you think about how it started, even if it was a drunken night after Mildura’s One Night Stand whilst you and your Kev were having a date night, that is an amazing thing. From two cells, to a living breathing human, and now it’s your job to care for it, nurture it and love it, and that is one hell of an amazing job to do! Go you!