Saturday night. Hubby and I stay in, watch TV and have spicy left over food for supper. My tummy starts aching, but I think nothing of it. Perhaps some of the leftovers had gone off slightly. That night while sleeping, I keep waking up with mild tummy cramps but dose off easily again. Suddenly at five a.m. I wake up needing to use the toilet and I realize my water broke while I was asleep. Upon my returning to bed, hubby wake up and I tell him that I think our little guy is coming today. He responds with “Oh yeah?! It’s so awesome!”
We cuddle in the hope of getting another hour or two of sleep. I open a contraction timer app on my iPhone and I try to decipher how far along we are.
Contractions are eight minutes apart. I feel fine and decide to close my eyes for a while. Within the next hour contractions get more uncomfortable and I wake hubby and ask him to get dressed and ready to leave. I tell him that the contractions are now seven minutes apart. I can see he is so excited. He gets to meet his boy today! We are beside ourselves, I mean, we’re having a baby! I phone my mum and he phones his family with the news that we’re heading to the hospital.
Today is the day after our due date. It’s a slightly overcast Sunday morning and the only car on the road is ours. It is such a gentle calm ride. As I stare out the window I mention to hubby that whenever we see purple Jacarandas again, it will remind us of the time of our little one’s birth. It is a beautiful day to come into the world.
We arrive at Netcare’s Park Lane Clinic and get set up in the labor ward pretty quickly. The nurses are so very friendly and although this is a scary new experience for me, I feel safe and at ease that we are in good hands.
It’s still early in the day and our obgyn has come in to see us. I’m only 3 cm dilated. For our little one to be born naturally, my cervix will have to dilate to 10 cm. I’m told that the way it works, is that one would dilate 1 cm every hour, so we’ll see our little one at about six o’clock. Hubby and I play cards and it’s almost like we’re having a little family picnic in the hospital. After I kick hubby’s butt at rummy we go for a few strolls. Eventually, contractions start to get really damn sore and we ask the nurse to contact the anesthetist for an epidural. At the same time we also get an IV put up. (Man, I hate needles!?)
The epidural worked straight away. On my right side. My left side was not completely numb. Contractions were less intense, but it was still pretty sore. In the mean time the anesthetist got me to lie on my left side in the hope that the epidural would start to work on both sides of my lower body.
It’s now after three in the afternoon and my mom shows up unexpectedly. She is so excited to see her first gran-baby, and I reckon, you can’t not jump in the car and come to the hospital when your own baby’s having a baby. I’m really glad to see her.
The nurse checks our progress and lets us know that we are still dilated only 3 cm. She hints that the obgyn might want to do a c-section so I must not feel alarmed when the obgyn lets us know this.
Our obgyn comes to check on our progress. Her exact words were: “Oh god!?” While shaking her head vigorously says: “This isn’t happening.” I remember thinking to myself “Geez lady, you can be glad I like you or I would’ve thought that to be poor bedside manner”. She says we’ll be having a c-section and she’ll see us in theater really soon.
The anesthetist comes in to let me know to stop eating and drinking and that he’ll re-insert the epidural once we’re in theater. He says we’ll see our baby in less than 45 minutes.
My mom wishes us the best of luck and goes to wait in the recovery room. I’m wheeled off to theater and hubby heads to the daddy lounge to change into scrubs.
The same nurse that’s been helping me through the day is with me when I’m wheeled into theater. She helps me sit up and help me keep my upper body in the right position for the epidural to be re-administered.
I lay back down and I can feel that my legs are heavy. It actually feels like an elephant is sitting on them. I’m told that that is what disabled people feel like every day. (How sad?)
There is a radio playing loudly and the obgyn steps into view on my right hand side. Another surgeon stands opposite her in what I can only assume is someone that will assist her. I start to panic and ask where my husband is. I’m really scared that they take our little dude out before hubby is present. I don’t want him to miss our baby’s birth.
The obgyn and fellow surgeon is pushing and pulling on my stomach like crazy. I thought I was going to fall off the operating table. I finally see hubby enter the theater in dark blue scrubs (hubba-hubba-hubby) and immediately relax. A minute pass and the anesthetist tells hubby to get the camera ready and next thing he says to me is “Look mommy, there is your baby”.
17:43 p.m. Seeing our little guy took my breath away and tears roll down my face as he gives us his first loud
scream cry. He certainly has a healthy set of lungs.
Baby gets weighed, measured and tested while I get stitched up. The pediatrician brings baby all wrapped up to lie on my chest, only a few cm away from my face and I whisper, “Happy birthday my little man”. I keep trying to see what he looks like but the tears are proving this an impossible task.
I’m lifted from the operating table onto a more comfy bigger bed. Baby’s put into my arms and we’re wheeled into the recovery room. A nurse and the pediatrician immediately help me breastfeed. The new grannies and granddaddies are also there and get a glimpse of their minutes new little grandson.
Baby gets dressed and after a little while in the recovery room, we’re wheeled to the maternity ward where we spend the next three nights. With the little one in my arms, I’m smitten. Hubby and I keep looking at him, just staring at this perfect being that we get to look after.
We call him Odin Walter. He weighs 3.67 kg and is 54 cm long. He is a healthy little baby boy with the hairiest little upper arms and longest little fingers and toes. We feel so blessed.
Side note: Hubs, thank you for taking these photos. They turned out truly beautifully. I really appreciate that we get to relive this special day of our life together through pictures. I love you so much.