Did I mention how I'm so glad I wrote it all down? I love reliving the nights my babies were born. Nothing will ever compare to these experiences. Birth really is quite magical.
Rosie-pie at her 2nd birthday party last month
Without further ado, the birth of Rose Eleonore:
02 January, 2010
Well, nearly 5 months after the fact, and after spending about an hour reading other people's birth stories, I am finally sitting down to write about precious Rosie's entrance into the world.
The story of Elliot's birth is a much longer one. This time around, I was so keen to meet this new little person, so ready (I'd been ready for about 3 weeks by now!), that when it happened, it was all on!
I guess I should start on New Year’s Eve, 31st December, 2009. You know when you do something that you know you probably shouldn't, how there's this little part in your brain saying "You really shouldn't have done this, there will be consequences!"? Well, I had a moment like this as I was soaking in a very hot spa at a friend's house. I thought, "You are nearly a week overdue. What are you doing in a spa? Your midwife is away this weekend and you are trying to stall going into labour so that she can be there. What are you doing?" But how could I not have a spa? So wonderful. Ah...
New Years Eve continues. Being parents already, we have sort of lost the joy of staying up past bedtime just because we can, so 2010 rolls in, "Yay," we say, and head off to sleep at my Mum's place, where Elliot had been while we were at our friend's.
Now, my dear husband and his father were in the process of building us a new deck. Hayden had already ripped up the old one and I'm pretty sure they had put the joists in and were doing something else. Maybe not, I can't remember. All I know is that my FIL is an early-riser, so poor Hayden set his alarm for 5:45am (on New Year's Day, remember), picked up his Dad, then went home and started up the drop saw (apologies to our neighbours!) while Elliot and I got a sleep-in at Mum's.
Elliot and I make our way back home later in the morning, day continues as normal. Deck building, dinner, Elliot to bed, watching TV etc. I remember being so uncomfortable that evening, sitting on the comfy chair. I kept concentrating to see if I felt 'regular uncomfortable-ness' - like maybe mild contractions, but no, I was just uncomfortable. Not uncommon for someone who is 41 weeks pregnant! Dear Hayden was very tired from his late night, early morning, hard work and large, strong beer I had given him as an anniversary present... So off he trots to bed at 9:30pm. I go to the bedroom at 9:35pm and he's already fast asleep. Bless.
Evening continues, I watch more TV until I'm tired enough to sleep (can't remember what time this was, maybe 11pm?), then head to bed. Here begins the exciting part:
1:45am: I wake up needing to use the loo. From my past experience with labour (not that I have had a heck of a lot, but 100% more than a first-time Mum like I was with Elliot) I immediately thought, "Is this labour?" Finished on the loo, back to bed. About 10 (or 20?) minutes later, back to the loo. Suspicion dawns. I think, nay, I am 90% certain I am in labour. "Oh dear," thinks I, "Poor Hayden is exhausted. I can't get him up yet." So I gently tell him I think I'm in labour, but stay in bed and I'll get you when I need you.
Out to the lounge with my swiss ball (well, actually, it was my sister's swiss ball) and my book, thinking I would have a wee way ahead of me with those mild, early contractions. Well. I think I got through about half a page, reading the same sentences a few times. I really couldn't concentrate. So around 3am, I fetch Hayden. “Sorry love, I need you now.” Things are going to start getting heated up around here pretty soon! And speaking of heating things up: thankfully, we had already put up the birth pool and stored it in the garage and had picked up a caliphont, also in the garage. Hayden was set to work putting these together and getting them going and the pool filling up.
I call my midwife first. I was a little gutted because my own midwife was on her weekend off, so it was the back-up midwife, H, who I called. Not to worry, H is a lovely midwife who was absolutely super. So, I called her and said, "I've gone into labour, be prepared to head over my way in the near future." This is because we moved back into Hamilton from Morrinsville right at the end of my pregnancy, so my midwives lived a little further out. I wanted her to have enough warning because there'd be a little bit of travel time to factor in - not too much, thankfully. So I said I'd call my fabulous sister-in-law Sarah and we'd see how I was when she got here and would give her a call when we needed her to come.
Then I called Sarah, who straight away gets into her car and drives from Te Aroha. What a wonderful woman. This was around 3:30am now. Then I called my sister Sarah who was planning to come to this baby's birth to support me too. She was in Raglan and had had a few wines with dinner so she (wisely) thought she should have a little more sleep before she hopped into a car, which was fine. At this point, I knew she was going to miss the birth because I could tell that it was going much quicker than last time! But of course I didn't tell her that because I knew she would hop straight in her car and come anyway, and I didn't want to be responsible for that!
Not long after I talked to sister-in-law Sarah, I thought, "Hey, this is heating up pretty fast. I'd be more comfortable if the midwife was on her way." So I called H again, and she jumped in the car and ended up beating Sarah here! We also call my Mum to come and pick up Elliot. He was - obviously - fast asleep at 3:30am in the morning, but he's always been a light sleeper, and I knew he wouldn't sleep through my labouring once I really got going! Poor little dude had no idea what was going on. I got a lovely little half asleep kiss from him on the way past, then it was off to Oma's and back to sleep for him. Mum told me later that Elliot was asleep again in the car already, but she didn't go back to sleep herself because she was too excited!
So, H (the midwife) arrives, we check Bubba's heartbeat and everything is going well, pool is filling up after Hayden managed to sort out the caliphont. Thank the Lord we had one or I wouldn't have had a water birth, which I so love. I spent my contractions on my knees, hanging over the swiss ball, moving my hips in circles, someone putting pressure on my lower back, moving my hands around in circles and blowing my breaths out my mouth very loudly! And yes, I know moving my hands in circles is very random! After Sarah fetched me a pillow for my knees I was much more comfortable.
Things seemed to be rocketing along. Just reading my labour notes: "4:30am Jessica doing great. Feeling some pressure. 4:45am Jessica working hard with intense contractions. Second midwife called. 4:46am Jessica feels like pushing. 4:50am Into pool. 4:58am Pushing." Now, bear in mind I'd only woken up 3 hours ago! Rocketing along indeed. I knew second time around, things would be faster, but this was much faster than I was expecting!
The midwives told me Bubba was still in the sac - my waters hadn't broken yet. I remember reaching the stage, I don't know when it was, though I know I was in the pool, and saying, "I don't want to do this! Why do I have to do this?" despite knowing that no-one else was going to do it for me! So anyway, pushing, pushing, feeling really effective, like I knew what I was doing, and then here's Bubba's head! What? Wow!
I was sort of on my knees and toes - alternating between the two probably - and leaning over the edge of the pool, so the buoyancy of the water was pushing Bubba's head upwards, behind me, if that makes sense? OUCH! I remember yelling, nearly crying, "Just pull it out, please pull it out!" Oh dear, makes me laugh now! Next time I think I'll just turn over... Anyway, it's 5:20am, another contraction and here comes my beautiful girl!! Welcome to the planet little Rose Eleonore! What an absolute treasure! A beautiful, happy, pink little girl. I can't remember if she cried or not, I'll have to ask Hayden. (Update: He can't remember either!)
She had a short cord, just long enough to cuddle her close! I didn't want to deliver the placenta in the pool so I was helped out, nearly slipping over on the sac Rosie was born in! Oops. The midwives think my blood loss looks heavy (so says my notes!) so they give me the syntocinon injection, and out comes the placenta, 8 minutes after Rosie. I also get the second injection of Syntometrine a little later as my uterus is not contracting down as quickly as the midwives would like. But no major dramas and everything comes under control. (Though later, I will swear the intense-ness of the after-pains because of the second injection was worse than a contraction, and lasted longer. OUCH!)
So, where were we? Oh yes, a daughter! I am sitting on the chair with her - the same chair I had been so uncomfortable on the night before! - just admiring this baby. I go into a bit of a shock spasm. Get the almighty big shakes because everything just went so fast it's like your body has to reboot itself to catch up to where you're at. I think I remember saying, "Oooh, I'm going into shock. That's funny, because I don't feel shocked at all!" Crazy, labour-addled mind...
Hayden cuts her cord. We get the requisite picture, but unfortunately, my bared breast is front and centre, without any hope of editing it out! Oops! Private photo. Hayden has some cuddles with wee Rosie, then, "Oh, should I offer her a feed?," says I. It feels like it's been ages since she was born and that I've forgotten to feed her, but my notes assure me it was only 20 minutes after she entered the world. Someone makes me a milo and brings me a Mars bar (becoming a little tradition!) and we start making the phone calls. Lovely lovely. (My sister says, "Oh, I was just getting in the car to come and help!" Oh well.)
H wants to check out the bleeding, to see if there's a tear they missed that might be causing the bleeding. This was not fun at all. Afterward, I am laying in my bed, dressed in my pyjamas, hearing the others talking and being generally happy while Rosie is having her checks done and desperately wanting to go down there and be part of the action but just not being able to move or call out. I physically could not make myself get off that bed and walk down the hallway. Thankfully, my wonderfully in-tune sister-in-law and fabulous husband realise that I am all by myself in the bedroom and bring Rosie down and get her dressed into her first outfit next to me on the bed. Wonderful.
After that, Hayden and I and our gorgeous new addition snuggle down in bed together for a nice long nap. I felt so fabulous.
Later that day, Mum brings Elliot (and lunch!) over to meet his new sister. He was pretty much uninterested! Funny little guy. Came over to give me a cuddle, looked at Rosie, then carried on playing. Of course, he loves her very much now and gives her cute cuddles and lovely kisses, and she is besotted with him. Her eyes follow him around the room and her face always lights up with a big smile when she sees him.
There's not too much left to write (especially as she's now woken up and needs my attention!) except how blessed we are to have two absolutely beautiful, healthy, happy children whom we love SO much. Isn't it amazing how much your heart expands when you have children?
Oh, and she was 9lb 3oz (4160g).
And that's Rosie's story.
Rosie takes her middle name - Eleonore - from Hayden's mother. Eleonore went to live with her Lord in glory in July of 2000 after a battle with cancer. The first daughter born into each of her children's families so far is named after her, so Eleonore now has 3 namesakes. Very special.