Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hello world #2

Nora Patricia Mary was born on Friday 14th March at 4:58 pm

7 pounds 6 ounces


Here's what my obstetric summary says:

1st Stage being: 1 hrs 42 minutes

2nd Stage being: 0 hrs 8 minutes

3rd stage being: 0 hrs 22 minutes



At 10 am on Friday I had an appointment with my GP.

I had been doing shared maternity care and I had a 39 week appointment scheduled to check my fundal height which had been tracking on the low side since 29 weeks ( leading to a 37 week growth scan to check the baby wasn't IUGR) and had recently dipped to the very low side.

At 39 weeks I should've been measuring about 39 cm in fundal height but was only measuring 34cm.

Although my growth scan only 17 days earlier had shown a healthy girl on the 20th percentile once you reach 5 cm out the doctor is obligated to send you in to the hospital for a CTG and amniotic fluid level ultrasound.

All pretty standard stuff.

So I left the doctors office and took myself down to the hospital with Mummy Gibson and Boy in tow.

Because it was an emergency booking I told Mum I would probably have to wait a very long time to be seen, so I sent them to the park which is a block away from the hospital to play and avoid the stuffy waiting rooms filled with pregnant women.

I arrived at the hospital day clinic waiting room at 11:30am.

I sat down.

I waited an hour.

My phone went flat. " Boo" I thought because then I had nothing to do.

I was feeling a little achy in my back, but since I'd been sitting in an uncomfortable waiting room chair I thought nothing of it.

Braxton Hicks had been toying with me since 37 weeks, coming and going.

My name was called. " Yay" I thought because it had only been an hour so far.

I was taken behind a curtain and lay on the bed while she hooked me up to the monitors.

The CTG would check the heart rate of baby and if I was having any contractions.

I lay there for half an hour.

It was a bit of an awkward position.

Sometimes when you lay/sit in awkward positions the Braxton Hicks hurt more..

So I thought nothing of being a little uncomfortable and feeling a few regular niggles.

When she came in at the end of the test she commented " Oh have you been having Braxton Hicks. "

I nodded and said " Nothing serious, just a little uncomfortable "

I went back to the waiting room and sat waiting to be called for the Ultrasound.

I waited for another half an hour or so.

I was called to the ultrasound room.

I hadn't been to the toilet since before the doctors because I was scared I would miss it when they called my name and I wanted to get back to the park to take Mum and Boy home.

So my Braxton Hicks were a little stronger ( this can happen when you haven't pee'd in a while )

I went into the ultra sound room and she ask me to lay down.

I was having another annoying Braxton contraction as she asked and I said.

" I really need to go to the toilet, I'm having Braxton Hicks.. Could I quickly go now?"

She replied, this will only take a second and then you can go to the toilet.

As I lay on the ultrasound bench she saw my belly have another contraction.

She commented the head of the baby was really low.

She said " Are you sure you're not in early labour "

I said " I don't think so, I think I just need to go to the toilet"

She said " Can you talk through the contractions"

I said " If I wanted to"

She said " I might check you to see how dilated you are, if you were in early labour.. even a centimeter or two, you'd wanna know "

I agreed.

I went to the toilet.

I went back to the waiting room.

I sat and waited.

She came out and asked if I had eaten lunch and I replied no.

She said it'd be another 20 minutes before she could check me and sent me off to find some lunch.

I went down stairs and tried to call Mum from the front desk to find out if she was still at the park.

She didn't answer.

I called Kyle and left a message to tell him I didn't know where Mum was, that my phone was flat and that I was still at the hospital.

I called Collette for good measure. She didn't answer.

I wandered down to the food court, decided I wasn't actually hungry ( which is weird cause I hadn't eaten since breakfast ) and thought about how regularly these Braxton Hicks had been coming.

Between them and not wanting to eat, I decided perhaps I was in early labour and if that was the case, I wanted to get upstairs, get checked and head home so I could melt in a warm shower while I waited to progress.

I headed back upstairs, sat down in the waiting room once again and was soon called to be checked.

I lay down on the bed.

The midwife explained the process and inserted a gloved hand.

She looked up and said " You're 4 to 5 centimeters dilated - 6 at a stretch and fully effaced."

I said " Oh.....I want to go home"

She said " I don't think you'll be going home today"

I said " But I wouldn't mind a hot shower "

She said " You can have one of those upstairs in the birthing suite"

I said " I suppose I should call my husband, my phone has gone flat though"

She got me a telephone.

I called Kyle.

As I called I had the first contraction that really stopped me.

He picked up as it was peetering out and I said something incoherent.

I told him I was 5cm dilated and at the hospital.

He said something and I said he should come to the hospital and could he call Mum and tell her to go home if she was at the park still cause I couldn't contact her.

I'm not sure if I was sounding urgent enough because I was getting another contraction when he agreed to meet me and I just said " Ok, good. " and then hung up.

I then realised I didn't tell him where I was in the hospital.

I sat in the curtained room for a moment and the midwife came in and asked if it would be ok for me to go back in the waiting room because they were busy and needed the room.

I agreed.

Just as I was getting up to go out Mum arrived with Boy.

It was about 3.30pm, I told her I hadn't packed a bag yet and sent her off to grab me some things.

She had only been with us since Wednesday and her phone was going flat. She was worried she would get lost on the way home.

I was trying to rush through instructions because I was about to have another contraction and they were starting to pull my concentration a lot.

She left.

I sat in the waiting room.

The midwife came over to tell me that there wasn't any room in the birthing suite and they were just trying to find space. ( they were having a very busy Friday)

She said that she hoped I'd be going up by 4pm.

I sat in the waiting room.

At 4 pm Kyle arrived. Still in his work clothes. And I was glad he hadn't gone home to get changed and had found me since I hadn't sounded super urgent or told him where I was.

By now the contractions were starting to hurt and I was concentrating really hard on not freaking out the other pregnant women in the waiting room.

I was looking at the clock and wondering why I wasn't being sent to the birthing suite yet.

I was getting really sweaty and just wanted to strip off and hop in the shower, I really didn't want to be pretending life was joyful in a waiting room of pregnant women anymore.

At 4.15 the midwife bought a wheelchair over and wheeled me, Kyle in tow, up to the birthing suite.

I was admitted.

15 minutes later I'd had my blood pressure checked, the fetal heart rate checked and had a shiny new wrist band with my name on it.

I told the midwife in the birthing suite that I just came in for a CTG.

She smiled at me.

Finally. I could get in the shower.

I told the midwife I needed to go to the toilet first.

She asked if I had a lot of pressure. I said it felt like I needed to poo. ( in this amount of time I'd taken all of my clothes off rather unceremoniously because I was so sick of being uncomfortable after sitting in the waiting room )

She asked to check me.

I stood next to the bed while she shone a torch up yonder and I asked if I could have a bath instead of a shower.

She told me she didn't think we would have time for the bath to fill up.

I didn't completely understand because after all I only found out I was in early labour an hour ago but agreed to hop in the shower instead.

Kyle aimed the hot water on me and I had instant relief from the intensity of pain.

I focused on breathing.

The contractions were about 4 minutes apart but really, really, really strong.

I told her I had heaps of pressure and thought in a couple more contractions I wouldn't be able to help but push.

She said that was fine.

I was surprised and said " but am I dilated enough?"

And she said " I didn't even need to manually check you, everything is nice and ready ..."

I was a little shocked.

She explained she would grab a mat and when I was ready I could come out of the shower and try pushing on all fours.

The next contraction I barely held off from pushing, I told her I thought I would be ready.

She told me that she would get me to breathe through some of the next few contractions and if I listened very closely I wouldn't tear.

I was right and during the next contraction I flung myself at the mat on the floor next to the shower.

It was the longest contraction ever ( lots of breathing and pushing )

At the end she asked me to just breathe and I listened like a good student.

The midwife exclaimed my waters were still intact and she was excited at the prospect the baby would be born inside them.

Kyle had moved to allow me to lean on him and we had another 3-4 minute wait before the next longest contraction in history.

By the end of it I was seeing stars behind my tightly closed eyes.

Then out came baby Nora. ( my waters burst as her body came out )

I pulled her from the hands of the midwife - her little arms flailing up as if reaching for me and she spluttered a little cough because she'd swallowed some waters before deciding I was decent enough and went to sleep.

I was completely shocked.

I looked at Kyle and said " I totally just had a baby"

And we just stared at each other stunned..


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

38 weeks

I am about to pop.

Literally, the skin across my belly is so tight ( perhaps because of that neat non-flexible surgical reminder up the middle ) I fear it will split right up my exploratory scar and all my guts will fall out onto the ground.

Then there is the pressure. The kind that makes me feel as if I don't pop the baby will just fall right out from between my legs one day while I'm walking the supermarket beat.

I am 38 + 4 today.

I have had terrible insomnia this pregnancy.

Terrible Braxton Hicks upwards of 8 times a day for the last 3 weeks.

I am ready to have a baby, so ready.

When Boy was in utero it was utter bliss right up until the end. No pain, no insomnia. Just an end of pregnancy glow. There wasn't a hint he was coming out and I didn't mind one tiny bit.


Dear baby girl,

It is getting closer- much, much closer to the first time we will meet face to face.

I say face to face because we have all ready met 1000 times before.

For 9 months we've shared the space between my ribs and pelvis.

Your huge tumbles and rolls giving way to jabs and pushes as you ran out of room.

I can feel your little feet, your little knees all scrunched up down my side.

It must be very squishy in there now.

Even for a little girl who is predicted to only make the 20th percentile.

Last Saturday we went about making final preparations for your arrival.

This week, as is traditional, I will look for a blankie for you.

Just like I did for Boy.

One that he still sleeps with, although his big Boy feet stick out the end when he's wrapped up in its comforting warmth now.

The edges are worn and the corners have been sucked and chewed from when he was teething.

But the blankie will always be his, it will always be a reminder of how small he was as a newborn.

Of when he walked, dragging that blankie behind him, and his bear in the other hand - a perfect toddler.

Of when he would take it to Daycare and by Pre-school felt safe enough to leave it behind.

I can't wait to meet you, to hold you and to wrap you in the warmth of your Daddas arms and your very own blankie.

For that blankie to carry your very own stories.


Mumma x


Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Park

*toot toot! all aboard my hormone train

Sometimes I wonder if we are actually safer in low-socio economic areas than in wealthier burbs.

Sometimes I wonder if we are ever truly safe.

The illusion of safety a shimmery facade we build in our minds to cope with the constant dangers we face daily.

I mean... In the end, we are all gunna die right?

Whether it's from a freak accident where a tree in a school yard drops a limb on your head or from years of bad eating habits and a slow diabetic death.

Whether we are accidentally gassed one night while we sleep from a faulty appliance or we live to be 86.

( I've seen 1000 ways to die)

Only one thing is certain. Death is inevitable.

Not to seem morbid or dark, but it IS the truth.

And so many of us, daily, avoid the truths of life.

Two things:

First of all, I'm pretty sure our local park had a drug dealer- swapping packages for packages in the far corner with several different, white middle class people the other afternoon.

Funny thing is, they all looked like normal everyday working class guys.

Not the tattooed, bikie, drug pushing stereotype you see on the news.

I lived in a low-socio economic suburb last year. I went to the park. But I never saw a drug swap and I never felt unsafe.

What is it with well off people and their drugs?

But while I watched one guy on a rather nice push bike pull up to the dealer in the afternoon sun, swap and ride off again - I still didn't feel unsafe.

Maybe the sun was having too much of an affect on me.

Maybe I'm hormonal.

Or maybe I'm just too desensitised to bother even batting a judgemental eyelid, so instead I shrug and just observe the fishbowl across the park.

It's another life. One I'm not apart of. One I never wish to be a part of. But it's just too darn riveting for me to stop looking.


There is actually ONE thing at our beautiful shady local park I refuse to witness.

What is with twenty something, inner suburb dwelling guys that says it's ok to go down to the local park, without a shirt on, and work out on the play equipment.

There's a lovely half court - even a large grassy area, where they could choose to work out. Preferably WITH a shirt on.

But not on the playground equipment.

And for reference we don't have that work out type play ground equipment at our park that you see sometimes mimicking gym equipment.

No, think - slide, flying fox, monkey bars, generic wiggly kangaroo type park.

Think, monkey bars so low I can reach them with two feet on the ground.

So when a twenty something guy comes and try's to unsuccessfully, (shirtlessly) do chin ups on those low bars because he's too tall for them while 5 or 6 kids run around him playing.

He honestly just looks like he doesn't understand social etiquette.

Or the social etiquette in my head.

Worse is that there's been more than one shirtless offender.

And trust me. They're not all something to look at.

And even if you have a six pack.

( and I'm talking about you olive skinned twenty something with the body that glistened like Edward Cullen in the midday sun )

Although I appreciate your perfectly defined torso - go get a gym membership. Or run the block.

But please don't take your shirt off and feign exercising in front of a bunch of 4 year olds and their Mums at the park.

Because it's awkward and you just look like a narcissist.

And nobody likes a narcissist.....unless they themselves are one.

( this is all making sense now... Ugh, I'm so pregnant )

Interestingly, in my low-socio economic suburb, I never saw a half naked man exercising at the local park.

Perhaps the lower class is a little classier when it comes to knowing park etiquette than the middle class.

Or perhaps they're all down at the bottle'o getting a different type of 6 pack.