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 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.
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.
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..