My Labour Day
It isn’t a blog if you haven’t posted the labour stories, right? To be honest I have a fascination with birth stories. Not the gory details, I would avoid all photos except the brand-new-baby ones, the photos where their eyes are dark and swollen and they look almost amphibian, and wise. Those are good photos.
Sure, as I write this my babies are 20 months and 7 months — but I haven’t forgotten what are the best two days of my life.
The gory details aren’t important to the story so if you are squeamish don’t worry, you are in a safe place.
For a couple who are good with numbers, and who have calculators, like, in their phones, we planned the birth of our baby badly. Elliot was due 3 weeks before the biggest event we organise — a fun run for 40,000 people. And just 3 weeks after my sister, and business partner, was due with her twin boys. You can imagine the discussion we had when we revealed our pregnancies to each other.
Me: Umm, I’m pregnant and I’m due in Feb. This could be a problem with work. Can you cover for me?
Her: No. I’m pregnant and due in Feb too. I’m having twins.
Anyway, long story short, I had a typical pregnancy — long and uncomfortable, with more unwelcome “changes” than puberty. I never found myself wearing crisp white linen on the beach, and I didn’t glow. I sweated, and rather than lovingly caressing my bump I found myself poking at it to get the cute little foot out of my ribs. This is not to say I wasn’t excited and totally in love with my baby but, much like an economy flight to Europe, it is long and uncomfortable no matter what reward awaits you at the end.
So, seven days after my due date I wake up and feel contractions. Nothing painful, just contractions. I tell Matt when we are brushing our teeth and we both go off to work. At about 9am my waters break, not a lot just a little. So I keep working thinking ‘shit, I’m not going to be here tomorrow, I’ve a lot to do’. The contractions keep getting stronger, and at 6pm I finish up work, go home, and prepare some dinner.
Matt gets home from work, and it turns out he hadn’t heard me say I was in labour that morning, so I forgive him for not calling me all day and we pack up our bags and walk up to the hospital.
And I’m not amazingly super-human, I’m just in early labour. But because my waters have been broken for 12 hours we are hooked up to pitocin and an epidural (yessss!) and we wait, and wait, and wait. The waiting is oddly broken by a visit from my Father-in-law — the midwife thought he was my specialist and let him into the delivery suite, apparently any older man with a briefcase looks like an ObGyn.
Finally after some nausea and chucking from me, and some obligatory snoring in the lazy-boy from the Father-to-be (women have given birth in that chair), it is time to push. Two hours of pushing and some forceps and some snipping (sorry) Elliot was born. A slippery, warm, bundle of softness and love.
Later through my oxygen deprived fuzz I heard my sister in the corner of the room call out 10lb 1oz! And I was happy in the way you are when you catch a big fish.