I have a long backlog of posts, but on the eve of 2016, I thought it apt to share my birth story – because welcoming Zachary into our lives has been this year’s highlight.
Having been induced with Isaiah 7 days post due date, I really wanted to go into labour spontaneously this time. In fact, throughout this pregnancy I thought Zac would come early. It just felt different. But again, my due date went by and I was still pregnant – we were still waiting. We booked our induction for December 17th – 5 days after my due date. We were still hopeful and praying though, anything could happen.
It was Tuesday the 15th and while I had dull back pains for a few days, there was nothing else that said labour was imminent. We headed to the mall that evening. I was in the shops all day everyday for a week now, and needed to find a rug (I’m still searching!). At 9pm the stores had closed and we decided to get a late supper at Ocean Basket. We got our favourite platter and enjoyed a good time – Isaiah and I pulled funny faces and took selfies. I shared a few on Instagram, realising we won’t be a family of 3 for much longer. It wouldn’t be long, at all – because around 10pm, I started having contractions! I didn’t go into labour on my own before, so I didn’t even know if this was the real thing. It felt a lot like Braxton Hicks, just a little more painful. They were also regular, so I knew something was up. We joked with the waiter that he needs to bring our bill asap, before I have a baby! I remember him telling me to be a soldier. Ha!
I paused and leaned on a wall often as we walked to the car, as contractions hit. The 40 minute drive home wasn’t any fun, as things got intense. I squeezed husband’s shoulders. We started timing contractions and they were about 7 minutes apart, lasting about 2 minutes. I kept asking husband if he thought this was it, and he was sure. We got home and Isaiah was sleeping. Husband loaded our bags into the car while I took a shower. The heat helped me through the contractions, which were really painful in my back. We woke my brother who is around the corner from us, and dropped Isaiah off as we made our way to the hospital. I’ve heard so many stories about women being sent home with “false labour”, I was sure we’d be back home.
We arrived at the hospital and I casually announced that I might be in labour. At 12pm I was checked and so so relieved to hear the words, “yes you’re in labour at 4cm dilated”. Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh, I’m in labour! Remembering how quickly we went from 5cm to 10 with Isaiah, I thought okay, we’re having this baby in no time! At some point, I was offered something for the pain – I figured that I managed without it the first time around so resisted. It was also just my preference. I focussed on breathing through each contraction instead. Each contraction lasted about ten long breaths, in and out, and focussing on getting to ten helped me through. I guess I forgot to breathe now and then, so husband reminded me – as he breathed with me while rubbing my back. The quicker and harder he rubbed, the more heat, which helped tremendously.
|My contraction face!|
Around 2am the mucus plug made an appearance, which I always wondered about, and that made Shadi, the midwife, very happy. I was checked and still 4cm dilated, which had me a little despondent. She assured me that I had nothing to fret about, and the baby would be here soon. She broke my water and we headed to the delivery room where she checked me again after 10 minutes and I was at 6cm. I think this is around the time I told husband to shoosh as he tried encouraging me with affirmations. I just needed to focus on getting through the pain. When the contractions passed, I happily joked and played the fool, if I wasn’t falling asleep. I was exhausted, and when the pain subsided I fell asleep for a few seconds.
20 Minutes later, I groaned and Shadi came in to check me again. 7-8cm. That’s when she called the doctor, telling her she can take a shower because she has about 20 minutes before anything happens. I remember thinking I can’t wait for her to take a shower! It wasn’t even 5 minutes after that call, I groaned again and said that I need to push. “Looks like the doctor will miss out, I see a head!” That was the best news, even if my doctor wasn’t around! Shadi got her gloves on, and no one even had time for those green gowns, caps and slippers – we were having this baby now!
Shadi calmly talked me through it, reminding me to push when a contraction hit. It felt completely natural, and I suspect that time stood still through delivery, because I was so aware of everything. My focus wasn’t clouded by pain, as, in retrospect, it was with Isaiah. I felt more in control. It was only a few pushes, and I leaned forward to see Zachary come out of me. It was incredible. At 3:25, on Wednesday December 16th, Zachary was here. I was overwhelmed, and sobbing. Thank you Jesus thank you Jesus thank you Jesus I repeated.
He made an ugly crying face, but he was on mute. I tugged at his cheeks and played with his fingers, and there it was – a loud scream. Over and over. The most beautiful cry. His first. I was in awe of God. We did it, my heart’s desire was granted without any complications.
The doctor came in and we all joked how she missed it. She didn’t have a chance; I went from 6cm to baby in a matter of minutes – and I thank God for this. I wouldn’t change a thing. I held an incredible miracle in my arms, a perfect 3,48 kg’s with a hint of dimples – just like his big brother.
We were left alone to bond and it was special. I didn’t know my heart could love another child as I do my first. I think a parent’s capacity to love is limitless because love is just amazing like that – there’s room enough. I felt the same whirlwind of emotions I did when I first became a mother. I took it all in as I breathed him in. Another. Another I call mine.
I’m so thankful. I am mama to two boys. My greatest blessing, my greatest joy.
Thank you Jesus.