Saturday, October 16, 2010

Isobelle's Birthday

A little baby ducky swimming in a water trough

Little over a year ago, I awoke at 5am with a small pain at the bottom of my 9 month pregnant belly. A very small pain, not even wince-worthy. Being this late in pregnancy however, I decide to go to the bathroom and investigate. Without going into too much detail, within a few moments, I know without a doubt that labour has begun. I wake my husband and tell him it is time, but there is nothing major happening. "Go back to sleep and I will wake you when we need to go". Between checking and waking him, I have about 3 contractions. Small ones. Nothing to worry about.

It is 5:10am.

After I wake him, I tell him I am going to get something to eat, since I expect a long and arduous day ahead of me. My son's labour and birth only went for 2 hours, but that didn't mean that this one would be as fast. Higher chance of a short labour again, but not guaranteed. And with the low level of pain I am feeling, I didn't think it was going to be fast.

I walk into the kitchen, and have another contraction. Suddenly I lose my appetite. I go back to the bedroom to tell my husband I can't eat anything but I might have a cup of tea. He is already up and getting dressed. I return to the kitchen to make my tea, and have another contraction. A strong one. I lose my interest in tea. I go back to the bedroom and inform my husband, and then finish packing my hospital bag instead. He is already on the phone to his sister.

It is 5:15am.

Strong contractions start coming every few minutes now. I finish packing my bag, ring the hospital, and message my sister so she could spread the word to family. We wait for my SIL to arrive to babysit. She doesn't live far. She wouldn't be long. But by the time she arrives, I am on my knees, rocking back and forth by the couch, contractions coming every minute or so.

"Honey, we have to go, get up" ... my husband is stressing a little.

"I can't.... walk.... right now..... Let me finish.... this contraction.... and I'll come." Panting. It hurts a bit more. The contraction passes and I am on my feet and out the door in a few seconds. Another contraction comes on as I get out the door. I pause at the door, halfway down the garden path, and at the car for contractions. Then I get into the car.

It is 5:30am.

Hubby starts driving to the hospital. Contractions are coming literally one on top of the other. Husband speeds a little, and I growl at him anytime the car goes over a bump. Can't cope with the bumps. It's quiet and there's not much traffic around, but I tell him he doesn't have to speed, I'm not about to drop the baby. "Yeah ok whatever", he says. Soon enough, we arrive at the hospital.

It is 5:50am.

I try to get out of the car, but another contraction hits and I can't move. My husband is getting very worried and seems a little grumpy. He is telling me to get out of the car and asking if he needs to carry me. I shout 'No!' - that would be incredibly painful. It's much easier for me to walk when the contraction passes. It passes and I get out of the car. Another one hits. And this time, I need to push. My body pushes... I cannot stop it. The hospital emergency doors are only a few metres away. The contraction passes and I literally run inside. The place is not busy, but there are a few people in the waiting room there.

We stop to speak to the triage nurse - who can see very clearly that I'm in labour. She takes us straight to the admin window. We begin to give our details. My husband strongly advises them to take me inside immediately, as I am about to give birth. I am too foggy to think straight. The pain is intense and constant now. The urge to push is so strong, it's primeval. There is only a few seconds between contractions.

The lady behind the admin window wants me to tell her when I need to push. I tell her I have already started pushing. She wants me to tell her every time I feel the need to. This confuses me; When having a baby, once you start pushing, every contration after that is a pushing one until the baby is born! Why would I need to tell her every time I have a contraction... can't she see? She tries to comfort me. "You're doing really well love, just hang in there, you're doing fine". I laugh... of course I'm doing fine! This is my fourth baby, I know what's going on. I don't think she does though. She asks me if the waters have broken. I say no, not yet - which is a good thing, because when they do, the baby will come fast. She reassures me again that I'm doing fine, and asks me if I need to push again. She has called for an orderly and we are waiting for a wheelchair.

Wheelchair? I can't sit now! I need to walk! Take me through please. Now.

I want to slap her. Instead I tell her I need to push again as I have another contraction and I start pushing. I feel something pop and hear a sound like a bucket of water being thrown on the floor. My waters broke.

"Ohhh..... the waters just broke... I'm so sorry, there's a mess on your floor" . My pj pants are soaked through.

I retreat back into my little world of birthing, while my husband and this lady behind the triage counter continue speaking. I don't know what they are saying... I'm not paying attention. Another contraction hits, and since she still wants me to tell her when I need to push, I tell her.

" I need to push....!"... I let out an almighty groan....I feel something slip out....
"The head! The head! There's a head in my knickers!"....
I start tearing my pj pants off while screaming those words out.

Somewhere in the dark corners of my dignified mind, I am aware that people are going to see my bottom... and other bits. I care, but, I don't care. My soaked pants are around my ankles now so I try to step out of them.

The lady behind the counter has jumped up out of her chair and is shouting "OH SHIT!! Somebody help me!!!" you? I'm the one who needs help lady!

I know what she means, but I couldn't help seeing the funny side. I am standing with my legs slightly apart, one hand on the counter, wondering if I should lay down on the floor or not. The next thing I knew, a bunch of medical staff had surrounded us, and a nurse comes out and tells me that I will be ok, and if it makes me feel any better, she has delivered babies in this position before. Suprisingly, it does make me feel better. I don't have to lay down on the floor now. Another contraction begins as she squats down behind me to take a look. The urge to push is crazy strong and I can't help myself. Just as she gets down, she suddenly lunges forward and catches my baby.

It is 6:00am.

I have just given birth to our baby. I look up at my husband in amused relief.... He is standing there in shock, still holding the hospital bag, just staring at the scene before him. I chuckle and take hold of his hand with my free hand.

In the fogginess of the next few moments that followed, I try to look around behind me to where I can hear a small cry. My baby is ok.... my baby is ok. So relieved. I suddenly notice some orderlies standing around us holding up bedsheets to make our little space private. Ohhh.....God bless you people, I think to myself.

There is nothing to cut the cord with, so the nurse is still squatting there holding my little baby. I haven't delivered the placenta yet. I look up at my husband again and laugh.... 'Did we just have a baby?' I asked him. He just stares at me. Some of the hospital staff who came running in response to the code grey (I think?) are standing around smiling and watching... there isn't much they can do now. I start thinking about my exposed bum again......

Someone returns with a pair of scissors. They cut the cord and my baby is whisked away to be checked. Someone else brings out a hospital bed, and gingerly, I climb onto it and lay down on my back. Ahhhh, this is heaven!, I say; I have not been able to lie down on my back for months! The staff just look at me funny. My baby is brought back out to us, and we get to meet her. She's so cute and squished with a thick mop of black hair - with blonde tips! And she's perfectly ok.

Peeking out at the world.

They wheel me upstairs to the birthing suite where the midwives are suprised and disappointed to learn they missed all the action. Before they have a chance to administer the oxytocin needle, I deliver the placenta. They give me the needle anyway.... it hurts more than having my baby did. They stitch me up, bring me breakfast, and leave us to become more acquainted with our new little girl.

The whole thing took just one hour. Every time I think of what happened, I can't help chuckling about it. I shook my head in disbelief for weeks afterwards... this sort of thing happens to other people, not me!

Next time - now, this is our last baby, but if we should happen to make an 'oops' - next time, I will ring the ambulance and go lie down.

Snuggles with daddy :)

One year later...

Her cake was pink velvet with blue cream cheese frosting, surrounded in Cadbury Flake. Fondant probably would have looked better for the trough, but chocolate tastes so much nicer :)

My little baby battah (that's 'duck' in Lebanese) enjoying a piece of her birthday cake.



  1. Oh Vivianne, this brings back memories! What a great, ridiculous, madcap storey that was!
    I had my 3rd baby, Beth, on the (enclosed) front porch at home in Pascoe Vale, while trying to get to the car.
    I had been to the hospital earlier and they said it was too early. Pfft, it was my 3rd child, I knew it was time! So anyway they said I could go home or downstairs (i.e. have my contractions in the waiting room with everyone watching me) I said no thanks and went home. Ended up in full stage labor within a few hours, but didn't get back to the hospital until my baby B was lying on my tummy, wrapped in a blankie! The things we do, eh?

  2. Oh boy!!! You are such a wonderful storyteller, I was right there with you...I was subconsciously doing pelvic floor exercises to hold the bubba in! It's amazing how time flies, your little 'duck' is about the same age as my little 'blue' so special!!

  3. I LOVE this!! Brings back memories for me too! Reminds me of my fifth baby's birth. I was a week overdue and told to get to hospital when the contractions were half an hour apart, as I'd had serious complications with other births and was at risk of heavy bleeding. My contractions started 5 MINUTES apart when my hubby was away for the morning...luckily my mother (who was a qualified midwife ) was there. My best mate raced down, hubby raced home, got ot the hospital and everyone was chatting away having a nice relaxed time, and I'm wanting to push this baby OUT thankyouveryMUCH!! They finally got a clue I was in SERIOUS labour when I couldn't get onto the bed...once I got on, needed to push...and out came little David-JUST made it! A few minutes later, I'd have been giving birth in the lift!!

    I prudently decided this 5th baby would be my last!! LOL!! Meg Wojcik

  4. Thanks for the comments girls :) Each and every child has a unique story. Isobelle's was such a crack up though, that I just had to share it. The whole thing still makes me laugh after all this time - I still cannot believe I pulled down my pants in front of everybody! CRAZY! LOL