The 25th of September is a very special day for me because that is the day that I was born. But now it is a extra super special day because I get to share my birthday with my gorgeous little man, Knox! So before I forget any more of the details of the day, here is how “baby Knocky” entered the world…
We stayed the night at Seth’s parents because it is very close to the hospital and because we could leave at 5.30 in the morning without having to disturb the girls. It’s probably already assumed, but I got about 3 hours sleep before being woken up by our 5am alarm. We went to bed late because we were watching the Roast of Steve Hofmeyer. (Man, they are rude. I would just burst into tears if that was me.) And then, because of the tummy being so huge combined with an unfamiliar bed, I was too uncomfortable to sleep properly. Thankfully the alarm finally went off and we could start this birthday off with a bang.
Well, so much for a bang. It was more like a fizzle, splutter and die because when you are about to have a baby, birthday’s just don’t come anywhere near the top of the list in things on everyone’s minds. Especially my husbands. This is because when I opened my eyes after 3 hours sleep, I forgot to immediately jump up and belt out the birthday song in a joyful burst of energy. Instead I took about 10 seconds to say Happy Birthday. And even though I understand, I still had a mini breakdown with lots of tears. Although the birthday thing may have started it, I think I was just so nervous about this whole day we were about to experience that the lack of birthday vibes just set it off. Once I had calmed down and managed to get myself dressed we were off to the hospital to check in.
Once we got to the labour ward they hooked me up to the heart rate monitor and contraction monitor thing to monitor my current situation plus baby’s heart rate. It turned out that I was already having contractions! This baby was apparently coming today, with or without an induction. The contractions were about 3 in 10 minutes, but not very painful. I love that machine, it quite awesome how it can read a contraction before Cindy feels it. It makes me feel part of the birth, but in a non painful way. They did an internal and I was 3cm, but still posterior. After a quick call to the Doc, they decided to ensure that baby was definitely coming on my birthday by giving me a small dose of the induction stuff. We then had to wait and be hooked up to the monitor for another 30 minutes just to make sure that there was no over-stimulation (which would cause the contractions to come on so quickly that there would be no break, causing the baby stress and probably resulting in an emergency ceaser.) Everything was fine and so we asked if we could go down to the coffee shop downstairs to “celebrate my birthday”.
We sat in the coffee shop and struggled through a few contractions before the girls came for a quick visit. It was so very good to see them. We moved over to the little lounge/waiting room and sat there until I had to go up and be monitored again. After some love and kisses, and trying to explain why they couldn’t come back up with me, we put them back in the car with much tears from Kyla who really, really wanted to stay with me. It was so sad to see how she couldn’t understand why she couldn’t be with me.
We went back up to the labour wards and moved into a nicer one for the whole birth process to take place in. They hooked me up to the monitor and I was still having pretty strong contractions that were happening so frequently that they were confident that something was happening. At this point the contractions were so manageable that I still thought maybe I could manage this labour on my own with no pain meds. Then the Doc came back up to check how it was going and did a “stretch and sweep”. Oh. My. Goodness. If only I had had an epidural for that! Good golly. Then he said that he would like to break my water to get things going, because from previous experience this seems to bring on the labour more than anything else. I told him to hold his horses until I could have an epidural.
So while we were waiting for the man to come and give me the epidural, Seth and I chilled on the bed, killing zombies on the tablet. Definitely a great way to bring a boy into the world I think. At this point it was probably 2pm and despite all the contractions I had not progressed any further than I was that morning. Needless to say that I started to kind of panic a bit that it would end in a ceaser, this already had been a long, emotional day and it was only going to get even longer.
Finally the aenethaetist arrived to give me the epidural. By this time I was shivering and my teeth were chattering like I was in Antartica. It’s a weird thing my body does when I get nervous. I’m not cold, but I can’t stop it. So there I am exposing my back and butt to the guy about to stick a needle into my back, while shaking uncontrollably. Great. That will definitely make it easier for him to get a NEEDLE into the very precise spot in my back so as to numb me and not disable me for life. Thankfully Seth was there and held my hands as all the various needles went in. At one point I got scared because it seemed like he was having a hard time getting the needle in, he kept pushing and pushing. Then he asked me if I carried the girls a lot while pregnant, and when I said yes, he said that he could see, because my back was similar to a ballerina’s. The muscles were ideal to get a good epidural in. Fantastic! That must mean that things would go better this time around, not like with Riya.
Now finally pain free, it was time for the Doc to come in an break my water. Which he eventually did. But flip. He had to push the top of my tummy down with his elbow in order for him to be able to reach and pop my waters at the other end. Thank the Lord I had had the epidural!! Finally there was a pop and a gush of water. That’s when it all got real.
I don’t know if it was the lack of fluid around him or just the fact that he was getting tired, but now every time I had a contraction, Knox’s heartbeat would either slow down to way slower than what’s good or it would stop. Needless to say that in my fragile emotional state, I burst into tears and I couldn’t control myself for about 30 minutes. Eventually after one nurse coming in and saying something wonderfully comforting like, “I don’t know why it’s doing that” and then leaving, we finally got our lovely midwife back who assured us that everything is fine because he bounced back really quickly afterwards. That nurse also asked if we have a plan b, because this may end in a ceaser. She totally missed the bedside manner course. When I finally managed to pull myself together I finally processed that I was starting to feel pain in a spot above my left leg.
At first I was determined to just work through it, not wanting to have the same situation as we did with Riya, but then it got bigger. Eventually I was crying and moaning and shivering uncontrollably with each contraction. The pain was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I was not coping. They turned me onto my side to get the drip to move into the space that I could feel, but all it did was amplify the pain and move the pain into my hip as well. It was so excruciatingly sore and the only thing that “helped” was burying my face into Seth’s armpit and squeezing his arm until I couldn’t any more. They called the guy and he gave them permission to top up the dose by another 4mg. Oh the relief! Cindy was such a trooper during this time. I am so proud of her!
Then suddenly I just felt this urge to push. I needed to push.
Luckily Dumbrill, who had been fixing the light in his fish pond, arrived. He said he would have preferred to shower, but thought it was better to come like this and deliver a baby rather than be sparkly clean and just come to congratulate us. I agreed and we got down to business. Knox’s head was still very high, but Dumbrill said, “You’re a birthing machine – you can do it”. And in a couple of pushes his head was out (with the cord around his neck which explains the lower heart rate during the contractions apparently). Then the rest of him was out!
What an adorable little man!! Those pics might make some people queasy. They wrapped him in towels and laid him on my chest where he chilled out, humming to himself. I tried to feed, but he was not interested, so Lizzy took him to get a Vit K injection to wake him up a bit. While I was getting stitched up and cleaned he was taken to the nursery to be cleaned a bit, weighed and put in the incubator to warm up. Apparently he cried so much while he was in there. Oh my poor boy. Then finally, I got put into my ward bed and wheeled into my ward. Then he was brought to me and latched like a champ. Shame he really moaned quite a bit. He wasn’t very happy to be out of his warm aquatic world. He calmed down every time I spoke to him through the arm hole of the incubator. It’s always such an awesome time to spend with them.
What a long day it was, but oh so worth it. Knox, you and I will forever have the special bond of sharing a birthday, and you will forever be the best present I have ever received (on my birthday that is – Kyla and Riya you are also my very special presents, just given to me on different days).
I love you so much more than words could even describe. You gorgeous, sweet little monkey.
My little Knoxey boy I can’t wait to do crazy man things with you, guide you and love you!