Our son was born at 1:50pm, just an hour and a half after labour had started at home. After just a whisper of a touch, he was quickly taken to a table to be checked. I felt he would be fine, in fact it never occurred to me he might not be. It took several minutes for them to stabilise his breathing and then he was put in an incubator and taken to NICU.
Arran’s story begins a week before he was born. Arran was large and grew noticeably by the day in the final weeks and I was very uncomfortable at night and getting little sleep. I decided to take things into my own hands and I went for a lie down to try some nipple stimulation. Everything I had read told me this was the most successful way to bring on labour as long as the stimulation continued for several hours. I figured a do-it-myself approach might be the most fruitful method.
Not long after midnight on Good Friday I felt the urge to get out of bed. At 41 weeks pregnant, this was nothing new, so I got up and parked myself on the couch with the laptop. I had had lots of Braxton Hicks over the last few weeks, but I soon realised things felt a bit different. I paid a bit more attention to them and realised they were coming regularly, every five minutes.
When I went to bed on Saturday night, the 12th of February I had no idea that the next day I would have my baby. No idea. Although I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks. When I woke up at 6am to sort out 2 year old Jimmy’s bottle and felt a contraction I couldn’t believe I was “on”.
On the 4th of September, when I was exactly 38 weeks pregnant, Christchurch had its first big earthquake. That was a wake up call and a half! For the whole day my uterus seemed to be in one solid contraction and I thought I might go into labour at any moment. This was a cause for concern with no electricity and possibly sewage contaminated water (at least we had running water). I was too stressed about the aftershocks and taking care of the two older kids to worry about the logistics of waterbirthing in contaminated water, heating said water with no electricity, heating a log-burner free house with no electricity and most importantly heating hot towels with no boiling water… The Canterbury District Health Board said women birthing during that time should definitely go to hospital.
This labour, my third, was tricky but also full of triumphs.
It was tricky in that I felt so heavy and huge in the last weeks of my pregnancy and I had a history of being past my estimated due date rather than before. This time I was desperate not to go longer. It was a triumph that I went into labour on my due date. Full moon, you may have helped.
Homebirthing parents share their experiences of having siblings at births.
I had glorious preconceptions of how number four should be – efficiently popped out while preparing dinner and everyone tucked into our bed by 7pm with our new baby boy and a cuppa – after all, me and my body have it mastered by now. Ha!!
Inky, as it turned out, couldn’t make her mind up about when she wanted to arrive. After several false starts at the end of February, I thought she would be destined to come when Julie was away on the fifth of March.
I found out I was pregnant with my second child the day before Luke and I got married – a concept that hadn’t occurred to me when I needed my wedding dress altered! The home pregnancy test was oh-so-faintly positive so I woke Monty (just gone one) and dashed to my doctor’s for confirmation…