My firstborn. My heart. I remember waking with a sore back. I knew the sign. Matt had long gone to work. I had a plan to meet my sister for shopping. I knew I was in pre-labour, but who knew how long that would last? And as if birth was going to get between me and a cash register. No way Jose.
I drove off to meet my sister, all the while my back pain increasing, a sneaky contraction here and there. I sent Matt an SMS "It's a nice day for a baby" to which he didn't reply (I later learnt his battery was almost dead).
My sister and I shopped. Things were ramping up. I could feel that baby was coming. I went back to my sister's house to watch some waterbirth movies. I'd heard that watching these can bring things on a little quicker. After my movie time was over, I drove home. I don't really remember that drive, but I do remember pulling into our driveway and my father-in-law and a handyman telling me that they were doing some jobs around the house. Fabulous timing because all I wanted to do was crawl into a steamy hot bath and say vamoose to the sore back. I did. I threw caution to the wind. I got in that bath. Then got out. Dressed. Decided to go for a walk to get some things to make Labour Aid. Clearly I was delusional. I walked the two kilometres and all the while my contractions were coming on stronger, more rhythmically.
I stopped off at our local Blockbuster and as any reasonable labouring woman would do, I hired Sex and the City. I remember standing in the store experiencing a contraction. Breathing. Hmmm. Hoping no one would notice a heavily pregnant, heavily breathing woman.
When I checked out the DVDs the guy said a cheery 'see you on Sunday' - and I thought - no buster, you won't. I'm about to have a baby. Overdues - I'll see you sooner.
I don't know how I got home on that long walk, but I know I had to stop here and there to rest. Breathe. Breathe. Open.
I walked home. Made Labour Aid. Got lemon juice all over the floor. Bottled my Labour Aid. Rested. Another bath?
Matt finally come home and I remember my aching body being held in his arms. Ah relief!
We had a quiet dinner together (hey - things can get a little rowdy around here), and went off to bed. I slept until around 1am when things started really ramping. And I vomited (there's an ongoing theme of vomit here lately, isn't there?). I had all the lights off. I hate lights when I feel unwell. I am an animal in the dark. I sit in the bath again. I feel my contractions. I feel them grow ever stronger. I get out because the bath isn't hot enough. Matt's still sleeping. How ever do men sleep through such a mad racket?
Finally, around 2am Matt came out to find me labouring away, I think by this stage I was back in the bath. We decided to call my sister who was coming with us, driving us to the hospital and who would be with us throughout the birth.
I sat in the darkest room in our house. Matt kept turning lights on. I kept turning them off. Breathe. We were in touch with the midwife, and we knew we had a 40 minute drive ahead. The midwife tried to stave us off, but I knew we had to go. I was ready to go. We clambered into the car. My fashion sense clearly thrown out the window. Me in Matt's old paint splattered tracksuit pants, a very worn, almost transparent t-shirt of a Chinese woman smoking an opium pipe (?), Birkos and a quilted cotton Chinese jacket. Very continental. I'm sure the world has never seen such haphazard styling before.
My sister drove like the clappers. Down the highway, I felt every bump. Every single bump in my bump. In my heaving body. Breathe. Hold the seatbelt away. Drive behind a garbage truck. Thankfully it was 3:30am by this time. Traffic was clear. This baby had good timing. And then the Labour Aid exploded all over my foot. Excellent.
We arrived at the hospital and the guy at the front desk insisted we fill out the forms before going up to the Birth Centre. Then I, leaning over the reception desk let out an almighty moan and he realised I was in labour, so reluctantly let us go up. We went up and went into our room. Dark. Quiet. The midwife expected me to be 3cm dialated. Instead I was 8.
Briskly (as brisk as any labouring woman can) I tore off my clothes (I couldn't bear my fashion genius any longer - truth be, I can't stand being dressed when feeling ill either - must be dark, must be naked - how wrong does that sound when typed?) and got into that bath. Oh that bath. That gloriously deep, seductive and calming bath. Hot! Hot! Hot! I laboured away for the next couple of hours in that bath.
Matt had a sleep. MATT HAD A SLEEP! --- Apparently just another day in the office for him. Meanwhile...
My contractions became more and more fierce, I rode them out, but I was growing tired. I held Matt's and my sister's hands. And then my contractions. My contractions - they damn well stopped! I had to get out of the bath because apparently I was too relaxed. Damn it. There goes my water birth. All throughout the birth our wonderful ante-natal teacher had been calling us to see how things were doing. That woman is a guru.
I got comfy on that birthing ball and cushions, propped up.
And after two hours of puuuuuuushing, (and me going, I can't do it, I can't do it - and everyone else saying - you ARE doing it, you ARE doing it, and then me going - COME ON! Lleyton Hewitt stylie) that big-headed, cone-headed, Mohawk-ed baby finally, finally came out.
That there friends is how the Doctor arrived. 10:02am on the 20th May.