Monday, 14 June 2010
sophie vale keating::june 9, 2010
our sweet little miss decided to come a week early and, really, i have to say i much prefer early to late. none of those endless days of waiting and i had such a perfect last day of being pregnant, with no idea that it was my last. maesey and i had a wonderful time at the cafe in the morning, just the two of us, we both had a nap, and then i did some solo shopping while she was at childcare, which was such a treat. i spent the evening going through two years of photos of mae, picking out the ones i want to print out and get into an album. this was the one task i had left to do before the baby came and it was so enjoyable, just super lovely to spend hours looking at mae's development and remembering all her baby times. little sophie seemed to know that my jobs were done and she could make her entrance into the world, i woke up just after midnight with mild contractions 5 minutes apart. i hopped in the shower and got out ready for shane to hook up the tens machine. i think it really helped with those early contractions, which continued at 5 minutes apart until about 4 or 5am. we were both very calm during this whole stage, shane snoozing a bit, and i was actually hoping for things to take awhile longer so we wouldn't have to call my lovely friend, maribel, in the middle of the night to come watch mae. my body decided to play along and contractions didn't really ramp up in pain until about 6:30am, when i phoned my midwife. talking to her, though, made me feel more able to cope and i thought i'd stay home a bit longer but by 7am i decided that we'd better get mae up and ready to be dropped off on our way to the hospital. we got there at 8am and were put into an assessment room to see where my labour was at. the midwife discovered that my hindwaters (i had no idea there were different "waters" but there you have it) had ruptured, possibly even days before, and after much drawn out chatting and discussion between the midwives, during which i was clenching my teeth and struggling through the contractions that were about 4 minutes apart, we finally went upstairs to the birth suite. i remember saying, as we walked to the elevator and a contraction hit, "and if i didn't know that an epidural was waiting for me, about now is when i would start crying." in our birth suite, the floor midwife insisted that my midwife do another internal to "make sure i was in labour" before she called the anaesthetist to administer my epidural. we discovered i was EIGHT CENTIMETERS dilated and that my main waters were still intact. i remembered how much more everything hurt once my waters broke last time and i really started to panic that i wouldn't get my epidural in time so i forced myself to calm right down and focus on slowing my contractions. i went from having strong contractions every three minutes to long, milder contractions every 10 or 12 minutes for the half an hour it took for the anaesthetists to get there. they were amazed that i was so far along and in such control and my midwife said she has never seen anything like it, the fact that my desire for the pain relief was so strong that i could actually practically stop my labour. the epidural was put in and i felt such a huge sense of relief and calm. it was such a different feeling than last time, which was all pain and yelling and wishing it would stop. this was warm and calm and sweet, my lower body felt a bit heavy but i could still feel the contractions mildly and move my legs and feet. we chilled out for about an hour and a half, i had a cup of tea (THAT certainly wouldn't have happened last time) and then my midwife suggested that she break my waters to get things moving. she did so and about five minutes later i felt the crazy pressure that told me it was almost time to push. i gripped onto shane's hand and two small and two huge pushes later, little miss sophie was placed on my chest. amazing. absolutely amazing and again, so, so different from my experience with mae. the epidural was brilliant, it allowed me to calm down and enjoy the birth of my child and i was able to actually feel her leave my body, which was indescribable. pushing still really hurt but nothing like before and when it was all over i still felt like i completely experienced the birth, just without the anxiety, fear and anguish i felt last time.
and now we are home and she's almost a week old, my mom is here and mae is being absolutely wonderful and i feel like it's all a bit surreal, really. i could still have been pregnant now, possibly for another week or more, and instead i have this sweet, soft, warm baby who feeds and sleeps and barely makes a peep. big sister mae has been so beyond better than i expected that i almost feel bad for doubting her. she has been so gentle with sophie, displayed no jealously (so far), comes looking for her in the morning and after her nap, is having a brilliant time with her dad and grandma, not even really noticing that i haven't had as much time for her (although i have been very conscious to smother her with love and tell her how wonderful she is many times a day). everything is just going so, so well and i feel so grateful. so happy to be here, on the other side : )