This time last week it was finally beginning, after 10 days of waiting the contractions were starting for real. And in just over 4 hours I was holding my baby boy in my arms – all 4.35kg or 9 pound 9 ounce of him.
It was definitely one of those ‘worth the wait’ moments as the overdue angst of the past almost 2 weeks were washed away, along with the fears I carrried about this labour and my unborn child.
I think birth stories are either a ‘love them or hate them’ type thing, sometimes diminishing into ‘this happened’ and then ‘that happened’ type affair that does nothing to capture the specialness of the process and the moment, so I won’t go into the ins and outs of the whole labour and birth.
But what I will share is that the birth of Hugo was everything I hoped that labour and birth could be. The drawn out process that was Jarvis’s birth (which I touch on here and here) left me with a sneaking suspicion that although I cope well in labour, that my body was somehow not up to the full task. My trust in what it could do was left eroded and as much as I tried to push these feelings away, with every day that I again ticked past my due date, I felt this ever more keenly.
So I was so happy that the contractions hit fairly hard and fast and we were soon ringing my midwife and heading into the hospital. It was painful and I was irrational and being a public holiday evening, our run into hospital was as quick as it could possibly be.
We were ushered into the birth centre around 9pm where the lovely midwife on duty burnt Clary Sage and rubbed some into my back and my midwife Nicole arrived shortly after. She started filling the bath, while I laboured on all fours leaning over a bean bag (I am beginning to feel like this is sounding like the birth story I wasn’t going to write).
Adam was massaging my lower back during contractions and I finally felt in control. The lights were dim, Adam put some Florence & The Machine on the stereo and I was soon in the bath, instantly soothed by the warm water.
I stayed in the water until I was starting to feel the urge to push and I started to eye off the bean bag on the floor again. I was scared to leave the safe confines of the water but my body was telling me to leave the water to birth my baby.
It had clicked past midnight by this point, and the three of us were chatting about how this baby must have been waiting for Easter Sunday to be born.
When I moved to the floor, things happened pretty quickly. Adam had changed the stereo to Nick Cave’s slower numbers from his ‘Best of …’ album and I felt really relaxed, singing between contractions and pushing. I never thought I would sing in labour, but there you go. That oxytoxin will make you do some weird shit!
I felt a release at that point, the songs I was singing were special to me and Jarvis. I would sing ‘Into my Arms’ to him when I was pregnant and then when he was born and nothing else would stop him screaming in the car, I would crank up that song and he would stop. It was like our common language.
And so as I sang, I thought of him and all that we’d been through and as the tears fell I felt surrounded by love. It was like at that moment I was finally ready to welcome this new little man into our lives. The fear was finally gone.
And at 12.55am he was here. Adam helped deliver him and was sprayed with a gush of the waters for his trouble (this is his favourite part of the story to tell).
It turns out that our Hugo was the first baby to be born at the Royal Women’s this Easter so we were asked if we would agree to being interviewed by the media and were presented with a GIANT hamper of Easter eggs. So we were on Seven News fleetingly that night and appeared in the paper the next day (article appears here). It was all wonderfully surreal and I can’t help but believe that our little man had somehow planned it that way – like he wanted to enter the world with maximum impact!
So there it is … the story of our little Easter bunny Hugo Raymond. A week on he’s doing really well and it feels like he’s been here with us forever. I look forward to sharing more of his story as we get to know him!