This boy turned 12 yesterday, our middle guy.
Its our little tradition to talk about their birth stories on their birthday, and this one was something quite magically surreal. I'm sure all the angels were smiling down upon us this night, because his birth was something of a dream.
He was ten days overdue and I'd been to visit my wonderfully wise Nan, mum to eleven, the day before labour started. I mentioned that I may have had a little show a couple of days ago but I wasn't too sure. In her loving but very stern way, she told me I should be seeing my doctor about that and you don't just leave those things go.
While playing the waiting game, we took ourselves and our big 2yr old boy off to see his first movie. We had a relaxing late afternoon drive through the mountains and came home to fish 'n chips and Saturday night footy. Sitting there on the couch, I told Nick what Nan had said. He suggested that perhaps I should just go and get checked out, for peace of mind. So I did.
I jumped in the car, took myself into the Royal Women's and waited a few hours to be checked over. They were quite happy that everything was as it should be and reassured me that the baby will come whenever it's ready. So at 11:30 at night, back into the car I hoped and took myself home.
I was quietly creeping into bed beside Nick at midnight, he asked how I was and I said fine. Right then we both heard 'POP', seriously heard it! I'm not even sure what that pop was, but at that very moment my water broke! Nick jumped on the phone to Mum, who must have been camped around the corner because it seemed like 5 minutes flat and she was knocking on our front door, while I scurried to the bathroom laughing and mopping up puddles as I went.
We arrived back at the hospital to find there was only one other woman admitted who had just given birth earlier that evening. The reception desk had three delightful midwives sitting, drinking tea, knitting and welcoming us to the suite. They made us comfortable and sat to chat with us for a bit. Contractions were mild and not very close. In other birthing experiences with both the big and the littles guy, we've always been sent home, but considering we were the only ones there on this night, we were told to make ourselves at home and just holler if we needed anything.
We couldn't believe how calm and relaxed everything was, after quite a manic and rather scary first time round experience, it felt like the world had come to a halt for this very special moment in time. Nick chatted with all the lovely ladies, just waiting on this baby. My contractions began to speed up a little and I could feel my body getting ready. I took the opportunity to go to the loo just to cleanse, you know, and as I walked past the happy little group of smiling women, one called out "Are you sure you need to go, this is what the baby's head feels like and I don't want it to be born into the toilet!" I did wonder this, but I knew that as soon as I had cleared my bowels I'd be able to surrender to the birth.
I remember walking past the desk on my way back to our room, watching all the smiles and knitting and cups of tea, and thinking how blessed to have all of these people just sitting here, just waiting for me and this baby. I was told to get some sleep now, it'll be a while yet and I will need all the rest I could get. But just as I climbed up onto my bed, labour took hold. The contractions quickly became more and more intense. I looked at Nick and told him this was it. He ran to the door and called to the midwives who casually popped in to check me over and reassure us it will be some time yet. But this baby was coming soon and I knew it.
I grabbed hold of Nick's hand tightly, he buzzed the desk, and the next few minutes are a bit of a blur. I do remember that just as I thought I couldn't bare the pain a moment longer, there was all the encouragement from this incredible team of women and my beautiful strong husband to push just one more time. From somewhere deep within came the strength, that primal force to push, so hard, and that was it.
At 4am, our little Jimmy was born. Within seconds a doctor appeared to examine us both (I remember it being a crazy long wait the first time) and everyone was all a buzz about how wonderful this was, and what a beautiful birth it was to be a witness to.
By the time I'd showered and we were snuggled up in bed together, the real world had started again. More women in labour checking in and midwives moving hastily about. Not a cup of tea or a pair of knitting needles in sight.