Short Version: Birth Story.

For the first half a week I kept thinking, gosh, I haven't felt the baby kick for some time, I hope he's alright in there. Then I'd remember. He's out here. Our infertile fantasy has become reality. A blurry, fast-paced reality full of appointments with doctors, obstetricians and lactation consultants, hospital stays for jaundice, out of town visitors, and short bursts of activity punctuated by shorter bursts of sleep.

Labour was long, and it took several days to recover. Meanwhile, BayBea (damn, that sounded wittier in my head) got his first bout of nappy rash, and grew jaundiced and sleepy, leading to painful breast engorgement and subsequent cracked and bruised nipples. We were readmitted to hospital, where I had to fight tooth and nail to room in and breastfeed on demand, despite the paediatrician being on board with this plan. Everyone was "concerned that I wouldn't get enough rest" with the bright phototherapy lights and the fussing and unpredictable feeding patterns of a newborn. One night, after my least-favourite nurse tried to get me to succumb to her three-hourly, in-nursery, mum-gone-home-from-hospital feeding schedule by implying that I was an ignorant newbie who was going to harm my child, I found myself sobbing in bed. But they weren't tears of defeat. They were only tears of release, as I contemplated that after years of infertility and pregnancy loss, she was really fucking underestimating us if she thought we would roll over that easy.

Mr Bea brought me a travel mask, a pair of sunglasses, my breastfeeding guide, an armful of midnight snacks, and a wealth of freshly-googled information about newborn jaundice, and by the end of week one we had staked out our territory with the ward staff, and were getting into the swing of it all. Today I am thankful for the luxury of a cleaner. My housework got done this morning whilst I sat, and fed, and traced my finger around the line of our little boy's jaw. As I blog, he sleeps peacefully on my lap.

But I've missed a bit. Let me go back and give you the birth story.

The prostin gel was applied just before lunchtime on Friday the sixteenth. The Braxton Hicks-like contractions I'd been having started to get stronger and more regular within the next couple of hours, and with boyish excitement, SOB told me he'd be delivering our baby that night. I went home, napped, blogged a bit, and waited. Just after dinner, the contractions started becoming noticeably more intense. We popped some music on and I sung my way through a couple of albums' worth of cervical dilation, and then we both went to bed until 2:30am. That's when we made our move to the hospital. I lost my mucous plug on arrival, and they informed me I was 5cm dilated and The Foetus was doing well. Thus satisfied, we proceded to labour gently for the next several hours until SOB popped in on his morning rounds to see why I hadn't delivered yet. At that point I was 6cm dilated and The Foetus was doing well. We continued calmly.

At 1:30pm SOB turned up again to see why I hadn't delivered yet. We spoke about rupturing the membranes to get things going, but when he examined me I was at about 8cm, and The Foetus was fine, so we agreed that it wouldn't be long now and we would leave things alone. He also introduced me to his colleague (SOBC) who would be covering for him until the birth. The next couple of hours saw us going on yet more walks around the labour ward and using the TENS machine which, I had earlier discovered, seemed to intensify the contractions and bring them closer together, rather than providing any relief. Soon we knew transition labour had begun.

At 7:30pm SOBC popped in to see why I hadn't delivered yet. I was at 8.5cm dilated and The Foetus was fine. We went ahead and ruptured the membranes, and the fluid was nice and clear. The midwives were asked to page him when I started feeling the need to bear down, an event everyone agreed was an hour or so away at most.

I think it was about 9:30pm when I started losing my cool. The whole "breathing through contractions" was getting old, so I decided to try screaming instead. At 10pm the midwife examined me and said I was 9.5cm dilated. I asked for some gas, but it made me feel like I was suffocating, so after the first half a breath I just used it to hit against the bed, until after a few contractions something flung off across the room and Mr Bea quietly took it away from me. About 10:15pm I finally found the urge to push.

At 11pm I started asking why I hadn't delivered yet. I was tired of people telling me how close I was - they could tell me our baby had blonde hair, but it seemed to want to stay where it was, ie on a head jammed securely in my pelvic canal. But The Foetus was still doing well, wiggling into new, different, and sometimes counter-productive positions right up until the last minute.

At 11:30pm I started noticing the contractions getting further apart, and less intense, so I decided to call for assistance whilst I still had some strength left to play my part. The ventousse was brought in, and they turned me over into lithotomy position which oh good lord why would anyone give birth that way? My tailbone protested so strongly that I leapt off the bed, sending the foetal monitor flying onto the floor in a terrific crash where it continued to blip cheerfully as the attending staff jumped this way and that in startled panic. After they'd taken stock of the disarray, the bottom half of the bed was dropped down. The equipment was reorganised. I mumbled some lame remark about having not destroyed anything after all, and people laughed. We awaited the next contraction.

The first application of the ventousse nearly did it. I could feel him starting to crown, and when SOBC told me one more push would see him born, I actually believed him, despite the last day and a half's experience. "I can do one more push," I said, with sudden resolve, and in another couple of minutes, I proved myself right. Everything gets kind of jumbled after that. They told me the head was born, then the shoulders. To my utter surprise, someone put a baby on my chest. He felt heavy. And the kicks - they felt exactly the same from the outside as they had done for months on end.

SOBC asked Mr Bea to cut the cord about four times in a row, and Mr Bea dithered awkwardly. I sobbed uncontrollably and asked everyone in the room, individually and sometimes twice, whether the baby was ok, and never really took in their answers. At last I heard Mr Bea confirm that he seemed fine and the midwife said she'd help the baby latch on. Somewhere in the background SOBC was delivering the placenta, and telling me I'd torn a bit and he was going to put in a few stitches. I got an oxytocin injection. I made a passing comment about how weird my belly looked. I saw the baby latch on and suckle.

And then, for the trouble he'd caused us, for all the stress and the grief and the uncooperatively not wanting to be conceived or born despite every effort on our parts, I gave him the biggest serve of his life for some time yet to come, which everyone seemed to think was hilarious except for me.

At some point, all the others evaporated and left the three of us alone in the delivery suite. "What do you think?" I asked Mr Bea. "Shall we keep him?"

"I am way too tired to go into that now," he replied. "Let's talk about it in the morning."

Stats: Born 11:47pm, 17th May, 42w1d, 36hrs after prostin gel applied, head 37cm, length 54cm, weight 3.81kg.

Photos and Name: check the pwp blog later in the week.


38 Comments

Rachel Inbar said...

As always, you've written your story so well and so honestly... I totally identify with the part where everything gets jumbled and you keep asking if the baby's OK without really absorbing the answer :-)

I also remember wondering whether my baby was OK after the birth with Hadas & actually missing the kicking. In subsequent births I didn't have that experience.

Congratulations! I'm so glad your fantasy became a reality :-)

Thalia said...

Ha I can just imagine you fighting off that nurse. Take that, nurse who wants to take away my bayBea!

Oh and what pwp where? I wanna know!

Vee said...

I agree, that is so well written. I felt like I was there. Glad I wasn't I may have been hit by some flying object.

Looking forward to seeing some pics.

Samantha said...

What a great story - and with a happy ending, of course! You had a lot more patience than I think I might have with the long labor. Guess you have to get through it, one way or another.

I am so happy for you.

loribeth said...

Congratulations! Glad he is here!

Nina said...

Oh and I cried, your delivery (which yes, was so well written) brought me right back to Stellas delivery, which was a bit similar I think to BayBeas with the induction and all. Glad you are home now, and seemingly doing well. I think the medical staff often underestimates the "infertile" and our will to fight when it comes to our newborns ;-).

I'll check the pwp site, can't wait for a picture and name.

Lot's of love and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Stephanie said...

Congratulations. That was a wonderful story, thanks for sharing it. Way to give the nurses hell for not listening to you! Can't wait to see the name and pics. :)

Caro said...

Congrats! Must get around to writing my birth story.

Sarah said...

congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fertilized said...

congratulations

The Town Criers said...

I love this line: "And the kicks - they felt exactly the same from the outside as they had done for months on end." because it's so true.

Congratulations--a long time but now he's finally here. And for what it's worth, I thought BayBea was pretty damn clever.

SarahSews said...

That was beautiful. Maybe I'm just a weepy IF pg lady, but I cried at the whole thing. l'm so glad he's here. Welcome BabyBea!

armsforanangel said...

So thrilled for you Bea! I'm going ot have to rummage through my email for the other blog. Wish me luck!

Enjoy every minute. It sounds hard earned to me!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! What a great story.

Please don't forget to change your blogherads status to parenting now. It's hard to see your updates in the trying to conceive links when some of us are having a bad day.

Not on Fire said...

Congratulations! You made it! Taking the baby home is the biggest high!

MLO said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! The baby is here.

A doula is sounding like a better and better idea.

theclam said...

Oh wow!!! Congratulations on the birth of your living breathing child :) WOW!!!

pwp site? where?

Steph said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!
It wasn't easy getting him in there, so OF COURSE it wouldn't be easy getting him out....
Welcome Baybea..

Stephanie said...

What a wonderful story. congrats!

Betty M said...

Many congratulations on BayBea's safe arrival. The OBs breezing by every couple of hours whilst you are busy labouring away so takes me back. Glad you kicked the nurse in the behind and got your way with the rooming in - its not like getting rest is part of week one of a newborn and his mum's life in any location in any event. Would love to see a photo if you are willing.

Barb said...

YAY! :D Birth sounds SCARY! haha

Averil said...

Congratulations Bea.

I cried and goosepimpled my way through this beautiful entry.

As a long time lurker who's followed your journey so avidly, I can only say how honoured I am to have shared this story.

xx Averil

My Reality said...

I think BayBea is pretty damned clever. I am glad he is here, safe and sound.

Schatzi said...

Oh Bea... I am so happy for you!!!

Geohde said...

Bea,

I am so thrilled that you, Mr Bea and the BayBee have made it out the other side. Wonderful news, and many congratulations,

J

Lut C. said...

Congratulations, your baby is finally here safe and sound!!!

'Shall we keep him', hahaha!

The labour sounds like quite the ordeal, but it sounds like you did very well. Good going.

NCat said...

Congratulations Bea, and welcome to your BayBea!

Thanks for sharing your journey and the exciting delivery of your little man.

I admit to being a lurker and have followed your blog for a long while. We were cycle buddies on EB back in Feb/March 2006, and both had OHSS. Oh the joy......
I've got my boy too, 16 months old now. I'm back on the AC horse again and not lovin' it.

Good luck with the breastfeeding and general settling-in for all of you. How is Mr Bea going?

Cibele said...

I was holding my breath reading your birth story. I am so gald he is here, that you are both okay...I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU...enjoy your new reality

Piccinigirl said...

WELCOME BayBea!!!

Wow, just wow, what a great post and what a wonderful few days huh? I am soooooo happy for you and your new family.

*tears of happiness* all week long for you.

*hug*

Star said...

Another vote for BayBea being clever. Congratulations -- I've been following your story as a lurker for a while, and am very very happy for you and Mr. Bea. What a wonderful birth story!

Robyn said...

Lovely story, even lovelier outcome. Congratulations on the arrival of bayBea. Can I be allowed to see the pictures too?

beagle said...

I'm so glad he's arrived safe and sound! Congrats to you and the mister!

serenity said...

It is amazing how surreal the experience is, no? I remember vividly asking if Baby O was ok, hearing him cry and cry and cry and breathing a sigh of relief, knowing he's alive.

And I'm with Thalia here - I can just see you fighting the nurse tooth and nail. Good for you.

I am so thrilled for you, Bea.

Mands said...

Words alone cannot express my joy at the birth of your son.
I feel like I have walked the road with you so it's wondeful to see you at your journey's end.

Now onto bigger and better adventures :-)

much love
mansdxx

Jules said...

Congrats to you & MrBea. Can I have an invite to your new blog please?

MrsPfeiff said...

Hi there!

Congratulations on the birth of your little man. I'm sure he's gorgeous. I've been lurking a while, hope you don't mind, and was so thrilled to read the birth story and that he's here, safe and sound. Well done!!

Is there any chance I could please have access to your other blog? Happy to give access to mine (though it's a little boring, I fear!). My email address is the_pfeiffs@hotmail.com.

Congratulations again!

Karen :)

Somewhat Ordinary said...

Wow, what a birth story! I love this line "And then, for the trouble he'd caused us, for all the stress and the grief and the uncooperatively not wanting to be conceived or born despite every effort on our parts..."

Many, many congrats to your family!! How do we get access to the pwp blog?

Kim said...

What a great story! My first son was born at 41 weeks and 6 days! I remember hitting about 38 weeks and thinking 'any day now' to myself. Little did I know is would be almost a month later! I agree, I had a horrible nurse and she had no idea who she was talking too! I fought too hard to get him and there was no way she was going to get her hands on him! Congratulations! Here from Friday Round-up!

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