I was initially scheduled for a c-section mid-September due to gestational diabetes. So mentally, that was what I had prepared myself for. I had imagined the birth as a very organised and civilized affair where we would just show up at the scheduled hour, get an epidural and then Tada!
BUT as it turns out, Alexander had some other plans...
I cleaned myself up and rang Stu at work to let him know. He told me he would head home straight away and that I should ring the hospital and get myself ready to go. At that time, I was unconvinced that my waters had broken as the contractions hadn't started and the gushing had stopped. I even told Stu there was no need to hurry and that I'd ring the hospital after making dinner!
Luckily, Stu insisted that I ring the hospital immediately. As I stood up to move, another HUGE gush of water ran down my legs. And then another. Within minutes the contractions started - just mildly at first and then rapidly progressing to strong pains so great I couldn't even walk. Shortly after the contractions started, Stu got home and drove me to the hospital. In about 20 minutes, we arrived at the Mater Hospital. It was so obvious I was in labour that the people at reception immediately had me wheeled up to the maternity unit. My obstetrician was already there - it was such a huge relief to see her I managed a big smile despite the pain.
Soon, we met our mid-wife, Ben, who told us about "the plan". I was to have an emergency c-section in 30 minutes time. At that stage, all I could think about was pain relief and focusing on breathing to get through each contraction. I got dressed, a shave, my blood tested and a check for dilation (It was 3 centimetres). Then I was wheeled into the operating theatre, at which point the contractions were coming on so quickly and strongly I was barely aware of my surroundings, utterly exhausted and moaning like an animal.
I quickly received a spinal and an epidural, after which I was completely pain free from the abdomen down - what bliss! I was able to smile and talk like a normal person. By that time, Stu had changed into a hospital gown and joined me in theatre. We held hands and whispered I love yous to each other. All this time, an incision was being made in my abdomen. Apart from from some tugging and pulling, I felt absolutely no pain. Then there was pressure on my upper abdomen (like an elephant was sitting on me), the screen was lowered and there was my baby boy Alexander!
My eyes filled with happy tears. Alexander was wiped down and Stu did the cutting of the umbilical cord as I watched on a TV screen. Then a bawling, red, squirming Alexander was placed next to me. I turned, said hello to him and smiled at him and talked to him. I was so overwhelmed with emotions - elation, joy, relief, surprise, amazement. There are absolutely no words that can fully describe how I felt at that moment