We were up in Wellington on the second block course of my well-child training, Tahlia and Matthew were there with me.
Tahlia was to turn one that Wednesday. During the week I began to get suspicious… I had heart burn more than once, had a couple of headaches and had to get up to pee two nights in a row…. by Wednesday the vegetables at dinner didn’t look appealing any more, by Thursday I just couldn’t face them.
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My period was due on Tuesday but had never arrived.
We got home late on Saturday, so on Sunday morning I took the second pregnancy test from the box of two I had from having Tahlia.
Again the test line came up faster than the control line, but this time I was on to it! I giggled, after trying so long for Tahlia we get pregnant by surprise on my first cycle since having Tahlia. God is good.
My pregnancy passed fairly uneventfully, I didn’t swell up like I did with Tahlia, and I wore my wedding ring right through this time (had to take it off at 4 months last time).
However, I did out grow my jeans by 8 weeks, the button just wouldn’t do up. I had minimal nausea, much the same as last time, just went off any kind of cooked vegetables.
SPD reared is ugly head again, so I finished work at 34 weeks this time, which was lovely. I also aimed to relax more to avoid getting pre-eclampsia as best I could, that plan seemed to work.
At 34 weeks Mary told me that Chloe was breech and gave me some exercises to try and turn her.
I spent days hanging upside down from the couch, propped up on an ironing board. At 36 and a half weeks Tahlia was having a terrible sleep, and I had to keep getting up to her and to pee. In between times baby was doing some craaaazy aerobics.
Come morning I was exhausted, however I was sure Chloe was now head down! Mary confirmed this at our next appointment but at the same time my blood pressure started creeping up, just like last time.
This meant I had to have all the tests done for pre-eclampsia again, but this time I just knew I was OK.
The Monday night before my due date I had a dream that my waters broke on Sunday at my in-laws house.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I had contractions that started up at 8pm and came regularly until I gave up and went to bed.
Each night they got slightly stronger, but never more than a ‘rub the belly to sooth it’ sort of strength. When Saturday came and there was nothing, not even a braxton-hicks to be felt I thought hmm I wonder if it will be tomorrow?
Sunday we got up and headed to church and to the in-laws for lunch, I didn’t feel like what they were cooking for lunch, but something told me to eat, so I sent Matthew off to the shop to get some crackers, pesto and cheese.
I think I ate most of it all by myself! I could feel bub squirming around so I lay on my side on the couch to give her some room and I nodded off.
At 1pm on the dot I awoke with a pop and a small gush, I ran off to the bathroom, smiling at myself, I KNEW this was going to happen. I told everyone what happened and we headed off home, leaving Tahlia with Grandma and Granddad for the afternoon.
I had random contractions off and on in the car on the way home, but nothing exciting. We went in and told my parents (who we were living with at the time) what was happening and arranged for them to collect Tahlia later in the day.
We rang the midwife to let her know what was happening, and she said to come in when we were ready. My darling father kept showing me things on his laptop, and telling me stories about things that, to be honest, I didn’t want to know about right then, I said to Matthew let’s head upstairs…
I sat on the bed; I sent text messages to a few friends to tell them what was happening. All seemed fine until suddenly at exactly 3pm I couldn’t do anything but focus on riding out the contractions, I had to drop (read throw) my phone and stand up and lean on my tallboy (cabinet, not husband!) to breathe through them.
Then I could go on like nothing happened. After 3 like that I got Matthew to time them, they were about 2-3 minutes apart and up to 2 minutes long (some were double peaking)! “Crap” I said, “we better ring Mary!” She said, “Already? OK, see you soon!”.
The car trip was the worst thing ever, especially going up my parents bumpy drive! Every bump or turn in the road set off another contraction, and I had to sit through them, all I wanted to do was stand.
We arrived at the entrance of the hospital, and decided to walk in, there was no way I was going to sit in a wheel chair. I had one contraction at the car and said “lets go!” and I almost ran to the maternity lifts (hidden round the corner, I didn’t want to be seen in a contraction). I leaned against the wall while Matthew pushed to lift button. I jumped in and immediately had another leaning up against the wall of the lift.
It took 2 more contractions to get to the back door of the maternity ward, where darling Mary met us. Then 3 more contractions to get me around to the birthing suite. She got me to jump on the bed and quickly did and internal and said, “You amazing lady, you just walking in here at 7-8 centimetres!, now we just need to strap this monitor on you for 10 minutes….” I was hit by another contraction and groaned “Noooo…”.
She quickly asked, “What do you need to do?” “Stand up” I say, she said, “Righto, up you come then, I will monitor you while you stand here then, I’ll just hold it on there”
After 4 or so more contractions she handed me back to Matthew, this time I was determined to be more aware of where I was and who was where.
I hung round Matthew’s neck through the next 3 contractions, while Mary started some paperwork, she came to check my blood pressure, and I said, “Um… I think my body is pushing!” “Oh guess we will skip the BP then eh? Where do you want to do this? All all fours again? On the bed?” I nodded, Matthew and Mary helped me up.
The next wave hit and I moaned the most guttural noise, and said imsorryimgonnapoohonyoooouuuuuu whilst pushing, Mary said calmly, “That’s OK, that means your pushing in the right place!” (still to this day I don’t know if I actually pooped or not!)
One push and baby’s head was out, I felt Mary faffing and tugging but didn’t think anything of it, she said “Dana, this one has her shoulder stuck too” “On my back?” “Yes please” says Mary, this time I carefully rolled to my back and she comes free immediately, two more half-strength pushes during the next contraction and out came Chloe.
Again Matthew cut the cord and she was popped up on me, but not before pooping all over poor Mary! And scream? Boy oh boy did Chloe scream, there never was a nice new-born cry from my Chloe – we nicknamed her buzzsaw before long.
She had the cord round her neck twice (hence Mary pulling and fiddling) and needed a little O2 while lying on my chest, yelling the place down.
Again Mary ‘manages’ the placenta delivery. She checked and I had a small second degree tear. So she cleaned up Chloe, checked her over and weighed her and passed her to Daddy for a cuddle while again I get high on laughing gas while she ‘popped in a few stitches’.
Then Baby had a feed for 10 minutes and dinner arrived. I sat up and ate it cross legged not 90 minutes after giving birth! Then Mary helped me with a shower and tided up the room. I walked proudly carrying my little bundle to our post natal room.
We text everyone to tell them our news. Mary suggested we could go straight home but I decided to stay one night, as it would save us 3 separate hospital appointments to check her hearing, hips and paeds check.
My mother brought Tahlia in to see us at 7ish, I heard her coming down the hall calling “I running I running” the sound of her voice caused a lump in my throat, I called to her “Tahhhhliaaa where aaare youuuu?” “MUMMY!!” she exclaimed and she peaked her head round our door. She kind of glanced at Chloe, then climbed on my bed and asked for my lollies!
The next day we headed home, this time I didn’t wait for my milk not to arrive, I started on the medications and herbs immediately and supplemented Chloe with the lactaide, and once again at exactly 4 weeks I was able to fully breast feed. Chloe is now a cheeky monkey, she always makes me laugh.