One week ago after Sam was taken to preschool Bill and I decided to try to spur little Bea into action by taking Quincy out for a long walk. I felt far too good to be nine months pregnant and easily kept walking around and around the neighbourhood. It was crazy, apart from having a giant tummy to show off I could barely tell Bea was there. Earlier pregnancy aches and pains were gone and I felt great. I certainly wasn’t in any discomfort like I was with Sam, just eager to meet my little girl.
Helpful Quince must have done the trick as later that evening, at 6.06, I got the first labour twinge while we were sat down watching some tv together. I wasn’t certain straight away but was very suspicious and so jumped into action just in case.
For the next fifty minutes as I tried to determine whether it really was time or not I got Sam fed and organised ready for a sitter, had a nice warm shower to wash off the bug spray I’d covered myself in while walking earlier, and Bill and I cleaned the house! At this point I was just getting a regular stabbing pain, getting steadily closer together, but really nothing too unbearable. Mild cramping really. At seven o’clock there was no longer any doubt as the pains really kicked in and all of a sudden I was very obviously having contractions every few minutes.
Bill called Martha and thankfully she was available and able to come around immediately to look after Sam. I rang Mum and Dad to let them know, and Dad reminded me I ought to be on the phone to the doctor! Oh yes! As soon as Martha appeared we bid Sam goodnight and Bill and I hared over to the hospital. With the dashboard clock in front of me I was able to read out the time as each contraction hit. 7:32, 7.35, 7.38 A shocked Bill asked me if I was kidding, then scared me half to death by tearing up the interstate and only momentarily slowing down to pass a police car on the hard shoulder, then sticking the hazards on and honking lots to circumvent a traffic jam and run a light on Collier. Between contractions I kept trying to reassure him that he didn’t need to drive quite so desperately but it was just as well he did really as else I think baby Bea could well have been born in the car on the side of I-75.
At the hospital it was straight into a labour and delivery room where I got strapped to the baby monitor, checked (8cm dilated) and hooked up to the precautionary antibiotics to treat the strep b. It seemed to take forever for my doctor to arrive after that but it couldn’t have been very long at all. When she did appear she mentioned that she’d been stuck in traffic and as we’d previously discussed my concerns about a fast labour had raced to get to the hospital too.
Already I was having to try really hard to relax and not push along with my contractions. I was relieved when Dr Williams checked me and declared that it was time. I was fully dilated and ready to push my little girl out. She commended Bill and I on our perfect timing. Just like with Sam she did have to break my water herself and not long after baby Bea made her appearance in the world.
Bea clocked in at 8.23.
This labour I think Dr Williams had me in a much better position to push and I was more manoeuverable than I was with Sam. I liked her approach, and Bill was a great help supporting my body to curl forward rather than being beached flat on my back with my legs in the air. I was actually able to reach down and touch the top of Bea’s head which really spurred me on and helped me to focus on the task. Then as I pushed through the excruciating pain I looked down and could see her little face looking back up at me as she popped out. It was amazing. She quickly got wiped down and then handed to me.
It was an absolutely fast and furious (less than) two and a half hours from first labour twinge to cuddling my little girl.
Bea was 6lbs 14.6oz and is a hairy little monkey. She has a full head of soft dark hair, hair that even comes down and joins with her eyebrows, and there’s a little smattering on her ears too! She looks so much like a little version of baby Sam I can’t believe it. She’s less beaten up than he was though, he was very much a cone head with a bruised face after his delivery! Bea looks perfect and from her perch on my chest immediately started peering around at the world and slyly revealing two beautiful curious eyes. While I got stitched back up (nothing major) it also didn’t take her long to nuzzle down, find the source of food and start to nurse like a champ. Both doctor and nurse commented on how thick her umbilical cord was, it was pretty impressively chunky.
The first couple of days she had a little problem with choking on fluid as she came so quickly she didn’t get a good squeeze out in the birth canal. That has now thankfully passed as she kept scaring me with her spluttering. I had to grab her and suction her out quick each time. As a result I did not get a great deal of sleep that first night as Bill went home at eleven to relieve Martha of looking after Sam, so I was in the recovery room with her on my own. I would jump at any little gurglings.
The first night was also frustrating because the my nurse and I kept having communication issues. She was hispanic and although we were both speaking English she couldn’t understand me, nor me her. At one point I was exhausted and called her to see if Bea could go to the nursery for a bit so I could get some sleep and know that the nurses would deal with her choking. Instead she got taken from my arms, put back in the bassinet and then I was left alone with her again. I also got a lecture on feeding her too often because when asked about her feeds Mia didn’t understand when I used terms such as “five to three” for the time. I finally managed to snooze for a couple of hours when Bea was taken to see the paediatrician at six.
Bill, Bea and I eventually got home late on Sunday night. It was really frustrating, because I tested positive for group b strep and the labour was so fast I didn’t get the required two doses of antibiotics four hours before Bea was born we had to wait until exactly 48 hours after she had a culture taken before we were released. I would’ve been allowed home much sooner, but instead I had to sit around in the hospital room on my own all day. I was packed up and ready to go, chomping at the bit to get back home to my Sam and daddy. On the Sunday afternoon I was just getting a bit upset and teary about being on my own without Bill and Sam, and missing my folks desperately when Brandie called to see if she could visit. Thank you Brandie, excellent timing. It was really good to see you, and the chocolate mousse you brought with you!
Thank goodness Bea’s test results finally came back clear. I was so glad to be able to go home.
Bea one week old.
Okay, more later, sorry for the delayed posting, my laptop died this week and so Bill’s been nice enough to let me use his when he’s not on it.