MY MIDWIFE might have been joking, but I was taking her ‘’hot bath, hot curry and hot sex’’ advice to bring on labour seriously. I was due Melbourne Cup Day, but our unborn baby girl wasn’t budging. My hubby, Julian, was secretly thankful, knowing he could watch the Cup in peace – so to speak.
Our obstetrician decided to induce me six days later, but in the meantime I was determined to do everything to bring on this labour naturally – if you can call rompy pompy when you’re the size of a hippo ‘’natural’’.
By the Sunday night, I finally resigned myself to the fact that at 8am the following day I would be induced. But, it seems, our bub had other plans. At 5am, three hours before our scheduled induction, my waters broke. All I had to say was: ‘’ah, darling . . .’’ and Julian’s face turned from peaceful sleep to sheer terror.
Excited and a little scared at the same time, I rang our midwife who calmly suggested I rest as much as I could. ‘’Nothing is going to happen until at least dinner time but, if you feel you need to, come in at lunch time.’’ The lunch time option sounded good to me.
However, once again, our unborn bub had other ideas when my contractions quickly moved to 12 minutes apart within an hour and had us reaching for the phone again. ‘’We’re on our way…‘’
While Julian had the car packed and ready within 10 minutes (the fastest he’s ever moved), it somehow took me a good hour to get from the bed to the shower and downstairs to the car. Well, I did have to shave my legs and things.
Curled up next to the baby car seat ready for the trip to hospital, it wasn’t ‘til the door was shut and my knees ended up around my neck that I realised how little space there was. This, and I’m not even five foot!
As my grunting increased with every roundabout we hit, Julian watched the car clock as the contractions moved from eight minutes to three minutes apart. Half an hour later and he was battling to get me out of our trusty Commodore and into the labour ward – I was more than happy to have this baby on the back seat.
His frustration only grew when the midwife left us alone in the labour ward without first checking me. One contraction began to come directly on top of the next. My grip on his t-shirt tightened. My grunting increased. He was panicking. He barely took his eyes off the labour ward door just waiting for someone to walk through. Someone. Anyone.
An hour later and he couldn’t take it anymore, strongly insisting someone take a look at me. Finally, someone checked the graph.
‘’Ooh, do you mind if we do an internal?’’ the midwife asked, with an obvious surprised tone in her voice. Then her surprise grew – I was already eight centimetres dilated. This baby was on its way.
You couldn’t wipe the grins from our faces – me, because we‘d gotten this far by ourselves and without requiring or wanting drugs, and Julian, because he no longer had to fear delivering this baby on his own.
After nearly two hours of pushing, we finally met our beautiful 6 lb, 13 oz baby girl Ella Mae O’Brien who was born naturally at 11.37am – well before lunch, let alone dinner.
That little girl is now three and still does everything on “her schedule’’ but, to be honest, we wouldn’t have it any other way.