I can’t believe it’s February! Hard to believe it’s been two months since Hakavai arrived.
Time seems to fly at the moment.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I’ve been trying to write about this time in our lives as often as I can.
Like I said then, I don’t want to forget any of these moments.
Since then, a lot of people have asked if I’d written anything about his birth, and asked if I would share his birth story.
So, today, I’m gonna do just that.
This is the story of Hakavai’s birthday.
I gave Hakavai exactly 40 weeks.
At 40 weeks and one day, I thought “Okay mate, it’s time for you to come out and meet the world”.
So, I swam a kilometre, went for a bushwalk and went four wheel driving …. on a very bumpy road.
At 40 weeks and two days, I saw my chiropractor and got my pelvis aligned. I swam a kilometre. I went to an acupuncturist. I made an eggplant parmigiana (I used a recipe touted all over the internet as the best labour inducing food out there – google ‘scalini’s eggplant parmigiana’ for the recipe).
Later, Mum and I were being silly on the couch, Michael was rolling his eyes at our shenanigans and out of nowhere, I did a massive fart and broke out in uncontrollable hysterical laughter.
My waters broke too.
What’s that they say about childbirth? Oh yeah, it’s not glamorous!
Panicked, and excited and confused, I stopped laughing and said “Um, I think me water’s have broke!”
Mum said (in a crazed, panicked tone): “Call the hospital! Get an ambulance! Go now!”
Michael said (in a calm, steady tone): “Are you sure you haven’t wet yourself darl?”
Ever the pragmatist.
Taking my cues from Michael, I decided to be calm. I got in the shower, while Michael called the hospital. We were told to start making our way up there (the hospital is 2 hrs away).
The drive to the hospital was uneventful, I put on my Calmbirth meditation tracks, and despite water leaking out of me at what seemed like a torrid rate, I remained calm and positive. I had minor contractions starting, and was able to just breathe through them.
When we got to the hospital, they admitted us, put a canular in (it can be quite tricky finding a vein underneath my scars) and then my obstetrician, Dr Walton, checked on us. He said “If you don’t have the baby tonight, I’ll see you in the morning” and left us in the capable hands of our midwife – a total legend who was happy to let Michael and I do our thing.
We put some music on, got out the fitball, and then at around 10pm, things started to get pretty hectic and intense! The labour pains built in intensity, and just as I thought there was no way I’d get through the contraction, the wave would pass and I’d feel, no shit, completely normal! They never tell you this about labour but you actually get a bit of ‘downtime’ where you’re not in pain and you can talk rationally between contractions.
I laboured all through the night, and called the midwife in a few times to say “I NEED TO PUSH” only to have her reply “Sorry love, you’re not quite ready”. The pain was becoming overwhelming and when I looked at the clock I realised it was 4am. Then 5am. Then 6am. All this time the contractions were becoming more and more intense.
At 7am, Dr Walton came in, and by this stage I’d been labouring for 9 hours. He inspected me and told me that basically the whole night had been ineffective labour.
“You’ve dilated 3cm. So, you can keep doing what you’ve been doing, and the baby will probably be here tomorrow morning (!!!!) but there’s a risk in that, we may have to caesar you if you get too exhausted. Or we can give you an epidural, you can have a sleep, and the baby will be here in a few hours” he said.
I opted for the epidural (which was bloody amazing! I didn’t even feel it go in!) and it took around 30 mins to work. I started to feel pretty sleepy and managed to fall asleep for 3 hours. My obstetrician woke me up, and said “You’re 10cms dilated girlie, it’s time for you to start doing some work”. And then he laughed and said “It’s called labour for a reason!”.
So I started to push. I could still feel each contraction which helped. My legs were in stirrups and each time I had a contraction, I would push against my obstetrician (right leg) and the midwife (left leg).
They placed a mirror ‘there’ (hectic, I know) so I could see Hakavai’s head. I could see his masses of black hair.
After about 40 minutes my obstetrician said “Look, I’m going to have to cut you, because it looks like he’s not going to fit” …. again, thank god for the epidural!!
But, still no Hakavai.
My obstetrician said “We’re going to have to vacuum him out”.
So, they organised the vacuum. The first time it went on, it slipped off straight away, blood came spurting out and my obn looked flabbergasted.
The second time, Hakavai slid right out and the sound of his cry filled the room.
He was covered in blood, vernex and other unidentified bodily substances. His head was misshapen from the vacuum.
But… My son!
He was perfect to me.
They placed him on my chest and I started breastfeeding half an hour later.
My obn held up what looked to be a clear plastic bag and said “This is what your son was living in” (I later found out that it was the amniotic sac).
Michael cut the umbilical cord 10 minutes after the birth, by which time the tube had run clear.
My obstetrician gave me a big wet kiss on the cheek and said “Congratulations!!!”.
Then everyone left.
And it was just me and you.
Mother and son.
I love you Hakavai.
So, there you have it, the story of how my son arrived in the world.