One of my favourite parts of pregnancy is those last few days.
Each night once I have settled into bed, I would put my hands on my belly and feel our baby moving. Poking tiny feet in the same spot. Each night wondering if the next day would be the day we met our baby.
On Thursday, we made Tacos for dinner; it was hot, so we sat outside. We had a lazy night and pottered along, getting the kids into bed. Eventually, we hopped into bed at around 11 pm—no sign at all that our baby would be arriving any time soon.
At midnight I woke up after having a dream that I had forgotten to get the meat from the freezer to make beef Ragu for dinner on Friday. Jake got the meat out of the freezer, and we went back to sleep.
I woke up at 1 am to do one of my million toilet trips. I felt a little crampy but thought it was just because my bladder was so full. So I went back to sleep.
I woke up again at 2:30 am uncomfortable and with some back pain. Jake woke up as I got out of bed; he asked what was wrong. I told him everything was fine. I was just going to bounce on the exercise ball for a bit. I told him to go back to sleep. I started timing my contractions. They were 5-6 minutes apart.
I bounced on the ball, scrolling Facebook. Things hadn't fizzled yet, so I went out to make Zahlee's school lunch for Friday. Double checked the kid's bags to make sure they had everything in case this was labour.
I decided I'd go and fill in my eyebrows - judge me. I put on eyelashes in labour with Arlo!
I started to collect my last minute things. I felt emotional checking on our big babies sleeping.
By 3:15 am, my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, and my back pain was getting more uncomfortable. Swaying in the kitchen, contemplating if this was real labour or not. I kept looking at Jake's face sleeping - reluctant to wake him but knowing my last labour was quick and I needed antibiotics this time, I was positive for GBS. I woke Jake. We called Jake's mum to let her know we would need to drop the kids off soon.
We went into the kid's room to carry them into the car. Arlo's eyes flew open. "Are we going to Gigi and Grandpas to finish our sleep?!?" He knew it was baby time. He's asked me almost every day. Zahlee didn't say much. She has a massive smile on her face. She was a little apprehensive. We loaded our babies into the car and dropped them off. Zahlee cried her eyes out and didn't want to leave me. I didn't think I'd be so emotional being our 3rd baby, but it JUST hit me that it wouldn't be just my two babes anymore. Arlo practically ran inside with excitement that HIS baby was coming. I called the hospital and let them know we were on our way. I called my photographer and let her know she was on the clock.
We got to the hospital, and the midwife said, "we'll probably keep you since this is your 3rd baby and the last one was fast". I felt a little panicked that the night send me home still. I breathed through contractions and swayed my hips. The midwife was asking admission questions - I remember her pausing for me to answer a question. "Oh, you're having a contraction. Quiet achiever." She said. Jake answered the question.
There was an emergency baby born in the foyer. It was a chaotic night—so many babies making their entrance all at once. We were left to labour on our own for a while. We stayed in the assessment room until the shift change over. Our morning midwife's name was "Ellie". She was bright and bubbly - she was calming, and I felt glad she would deliver our baby.
I was GBS positive, which just means I carried a bacteria that could be harmful to the baby if it was contracted at birth. They explained that I would need antibiotics at least 4 hours before the baby arrived. I did the math. Not likely we had 4 hours left before babe was earthside.
They put the cannula in my wrist and moved us to the birth suite at 8 am. The room was huge and beautiful. There was a giant salt lamp in the room. It felt warm and calm. I looked at the crib where our baby would be placed.
Our baby was posterior. Ellie was so wonderful. She offered lots of suggestions to help bring the baby down further and help bub turn.
Jake rubbed and pressed my back through contractions. We were joking between contractions. I was saying how strange how totally fine you feel between contractions and that we were bored - ready to meet our baby now. Joking about the fact that our baby would definitely be a boy. Theo would have been his name.
They checked me for the first and only time at 9:50 am. I was 6cm. I kept focused through my contractions - each one bringing me closer to my baby. I felt the urge to start pushing. Ellie told me to hold off as long as I could until my body was pushing involuntarily. I breathed through a handful of contractions. The pressure was so intense. My waters hadn't broken yet because of the GBS, they wanted them to break on their own, so there was minimal contact with the baby.
Very quickly, the urge to push became impossible to withhold. My body was pushing regardless. I went with my body and stopped resisting the urge. I began pushing. The pressure was still intense. It felt like the baby wouldn't fit - it probably wouldn't have with the waters intact.
They finally attached the antibiotics. Ten minutes before she arrived - didn't make the 4 hours required. This made me nervous.
My legs began to tire, standing leaning over the bed. I climbed up on the bed and knelt over the headrest, with my knees on the bed. A few pushes later, and finally, my waters broke.
I could feel the baby drop down and move into position as my waters broke - the strangest feeling I have ever experienced. My exhaustion rapidly disappeared. We would meet our little one so soon, the energy in the room built. It's always soo euphoric moments before a baby arrives. A few more pushes, and the head was out.
They told me to stop pushing while they unwrapped the cord from babies neck.
One more push, and our baby was earthside. I reached down and pulled bub up to me. Tangled between the IV line and the umbilical cord. It's hard work trying not to drop a slippery, tangled babe. I checked for the gender - definitely not my most graceful moments.
I yelled: "F@#K OFF - IS IT A GIRL!?".
Jake confirmed that she was, in fact, a girl. The midwife also confirmed I'm sure you can tell which photo was taken immediately after discovering this. My heartfelt like it could explode from my chest. Finding out the gender of our baby after 39.5 weeks was more magical than I could ever have anticipated.
I was so strongly convinced we were having a boy I had some blue clothing in anticipation.
Our perfect little Elsie was born at 10:21 am. We snuggled and fed for an hour in our little love bubble.