Leo's conception was a deliberate accident. I'd been told that due to serious endo and mild PCOS that it was unlikely that I'd conceive naturally. Booked in for a series of surgical proceedures to improve my fertility, I went off the pill in prep for TTC. The day before my surgery (which would have resulted in the termination of the pregnancy) I did a pregnancy test on a whim. Calling the gyno to cancel the surgery was an amazing feeling. Sam refused to believe it was happening until a Dr told him and as we exited the surgery, he called out "Stop! Kiss me!" much to the amusement of those in the waiting room.
I had an easy pregnancy. No morning sickness and no issues at all. I was ENORMOUS though and had nighttime hip pain from 16 weeks which became excruciating towards the end. Also suffered sciatica from 34 weeks.
I went two long weeks overdue. I started to feel that something was wrong from 40+5 but I was too polite to push back when I was dismissed. It was birth centre policy to allow you to go 14 days overdue but by 40+9 when that feeling didn't go away I popped on my best school teacher voice and insisted on monitoring asap. Sure enough, fluid levels were low and I was booked for an induction at 40+12. The other bad news was that the little bugger had turned back to posterior after turning almost fully the right way.
The hospital was full so I was allowed the gel in the birth centre which I was happy about. I got contractions immediately but as I was told it wasn't 'real' labour we wandered down the street to a fun restaurant we like nearby the hospital for our last supper (we had multiple last suppers in those last 3 weeks!) Sam stayed overnight with me and by 5am I was in established labour and 4cms dilated. I'd barely noticed to tell you the truth. When she said 4cms I said "but I haven't used any of my first stage techniques". Then my waters broke and boy did I start to notice. I remember thinking to myself around 6cms "my God, my God, they weren't FREAKING JOKING!!!". I used JuJu's techniques, mainly vocalisation as the posterior back paid between contractions made walking difficult. My husband kept the heat packs coming and was brilliant support, roaring along with me, yelling out visualization ideas and helping me breathe.
At 7cms and 10 hours into established labour I asked for gas and climbed into the bath. The gas was brilliant and I made some Darth Vader jokes and got stoned. It really helped regulate my breathing. I was well in the zone then and had stopped speaking or moving around much. The pain got worse and I asked for morphine (something I'd told my husband to try to talk me out of if I asked. He wisely didn't bother). I was examined and told it was too late that it was time to push! I sat for a minute waiting for the urge to push strike and things went downhill very fast. I had an intrapartum hemorrhage in the bath (cue more pop culture references, this time to Stephen Kings 'Carrie') and the baby's heart rate dropped suddenly.
I was put in a wheelchair and rushed over to the hospital delivery ward. As soon as I arrived two obstetricians and two new midwives were ready with the vacuum as he was stuck in the birth canal. I was given a local and an episiotomy and pushed and pushed until finally they got that bloody vacuum on and helped him out.
They transferred him straight to the crash cart for oxygen and after what seemed like hours (but was only about a minute apparently) he cried and he was popped on my chest. "Its a boy" said the beautiful, sanity saving midwife who had come across with me from the birth centre, going into overtime to give me a familiar presence. We had named him Leo before conception and gave him the middle name Paraire (pa-rai-re or Friday in Maori. It's a family name and my FIL and BIL's middle name).
It was magic. He'd been wedged in the birth canal posterior and been vacuumed out so had this enormous cone head and he was so overcooked that his skin was angry, red and peeling off in sheets but to me he was perfection. In fact I was on such a high I didn't even notice his cone head until about 24 hours of blissed out baby gazing in.
The obs refused to tell me how many stitches I had saying it was 'a few'. I'd also had a tear although again I'm not sure about the details. The staff kept mentioning that the vacuum was 'necessary' and I realised that as a birth centre hippie type they thought I would be disappointed with my birth. I informed them that I adore that weird, scary vacuum thing, that I now worship at the alter of intervention and that next time, I'm having an epidural and a piña colada.
Most of the time, (not at 3am in the morning though! - he's still learning night from day and his father and I currently resemble angry zombies) he's a very chilled, contented little baby despite it taking 6 days for my milk to come in. He latches like a champion though and the midwives were all impressed at how efficient he is at baby led attachment. I had a venus engorgement and I knew nothing about how many wet nappies to expect so nobody picked up that he was one dehydrated, sick little boy until day 4. He dropped over 10%of his body weight so they kept us in longer than expected and I had to comp feed for a few days which was hard. The hospital had a policy of making Mums read this statement about how terrible formula is and then sign it out like its heroin. It coincided with the baby blues and they had to watch me sob like a girl which i still think was cruel but not the midwives fault. To their credit they were then awesome at helping me do things to bring my milk on (including milking me at 2 hourly intervals - that's dedication to ones job ) We're over that first hurdle and breastfeeding well now and I'm glad I persevered as I'm enjoying it. His Dad has taken to fatherhood like a duck to water and as the first grandchild on both sides he's very loved. It's easily the most fun, surreal, amazing thing we've done.
Now for the photo bombing:
Moments after birth -look at the cone head!
Little old man eyes
He loves his bath.