Photo by Rachael Alexandra Co
Two weeks ago, we welcomed our little Estie (nickname for Celeste) into the world. Nothing can quite prepare you for the immense and immediate love you feel when that tiny squirming baby is brought up onto your chest. Just the same, nothing can prepare you for how much that love will grow with each moment spent together. Estie’s birth was a mix of dramatic and anti climactic. I wrote a bit about it here from the hospital bed (I had a lot of time to kill), but here’s the full story. Get ready for a novel folks. Introducing Squirrelly girl – her birth story
Estie’s Birth Story – The inductions (and the waiting)
I got a cook’s catheter put in; uncomfortable, but not painful. Then I just waited, staying in hospital overnight for monitoring. That night I started to get a lot of contractions close together. The nurses thought I was going into labour, but shortly before midnight they completely stopped. To be honest I was relieved. I wanted to sleep the night and wake up fresh for labour in the morning. I ended up waiting a lot longer than that.
Labour and delivery was slamming busy all day, as were my midwives. My cook’s catheter fell out at 3pm but I wasn’t able to go in for the next induction step (oxytocin) until 11pm. It was a day filled with visits from the mister and squirrelly boy, walking, and working on my school paper.
Estie’s Birth Story – The Labour
Oxytocin finally starts and I’m able to get a bit of sleep. Contractions get stronger and at 5am my midwife breaks my water. At 6am it’s FULL ON contraction time. I used gas for relief, as well as a fair bit of profanity. At every contraction I thought to myself “this isn’t as hard as with squirrelly babe…I can do this drug free”. But I was terrified of needing one later and it being too late. Nope, I wanted relief. At 7am I got an epidural and was then the happiest person ever. Seriously it felt like someone flicked a light switch and I was back to my normal self (thank you modern medicine!).
Estie’s Birth Story – The birth
I felt a ton of pressure with every contraction, and at around 9am I felt like I could start pushing. But there was another mama with the same midwife giving birth at the same time. Since I didn’t want anyone else but my midwife, I held off, telling the nurses “oh yeah..I feel some pressure”, not letting on just how much until it got too intense. I think this waiting helped in the end, letting my body and Estie do all of the work. At 10am I started pushing and had to stop because it was happening so fast. Estie came into the world after just three pushes, at around 3 or 4 minutes, in the calmest environment possible. She joined us with little effort, I reached down and brought her up onto my chest, and just let myself be completely immersed in that moment of confoundment and absolute bliss. Minutes later I cut the umbilical cord and just held my new, tiny (NOT over 9lb thank you very much) baby, curled up on my chest.
Two weeks later and we are settling into a routine as a family of four. Everyone always says ‘enjoy those newborn days – they go by fast!”. With squirrelly boy, we didn’t really have much context for that statement. We were just focussing on survival. Now that we know how quickly it really does go by, we are soaking in every newborn cuddle, even those ones at 3am (even though sleep would be a very nice alternative).
I’m not sure I ever realized how truly full life could feel. I am one tremendously happy mama.