We were feeling ready for our girl to come. The house had been scrubbed from top to bottom, the fridge was full of food, and I was feeling calm and focused.
I woke up at six a.m on Tuesday the 19th needing to go to the bathroom only to discover that my waters were breaking. My first thought was fear. It was happening the same as last time. This time however there was no merconium in the water. Good news. But still, broken water and no labour was a foreboding sign.
I rang my mum. My first port of call. She was reassuring and said she was on her way. A three hour trip. We then rang the birth centre. A few weeks before I had found out I had Group B Strep. I needed to take antibiotics when either labour started or my water broke. The midwife told us to come in and we called Uncle Ben to look after Lucy. He arrived while she was still asleep and Myl and I walked over to the birth centre.
As we walked I willed labour to start. Every twinge was exciting as I thought it could be a contraction. I had to stop a few times to breathe through a tightening.
We got to the birth centre and were shown to a room. They checked Norahs heartbeat and all was ok. Then they got down to business. Because of my previous Caesarean and Group B Strep I was in a pretty abnormal situation. Usually waters break after established labour has begun but in my case they didn’t. I would need to get into labour soon or interventions would need to happen.
Just to make sure everything was all ok they had me go over to the delivery ward to monitor Norahs heartbeat. I was hooked up to a machine for about twenty minutes. Myl and I sung her songs. Her heartbeat stayed nice and steady when we sung low songs and skipped a little higher when the notes were high. It was nice to see her in there happy and safe. I talked to my little girl, told her it was ok and that we were looking forward to meeting her however she came but that it would be super nice if it were soon.
All of a sudden a team of doctors and midwives entered the room. I was introduced to the obstetrician, a man whose name was on my hospital stickers but whom I had never met. He was very charming. He informed me of the multitude of risks to do with my situation and strongly suggested I stay in the delivery ward and (in so many words) have an elective Caesarian. I thanked him for his concern but told him I knew what I was doing, had done a lot of reading and was comfortable with my decision to continue attempting a VBAC.
It all felt so familiar. Things were not happening according to “plan” again. This time, however I felt empowered and educated. I knew my options might be and I knew that I wanted to try my very best for a VBAC. I asked what they were willing to let me do. The midwife told me I would need to start taking antibiotics and then come see them every 24 hours till labour started and became established. I told the midwife I was keen to give it a day but that I didn’t want to put Norah at risk of infection much longer than that. I thought I’d give it my best shot to get into labour and then deal with interventions the next day. The midwife went away to discuss things with the midwife on charge and came back with an appointment made for 1:30 the next day to discuss induction or caesarian.
My mind was focused on the 36 or so hours ahead. I didn’t want to think about induction till it was necessary. In my mind I was sure labour would start in the next little while and our girl would be here very soon.
I was dosed up with antibiotics and sent home. We decided to start operation “have a baby.” I walked vigorously home and tried to will my body into labour. We got home and said hello to Lucy. She was reading books with Uncle Ben and had been watching Narnia. A little while later Mum turned up. She had gotten here very quickly. We decided the best course of action was to get walking and try to get the contractions to start.
We walked down the road to the Broadway shops. I was having contractions about every ten minutes. They weren’t strong but they were exciting. We got to the shops and had some lunch. I had a bowl of duck laksa. Apparently the duck was a good choice for before having a baby mum said. We walked around the shops for a bit and bought some last minute baby supplies.
I had to go back to the hospital to pick up some antibiotics at four so we walked along Parramatta rd and up to the hospital. I was feeling pretty tired. The contractions had stopped at lunch time and hadn’t really properly started up again. The walk helped but I was starting to feel a little worried. We picked up the pills and headed home.
I put Lucy to bed thinking that it might be the last time I saw her before Norah arrived, hoping. We sat down to watch Brothers and Sisters, the latest tv series we were watching on TV. It was beautiful distraction. I sat facing backwards on a dining room chair trying to get contractions going and they did. I had some really lovely strong ones. It was getting promising. Ten minutes apart, eight minutes, ten, six. They kept on all the rest of the evening and at 10pm we decided to go to bed and get some rest. The contractions stopped. I slept till 3am.
They had started up but not properly. I dozed on and off till about 7 when Lucy woke up. We had breakfast and walked down the road to pick up a parcel from the post office. I couldn’t get the contractions to start up again. They were few and far between. I was feeling pretty sad but there was really no more I could do. I was walking and thinking about flowers opening and helpful things like that but it was no use.
We went for a coffee and then headed home. We were due at the hospital at 1pm so we just hung about at home and I rested up. I was sure to be in for a whole lot of something in the next few hours.