As I write this, I am sitting alongside my carrycot where my sleeping babe lies. Words fail me when trying to capture all that the past 3 weeks and 1 day have held. Never did I imagine a love so deep, exhaustion so real and gratitude so undeniable. Motherhood is the greatest gift I have received, and I marvel, daily, at how innate taking on this new role has been…from breastfeeding to knowing how to comfort her. Just under 3 short weeks ago, H and I sat in the maternity ward with our darling Sarah Hope in our arms and both sobbed not knowing how a person could love to this degree, or how we could take this delicate little life home with us – the responsibility all ours.
A few friends have asked me to share our birthing story so I thought I’d do it here and try my best to keep it short & sweet.
It was two days before her due date, 2nd Feb, around 5pm when my Braxton Hicks contractions (a very common occurance by then) started to feel more intense. I sat watching the Ellen Show and when I tried to get up, I felt for the first time what I thought may be an early contraction. I went on to make dinner and only around 7pm when H and I sat eating at the table did the contractions start to actually hurt. By 8pm I began timing them and lone-behold they were already 3 minutes apart – this went on for a good half hour, and then they stopped completely. The range of emotions in this short 15 minute period were chaotic. I went from wishing the pain away to desperately pleading with God to bring it back – I was ready to have our little babe. Now!
I called the maternity ward and asked if this is normal – to which they reassured me YES and that the pain would return. And MAN did it return in full force about half an hour later. At this stage, H was in bed but very aware that we would be in hospital some time this evening.
As I glanced at the clock and saw that it was 9:30pm, I was reminded that if we checked into hospital before 12am that that would count as my first night. I was determined to stick this out at home. Full-stop. By this stage contractions were back to 2 – 3minutes apart and lasting as long as 50seconds. When ‘they’ say that contractions are sore, they are not kidding. The pain was excruciating but deep breathing and walking around the house seemed to make the pain lessen, or at least more manageable. I woke H close to 11, with a ‘I’m gonna have this baby’, and we rushed off to Hillcrest Hospital.
Being so late at night, we entered via casualty and then once in Maternity they hooked us up to machines which measured my contractions and Sarah’s heart rate. After a few minutes it was confirmed that I was VERY much in labour however Sarah was still out of my pelvis (had not yet engaged). Much to our delight as we moved to the Labour ward and H admitted me, it was just after 12am.
I ordered an epidural then and there, not knowing how long labour would go on for. I was 4cm dilated at this point. I stood/walked around right up until when the epi went in – around 1/1:30am. The process seemed to take forever and only around 1:45am did it take effect and the contraction pain lessened, and eventually stopped. My second internal was then done at 2am and much to our midwife’s surprise, this baby was ready to be born. The epi was turned off/down (yes it had only just taken effect), and our gynae was called in a hurry…as were my parents 🙂
Due to the epi taking so long to go down, and the need for me to feel contractions in-part, we only began the actual delivery around 3:10am…and our darling daughter, Sarah Hope, was born at 3:42am weighing 3.5kg’s. She was immediately put onto my chest and H and I sobbed in awe of our gift. *She then decided to do her meconium poo all over mommy 🙂
My labour thus lasted around 8hours, but official time (as of 3cm’s) was probably only 4-5 hours, 3 of which I was in hospital for. A privilege, I know!!
Hillcrest hospital was incredible and we would recommend them to anyone. As for having a baby – nothing comes close to describing all the love we have for this little life.
*And as if on cue, Sarah is now waking… and so continues this beautiful cycle we call caring for a newborn.
- Curtesy to Lauren Galloway Photography for the beautiful pics!!
Sending so much love to you three from across the world! *hugs!* – B&T
Beautifully written Caitlyn,I so enjoyed reading your story.
What a privilidge having a child,God is so good
Enjoy every day with Little Sarah–what a blessing