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40 hour Labour

Meg shares the birth story of her son

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My story is a bit unique. My husband is a New Zealander, and I am Canadian. We met when he came over to Canada on a work Visa. After a whirlwind romance, we got married and decided to have a family straight away. The original plan was to have the baby in Canada, so my family could meet him, before moving over seas to NZ. But as it turned out, all the people we spoke to about extending my husbands Visa were Quebecois French, and had difficulty understanding him, and were therefore giving him false information. At seven months pregnant, we found out that it was impossible for him to stay in Canada, and had to make the move to New Zealand A.S.A.P

After managing to sell everything I owned, and flying across to both sides of the country to say my goodbyes, we took off out of Vancouver, BC to make the 30 odd hour flight to Dunedin. When we arrived, we both were understandably jet lagged. But we plowed on heroically, visiting people who had wanted to meet me, and meeting new family, and friends. I was 8 months pregnant when we arrived. Then the sunday after we arrived, exactly one week later, my water broke as I was going to lay down. We had had a big day visiting, and I was feeling more than usually tired and heavy. Apparently some elderly women whom my mother in law knew, and whom I had met that day had told her that I was in labour as I had a white ring around the outsides of my lips... strange that.

I had only phoned my midwife for the first time that afternoon to set up an appointment for the following week. I had to call her back and in a shaking voice, explain to her what had happened. Thankfully my mother in law ( and the most wonderful woman in the world I might add ) was a nurse and a midwife back in the day, so she helped me to just calm down and relax. She helped me to change into some dry clothes, and helped me to pack my hospital bag. ( my husband was completely oblivious, as I had been demanding that day. He was on the telephone with his best friend and thought I wanted something silly like a glass of water, so didnt come when I started shouting for him... He only clued in when he saw his mother and sister jump into hyper drive, scurrying back and forth from our room ) Then my father in law drove us to the hospital very carefully in his car, while chit chatting about Dunedin weather, and the sights and sounds... as if we were taking a Sunday drive and not going to the hospital tp deliver my first baby prematurely... but now when I look back at that I laugh, because it is obvious he was trying to keep me from hyperventilating with anxiety.

My midwife met me in the hospital for the first time. She was this petite, dark haired, dark eyed british woman, with the warmest smiling eyes I had seen in a long time. She took charge right away and got me settled into a room, where they monitored my little guy and did some tests, and checked my dialation. I asked if my baby was going to be okay, and felt so much guilt that I had done something to make him come early, but she assured me that I hadnt and that he was going to be just fine and so was I. From that moment I tried to relax and felt all jittery with excitement. My hubby sat by my side and held my hand. I looked at him and said... we dont have anything for him but some clothes... not even a bassinet for him to sleep, he just brushed my hair out of my eyes and told me that it would all be ok, that he would look after it... and he did.

Labour was very difficult, I'm not going to lie. It went for 40 hours, and I had to have forceps, an episiotomy  and the ventouse as my little guy was turned face up instead of face down. In all realtiy, when we have our next baby I will make sure that I have an ultrasound to see which way he/she is facing so I can decide if I want to have a c-section. There is just no way to sit comfortably, to move in bed, to have a bowel movement, to cough or even to laugh after an episiotomy. ( I tore as well ) Besides you cant go around holding your lady bits whenever you have to cough or sneeze. Although we have become accustomed to our menfolk grabbing and re-arranging their whozits whenever they are uncomfortable... I suppose it is a societal thing.

Because of this type of birth, my little man had some injuries upon entering this world, a big cut on his head and very substantial bruising. Because of this nursing didnt take off and it was 5 days before my milk came in. But the staff in NICU were very supportive and helpful. I have to say one thing however... Never have I had so many strangers touching my breasts, squeezing them this way and that way, pulling them up, and down, as I did when trying to get my babe to latch on... eventually I just had to say "ok ladies, thanks for your help, but I will figure it out from here." It was only two weeks before we could come home... but never was I so happy to be in our own bed, with our baby boy asleep in his cradle, beside me.

Now he is almost 9 months old, over 10 kilo's, and in the 85th percentile for both weight and height. He is starting to crawl and developing a very charming comical personality... just like his father... Would I do it again??? ABSOLUTELY!

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