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Thread: Francesca's arrival

  1. #1
    Percy Guest

    Default Francesca's arrival

    On Monday 5 February 2007 I woke to period like cramps at 2.30am. I thought that it was a bit strange that they only lasted about 20 seconds then vanished, rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. Exactly 10 minutes later the same cramp came back. Oh dear! Now I’m starting to think maybe this is it!

    So I lie there in bed watching the clock – and yep every ten minutes the cramps come back. They are not overly painful – just there. At 4.30am James sort of wakes up and asks whats up – I say ummm I think the baby’s coming. Oh he says and rolls over and goes back to sleep!!!

    I then spend the next few hours reading all my pregnancy books on the difference between false and real labour and praying to whoever that this is really it and that its not false labour and I’m not crying wolf!!

    At 8am I ring my midwife, Cherie, who tells me to hang in there and to call her back if the cramps happen every 5 minutes for at least a minute. Part of my birth plan was to stay at home for as long as possible to reduce the need for any medical intervention due to labour slowing down in the hospital environment.

    Anyway the day continues – James agrees to stay home from work even though he thinks the baby is not coming anytime soon as my contractions (yes I’ve now thought of them as contractions!!) are still only 30 seconds long and about eight to ten minutes apart for most of the day.

    By three pm however things have progressed – contractions now 5 to 6 minutes apart but only lasting at most 45 seconds. Cherie (who has been calling all day) says she will have a rest at home for a couple of hours as she thinks we’ll be in for a long night. She will call back at 5.30pm.

    Am still waiting for a show or for my waters to break!

    By 5.30pm the contractions are finally over a minute long and now are getting a wee bit painful. So I cave in and have a couple of panadol. Prior to this I’d found that walking through the contraction and using the visualisation techniques taught in my yoga classes to be really helpful. To be completely honest though by this stage they were still not as painful as I thought they would be ( wait till later on! I now say to myself in retrospect!)

    Cherie rings again and we agree to meet at the hospital at 6.30pm at the assessment unit to check how dilated I am. By this stage I am getting really scared thinking oh my! Our baby is coming! Then on the other hand I think that I had better be somewhat dilated otherwise I’ll be really peeved!!!

    At the hospital the baby is checked and Ricie seems fine. An internal exam shows that my waters haven’t broken (surprise surprise!) but that I am two centimetres dilated – oh YAY! Cherie then breaks my waters and then says “oh you’re now three centimetres gone! But the baby has moved back up a bit so we have a fair way to go still”

    James asked her when she thought the baby would come – she wouldn’t say but thought it would be a Waitangi Day baby (the 6th of Feb – NZ’s national day – I didn’t want my little kiwi born on NZ’s national day!!!)

    Its off to the delivery suite we go! Its in a separate section of the same floor of the hospital so we have to walk the 100 metres or so to the delivery suite. During the walk the contractions intensify and are now only 2 or so minutes apart lasting well and truly more then 90 seconds.

    On the way we pass a group of expectant parents who are on a tour of the hospital and right in front of them I have to stop as the most intense contraction all day right in front of them! Must have been very scary for those prospective parents!!!

    In the delivery room I have a shower – I can’t have the spa bath like I wanted to nor the water birth as there was some merconium in the waters. This also means I’m going to be hooked up to the foetal monitor so I can’t move around too much. Major bummer as that is how I have been managing the contractions so far.

    We arrived at the deliver room at 7.45pm.

    I strip off and get into the shower with James holding one shower head on my back and me under the other one – oh the relief!!

    During my shower I realise that the contractions just haven’t stopped coming. Cherie asks me if I would like an epidural. I say no want to try the gas first. Ok she says.

    Out of the shower I’m wondering around the room leaning on James when the contractions are becoming even more intense. They are now continuous and don’t seem to stop.

    James looks at my back at one point and asks Cherie why my coccyx bone suddenly seems really far out of line with the rest of my spine – it seems to be sticking out. Right at that moment I feel the most intense urge to push. Cherie says that the baby might be here sooner then we think!!

    Time for another internal. I hop onto the bed – on all fours clinging onto the head of the bed and Cherie says oh my! Then tells me I am doing really well. How well? I want to know! She then says that I am 9 cms dilated and am about to start pushing!

    Its now about 8.30pm.

    I can’t believe the urge to push – its primeval and like nothing I have ever felt before. I am offered the gas but really it doesn’t do anything at all to take the pain away and the mouth piece is just annoying me so I push it away.

    After a few minutes of pushing on all fours, Cherie suggests I turn over and lie on my back on a 90 degree angle with one foot pushing against James and the other against her. This is great as it allows me to actually push against something and as they are holding my feet, I don’t slip like I would if I were pushing against the bed.

    Cherie asks if I would like to see the baby’s head crowning as its about to happen! By this time I’m in quite intense pain and saying to James that I want to go home! And that he is never ever to complain about a sore thigh after playing soccer again! Those are the ones I remember saying to him anyway! Cherie has left the room looking for a mirror – she can’t find one so comes back – to be honest I really don’t care! I just want the baby out of me!

    One more push and the head is crowning! Cherie says that we have a strawberry blonde on the way - I just want it out!!!

    Cherie tells me next push to start panting to slow the arrival down so I don’t tear. Next contraction is the most intense one yet – I push with all my might and next thing I hear is a baby crying and Francesca is placed on my chest all in one movement!!

    Our little girl is here! Though I still don’t know if she is a girl! Cherie asks James if he would like to see what we have and he says yes! He looks and smiles and says we have a little girl! I can’t believe we have a daughter and here is she is bloody and screaming on my chest!

    Her vital stats:
    Time of birth: 9.10pm (so just over two hours of active labour)
    Weight: 3460grams or 7lbs10oz
    Length: 56.5cms (so everyone was right - she was long!!)
    Head circum: 36.5cm
    Agpar scores: 9 then 10



    After a few minutes, Cherie starts to sew me up as I had two second degree tears thanks to Francesca’s quick arrival! I swear that this and the local anaesthetic jab hurts even more then the birth process!

    Francesca is still on my chest and has started to suckle at my breast so we have our first feed. She latches on well and is hungry straight away!

    We spend some time alone as a family, just James, me and our beautiful Francesca before I have a shower and am wheeled down to the car to be transferred to the post natal facility, Birthcare, where we spent the next four days getting to know our beautiful daughter, learning how to breast feed and settle her. It was a great place to stay – fab food, a midwife assigned to us each shift so I could call on them easily, and we had a class each day on a various topic such as physio for the new mother, breastfeeding, baby massage etc. It was a really great stay.

    We brought Francesca home on Friday 9 February. She had only lost 4% of her birth weight up to that point. With a few hiccups relating mainly to her sleep all has been well. She has only just learnt sleep – she slept fine at Birthcare and then as soon as she came home it all went out the window!! Luckily James’ sister is an ECHN who has been helping us – she even came over at midnight to help us one night when we were at our wits end!

    Since she has come home she has been stacking the weight on! She was weighed today and had put on 160 grams since her last weigh in last Thursday so a huge weight gain! She now weighs 3760 grams so our feeding is going fine. I have plenty of milk, just bad technique that has lead to me getting a couple of blocked ducts, one which got infected but has cleared up with antibiotics. We had a visit from an LC last week who has fixed our attachment and it all seems fine now.

    Today was our first day home alone as my mum has been over from Perth visiting and James had 3 weeks paternity leave. We both seemed to have survived!

    Francesca is the light of our lives and I still can’t believe we have a daughter – and a beautiful one at that!  She is our everything and I can’t believe I could love someone as much as I do Francesca. Her daddy is completely besotted with her as well – she already has him wrapped around her little finger!

  2. #2

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    what a perfect experience!!! I want one of those!

    She sounds beautiful, congrats again. She is finally here!!

  3. #3

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    what a super trooper you are, sounds like you both handled the labour process well.
    COngrats on the arrival of your baby girl.

  4. #4

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    what a beautiful birth story! congratulations again on your gorgeous girl.

  5. #5

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    What a gorgeous story!! It's these stories that make me very excited about giving birth again! Sounds like you did an amazing job!!
    Your time at home really hit home with me when you're not sure whats happening and if this is the real thing or not! It's so exciting and nervewracking at the same time!

    Congratulations on your little girl!! Sounds like your settling into motherhood wonderfully!

  6. #6

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    beautiful beautiful story. thank you so much for sharing. i have tears and shivers. enjoy your little girl. xoox

  7. #7

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    That was a fantastic read, thank you. Sounds like all is going really well for you guys

  8. #8

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    Percy, what a beautiful birth story. Congrats again honey.

  9. #9

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    Percy...that just sounds so fantastic!

    Inspiring!!!

  10. #10
    Percy Guest

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    thank you everyone I must admit in hindsight I kinda in a very strange way actually enjoyed the whole birthing process - not that I'm in a hurry to do it again!!!

  11. #11

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    Thanks for sharing with us, Percy. Great story. I'm glad you are all doing well.

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