Labour of love: Born in 33 minutes

Last updated 05:00 04/12/2012
Pregnant woman with clock
WAITING GAME: Rebeccah Kennedy says pregnant women should listen to their bodies and push for their midwife to do what they need.

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I had already had two little boys with very easy labours weighing in at 6 pound 12 ounces and 8 pound 5 ounces.

My last labor was 37 weeks gestation with a very easy labour and no morning sickness to speak of.

Living with a lifetime of endometriosis I considered myself lucky to have my two little boys and was on the wait list to have a hysterectomy. I was taking drugs to stop my cycle and was in fact told I was infertile. Three months into the drugs I felt something was not right and took a pregnancy test which confirmed I was 10 weeks pregnant. My little miracle was growing inside me and so I cancelled the hysterectomy until a later date.

I was given the due date July 16, 2008. Because I had had two brilliant births I instantly planned for a home birth.

My due date came and went. At 40 weeks my midwife came for a visit and I told her I'd had enough of all the niggles, back pain and false starts - I wanted this little boy out! Her philosophy is that pregnancy and labour is a natural thing and should not be interfered with so told me to relax and that things would 'happen on their own'.

She continued to visit every few days, listening to baby's heartbeat and telling me he was strong and healthy.

As the days turned into weeks I would look at my Moses basket hanging bassinet at night and long for this little baby who preferred to stay put. All the while the niggles and backache continued.

At 43+5 weeks the midwife, who I assume got sick of my nagging, did a stretch and sweep and said I was 3 cm dilated already and that she could feel the baby's head. I got very excited thinking baby would come tonight.

Finally on August 20 - more than four weeks overdue - the baby stopped moving. I rang the midwife and she asked me to come to the observation suite. My friend picked me up and we went in. As soon as the belts were placed on my tummy the baby kicked up a storm and contractions started every 15 minutes. I had a contraction and the baby's heartbeat dropped very low.

The midwife said she was concerned and it was time to get baby out. The obstetrician came and mentioned a caesarean and all my dreams of the perfect homebirth faded away.

But the baby's heartbeat settled and the OB decided I should come back for a scan in the morning and we would go from there.

The midwife rang the next day and said I had to wait for a time and she would ring me later.

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I finished my shopping and went to visit a friend. I had one contraction while I was there and she asked me to go home saying 'you're not having that baby here'. In hindsight, she was right.

I went home and nothing happened until 6.45 that night when I had a massive contraction. I rang the midwife and told her my contractions were a minute apart. She said she was coming. I rang my friend who arrived 20 minutes later, threw her cardigan on the floor and caught my screaming baby!

It was all very surreal. I had waited so long for him and he arrived at 7.18pm - in 33 minutes! The midwife arrived with backup and my friend cut his cord. I would always recommend listening to your body in these cases and push for your midwife to do what you need. My little Jay was perfect in every way - born 7 pound 4 ounces - but things could have been very different for him. 

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