All in an hour's work

Last updated 05:00 28/10/2012

HERE I AM: Baby Isaac arrived after an hour-long labour at home.

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My fourth baby was nine days overdue when he decided to come into the world.

I was expecting things to be fairly speedy, the last three were born within two hours of established labour, but I'd always had a number of hours of niggly contractions beforehand, perfect for doing things like getting children to bed and birthing pools set up. I expected this one to be no different.

Around 8pm on February 8 I finally felt the first contraction. It was surprisingly strong and lasted about minute. Ten minutes later I felt another one, again, quite strong for the beginning of things and lasting another minute.

Some time after that they started, every three minutes, one minute long and very strong. I called my sister to give her a heads up, I called my friend who was going to photograph the birth and finally my midwife. Hubby busied himself sorting the birthing pool interspersed with settling our almost-two-year-old who was still awake.

I found myself going back and forward to the toilet, having contractions surging through me. I felt myself starting to get agitated and out of control a bit, they were coming so quickly I could hardly get into any form of rhythm at all, even just breathing was difficult.

By 9pm the contractions were two minutes apart. My waters broke in the toilet and then my sister arrived. The contractions were surging through, feeling stronger and stronger and she was encouraging me to breathe as they came. I remember telling her I couldn't and she was reassuring me that I could, that I was climbing a mountain, I just had to get to the top, a little mantra that had helped her during her last birth.

It was at that point I dropped to my knees, forget breathing, I was starting to push. My sister called hubby in and they manhandled me to some towels that my hubby had put down in the lounge (still not sure when he did that). They pulled my trackies off and then my baby's head emerged. I remember the excitement in their voices as they encouraged me and another contraction birthed the shoulders and then the rest of his body.

They passed him to me and I held him, feeling so much relief and joy that he was finally here. I looked up at my husband and said "I'm done". I took my top off and we nestled together, snuggled in a blanket with a home knitted beanie on Isaac's head to keep him warm. Isaac cried a bit and snuffled around, stretching and grimacing, showing the promise of dimples. My photographer friend came in a couple of minutes later and about 5 minutes after her, my midwife arrived.

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The euphoria stayed as we talked and laughed and waited for the placenta to do its thing. Isaac was breastfeeding and we were still somewhat disbelieving that he has come so quickly with so little warning. Eventually I birthed the placenta, hubby cut the cord and Isaac was truly his own person.

Unfortunately, due to the speed of his arrival, I'd had a bit of damage done to me, so our lovely intimate time together couldn't last. We got ourselves all dressed and we went to hospital for some repair work and an overnight stay.

The name Isaac means laughter, he is a little boy who has brought us so much happiness and he has completed our family. We are done.

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