On Friday night, the 20th of June, I could feel in the depths of my body that it was time for you to arrive safely in my arms. As far as I was concerned, Daddy would not be returning to work on the Monday and our family was going to grow by one. We were going to grow by one more beating heart, another smiling face, ten little fingers and ten little toes. My very own son.
As the weekend drew to a close on Sunday night I still found myself holding you in the safety of my womb but there was still a determination within me that this night was going to be our last night as a family of four. I had been feeling tightenings across my stomach for days now and on this night, something felt different. I did not want to say the words out loud, I did not want to interrupt your concentration, your journey into the world. Before wrapping myself up in the depths of my doona for a night of sleep, I found myself readying the house for labour, packing my bags for hospital. I found myself waiting. Waiting for life to begin. I crawled into bed just after midnight and drifted off into an impatient sleep.
45 minutes later and I awoke to an intensity that would not leave me. I was sure that this was the beginning, however this intense tightening was not slowing down, five minutes had passed and the pain was becoming more intense. I made my way to the bathroom in shock and confusion. Then took to bed again telling Daddy I must just have an upset stomach. Laid my head down to rest again when another tightening began. No, this was it. You were just making sure I was awake and ready. You were coming. I had a job to do today.
I moved out to the lounge room and I began to find my positions that would help be to be more comfortable with each tightening. As each sensation hit my body, I knew that you were peeling back another layer of my cervix to work your way closer to me. We were very calm, quiet and peaceful. The house was dark, lit only by fairy lights. I found my position on the ground in front of the lounge and I timed our sensations. They were already 5 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds and rapidly becoming longer and closer together.
After two hours I began to feel pressure within my pelvis and decided it was best to call on Bev to watch your sisters and Emma to document your journey. Within half an hour they were both at our door. I remained calm, breathing and groaning my way through your movements. Chatting and drinking teas in your breaks. Bev took herself to bed and I focused. Still extremely calm and a little deterred by the calmness, questioning wether this was really our moment. I put 'House Husbands' on the television as a distraction and a comfort. But before I could invest any interest into it I decided it was time to take ourselves to the hospital.
So Daddy and I made our way across the road, stopping on several occasions to be allow my body to feel you. When we made it to the hospital the tightenings became much stronger and I begged to get into the bath. From the moment I immersed my body into that all encompassing warm water my mind and body calmed. Before long, the torturous feelings I was feeling grew less and less. I was back to just moaning through the feelings, rather than the primitive noises I was beginning to make. Something wasn't quite right. The bath was slowing us down, the bath relaxed me too much and my body became closed down to the idea of labour. I was working against you, or you were working with me? We were too relaxed. For several hours I waited in the bath, hoping that things would change. I really wanted to deliver you in the calmness of the water. But as with most things planned, this was not meant to be.
As the sun rose, so did I. I removed myself from the water and I laid on the bed to check my progress. We had not moved from when we first arrived, still at 5 centimetres. The midwives offered to break our waters, to which I agreed. Before I was even able to stand up from the bed after the procedure I was hit with wave after wave of sensations, tightenings, intensity. I could not find a 10 second break between contraction to catch my breath. I lost my calm. I was rolling off the bed onto a mattress on to the ground, trying to stand to gather myself only to collapse to ground again. I could not find my centre and I began to beg for relief, screaming at Daddy that I cannot do this, please get me help. As I started to vomit, I lost every inch of faith I had in myself and I requested an epidural. I couldn't catch my breath in order to breath through these moments.
The midwives attempted to give me a cannula to prepare me for the epidural but I was unable to stay still, rolling and vomiting. After what felt like a lifetime, but was in actual fact mere moments, they checked my progress and advised there would not be time. Within an hour of breaking my waters, you were ready to make your way through the birth canal. In that moment, I finally found my breath, my centre. I propped myself up on the bed and with sheer will and determination I knew that I could do this. That we could do this. I took a moment to connect with you, a moment to build up my strength and then you and I worked together and we pushed.
Our pushing was magical. It was primal. It was animalistic. It was raw. I had fight and you had strength. I had determination and you had love. It was time, after 9 months of growing, building, creating, loving and bonding, it was our time to see each other. You, tiny and naked, wailing and searching for me, your Mumma. Me, exhausted and exhilarated, with arms wide open to embrace you. We pushed, we fought hard, we connected and within less than 5 minutes, within 4 huge, powerful and inspiring movements you were in the hands of the midwives, in the air before me. You were tiny, you were man, you were mine.
I saw you and my body beamed with an energy full of love, pride and adoration. We did it little man. You and I, we were incredible. You were the most beautiful sights of a boy I have ever laid my eyes on. You were fair of hair, you were small of build, you were loving of soul. You looked at me and you looked at your Daddy and there was no doubt that you knew us and you loved us completely and intensely. You were placed, your bare skin, on to my bare skin and in that moment you imprinted on my soul. In that moment my life became yours, my heart begun to beat with yours. In that moment you made me the Mother to a Son. To my son.
To my darling Son, I love you with the utmost strength. A love that is indescribable. It will not falter, it will not sway, it only grows with each look, smile and kiss.
Born at 9:30am, June 23rd
8 pounds - 3.6kgs
*All photos were kindly taken and provided by the very beautiful Emma from ten little toes photography*