On Wednesday 10th of August, at 1.40 pm, Elliott also referred to as Little Man was born.
I had been going a bit crazy, slowly but surely, waiting on his arrival. I had been told (and was more than happy to think) that Little Man would come a bit early, like both his sisters. Since the beginning of July, every twinge, every pain, every unusual feeling prompted the question: Is this it? Do we need to go? Marie wasn't there to keep me company, she was way too busy having a great time in France and Noelie was spending some time in her grandparents' on and off during the holidays so I was on my own a good bit of the time. I had plenty of time to rest, and plenty of time to slowly go mental. Towards the end of my pregnancy, Mr Foodie's brother didn't help the situation by asking 3 or 4 times a day where his nephew was. Bear in mind, he is closer to 40 years old than he is to 4 (had he been 4 I could have handled it, but the fact that he is a grown adult and that he kept doing it despite being asked to stop, made it even worse. In actual fact, I broke down crying about it, blame the hormones). I was sick and tired of waiting for the arrival and tried every single old wife tale out there. Nothing worked. Also I was getting quite irritated by friends and family's kind words. Why is it that people think that your due date is some kind of limit. Most babies aren't born on their due dates so why do people send you texts wishing you 'good luck today'? If there was ever a day I knew this baby was not going to come, it was his due date!
2 days past the elusive due date, we went back to the hospital for a check up. Every week, we had met the same couple there and we'd laughed that we were still there. She was 11 days overdue at this stage. I was silently panicking as the wedding was getting ever so close and this baby was still not born. We were told that they usually wait until you are 12 days past your due date to induce you. 12 days past my due date was 2 days before our wedding which meant that I would never be out in time to get married. Mr Foodie spoke to the consultant and explained our dilemna. The consultant did an ultrasound and an internal exam and found that the level of fluid around the baby was a bit low. He told us that there was a good chance that I would go into labour on my own that same evening as he could feel the baby's head and my cervix was nearly fully effaced but if not, to come back the next day to get induced.
After coming out of the hospital, we walked and walked and walked for miles, trying to get labour started. Suffice to say, it did not work. I had no idea how this whole thing was going to work, we had been so caught off guard by the whole induction possibility that we never got a chance to ask many questions. We did stop by the admissions office to try and see if there was a time we had to be in for. It turns out we could pretty much come in at any time. So the next day, we trotted off to hospital, not knowing what to expect. We went to the admissions, signed a few papers, got admitted and walked to the labour ward. I had never been to the labour ward before despite giving birth to 2 girls. For Marie, I was taken straight into the delivery room, and for Noelie I was taken straight into theatre. The midwives were lovely and helped me get settled in. I was put on a monitor for a while and then was seen by a consultant who decided now was the time to induce me. Because of my previous c-section, I was induced in a quite 'natural' way. No drips or drugs for me. All she did was break my waters. It was 11h55.
Mr Foodie was there with me, a bit nervous and not knowing what to expect. Listening to the the screams and moans of some of the other women in the ward mustn't have helped. After being monitored for a bit again, I was allowed to walk around. I was to report to the midwife whenever I started feeling pains. They started about 30 minutes after my waters broke. The pains were quite mild at first but were increasing in strength and duration. Mr Foodie tried to crack a couple of jokes during some of the contractions but I think that my reaction showed him it was better not to. We walked around for a bit. The contractions were coming closer and stronger. At some stage I told Mr Foodie that I wanted to go back to the bed in the ward as the most comfortable position for me was crouching and I didn't feel comfortable crouching in the middle of the corridor! I asked Mr Foodie to time the contractions as they were getting quite strong and close. I soon realized that he had no idea what he was suppose to time. He started noting only the time the contractions started at! So, between two contractions, I explained to him that he had to time the length as well as how far apart they were. It turns out that they were lasting about a minute and were 2 minutes apart. As each contraction was happening, they were increasing by about 10 seconds and the interval between them was also decreasing by 10 seconds. By the time, they were lasting about 1 minute 30, I went to see the midwife. She told me to lie on the bed to measure and see if it was time for me to go into a delivery room. As soon as she started the exam, I felt the urge to push. She told me to stop pushing, that the baby couldn't come out in the labour ward, that they had no equipment etc, pretty much any argument she could give me to try and stop me pushing. All the while, she was screaming at one of her colleagues to get her a wheelchair quickly. Mr Foodie was standing by, a bit lost, at a loss as to what to do.
Another contraction came and the urge to push came again. The poor midwife was now giving out to me, not shouting, but in a very stern tone was telling me to stop pushing. I felt like I was a child again being told off by a teacher. Between two contractions, I managed to get onto the wheelchair and was rushed into the delivery suite. Before another contraction came, I climbed onto the bed. The midwife barely had time to write my name on the papers. She was telling me to wait until she at least got her gloves on before pushing again. There was nothing I could do, I had to push. Less than 1h45 since my waters had been broken, and within 1 minute and a half of being admitted into the delivery suite, baby Elliott, AKA Little Man, was born. A healthy 7lbs4 (3.290 kgs), 50 cms tall with the most teeny tiny face I had ever seen. I wouldn't say it was a pain free delivery as there is no such thing, but it was certainly a fast and drug free one with only a minor tear that only required 2 stitches.
We stayed in the hospital for 2 nights (although one of the nurses wanted to send me home the next day). Visits were restricted to grand parents and siblings only and Noelie came to visit her new little brother. She brought some cards and a couple of presents for the baby. She had everybody in stitches as she started singing happy birthday to me when I was opening the cards and presents. She also fell in love with one of the nurses, Emma who was the nicest nurse on the ward and gave her a box of chocolates. She wasn't phased at all by the fact that I was in hospital and that there was a new baby there too. We went home on the Friday and started settling in as much as we could with our wedding looming 10 days later.
A third baby, a third birth experience, completely unique and different from the other two. I went from a completely natural, drug free, premature delivery with Marie to an emergency c-section with Noelie, back to a natural, drug free yet induced delivery for Elliott. He is 7 weeks soon and I couldn't imagine life without him now. Despite all the backaches, kidney infections and rib punching he gave me during pregnancy, I fell in love with my Little Man the moment I saw him.