Three weeks into life with our third child earthside, and I already can’t wait to do it all again someday.
On Tuesday 28th March, at 2:20pm, we met our son, Rhythm, and my heart exploded all over again. Rhythm is the youngest of our tribe, brother to Margot (5) and Holiday (2.5). Shared with my wonderful husband, Caleb, our life is a haze of beautiful chaos.
After being overdue and induced with our first two babies, our two beautiful girls, I was convinced the story would be the same the third time around. So, when I started contracting in the early hours of the morning at 41+1 weeks, I think I was in denial. I was scheduled for an induction the next day.
I think I had a few misconceptions about what a spontaneous labour would be like, never having experienced a spontaneous labour before. I assumed I would know for sure when it was happening. I assumed I would know when to call my midwife to head into the hospital (2 contractions in 10 minutes, lasting 1 minute for 1 hour was the pattern I was looking for).
And I assumed my labour would be longer than my previous induced labours.
On the day, I started timing contractions at about 4am, consistently 10 minutes apart. They were uncomfortable but not painful. When I arrived for my midwife appointment at 8:30am, I was still contracting but still not convinced it was “the real deal”. I think I didn’t want to get my hopes up if the contractions were to ease off (This had happened before at 38 weeks.) After a stretch and sweep, my midwife confirmed I was already 3cm dilated, and although the induction was booked for the next day, she guessed I wouldn’t need it. I felt so relieved that something was finally happening.
We had our girls with us and had planned to have a fun family day together – what would be our last before welcoming our baby boy. We had also prepared to stay somewhat close to the hospital during the day, because we don’t exactly live nearby and I knew that if things did start to progress, we may not have had the time to get home and back to the hospital.
The four of us went from the midwife appointment to get coffee/babychinos together to kill time until a nearby theme park opened. During the hour between the appointment and arriving for coffee, my contractions were closer together (5-10 minutes apart) and feeling a little more intense, but I still felt in control. Caleb said it definitely turned a few heads; sitting at the table, coffee in hand, my eyes closed and breathing through contractions.
An hour later, sitting watching a sheep dog show with our two kids, I was timing contractions, now 5 minutes apart and definitely more intense. Determined not to head to the hospital too soon, I headed to the car to sit in the aircon while Caleb took the girls to see some more animals. I lasted about 20 minutes in the car on my own, now very uncomfortable, before calling Caleb to wrap it up - We still had to drop the girls at their grandparents and get ourselves to the hospital.
We dropped the girls at their grandparents at about 12pm. My mother-in-law took one look at me, bracing myself on the front seat of the car, unable to talk through contractions, now coming every 3-4 minutes, and suggested we high tail it to the hospital. We said a very quick goodbye to the girls and headed for the hospital. I called our midwife to let her know we were heading in and she advised that she had arrived at the hospital for a meeting to find the carpark completely full, so to be aware of that when we arrived (She had been driving around for an hour, trying to park).
We arrived at the hospital to find the carpark queue stretched around the corner and down the street. We waited in the queue for about 15 minutes, contractions now coming every 1-2 minutes, until Caleb decided to drive around the stalled traffic to drop me at the front entrance while he went to attempt to find a carpark. (At this point, a small part of me was nervous he may miss the birth.)
The walk to the Birth Centre had never felt longer. I stopped frequently to brace myself through contractions and after a very awkward shared elevator ride, I waddled into the Birth Centre. Thankfully, I’ve only ever had good experiences being a patient in a hospital, including my two previous births, so when I set foot through the doors, I felt safe. I trusted my midwife and had long been surrendered to however this birth was going to go. I felt ready. So ready to do what I had to do to meet our son.
I was admitted at 1:30pm. My midwife was already filling the birth pool and preparing the birth suite– adjusting the blinds and lights, lighting candles and diffusers. I remember observing these things and feeling reassured that she felt like I was nearly there. I asked for the gas which provided relief (or distraction) straight away. After about 15 minutes, Caleb had miraculously found a carpark and arrived in the birth suite. (He later told me that when he arrived at the Birth Centre entrance, he was rushed through reception and basically escorted at a run to get to our suite ASAP.)
My water broke spontaneously at 2pm (very dramatically and all over the floor). This was a new experience for me too – I’d always had my water broken as part of the induction. I got in the birth pool as soon as it was filled and felt instant relief. It was a dream since my first pregnancy to experience a water birth but was never able to because of the induction. (Was hooked up to continuous monitoring and couldn’t be submerged in water.) I wasn’t sure that I’d like the feeling of being in the water – I’m not a big fan of baths and it was a warm day. But I loved it!
I felt the urge to push with my first contraction in the pool. Baby Boy started crowning with the first push and with some calm coaching from my midwife and gentle encouragement from my wonderful husband, I breathed his head out with the next contraction and his perfect little body followed with the 3rd push. Rhythm was born in the water at 2:20pm, just 50 minutes after we had arrived at the hospital. I was able to pull him up from the water and embrace my precious boy. Then came that magic moment, that addictive rush of endorphins, the euphoric feeling of joy and instant love and connection.
I think is the moment I want to relive over and over and over again – The moment I first laid eyes on my precious baby boy, our first embrace, the moments he seemed to lock eyes with mine, as if he was discovering me and realising it was me all along, as I was him. We’d just met, but I felt as though I’d know him all my life and was always meant to know him. I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness that I get to call Rhythm my son, and that I get to call myself his Mama.
There is nothing better than being sorted for Christmas early so we’ve rounded up our fave gift ideas for mama, dad, baby, and toddler! We kept it budget friendly (all under $50) because we totally get that times are a bit tough at the moment.
This one is for all the preggy and brand-new mamas: a comprehensive list of everything you need postpartum! All the things you need can feel overwhelming so we have narrowed it down to what we think are the top essentials!
Turn that leftover nappy box into a pizza oven! Let your cutie practice their fine motor skills by using a glue stick and adding the toppings and their little imaginations will take them away. So much fun!