So... I Had A Baby. (Ainara's Earthside Arrival)
There I was... being pulled around a circular path of bitumen, smack bang in the middle of a dog park.
And something just wasn't quite right. These cramps were starting to piss me off. They felt like a stitch.
Hellloooooo, I'm not even running.
But, I wouldn't have labelled them contractions. More so, just early labour, which could have meant that the "event" was still 24+ hours away. You were told to only go to the hospital when you were experiencing contractions 4 minutes apart, that were lasting at least 1 minute, and this had to have been happening for 1 hour. All I was feeling was a lower cramping situation, as if I was 12 years old again and wondering why there was blood in my Hello Kitty jocks.
Too much information... sorry. Not really.
I had been told for 9 months, that I would know when labour was starting. That when you rang your midwifes they would be able to tell through the phone, just by how you were talking and breathing.
I was experiencing none of this. Instead, I hadn't felt my daughter move since roughly 2am.
Ringing my own Mum seemed like a logical explanation.
My Mum, sounding like a wise old owl, told me, "Hmmmm interesting, sounds like early labour signs. But, just ring the hospital and ask the questions."
If I'm being completely honest here. I didn't think this was labour. For so long I had pictured in my mind, performing a simple task, like washing the dishes and then suddenly hurling over in pain, as I felt this contraction lashing out on my stomach as it moved from my back to across my front. I wasn't expecting some big dramatic, "holy shit, my water just broke."
But pain, yes. I was waiting for the pain.
Because of this, I was trying not to think, that if this wasn't labour, then what was it?
I had started poking at my belly, trying to see if my daughter was still hanging on in there. I rang the hospital, when I told them what was happening they told me to head in and they would get me "hooked up" to watch babies movements. I texted baby's Dad at this point, just letting him know I was popping up to the hospital for a check in. I also let his Mum know.
It was 830am.
When I got to the hospital, after driving myself there. I messaged my student midwife Bree, that I was there. She responded immediately asking if I wanted her there. I told her it was up to her, I wasn't really sure what was going on and I didn't want her to have to make the trip for nothing.
"I'll be there in 20 minutes."
In a way, I was quietly thankful. There was one familiar face around.
This weird strapping gizmo was placed across my stomach that was able to trace my daughters heartbeat. I was to be on it for 20minutes and then that trace would be checked for "normalcy." The midwife on shift at the hospital was lovely. One of those ol' ducks who had a lot of experience and knowledge, but had merged well with the technology and new ways of today. Not someone who stuck to the idea of "back in my day."
Yeah alright, Granny!
During the first 5 minutes of the trace, Bree had arrived and you could see that my daughter was in fact, moving around. Basically having a good old 90's dance party.
Alright, whats wrong with me. Usually I can feel that shit.
It was then suggested that I have a vaginal examination.
I'm pretty sure the midwife picked up on my facial expression through my casual response of, "you just do, what you gotta do."
"Have you ever had one before?
"Ahhmmmm nope. I know right, I'm planning to push a baby out all natural, but something about pap smears just freaked me out. So, I just never went there.
"I love how honest you are Raine."
Cheers lady. I should shut up more though. Especially when you're literally between my legs having a good ol' look. Small talk isn't exactly necessary. Is it?
"So um Raine." *From between my legs.
"Yeah, I'm still here. At the other end. What is up?
"You're 3cm dilated."
Say what now?
"Have you packed your hospital bag and have it with you here? I'm going to send you over to the birthing suite. I'm pretty sure you're going to have a baby today."
I'm looking at Bree. Bree is looking at me. Expressions of "gobsmacked" is the only way that this moment can be described. I'm pretty sure I laughed. I'm fairly certain Bree chortled. And this dear ol' midwife just stood there smiling.
"Just keep walking around love. Really get those contractions moving strongly."
Thankfully, my packed hospital bag had been in my car for weeks now.
Bree and i started doing laps of the hospital. Up and down the stairs we went. I still wouldn't have described them as contractions, in the way that I had expected them to be.
Give me the pain! I don't want to be sucking on this boost juice, laughing with my student midwife, wondering if i was going to have a tiny human hanging off my nipple by this afternoon.
I also bounced on a yoga ball.
The birthing suite had started to gossip. Everyone was starting to wonder if I was actually in labour. Through the conversations I was maintaining and the laughing, apparently I was coming across to "professionals" that I wasn't.
Damn Raine. There goes your acting career.
And then it happened... A male. Mind you, the only male mid wife, generously let me know...
"We are happy to send you home and you are more than welcome to come back later when you are feeling up for it.
"Ha! Like I was forcing myself to be here. Excuse me, I was advised to stay. I'm following orders for once in my life."
Lauren, one of the mid wives appointed to me, stuck up for me, believing I was in labour. She said she would do another examination. If there had been progress, I would stay. If not, I would have to go home.
So from having another lovely lady examining between my propped up legs, it was discovered... I was 5cm dilated.
It was 11am and I was considered as being in established labour.
At this point I sent an informative message to a group of people that mattered.
"Holla everyone that matters. Just letting you all know that this girl is in f**king labour! And I will catch you all on the flip side with a god damn daughter. Holy shit!"
I felt as if it really grasped the situation for everyone. The replies came thundering in. One of them being,
"Oh my god. You're about to get destroyed."
At that point, I conveniently put my phone out of reach.
An hour later and almost at 7cms. I was finally feeling contractions. This is the point I would have been waiting for at home to head to the hospital. The pain started at the base of my spine and rippled across my lower back, to getting my abs as it moved to the front and pulsated. All you can do, is breathe. I had oil diffusing, I had chunks of the crystal Malachite, lined in my only piece of clothing, my sports bra. The bath started to be filled, as per my birth plan. After 30 minutes of sitting in the tub... I couldn't do it. The water needed to be maintained at a certain temperature. My head was everywhere. I needed it to be cold one second, then boiling the next. I clambered into the shower, which had two heads. With one, I placed the pressure of just hot water on my back. The other, of just cold water on my forehead.
Well fuck, here I was planning to have this big soulful experience in a bath. My hair wasn't going to get wet and therefore go curly. My birth photos were going to be f**king great.
Instead, I was doing unintentional yoga, half naked across the hospital bathroom floor. And... my hair couldn't stay wet enough.
F**k the photos!
I loved the cold drops in my face. I needed it. I was starting to see double and feel faint. I was apologising to Bree and Lauren, the midwifes, who were always right near me, even in the shower.
"Just because my hair got wet, doesn't mean yours need to as well. And you guys have shoes on. I'm so sorry!"
They kept telling me to shut up with the whole saying sorry thing.
I was on my hands and knees, acting like a fish out of water. The contractions were building and becoming a constant pressure. I was basically in the downward dog position one second, to the fetal the next.
So this is why ladies feel like like they're going to shit. I don't actually know if I did. I was concentrating on throwing my body in elaborate position over wet tiles.
Then a pain like no other, stabbed my front left side. Constantly.
This isn't a f**king contraction!
I need sugar. Why is the room falling. Wait, am I falling. I just don't know.
I was taken out of the shower and put on the hospital bed.
"Raine, a few people are going to come into the room now. We need to have a look at that pain."
There were ladies everywhere. I was being asked if I wanted water.
All I could say was, "yes please."
The doctors were astonished at my use of manners at this point in my labour.
Glad I can make you laugh people!
I was 9cms and my body was automatically pushing. My daughter was in a rush.
No patience that one. Where would she get that from, I wonder?
The constant stabbing pain was my placenta. It has created a cleft over her head, that she couldn't get past. It was staying attached to the lining of whatever it's called. And it needed to be moved.
Once it was cleared, i rediscovered my rhythm of being able to breathe. The contractions were easy over what had felt like a knife in my stomach.
I was being told to push.
I lost consciousness.
"Raine, Raine. Stay with us."
"Yeah, yep. I'm here."
I lost consciousness again.
"Raine we need you to push.
I was pushing 4 times in the length of one contraction.
Again, I lost consciousness.
7 minutes later.
There was a tiny baby girl crawling her way up my chest, to my breasts. Where she then started to cry.
Holy dooly, indeed.
I had lost A LOT of blood. And had two labia tears. Apparently a weird and unusual spot.
Well done Raine! Always making it interesting.
This time there were two ladies between my legs. Throughly discussing how to go about stitches. I wasn't given a choice and I was handed the gas while they put me back together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Boy oh boy. Gas is good.
I remember seeing Bree fuss over my daughter... Ainara Wren, with her measurements. I remember seeing the TV and trying to read the brand name. All I could see was, "retard."
Yes Raine. You are a retard.
I was laughing at myself on the hospital bed, legs spread with two doctors between them and a pool of blood. I could see my daughter. I was sucking on this tube of gas like it was life support. I couldn't feel my face, let alone what they were doing "down there." I was telling Bree, how good this stuff would be at the local nightclub, the Helm. And all I could keep thinking was, what the hell did that word on the TV say.
What a comical situation. You "retard" Raine.
Standing up, after giving birth. Well... it's interesting, I don't know how to explain it. You feel like everything is going to fall out.
When I got to the shower. Stuff did. A massive blood clot to be exact. Approximately 30cm wide! The midwife, Helen, played it out really well that it was normal.
It wasn't. That was just part of the blood I had lost, that had dried.
The first shower after giving birth, is a present from God. That's all that needs to be said.
I was sore. So freakin' sore. There were still needles in my arms, from I don't even know when and my hair looked atrocious.
And yet, I had a daughter. And she was perfect. She was everything and she was mine.