[Mia's first week]
Charlie came early and Mia kept us waiting.
Mia was due on 7th of January and since Charlie had arrived 9 days early I expected Mia would make her appearance somewhere between Christmas and New Year. I was hoping like heck it wouldn't be Christmas Day, I wasn't thrilled about the prospect of a New Years Eve baby either but would have gladly taken that over Christmas.
Christmas came and went, phew... New Years came and went... Ian's cousin's wedding I didn't know if I'd make came and went... Our due date came and went... an extra week came and went...
By this stage I was three weeks past my expectation of when number two would arrive and Ian had long since gone back to work. Work being back home 3 hours away while I twiddled my thumbs waiting at my parent's house. Luckily the third trimester is my favourite and I wasn't too concerned, except that the home birth program won't birth you at home past 42 weeks. I had been booked in for an appointment at the hospital to give me a check up and determine if they were still happy for me to birth at home, even though I still had a week before hitting 42 weeks. I had made it this far without requiring an ultrasound for either of my pregnancies and I was not looking forward to them demanding one to keep me on the program. But if that's what it was going to take I would have taken that option over a hospital birth.
I woke on Tuesday morning around 2.30am to pee and felt a couple of twinges but nothing more and went back to sleep. I awoke in the morning and nothing. I should back up here and tell you that Ian had come to see us for the weekend, keen to get things happening we (how to put it politely?)… had "relations" on Friday night, and Saturday morning I had a bloody show. We went out shopping for a good part of the day, all that walking... nothing... Saturday afternoon, lost my mucous plug... still nothing... Saturday night... Sunday morning... Out for breakfast with friends... Sunday afternoon... still nothing... by this stage I was getting a little discouraged at the lack of action, Charlie was born within hours of these signs and Ian would have to go back to work Monday morning, I really didn't want him to go again, but there I was very early Monday morning kissing him goodbye.
So after all this I woke on Tuesday morning not feeling anything and I wasn't going to get my hopes up. I had a 9.15 appointment at the Mac Store for my laptop that I wasn't going to miss, so off Charlie and I went. It's quite funny going out in public after your due date, people ask when you're due, when you tell them last week, they freak out expecting your waters to break right there and then, gushing all over their floor. Anyway, I didn't feel like going back to Mum and Dad's with nothing to do because you prudently don't make plans for those weeks after your due date. I rung my girlfriend who's day off (thank goodness) is Tuesdays and we hung out at her place with her two boys all day. I started having what I thought were random painful Braxton Hick's throughout the afternoon, but I still wasn't getting my hopes up. We went across the road to the park, we fed the kids dinner and we bathed them before I piled Charlie in the car at six o'clock and headed home.
I timed the contractions on the drive home and they were 8 mins apart, I was getting a little hopeful at this stage but not yet excited. I called Ian at 6.30pm when I got to my parent's house and said I'm not convinced this is labour so I'll call you in half an hour and if they're still regular come down. Smart man was on his way when I called back. Charlie had fallen asleep in the car and was an easy transfer to bed. My sister and her wife were flying out the next morning for work and Claudie my sister in law had hoped not to be there for the labour. I sat in their room with them for a while before the contractions were too strong to chat. Then the pacing and the waiting for Ian began. Dad blew up the birthing pool and filled it.
Ian arrived not long after 10pm and I called the midwife. I did not catch her on a good night, and I could tell she was not thrilled with my call. This is unfortunate because it took the sparkle off our birth experience. She apologised when she saw me next and I'm glad she did because I knew she hadn't been as great as our first midwives at Charlie's birth and I was quite pissed off to be honest. Anyway, she arrived an hour later at 11.15pm got herself organised and rang the second midwife. I hopped in to the pool. My Dad was still about, some water had leaked under the sink from filling up the pool. Ideally, we wanted as least people present as possible, but that is difficult when you're at someone else's house.
Because there was stuff going on and people about, I did not get to go in to that inner space the 'cone of silence' and I found my labour a bit more painful than the first time. This might also have been contributed to by the fact that my first labour was so much easier and less painful and quicker than I was expecting so I had high expectations that this second labour was going to be quicker again and even easier/less painful. There was a point when I wondered how long I was going to be in labour since everything was seeming the opposite to my first labour and I thought I couldn't do this if it was going to be hours and hours.
The second midwife arrived, and I was so not "in the cone of silence" that I called out a hello to her as she walked in the front door. And ten minutes later at 11.45pm Mia was born. They have my second stage of labour down at seven minutes, not long, I didn't have to worry about things dragging on for hours. Mia's head did not cone, but came out at 35cm perfectly round. I didn't have any trouble getting her head out, but our little miss was barrel chested and stayed put for a couple of contractions, at this point they told me to push. I tried, I had nothing, I wondered why they couldn't just grab a hold of her head and pull her out. Ian tried to touch her while she was under the water like that but was told not to. At Charlie's birth he was encouraged to touch and being the first person to touch/catch/hold Charlie is one of his proudest moments. I'm sorry for him that he didn't get that the second time round. In our midwive's defence, she was concerned that if you stimulate a baby before they surface it might try to breath under the water. I do not agree, and it would have been good to know beforehand for the sake of expectations.
Mia had an extremely short umbilical cord and so when the midwife tried to lift her out of the water behind me, there wasn't enough length and she quickly shoved her back under me and through to the front, so Ian was really cut out of that equation too. I held her in the water and thought she was short and chubby, but she was long and chubby! She was 56cm long and 4.51kg! Only one ounce off 10 pound!! I'm pretty proud of that :)
While we waited for the placenta to come out Charlie woke up and Ian bought him down to meet his new sister. Of course it was the middle of the night and he had just woken up, I don't think he knew what to make of it all with his dad suddenly there and me in the pool holding a new baby. We moved to the couch and they gave me a stitch. Neither of the midwives normally do stitches but I told them to have a go, I didn't want someone else to have to come the next day and give me a needle and then stitch me.
Without losing blood like I did with Charlie I felt pretty good immediately, if a little tired. This time I even had a shower and could walk myself to bed. Though I didn't have the high I did after I gave birth to Charlie, but I think that was partly my expectation that things would be quicker and easier second time around and them not being, and our midwife who was going through some personal issues.
My Sister and Claudie did not get much sleep before waking up and 5am or so to catch their flight, but it was nice for them to meet Mia before they left for two weeks. My Dad's generosity loading up the midwives with bottles of wine and being so excited he had to call one of his brothers in the middle of the night was pretty sweet too.
At the end of the day we got a beautiful healthy baby and that's what really matters. We fell in love with her pretty quickly and I'm so glad I didn't stop at one. This past year has been easier than I expected having two precious babies. I don't know if that's because of Mia's temperament or because I'm not a first time mum fumbling in the dark. Who knows! What I do know is that we are lucky to have her, sweet, sweet girl.