Mercedes' eighth month


It is undoubtedly one of the strangest appointments I have ever had to make. There it was in bold red ink scrawled across the page of my diary: “1.30pm – have baby.” One month out from my baby's due date I went in to see the obstetrician at my hospital and was given a date for my C-section. It was strange to have a definitive date and yet oddly comforting – until a friend pointed out that mother nature could still intervene by sending me into spontaneous labour!

The last few weeks before the baby's arrival were spent in a flurry of preparations and just a dash of nesting, for some reason I just had to clean the ceiling in the kitchen! With the newborn clothes neatly folded in the drawers, packs of nappies stacked in the hallway cupboard, baby toiletries sharing space with ours in the bathroom and a tiny pink and cream bassinette in our bedroom all appeared to be ready for D-day.

To her credit, Ava had been uncharacteristically patient with the pending arrival. After all, nine months is as good as a lifetime for a five-year-old and not once had she muttered her disapproval at how long the process was taking. But her patience was definitely tested by the well-meaning friends and family members who would enquire several times a day if she was excited to soon be a big sister. Towards the end of the month Ava had perfected the eye-roll when asked about the coming arrival.

The special day rolled around very fast. I awoke on the scheduled morning feeling strangely at ease, I even managed to get a good night sleep. By 9.30am we were leaving the house to drop Ava at her cousin's for the morning before arriving at the hospital at 10.30am. We were given our room where we were asked to wait until someone came to see us. It was rather an anti-climax as the next few hours were spent waiting for something to happen. An obstetrician popped in to ask a few questions and the anaethetist came by to explain the procedure. Throughout it all I remained calm. But when I was asked to change into the hospital-issue open-backed gown at 12.30pm and prepare to be taken down to theatre, I freaked!

“This is it!” my husband whispered and off we went, me perched precariously on my hospital bed with Shane training beside me into the bowels of the old hospital. My previous calm was replaced with a body-shaking fear, I felt like I was literally bouncing off the bed I was shaking so much. It was just hitting me that I was about to undergo major abdominal surgery! A canula was inserted into my left arm to receive the drip and post-operative pain relief followed by a catheter. Then I was told to hunch forward so the spinal block could be administered into my spine. Once in place I layed back and relaxed a little as I was prepped for the operation.

Ten minutes later our little girl, Evie Grace, was born into the world with a lusty cry and a wrinkled brow and weighing a healthy 3.19kgs. The whole experience was so different to my last C-section when Ava was born in an emergency operation after 12 hours of labour. Addmitedly I was a lot more aware of the whole procedure and therefore a lot more frightened this time around. But it was a much more positive experience as well. I was able to have a nice long cuddle with my baby afterwards and my earlier calm returned.

After spending an hour in recovery I was wheeled back to my room to be reunited with my husband, Ava, my mum and the newest member of our family. My husband later told me when Ava first saw little Evie, she peered at her from across the room and quickly asked “Can I go home now?” Our worst fears of sibling rivalry were being realised!

The first night in hospital was as restful as I could expect in a ward packed to the rafters with patients from two maternity wards. But nothing could wipe the smile from my face. As I was still feeling the effect of the spinal block and was hooked up to a morphine drip and catheter I could not properly tend to little Evie who spent most of her first night on earth in the nursery. But by 4am I buzzed the midwives to bring her to me for a cuddle. I couldn't believe how perfect she was and I had forgotten how tiny newborns are. By the same token, I couldn't believe only hours ago she had been squished in my tummy. Ah! the miracle of life.

After three days I chose to go home on the early discharge program. I was surprised at how well I felt and how quickly I was recovering from my C-section. I was keen to be back home with my family and home comforts – but I would sure miss that 24-hour nursery!

Back home we quickly settled into a routine, Ava returned to kindy and my husband to work. And at the risk of jinxing everything, Evie is a great little sleeper feeding every three to four hours allowing me to get good chunks of sleep at night and good chunks of rest during the day. Even Ava has warmed to her little sister announcing often that she loves her little sister to bits.

And so we start our life as a family of four...

Here's my story but we'd love to hear yours too. Please write to us with any comments about our new pregnancy blog or write your own and send it to us. Motherinc is always keen to hear your story and we'll select the best each month to post on our site.