Sunday, February 19, 2006

Birth Story

Taking the idea from Suse and in celebration of my second daughter who was born 5 years ago today. Here is her birth story.

It was a Monday morning and I woke up "pissed off" that I hadn't had my baby during the night or on the weekend. It wasn't that I was overdue; I still had a few days to go. But those who have had babies will understand that those last few weeks just aren't fun at all. I am sure with a majority vote we could all get pregnancy cut back to about 34 weeks!!!
We were living in Switzerland at the time and being winter it was freezing!! We also had a cousin of mine from Australia and her friend staying for a few days. Now I guess in hindsight I must have known I was going to give birth that day...but at the time I had no idea. Marcel went off to work as usual giving me an account of where he would be at various times during the day. My mother-in-law had rung (as she did every morning in the hope she would be the first to know something..anything) and had offered to watch Zoe if I needed, but I said I was fine. Before our two guests got up that morning I decided that they "should" go to Luzern (Lucerne) for the day. I apologise to them now (I know my cousin reads this blog) if I was forceful, grumpy etc etc. I drove them to the train station and helped them buy their tickets and gave detailed instructions on how to get home and where the key would be if I was not home. I still had no physical signs that labour was imminent. After backing the car out of the car park at the train station I reparked it and rang my mother-in-law to ask if I could bring Zoe around as I thought I might get on with some housework.

I sat down and had a cup of great coffee and something yummy to eat as one always does at my in-laws!! When I got up to leave...whoosh!!! Yes all over my in-laws floor!!! I guess I had known that things were going to happen. I rang Marcel at work to come to his parents house. He said "do I need a taxi?"(10 mins) "or the tram?" (40 mins). I told him the tram would be fine but regretted it after I knew he was in the tram!!! With water continuing to drip the easiest place to be, was the shower!! My mother-in-law kept coming in and putting towels on the floor of the shower (obviously to protect the baby when it fell out!!!) and checking if I was OK!!! I then needed some clothes to wear as mine were obviously wet and Marcel and his mum came up with a huge stretchy tube skirt that I could get over my belly and a pair of his Grandmother's undies...yep you can picture them now...they were huge and were a very snug fit and even snugger with a disposable nappy in them. Yes that was what I used!! Adding woolly socks and my sneakers really complimented the look as we left for the clinic via our house to collect my bag and leave a key under the pot plant on the third step for my cousin.

We made the 6 minute drive to the Ita Wegman Klinik (an Anthroposophic Clinic) still waiting for contractions to start. The midwife had wanted us to come in and would then determine if I could go home. Given the history of my previous birth (pretty quick) we were happy to go in. Marcel and the midwife ran me a lovely bath which I felt silly in as I was not in any pain. Still the clinic was in a lovely setting and it was nice to be in the bath and look out at the faint snow falling on the gardens. After a while I got out of the bath and decided I should get the show on the road and started to walk the halls...shame it was just too cold to go outside!! Well things did get going and it wasn't long before I was swearing like a trooper. Even though all in the room spoke Swiss German they had obviously seen enough movies to understand exactly what I was saying. I still feel for the student Doctor who had arrived from Germany that day for her internship and this was to be the first birth she was to witness (I had agreed she could). As this particular Clinic is known for its very natural approach to birth they only permit certain doctors to attend. My Gynaecologist was "allowed" as he was pro natural birth and he was looking forward to attending as he had not been to this clinic before. Apparently he was off roller skiing and was taking his time and the midwife was getting a bit anxious. I remember saying to her through clenched teeth "Can you do this on your own?" "Yes" "then I don't give a s*%t if he is here or not". Of course like many Doctors he sauntered in towards the end. Everything was going smoothly, I was happy to squeeze Marcel's hand in the hope of drawing blood or inflicting any kind of pain; I even bit his hand at one point. Of course this being my second child I got to that point where I remembered how much it was going to huhrt and the inevitable tearing and quickly decided that this baby was going to stay inside and we would remain a happy family of three and I would forever have a huge belly! That looked like the easy option!! Of course Nature and the midwife decided otherwise. As she grabbed my hand for me to feel the baby that was about to enter the world and sure enough out came our darling daughter Shay...screaming her lungs out with a look of "I wanted to come out when I was ready" which pretty much sums up her darling personality!!! Her middle name is Elise after her Great Grandmother whose undies I wore to the hospital and who had sadly passed away a month before.

Happy 5th Birthday my Darling Shay!!!

Interestingly my birthday is tomorrow (the 20th) and I was born on my maternal grandmothers birthday. The time of the day that Shay was born was already the 20th of February in Australia so I guess you could say that 3 generations were born on the same day. However we were in Europe and her birthdate is the 19th and I am glad that she gets to have a birthday of her own. My sister knows what it is like to share a birthday with a parent!


Kali said...

Had to come over and wish Shay a very Happy 5th Birthay, after seeing her Grandma's post for her.
I hope she's having a lovely day Shell.

jellyhead said...

I love birth stories - they are always so unique and interesting. Yours is particularly unusual with the granny undies, etc! Thanks for telling us about the day Shay came into the world.

Flossy said...

Thanks for sharing Shelly - great story :)
Happy Birthday to you too! Hope you have a lovely day...

jellyhead said...

One more thing - Happy Birthday to you today!!

Kali said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHELL ~ Hope that you are having a very special day and a fantastic personal year!

Kerri said...

Happy birthday Michelle! You share the same birthday as my son, Andrew.
Isn't is funny how most of us can so clearly remember all the details of our children's births?
Your story is particularly amusing with the granny undies, etc. You were a brave girl to wear those...but I guess you didn't have much choice :)
I missed my mum terribly when I gave birth in a different country. I'll bet you did too. Kathy, our youngest was the only one born in OZ. My mum was over the moon when she was born :)

shellyC said...

Thank you ALL for your lovely wishes!!

I did have a lovely day.