Sometimes I need a filter between my brain and my mouth.
This is not the way to get one.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hermione Quinn...

Hermione Quinn - Born 13 November 2012 at 5:58am
Delivered by her Daddy in the front seat of the car by the side of the road.

Your entrance into the world spoke volumes - you will do things when you're ready, and there's no time like the present. And that's fantastic, but if you could give us the heads up in the future we'll make sure we're organised ahead of time.

I'm not sure your Dad will ever look at life the same - it's not enough that his beloved car was almost destroyed in a tsunami of pregnancy induced vomiting, but a few short months later he had to whip a set of midwifery skills out of his bum since you weren't prepared to wait for the comforts of a hospital - or let me indulge in my pre-ordered epidural!!

At 36 weeks I went into 'spurious labour'. After the midwife explained exactly what that meant, I realised it's just a nice way of saying to you that "you're in an absolutely, bloody pointless, never ending cycle of contractions that aren't actually labour for which we will give you panadeine forte and sleeping pills even though you have a 3yo to look after and you can't spend all of your time drugged out on the couch".

I was tired and frustrated - by the end of that week I was ready to send someone in there to get you. But apparently you just wanted to finish the book you were reading, or something along those lines, and once you were ready, you were ready.

While your sister chose to keep us waiting for 3 extra days, you decided to arrive 3 days early. I was grateful to wake up on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 to contractions that didn't fizzle out and felt anything but 'spurious'. If one more medical professional had mentioned the word 'spurious' within earshot I think I would have knocked their teeth out.

It was 2:30am and I tossed and turned over the regular pains for about an hour before I decided to go into the lounge room and bum around for a bit. The cat gave me a filthy look as rolled my way to the side of the bed (with all the grace of an obese warthog) and I moved the covers one tenth of a millimetre. Your Dad didn't even notice, but I can't blame him - for months he grew accustomed to me being up and down three billion times a night, as you used my bladder for a pillow.

Sitting during contractions became uncomfortable rather quickly, and laying down was even worse so I defaulted to the 'bored elephant hip swaying' moves while leaning over the back of the couch that I favoured when I was in labour with your big sister.

At 4:30am I decided to wake your Dad and tell him what was happening - I told him to go back to sleep and I'd wake him when I thought it was time for us to call your Nana and Pop to come and take care of your big sister while we went to the hospital. As it turns out, it's really hard to get dressed quietly when you're an obese warthog who needs to sway like a bored elephant and so your Dad woke up. We called your Nana and Pop just after 5am - after your Dad had called the hospital to find out if we should come in.

My contractions were growing in intensity, and it did cross my mind that things felt like they were happening a lot faster than they did with your sister, but I was convinced we still had plenty of time before you'd be making an entrance.
Just before your Nana arrived I felt things shift a gear - suddenly I couldn't decide if I needed to pee or vomit, or both. I should have recognised this, as it was exactly what happened shortly before your sister was born, but I was too busy telling myself I still had lots of time to get to my epidural the hospital.

It felt like an eternity before your Nana walked through the door, and I was relieved to see her. I was trying not to make any loud noises so I didn't wake up your sister - I didn't want her to see me in pain and be frightened.

To say she's a sensitive soul is an understatement.

Your Dad had taken everything down to the car and was all set to go (in record time, I'd like to add - where the hell is this kind of efficiency when we're heading out to the shops!?) when I had a contraction so bad it knocked my legs out from under me. I was on my hands and knees, forehead to the floor, wishing I could dig my nails into the floorboards. Without your Nana's urging I'm not sure I would have gotten off the floor, down the stairs and into the car - her voice was urgent and made me listen.

I managed to get into the car where your Dad pointed out to me that he had the entire kitchen bin in the front seat for me to vomit in and that the plastic container I had chosen was too small. He wasn't taking any chances. 

It was about this time I decided it was a really bad idea for us to move 25 minutes drive from the hospital. With your sister, we lived less than 5 minutes down the road, and now I was staring down the barrel of a car ride I really didn't want to take. Although I'd like to say that Mitsubishi have really high standards when it comes to installing those handles above the car windows - no matter how hard I pulled during my contractions I just couldn't tear it out of the roof.

Given the time of day we weren't faced with any serious traffic, but we did manage to get stuck behind the slowest person on earth to be driving around at that hour. I thought your Dad was going to jump out of the car and strangle the other driver - there was a wild look in his eyes, the other driver wouldn't have stood a chance.

I remember there was a lot of discussion in the car with me telling your Dad I was never doing this again and his response being a standard "breathe sweet, just breathe...". And it all felt incredibly normal and I started to feel less panicky as we turned at the roundabout, on to Vanderlin Drive which looked more like the golden mile to me, as at the end was a few short turns and my epidural the hospital.

But then I felt it. And I knew there was no way we were going to make it.

I'm not sure if I screamed it at your Dad, or if I calmly informed him in my best 'proper English' voice - but at any rate, the words "I can feel her head" were released, at which point your Dad simultaneously sped up the car and shoved his hand between my legs while saying "don't push, just breathe - Don't Push!!".

I think he thought he could just simply hold you back and keep you in there. Even if he could have, it's not something I would have agreed with - I had your head in my birth canal and I could no longer sit - there was no way!

Your Dad asked if I wanted him to pull over and call an ambulance - I believe my response was an enthusiastic "YES!". He pulled in to the first turning lane that came up, which just happens to be the turning lane leading to the dump/recycling centre.

But let me be perfectly clear - you were NOT born AT the dump. You were born by the side of the road, and the road leading to the landfill was behind the car. Regardless of any sensationalist headlines put forth by the NT News, you were born on Vanderlin Drive and it says exactly that on your birth certificate.

Ahem - moving on...

The car came to a screeching halt and your Dad was on the phone to 000. Your Dad had only just got his bum off the drivers seat before I was scrambling to get on all fours - my arms on the drivers side and my legs on the passenger side. In the time it took your Dad to walk from the drivers side of the car to the passenger side your head was out, and I was screaming for your Dad to help me - but again, those folks at Mitsubishi know how to make a sound proof car, and your Dad knew nothing until he opened the door and I was trying to pull off my leggings because I was afraid they were hurting you in some way.

And then, just as your Dad finished the sentence "yes, the head's out..." the rest of you emerged and came to rest in your Daddy's arms at 5:58am.

Your Dad wrapped you in one of the towels I had been sitting on (in case my water broke in the car - but you descended so quick, all the amniotic fluid was stuck behind you!) and rubbed your back for a few seconds before you started to cry. I don't remember hearing anything in your Dad's voice but confidence and reassurance to me that you were okay.

It's only now that he tells me he was scared to death and desperate for the ambulance to arrive so he had someone to reassure HIM that you and I were absolutely okay. I lost track of time between your birth and when the ambulance finally arrived, but apparently it was less than 10 minutes. That entire time your Dad was squatting at the passenger door, in the rain, keeping you warm and protected and reassuring me that everything was okay.

Looks like all those squats at the gym with your Uncle Matt paid off.

Once the ambulance arrived, your Dad got to cut your cord and I finally emerged from the car. I don't think I said much to the paramedics except for "I'm sorry your first introduction was to my bum". Your Dad tells me that during this time he called your Nana to let her know what happened and then hopped in the car to follow the ambulance. In the car the reality started to sink in and the shock - and it took your Dad a good few days to really process the whole experience - but knowing that his face was the first one you saw when you entered the world is better than anything he could have imagined.

He wouldn't change that for anything.

We were taken to the emergency department and transferred to maternity at Royal Darwin Hospital. There we were poked and prodded and I delivered your placenta. They weighed you, measured you and gave you your Hep B and Vitamin K shots. You barely protested which puts me to shame when I sob over a paper cut. But my 'legend' status returned once I learnt I only had a graze from your birth and I wouldn't need a single stitch.

That's right - your 2.9kg sister gave me a second degree tear, but you, in all your 3.41kg glory, only gave me a graze and I delivered you naturally. Touche irony, touche.

By 7:30am we were all comfy in our room, having been transferred over to the private hospital, and ready to face the world. You were asleep in your crib and your Dad and I had to keep touching you to believe it had all really happened. It felt surreal - like a dream, and when you wake up you're not sure if it's real or if you saw it on Neighbours the night before.

You and your Dad were 'media celebrities' for a few days, but we were happy when all the fuss died down and things got back to normal. I tried my best to make the most of being in hospital and having meals cooked and cleaned up by someone else, my room cleaned by someone else and free reign to chill in my pyjamas all day and not feel the least bit guilty. But the novelty wore off and we went home 2 days later on Thursday.

Since then life has continued as normal - except you're on the outside now, a fact which your big sister likes to remind me regularly (in case I had forgotten). You have slipped into our lives seamlessly and it feels like you've always been here.

You're 12 days old today and I can't believe that much time has passed already. I'm scared that if I blink, you'll be all grown up and, my days of being a mummy to a newborn will well and truly be over. You are our last baby and, somehow, that makes every moment that passes a little harder to accept because I know we'll never have this again.

And so little JellyBean, that's the story of you and how you came into our lives with a flourish. I have no doubt that your entrance is just a taste of the jaw dropping moments we'll have in our lives, thanks to you, but we wouldn't have you any other way.

Hermione Quinn - 13/11/12, 5:58am

They have a bond only they'll ever know

Elena Grace & Hermione Quinn

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