Friday 07th October: Woke up at 6.30am and thought my waters had broken. It wasn't a lot but was a trickle of fluid. I was so shaky and nervous. I called Michael who had already left for work and he came back home. I had a shower and got organised and headed into hospital.
Louis was monitored and everything was fine. No contractions. They tested the fluid and it wasn't amniotic (and I hadn't wet my pants either!). Anyway, we were sent home. I felt so silly going in for nothing and for thinking labour was starting when obviously it wasn't.
Michael stayed home from work but I had to go and teach a dance class! I really didn't feel like it. I was not feeling right but off I went. I tried not to do much but that's really difficult when teaching 3 and 4 year olds dancing! I was so glad the hour was over and I was able to go home. As I walked to the car I thought I felt more fluid. I sat in the car and was thinking I would drive to the nearby bank. I pulled into the car park and thought no way am I going to risk walking in there. I quickly drove home and as I ran in the house I felt a big gush. I may have sworn on the way in due to nerves. Ha ha. I ran straight to the toilet and had to change my clothes. Another call was made to the hospital and we were told to head in again. More monitoring - bubba was fine - and another check of the fluid, which yes, this time was amniotic. We were told to head home and wait for contractions to start or otherwise I'd be induced in the morning. I was so nervous, scared and excited. I managed to get a little sleep but it wasn't very good. I was getting super mild contractions every 10-15 minutes but nothing major.
Saturday 08th October: I woke up really early, around 6-6.30am and showered. I called the hospital and was told they would call back when they had room for me to come in. I did some housework and managed to doze off with Michael on the couch for a while. Dad dropped around as well before we left which was nice. We ended up leaving for the hospital at around 2pm. It was such a quick drive as I was so nervous. The most my contractions had come together was about 5min but generally they were 8-10min apart and not very painful at all. We got to the hospital and had more monitoring - everything was fine. Then the waiting game was on. We went into delivery suite. It was so scary hearing other women screaming so loudly during labour! We had to wait for a Dr to come and get the drip organised. A woman Dr came and tried getting it in what felt like every vein in my arms. It hurt so much but I tried not to complain as I knew labour would be a lot worse. She gave up and we had to wait for another one to come and finish. he came in and did it in one go and it hardly hurt! S o now it was time for the drip to start. By this stage Mum had arrived and Dad had visited at the hospital as well! Anyway, the slow painful process began at around 6pm. An internal showed I was only 1cm dilated. The contractions were mild to begin with. We were all just talking and laughing. They were coming 5min apart. After a while they were building and I would just be quiet and close my eyes during it. I asked about moving around but was told that it wouldn't help. I was not happy with my midwife who was just inappropriate at times and not very nice. It can make such a difference as well. Contractions were building. It was such a tiring process. At midnight I had another internal and was still only 1cm dilated! They also realised that it must have been my hind waters that broke earlier and went on to break my waters again...it was at this point that the pain really started to pick up.
Sunday 09th October: The contractions were coming on really strong. I ended up being sick quite a few times which was hard during contractions. Michael did a good job of catching it though! I was really starting to have had enough and wanted it all to be over. At this point I still hadn't had any pain relief. At 4am they did another internal and I'd only dilated to 2cm. At this point I felt like giving up. We talked about having pethidine but I was so unsure after my sister had said it wasn't great. It took me until 4.30am to decide but I really needed something. It didn't really take the pain away as such but I was able to sleep/rest in between contractions. Poor Michael hand at this stage was getting very squished. It definitely helped in the end though because by 7.30am I was finally fully dilated. I knew that pushing when you weren't ready could be really bad and put you back a few hours so it took me a while to be convinced I was really ready. Once I got my head around it though, I was determined to get my bubba Louis born. After what felt like a few contractions, although I think it was about 30 minutes, and pushing as hard as I could (with coaching from Mum) Louis began to make an appearance. This was definitely the easy part for me! We had a big of a scare where the midwife (a much nicer one by this stage) called to get a Dr as they thought the cord was wrapped around his neck but it was all OK once they realised it was just around his arm and shoulder. I felt his head between my legs but it was all very surreal. One last push and he was out!
I had him put straight up onto my chest. he was just so little. I felt very spaced out from the pethidine still. After a little while I lifted him up and he had a his first little feed. It felt really strange because I had no idea what I was doing! Michael then cut the cord and the placenta was delivered.
Louis Robert Visser
Weight: 5lb 14 or 2.67kg
I just couldn't believe I just gave birth to a little baby! It was so surreal. After a while I got up and had a shower which made me feel a lot better but I was so tired and still feeling the effects of the pethidine.
My amazing Mum stayed with us the whole night and was able to be there for his birth. There was something comforting about having my own Mum there with me while giving birth to my first child.
We soon had lots of visitors. Michael's parents, Sharon and the kids and friends. We were transferred to the maternity ward and managed to snooze for an hour or so. I stirred a little when I heard a little cry, but didn't realise it was Louis to begin with! Of course a few moments later and I did realise it was our little bundle next to me. I had no idea what to do so just tried to feed him. It was all so strange and I felt so overwhelmed with the responsibility of this little package of perfection. I had no experience with babies at all and as much as I was so happy to be a mother I was on a very steep learning curve. I didn't want Michael to go home, which of course he had to. He was exhausted as well after being up all night and left around 9pm.
There were many challenges that first night, mostly due to me having no idea what I was doing and being so tired. The nurses said a few careless things that absolutely stressed and worried me. Comments such as "starved in utero" because he was hungry and then noticing that he had a tongue tie which I had no idea about. It made me scared that there was something wrong. They took him to give me a break after very roughly trying to hand express milk from me only to bring him back in 10 minutes because he just needed me. Of course, that was fine but I felt like they weren't very caring and given that I was so inexperienced it just added to a really disappointing hospital experience. I really just wanted to get home...
The next day I had some more visitors including my friend Bean. Michael came around but was also on a big mission at the shops to purchase smaller clothes because he was so tiny and to install the car seat. With Louis arriving 2 weeks early we weren't completely ready! I also asked him to bring more food because I was so hungry.
My bruises from the first try of getting the drip in...
I stayed in for two nights and then we were able to head home.
It was the start of our parenting journey. The beginning of our little Louis in our lives. Our new life as a family of 3. I was uncertain and unsure but I did know that becoming a mother was the best thing that had ever happened to me.