Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"This baby's got a very big head"

Announced the midwife, to which my reply was, " she obviously takes after her mother". You see I've been calling Kate big head for years and it was quite fitting for the little baby kate(not her actual name) to announce her big headedness to the world in such dramatic fashion. We may both look chirpy in the above photo, it's true the camera never lies, it's the angle of the camera that tells all the untruths. Supermodel kate wouldn't be looking so great if we were on the other side of that curtain. You see getting to this momentous picture was a long hard journey, one that started on Monday morning and finally finished the following one at 8.16 am(05/06/07) with the birth of the beautiful, albeit slightly squashed, Ivy May Browne.

It all started with a trickle that sure enough turned into a flood and had Ed mopping up some water all the way from the bedroom floor to the bathroom. It was monday morning the flag had been hoisted it was all about to happen. So off we trotted very casually to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital to check things out. Kate was hooked up to a machine that sounded like the galloping of a thousand horses and sure enough, we were informed yes the waters had broken, the baby will probably come tonight, so go home and ring us when things really get exciting. (basically with the baby boom in full swing there's not a bed in sight).
Kate had gone into some kind of weird land and had her mind set on baking a cake (the fact I have never actually seen her bake anything let alone a cake didnt seem to her odd).
Kate was so calm we were even recieving visitors as Emma and Jasen popped over for a bit of labour spotting. By now it was 4pm and she hadnt even started that cake. We had bought the ingredients but she knew she had a cake to bake before the other bun came out of the oven. But then it was time for a walk (very important to let gravity start pulling the baby down). So off we waddled up to Kates Parents jill and Lindsay( who luckily don't live too far away but far enough away if you know what I mean) for a bit of a pre labour gee up. Quick waddle home afterwards and it really was time to start making that cake.
Unfortunately contractions began which as soon as we put on Big brother became a lot worse. It was almost as if her body was having an allergic reaction to the latest reality TV bollocks. By now Kate could only prepare the cake in 6 minute intervals which were fast becoming 5 minute intervals which really began to start freaking out our cat chloe. But instead of running off from this crazed creature emitting sounds only a midwife could understand Chloe did the opposite. She ran towards the source, trying to discover and help out her adopted mum by biting her softly on the arm and shoving her cat head in kates face. It was actually one of the most touching moments I've ever seen between woman and beast.

By now I was racing between oven ( I'd taken over cake duties), telephone to the hospital, and telephone to our doula Michelle. For those who don't know what a doula is, they are someone you employ to help you through Labour. Basically a hired support person and the best money I never spent. Thanks Jill and Lindsay for that, I don't think we could have got through without her.

By now it was all going crazy what with the cat, the contractions, the cake, the have we got everything packed, the can we come in to the hospital yet, the hope the car starts, and the oh my god what if it comes out right now, that we grabbed the keys and just like out of the scene of a film began the whole race to the hospital routine. All was going swimmingly until we got outside and discovered some roadwork had cut off the entrace to the emergency maternity drop off point and we had a to find a new route in. Under pressure to do something fast or risk a quick swipe from a posessed woman, I managed to find a car park only a short 80 metres from the entrance. But now the contractions were happenning every 2 minutes which means you have about 30 seconds of slow walk to make any progress. About ten minutes later we made it to the entrance only to arrive after hours and have to press a button and announce ourselves to the security guard who could quite easily see all the drama right in front of him. " Yes Can I help you?" he asked . "Damn right fucker open those doors before a major incident occurs to your face" I thought but calmly just asked him to open the doors. That he did, but not before Kate expressed her complete discust with a huge vomit right at the front door, followed by another vomit and another and another. By now the doors had shut again and I had to push the button and announce myself to the same security guard who was acting as if he coldn't see what was going on only 8 metres in front of him. One can only hope he had to clean up the vomit.

I'd love to say my work was done I'm off to the pub for a cigar and a beer but no this is not the 1950's. Michelle the doula arrived and we were now part of the get the baby out team. " Get me an epidural!" Kates contractions were now like something out of the entity. Nurse ratchett the midwife after looking at the birthplan said "yes, but it says here that you would like to try for a while without drugs and only have an epidural when the pain gets bad" Kate countered with a " I wrote that when I was at work I want an epidural get me an epidural, ed tell them I need an epidural" Knowing that my entire future was at stake I replied " Get her an epidural!"
But of course it was now 11am and just happenned to be one of RPA's busiest nights ever and try finding an anaethesist at that time on RPA's busiest night. Events now started to take on a very surreal quality. Machines going beep, Kate going " where's the epidural" all to the sound of Buddha Bar V111, a Cd I'm sure Kate will never let me listen to ever again. An hour later, 12 pm Kate was fully dilated and Michelle was thinking we would have a baby by 2am. Unfortunalely nobody had bothered to ask the baby. Kate was now in the catch 22 of having to let the epidural wear off so she can push, so she was really starting to feel the pain. 1am became 2 am became 3am and by now it was hard to know where we were. The baby had come down a fair way but seemed to be in the wrong position and no doctors were around because there were 5 other c sections going on thru the night. We were put on a holding pattern as the baby and Kate seemed to be doing relatively Ok. For us though it had become the night that would never end. Kate was being a trooper and pushing like a demon, much of it with the epidural having worn off. By 6 am Kate was utterly exhausted and nothing left in the tank and had understandely developed a fear to those contractions coming back. By now we had a doctor, there was a theatre empty and it was all systems go.

Off we went to the theatre where a cast of about 20 all dressed greys anatomy style awaited. The weird moments were coming thick and fast and already it's hard to remember them all. Before I knew it the curtain was up and they were trying a bit of suction. But this baby just didnt want to come out. The decision was finally made about 7.30 to go for a C section. Kate was really relieved. Medical Team B jumped on the scene and I made sure I wouldn't stand up and look over that curtain. At 8.16 am finally after more tugging and pulling we heard the infamous line. My god this Baby has a very big head. Kate and I both laughed and got a quick glimpse of the most outraged little face before she was whisked off for a quick clean. Dad went off to cut the cord (not sure it was actually attached to anything) and Mum was stitched up. Dad and baby then went off and had an hours quality time togethor and Little Ivy now knows all about the world and is already starting to recite a little bit of chaucer.

The midwifes are saying she looks like me ( lucky little sausage) but people do say babies look like they're fathers at first. So far she has hardly cried at all and seems to have a really relaxed temperament. Lets hope that lasts. ate is doing fine for someone who has experienced the worst of all the different aspects of labour, but she is loving her little package. If anyone wishes to visit just give me call first, We're at RPA ward 5 east and visiting hours are 2 til 8. Don't feel you have to visit as it really is a time for Kate to recover and learn how to look after her baby. But on the same note if you'd really like to, we'd love to see you

We decided to court a bit of controversy by giving the baby Kate's last name. We decided if it was a girl then it will be a Browne and if a boy then a holmes. Let's face it it's only fair after all Kate's been thru in the last few days. If we have another one it will be a Holmes. We wanted an old fashioned name and road tested quite a few and Ivy May is actually Kates grandmothers name. Ivy is also a name that appears quite a few times in my family tree and may is the name of my great Aunt who was a bit of a star of the family, and also one of my susters middle names. We also like the fact it's a flowers name but also not too popular at the moment.

Go Ivy go


Anonymous said...

Congratulations !!!!!
Qué cosita Ivy May !!!! Un nombre muy bonito, me gusta mucho.
We're also going to be parents soon. I'm due on July 21st. Can't wait !!!
Best wishes to you three.
Elisa y Jordi

Married with a mob said...

Wow Ed.

That baby does have a big head!

Seriously... I was absolutely honoured to have shared your pregnancy and labour with you. Ivy is just delicious and Kate is one of the most amazing girls I know. She just didn't give up(not til right at the end anyways)

Hope we can regroup as team get-the-baby-out again some day. Now get some rest dammit.

With love,

Michelle the anti-Doula