Good news everybody. I’m now a father of 3 beautiful little humans with the most recent addition to the family checking in yesterday morning at 0605 am. It is with great excitement that I present Baby J (pictured) weighing in at 8lb 5oz. This is the story of how he came to enter the world and the events leading up to it.
The Preliminary Build Up:
The first thing to note about this delivery is that it was always going to be close to overlapping with the delivery of our furniture and belongings following our move down from Darwin. In turn the important thing to note about the move down from Darwin is that my wife and kids will be living in Wodonga while I work Monday to Friday in Canberra (300 km away) and that our belongings had to be delivered to Canberra but were mostly needed in Wodonga. The planned date of delivery to Canberra was 15 Jan 18 and the projected due date for Baby J was 22 Jan 18. This would give me a week to drive to Canberra several times with a rented truck (pictured), collect our things and deliver them to our home in Wodonga. What could possibly go wrong?
The Fuse is Lit:
When my wife first informed me that she was starting to feel as though she was in pre-labour and that things were starting to progress it was about Thursday last week (11 Jan 18) still 11 days before the due date. This was concerning because I still had at least two over night trips to make to Canberra to sort out the move. We were really concerned that I would miss the birth if she went early (which was now looking likely).
Monday 15 Jan 18 dawns and it is going to be a busy day. I need to drive the rented furniture truck to Canberra, unload two containers of furniture into an apartment before loading some of that into my rented truck to drive back to Wodonga. My wife needs to be at our new house in Wodonga in the morning for the internet hook up before going to the ante-natal clinic for a check because she’s been feeling like she’s in pre-labour for a few days and has had contractions on and off but still no baby. We’re both anxious in case the baby decides to come while I’m off in Canberra (roughly a 12 hour long errand). But there’s nothing more to do, we need the furniture. The race is on.
I depart Wodonga, heading for Canberra. My wife is at the house, the internet guy is at the house hooking up our connection and I have contacted my friend in Canberra who will be in location to open my apartment for the removalists at 12:00 pm. I settle in for the four hour drive up the Hume Highway.
I arrive in Yass (about 280 km North of Wodonga) needing fuel for the truck. I take the opportunity to call my wife. She has been to the ante-natal clinic and has been put on the baby monitoring machine. The staff are happy that baby is still content and doing well. They are satisfied that the discomfort and symptoms my wife has been having are consistent with pre-labour rather than any potential problem and we still don’t know how long it will be until labour actually starts, it could be days yet or it could be minutes. I’m now three hours from home with an hour left to drive before starting the furniture task before driving four hours home. Realistically I’m probably seven or eight hours away from being home.
I arrive at the coffee shop across the road from my apartment because (let’s be honest) there is always time for a cheeky coffee. I then head over to my apartment to sort out the delivery of my furniture, car and belongings. This is the first time that I have seen any of my stuff since leaving Darwin a month ago and I’m anxious to see whether it has a) all made it, and b) made it in one piece.
The removalists from Wridgways do me a solid and happily separate my belongings into the items that need to remain at the apartment and those that need to be loaded into my rental truck to take back to Wodonga. They then help me load my little truck as well. This is of great assistance and saves me hours of hard labour running things from the third floor apartment back down to my truck.
I’ve just left the apartment (via the coffee shop again of course) heading home. The truck is full of furniture and we should be now be able to move into our new home properly. I just need to make it home in one piece and before the baby comes.
I pull into the truck stop at Gundagai for fuel and dinner (about 200 km North of Wodonga). While there my wife sends me a message saying that she didn’t want to concern me but that she’s been having strong contractions all afternoon and is pretty sure that tonight will be the night. Since I am still two hours away of course I’m concerned, I might not make it back in time. So I hit the road immediately and hurry home.
I made it. I’m back in one piece and the baby is yet to arrive. It won’t be long though as my wife is having regular contractions that are close enough to be timed. I quickly have a shower and make sure we’re properly packed and ready to go.
12:45 am (16 Jan 18):
It’s time!!! The contractions are only about six minutes apart and the hospital has advised us to come in. We hurriedly grab our things and let my wife’s parents know what’s going on (we’re staying at their place and they are watching the kids). Neither my wife nor I have slept a wink.
We’ve arrived at the hospital, the contractions are coming much quicker and stronger now. A quick examination reveals my wife is 3-4 cm dilated and Baby J’s heart beat is strong. Baby J is head down and driving for the exit.
Things have progressed quickly and within an hour we’re up to 8 cm dilation. Around this time we move back to the bed from the gym ball and it is looking as though Baby J will be making an appearance in near record time.
Things have not progressed any further in over two hours and we just received the concerning news that Baby J is trying to come down transverse, is stuck in the birth canal and is becoming distressed (his heart rate was begin fluctuate wildly). My wife is told that the best option (and the one that provides the greatest chance of avoiding surgery) is to have an epidural. This is a nightmare scenario for my wife as she has a crippling fear of needles and was explicit in her birth plan that she did not want any needles for pain unless it was absolutely essential for either her or the baby’s well being. The doctor’s insistence also serves to communicate the gravity of the situation and the potential consequences.
Reluctantly my wife agrees and they set about administering the epidural between contractions. I feel completely helpless at this point, unable to help my wife any further other than to reassure her that things will turn out ok even though I have no way of knowing. I resolve to call our families once the epidural is administered to let them know that we’re having issues and that we may need to switch to a C-section.
We had to wait for the anaesthetist to arrive in order to administer the epidural. Baby J is still transverse and stuck in the canal.
IT’S HAPPENED, HE’s HERE!!! As soon as the epidural went in and before the meds could take effect Baby J has righted himself and drove straight for the exit. It’s as if he has inherited his mother’s fear of needles and decided to bail out before dealing with the epidural. In any case our baby is finally here, a healthy little boy weighing in at 8lb 5oz.
Best of all he looks exactly like the name that we had picked for him and will be henceforth known as Baby J. Pop the corks, drop the confetti, that’s a wrap.
Check back again soon for my next post which will address more specifically my birth buddy duties during labour. If you have a birthing story or any questions about the logistics of rolling from an interstate removal straight into child birth leave a comment below. If you enjoyed the post and would like to be made aware of future posts you can follow me on twitter here, Instagram here or simply click the follow button on my blog.