At 35 and a half weeks I was out on the golf course with a work tournament. I had had a pretty easy pregnancy so far, no morning sickness, no cravings...my partner said the only reason he could tell I was pregnant was the humongous belly sticking out the front. I was driving around on a golf cart delivering drinks to all the players - it was so funny the number of people who said to me that day "watch out or you'll go into premature labour" I just laughed it off.
I didn't sleep well that night, I had a feeling of needing to go the toilet all night so I had very little sleep. At 9am the next morning I woke up and found I was bleeding; panic-stricken we called our midwife. We waited for a reply and found out she was off duty that weekend, we called our back-up miwife and explained what was happening and agreed to meet her at the hospital at 10.30. I cried nearly the whole 45 minute trip into town - I wasn't ready, I had planned another 2 weeks of work, we hadn't sorted out enough clothes, we hadn't even packed our bags for the trip to the hospital. At our ante-natal classes they had talked about packing your bags at 36 weeks, that was something we intended to do next weekend.
We got to the hospital and I was hooked up to 2 machines - one to measure baby's heart rate and the other to measure any contractions. I stayed on the monitor for a couple of hours, baby's heart rate was higher than it should have been but the other monitor did not record any movements. The doctor came to see us and told me it was most likely an infection but they would keep me in for observation overnight. I was transferred up to the ante-natal ward. I had a weird feeling baby was going to come that day...I thought perhaps because his heartrate was so high they would give me a c-section. By about 5.30 that afternoon my partner had returned home to try and get some things sorted out around the house (loosly translated as sit down and watch the rugby). In the hospital I was watching baby's heart rate steadily increase and I could tell from the midwives that this was not too good. The doctor came back down to see me and said "lets just check what is happening here", he then poked his head up and told me I was seven centimetres dialated. Panic followed as I attempted to call my partner, my midwife and both sets of grandparents to tell them baby was going to be here over a month early. I was whisked down to the labour ward, both machines still attached - no contractions had shown on the monitor yet.
At 7.30pm my waters were broken, I was nine and a half cms and I still had not really felt any pain. I was starting to wonder what all the fuss was about. I had some slight back pain but not what I expected labour to be like. We had a student midwife with us as well as the back-up midwife, neither of them could believe I was in labour because I was just so relaxed. I won't lie, by about 8pm I was DEFINITELY starting to understand what all the fuss was about...the worst pain I had felt in my life but with no build up at all it was too late to have any kind of pain relief. The midwives laughed at me when I said I was going to ignore the contractions...I didn't feel a single one throughout the labour.
At 8.54pm that night my son Israel was born by forceps delivery. The doctor told me with one more push I would meet my baby. I don't think he understood how much I wanted to get baby out because that was the biggest push I did and Israel fell into the Doctor's arms with a huge splash of water. By this stage we had a room full of people and the saying 'your dignity goes right out the window' is dead right. I had been so paranoid up until this time about who would be in the room and who would see what, but I really didn't care - I just wanted to get him out and to make sure he was ok. Israel had a bit of a shock entrance into the world with a few complications at the birth, he had the cord wrapped around his neck twice and wasn't breathing. He went into an incubater for about 20 minutes after he was born but pretty soon he was out and being passed around the room for first cuddles.
I was also in shock, I had no time to prepare myself for the labour, I had planned on two weeks at home to get everything ready for him.
When they finally passed Israel to me to give him his first feed I was completely in love with him. Its amazing how fast that bond is built, I couldn't stop staring at him.