About Me

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I am a full-time mama with a passion for writing and talking to fascinating people. I live in a one horse town with a Cowboy and my son. Thank Lord for cyberspace! I lived a colourful life in Sydney for a number of years. Working in advertising and journalism for FPC and the Sydney Morning Herald. During my time in Sydney I competed in a Dragon Boat race, choreographed a dragshow, used the Share Accomodation advertisements as a way to meet men and was told by Noiseworks frontrunner Jon Stevens that I was a bitch! Then came the decision to move back to country for 3 months to help out my Father with newspaper business while he was having treatment. Convinced I was a city girl I was caught by surprise when I fell in love with a farmer (and no, he didn't want a wife... still doesn't it seems!) convinced him that we needed to see the world, popped off to Vietnam to teach english in Saigon - before realising that the "food" in Nam didn't agree with me... turned out to be Monte - my son who is now with the Cowboy and I back in country NSW! I am in a wonderful stage of my life where I am focusing on the things that really make me tick. Including writing these chronicles.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Glory to the new born King

Hark the herald angels - they were really singing!!!

I wrote the story of the birth of our boy before it would, as urban legend suggests, be totally wiped from my memory in order to encourage going through it again.
Well bad luck evolution!!! I REMEMBER!!!! The newborn King will be an only child - you are not tricking me into going through that again!!!!
(maybe I jest the end result was absolutely worth it, of course)
This is an epic tale. Read if you have the audacity. Make yourself a cuppa.

It was the 19th of December 2008, 4 days after the new born king's due date when I felt the first twinge of a contraction. I was a little excited but of course not convinced because I had been thinking everything was a sign of impending labour for the last month – very challenging to have too much time on hands when pregnant.

It was clear to me to just the degree that I thought every pang and pain in that I had experienced in the last month was labour by Cowboy's lack of belief this time, I really had become the “girl who cried labour” … Cowboy went to sleep as I went back and forth to the loo like one possessed.

Convinced things had started I called the hospital.

“If you really want to bring it on,” the ocker sounding girl said “ Have lots of sex now, I’m not kidding”

Just what I was up for! They did tell us to head over to the hospital then (around 2am) and so we did (1.5 hrs away mind you).

Nervously and tiredly we got in the car – I was having regular pains all the way to hospital and I remember thinking “Cool, the new born King will be born on the 19th just like me” – when we arrived to hospital we went to the Maternity Emergency Section and rang the bell – we were greeted by a couple of midwives and they sent us to our accommodation with a couple of panadeine forte – here I was thinking I would be pushing the moment I arrived. Cowboy went out and got us some Maccas brekkie as I texted and called everyone I knew to let them know the moment was nigh.

Mum and Dad made their way to the hospital to join us in the little room. When I called them up at 6am and queried Mum as to what Dad was up to she replied “ He is asleep”

“Oh, “ I muttered “ Having a merry old time is he?”

This was the single most scariest moment of my life and the fact that anyone I knew could be asleep at this hour was insulting news to my irrational mind!!!

Later that morning my parents arrived and we sat in the room waiting for contractions to get closer in time with Ponting striving towards making a century in the cricket.

We walked over to the hospital regularly thinking surely now they would admit me or give me something for the pains…. “Darling, you aren’t in labour yet – believe me, you wouldn’t be laughing and talking if you were”

“Go back home and come in again if your water breaks”

These women have no idea, I thought. I was laughing during an armed hold-up, it is what I do.

By late that evening the pains hadn’t stopped and we made our way back over to a lady who to me was the She-Devil. Mid 50’s – haggered, well over her used by date as a compassionate midwife – I was in a flood of tears, emotional as hell and sick of the pains that were regular and very painful. I consider myself to be a tough cookie – able to endure pain pretty bravely and to be told by this woman that what I was experiencing was not labour was enough to make me want to strangle her. I could not stop crying inconsolably

“What do you want me to do about it ? Why the tears?”

“Would you stop humiliating me”

This woman in very short time became the personification of the evil, the devil herself.

The only solution she could offer me was to admit me to the hospital and give me some sleeping tablets to try and sleep through the pain – and to send Cowboy home.

This was so unappealing to me, I was so scared and so sick of the pain and so , so upset with the lack of compassion.

This was to be my first baby and I was terrified not to mention exhausted from now 24 hours of regular pains. If she couldn’t figure out what to do, or say compassionately to a woman in pain– then perhaps her skills would have been better put to use as a prison warden.

Within a couple of hours of my stay in the bed, unsuccessfully dozing off , my waters broke. Although I was so uncomfortable I was so thrilled because I thought surely this would mean that I was technically “in labour” -there was no doubt that there was movement at the station.

I found Satan posing as a midwife and informed her of this discovery. She looked somewhat shocked as if to say perhaps I was right all along and stuff was progressing.

“Can I call Cowboy?” I asked

“Let the poor guy sleep” she said, unsympathetically to me

“What about this poor girl,” I thought .

This was the single most terrifying , anxious moment of my life and I was in a strange , scary hospital unaware of what was going to happen to me, I had not been to any antenatal classes so really did not know what to expect but just knew my water had broken which to me spelt pending baby, and then amongst crippling pain that had me gripping the bed handles for dear life every few minutes was told to go to sleep? Fat chance She-Devil. I needed Cowboy with me, I was petrified – I was in hell and I was beyond scared.

Finally after a night feeling like a bathtub being emptied and thought of pending baby nigh I was allowed to call Cowboy around 7am.

If it was not labour that I was in , then I didn’t ever want to meet the real thing thankyou very much.

I thought I was a physically strong piece of work but the constant pain I had endured for the last 24 hours was quite enough for me, and anything worse than that I was sure I would not be able to handle.

A new cast of midwives came to greet me this particular morning, She-Devil had returned to her home in fiery hell and was never to be seen again.

Instead I was greeted by a cheerful lady with a top knot on her head and a slightly odd way about her she took a more sympathetic approach to me and agreeing to have me checked out for progress. This meant the wonderful deed of a doctor and about three midwives standing around while I spread my legs and they checked inside for dilation.

“You are 3cm dilated” they announced.

“In labour” they confirmed, shocked.

Top Knot took my side and said that she knew I was in labour all along, forming an alliance with me and warning me about her rival midwives.

It felt good to have this confirmed at least. Up until then the insensitive hospital staff treated me as a naïve fool who had no idea of the pain I was to be in for.

3cm equaled one thing for which I was grateful – I was allowed pain relief. After top knot hit me up with some pethedine – I was then informed by a couple of midwives that they were concerned at how long it was taking my labour to progress. They said they were going to have to induce me and that it wouldn’t be pleasant. They said the pains would be bought on fast and strong and that there would be no guarantee that I would be able to deliver naturally – it could end up in me having a ceasar.

I was upset no end, because I was terrified of the prospect of the pain they were describing. Here I was thinking I could handle any amount of pain but the idea of it being really really bad and then me pushing out a baby was a task that felt insurmountable.

I began to think about how amazing mothers really are – the pain that so many had gone through before me. I was not on the level of these amazing women – how did they all cope?

All I had experienced was regular pains for a day how was I going to get to the point of pushing a baby out my vagina? I’m sorry – give me Mount Everest to climb, it seemed a much less daunting task.

The idea of the Caesar was appealing. I asked Topknot if I could just simply opt for one now and skip the other part. It was not an option.

The good news was because I was now officially in labour, Topknot kindly offered me pain relief. It had only been 24 hours of pain and I had was now able to upgrade from panadeine forte. Hello pethedine.

Pethedeine kicked in pretty fast and quickly my mind started going to la la land. Instead of running with this – it frightened me because my thoughts were a little trippy. This made me nervous .

Every one was talking to me and I feared what I might start talking about high on pethedine.

I then decided I needed it to wear off because I didn’t like feeling off my head, in this atmosphere anyway.

I summoned Cowboy and Mum and we walked over to the quarters where Dad was watching the cricket. I knew that the drugs had well and truly kicked in because instead of staggering like a contestant fit for the biggest loser I was able to powerwalk painlessly and swiftly.

I must have looked a sight, heavily pregnant and in labour and if my memory serves me correctly I even broke into a jog at one stage to illustrate to Cowboy and Mum how I couldn’t feel the pain anymore.

We walked over to see how many Ponting had scored, the pains started returning. When we returned to the hospital I was sent to the labour ward to be hooked up on the drip – this was the part where they were going to pump the oxytocin through me to try and speed things up.

We hooked up a stereo and some music for this part- my contractions got closer together and more frequent but they weren’t getting as strong as they wanted (they were quite strong enough for me though thankyou very much) I started sucking on gas, pathetic, does nothing- but got quite addicted to the feeling. I think it was about this time that I said to Cowboy“ This is the worst pain ever, if I ever forget this remind me – our next child will come from Cambodia”

Lucia rocked up!

What a pick-me-up - one of my oldest and dearest friends came by the labour ward to help lift my spirits – she walked the hospital corridors with Cowboy and I as I crippled over the railings with every contraction – when the hell would this be over?

The doctor came in for an internal examination and the midwives were concerned that I hadn’t progressed but the examination showed I had.

Still not convinced when I was going to give birth – the doc said he would return at MIDNIGHT and examine me to decide whether or not they would do a Caesar or wait til the next morning and start again.

PARDON???? There was no way in hell I could wait until tomorrow, physically or mentally. I was beginning to doubt if there ever was going to be a baby at the end of all this. The movies and television shows depiction of labour was not what I was experiencing – I thought I would have a few contractions, rock up to the hospital push and push and scream and voila! A baby!

I was then offered an epidural to get me to the hour of midnight with less pain. I was desperate for this as the contractions were just killers.

This was scary as hell. The cool dude anesthetist came in with his head scarf ready to put the massive needle into my spine, with one false movement potentially paralyzing me. Stripping me naked I had to lean right forward and not move – a near impossible feat with my massive belly and severe contractions – this was the time I really became unhappy.

When I was numb I totally freaked out and started crying inconsolably- Mum and Dad and Cowboy were all outside – I didn’t want them in there – and I asked the midwife to let my Mum in – I was so scared and upset – little did I know that Cowboye was equally as upset because he was worried and the doctor had dismissed him completely in the corridor.

Such a harrowing time – a test of our characters and strength – and now I was completely numb and felt more helpless and more in the hands of complete strangers than I ever had in my entire life. Out of control and afraid, not to mention – bloody exhausted.

By midnight the doctor returned and deemed my progress – unsuccessful, they were going to deliver the newborn King by ceasarian. I was relieved. There was no way in hell I could push a baby out, I hadn’t slept or eaten in so long and was physically and emotionally drained. It felt good to know I would meet our son in just one hour!

Knowing that the deed would finally be done was suddenly exciting to me and overrode any pain I was feeling (epidural wore off) – I suddenly remember why I was there doing all this, I was going to meet my son!

In the midst of all the drugs, the pain, the doctors wrangling with me, the emotions and the character testing times it dawned on me that there would be a fantastic ending to it all… I secretly was hoping, it better be worth it – this had singlehandedly been the most difficult task of my entire life.

The doctor said that the baby was too keen to see the outside world and had his head up making it impossible for him to progress the natural way. Secretly I was stoked about this “Thanks little dude” I thought.

It wasn’t long before I was moved onto a trolley bed and wheeled dramatically to theatre. Cowboy changed into his surgical get-up and reappeared to me looking like an extra from ER – he was most upset he had to take his cap off.

They asked me a series of questions to ensure that I knew and permissed what was about to happen.

“What are you about to have” the nurse asked me

“A boy” I answered.

She looked at me baffled, obviously had not had that response before – “ Well yes, but was procedure” she laughed

“Oh, A c-section” I corrected with a laugh.

I lay on the bed as the anesthetist jabbed me with more needles then tested me with ice to see where I had gone numb.

Apparantly nowhere.

The anathesia would not work on me.

The cool dude tried more but finally said it was not worth risking, if he loaded me up with any more it could turn toxic. Then the sad news, I was to go completely under and Cowboy would not be able to come.

This was when I lost it. After 2 days of labour and one brick wall after the next , the moment we had been desperately waiting for had arrived and neither of us were to be present at it. This broke me. I think it broke Cowboy too. My life and the life of our son was completely in the hands of these strangers.

In fact, the newborn King would be born and I would be the last to meet him.

This was devastating. To not be there the moment of his birth – to be unable to witness the first breath outside, hear the first cry – see his face, first – it wasn’t right.

This baby I had carried for 10 months – that I had felt kick and squirm and somersault who had changed my entire life before I had even met him - to be born without my presence. It was the saddest feeling of all. The moment I had longed for.

Cool dude assured Cowboy “ We will look after her” and they wheeled me off to theatre.

Way too many people lingered around me taking my clothes off prodding me poking me, putting me on tables – taking blood pressure – my body was not my own any more – I remember a nameless, faceless woman commenting on my “chubby knees” and I thought to myself that this was the last thing she should be saying to a woman in my state.

Next they put a mask on me and told me to breathe slowly into it. I remember thinking “ I bet this won’t work either, what if they can’t knock me out with anything ?”
It did work. That was my last memory.

I groggily awoke a time later – I was in a recovery room with a stranger- the King had been born and taken away and I was none the wiser, just a little emptier.

“Is he cute?” I asked the stranger in the room

“Can I See him, is he OK? When can I see him? Where is he? Where is Cowboy?”

“You can see him after you have woken up properly” the stranger in the room said

“I am awake properly” I said, frustrated, slapping my own face trying to speed up the return of clear vision.

I was worried, I had been awake for so long and had taken pethedine, gas, had epidural and now been knocked out – what if I slipped back off to sleep – I had to stay awake to meet my boy. I slapped my face , rubbed my eyes and kept badgering the stranger in the room.

“Just let the anesthetic wear off naturally” he said, unsympathetically.

I ignored him. I didn’t want to risk slipping off to sleep in this the moment of my life. I kept doing my bit to try and convince him I was good to go.

One by one I was allowed to see Cowboy, Mum and Dad – I had to find out about the new born King second hand from them all – who had met him already.

“He is beautiful” Cowboy said to me proudly.

Dad came in and asked me what we had named him

“Monte” I said

He started laughing, “You did not” – he later revealed to me that he thought I was just off my head when I said we had named him Monte.

“It is, “ I said “It is Monte"

1 comment:

  1. God Sharni, what a harrowing experience! Hopefully the pain memory eraser has kicked in a little bit now. I too had an evil midwife, but she replaced my angel midwife (called Clare!) who stayed with me for an hour after her shift ended because they were that convinced I was going to deliver (it took another 8 hours)And the pethadine made me hallucinate, I thought my sister was out in the hospital car park selling gondolas!


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