4:00, Monday morning", I remember the bittersweet words as they came out of the doctor's mouth. Our little boy was full term, so the doctor was giving us the weekend to see if my dream of spontaneous labour would happen. If not, we were all set for another induction ( I was induced with the birth of my daughter just 14 months earlier). I was relieved to have the end in sight but, oh how I longed for this little boy to come without an induction.
The weekend came and went with no sign of my little boy and I made my peace.
We arrived at hospital on Monday morning and after the usual checks, the midwife explained to us the effects of the induction gel.
While feeling to see where my cervix was so she could insert the gel correctly, she gave us the best news...I was already 4/5cm dilated.
I had no idea my body had already been labouring over the last few hours or even days.
I wouldn't need an induction after all. What Joy! Answered prayer! God is so good!
She said the doctor would be coming around at 6:30 to break my water. I expected it to be painful but it was just a little uncomfortable, no more so than the usual cervix checks. The familiar gush of water ran out and to my horror had a hint of maconium in it. My heart sank.
The doctor, Midwife and Colleen all seemed calm as baby's heartbeat was strong. Colleen explained to me that it was just something for the doctor to note but not something to worry about, so I relaxed. Contractions started soon after. The pain started gradually and I was able to ease into it so much easier than what I remember from my induction. Walking up and down the hospital ward with Jared making me laugh and reminding me to 'not be weak' (a little joke we share in tough times) and his quiet and steadfast support during contractions are such wonderful memories.
We decided on Evan's name in those few hours before his birth. It means 'Young Warrior' and also 'God is gracious' in Hebrew.
Jared went to get some coffee and by the time he got back I had started feeling a little light headed and shaky so I decided to lay down for a few minutes. Colleen made sure I drank some fruit juice to give me energy. By 9:00 i was 6/7 cm dilated and the contractions were now becoming very intense. Colleen's gentle hands massaging my back and feet and Jared holding my hand and encouraging me are what got me through.
We soon made our way to the delivery ward and I honestly doubted whether I could do this again but once the urge to 'bare down' kicked in, it took the edge off the pain, although I tried to hold off on pushing when possible to try and prevent tearing. The midwife checked me again and I was almost at 10cm so she went to contact my gynae. The doctor walked in and it was suddenly time. At first I couldn't feel any contractions anymore and struggled to get into pushing but after a few minutes and a gentle reminder from Colleen, I found a rhythm again. The doctor was very calm.
Another heart sinking moment was when I realised the cord was around baby's neck. I found it difficult to stop pushing so they could cut it loose. I remember the doctor apologising to Jared that he wouldn't be able to cut the cord himself.
After that, everything happened as it should, baby was out and moaning as the midwife wiped his face. After a gentle tap on the back from the doctor he was crying loudly and placed on my chest. What a moment! This time around I felt a lot more aware during the delivery, which was so different to the blurr of Emily's birth. With Evan I took in so much more. I felt the injection in my thigh and the delivery of the placenta which was done so gently.
I was aware of the doctor checking for any tearing. I hardly felt the needle as he injected the local anesthetic so he could stitch the tiny tear.
I was blessed to have a peaceful birth, surrounded by calm, gentle and non-intrusive people. God went before and protected our little boy.
Evan Riley Brits, born at 10:44, weighing 3,89kg and 50 cm long. My boy latched like a pro. I still can't believe I got my heart's desire, a spontaneous labour. So spontaneous I didn't even realise it was happening until halfway.