Thursday, 11 July 2013

Hunter's birth.

Tim and I have always been very protective of our boy's births. Whilst we are happy to share a 'recap' of the births, there are moments that will always be just between the two of us. We do, however, want to record Hunter's birth story for him to read one day.

On Sunday the 28th of April we woke up and began our day like any other. Cruz went with Tim to Church and I met with our photographer's assistant to preview the maternity photos we had had 4 days earlier. After the preview, I picked Cruz and Tim up and we all had a take away lunch together. When we got home we put Cruz to bed for his nap and then went for a nap ourselves.

I woke up from that nap at 3pm, not because I had had enough sleep, but because I had what I thought was a Braxton Hick. I got up and started doing things around the house while Tim and Cruz kept sleeping. Being in labour didn't cross my mind because I had spent the last 5 nights awake with fairly intense pre labour pains that had turned out to be nothing.Tim woke up a little later and we started to prep dinner. At about 4:30pm I was starting to get annoyed by the pains and went and lay down. Tim asked me to start timing them, but I insisted that they were not painful, just annoying, and that I would know if I was in labour after having such a long and painful labour with Cruz. 

At 5:15pm, Tim passed over his phone with the contraction timer app on it and informed me that I would start timing them. I laughed at him and told him that he didn't have to be such a paranoid husband. He, however, took the time to kindly inform me that I had been having these 'annoying pains' consistently for over two hours now. I begrudgingly started using the app. The pains went for 1 minute every single time, but the time between them was irregular. 6 minutes here, 9 minutes there, 5 minutes here and so it went on. I didn't want to eat dinner, but decided that I would watch TV. The only problem was that every time I stood up the pain would get a lot worse. I mentioned this to Tim, who quickly researched it on his phone and then told me that I was in fact experiencing false labour pains. "I told you so" was all I could say and I went to watch TV, content that my husband finally believed both me and my instincts. 

It turned out that Tim had read on his phone that the difference between braxton hicks and real labour pains was that the pains get worse when you stand up- if you are in real labour. Because he was now certain that I was in fact in labour, he choose to agree that I was having braxton hicks and keep me calm for as long as he could. You see, Cruz's labour and the word calm didn't go together and we were hoping for a different experience this time around. 

Just before 6pm, with the pains continuing, I decided to research a little bit about what I was feeling on my phone. And guess what I discovered? Yes. The information that Tim had come across nearly an hour earlier. I ran through to Tim and told him that I had read that real labour gets worse when you stand up. He nodded and said "I know. You are probably in labour now." I decided to live in denial and told Tim that I wasn't ready to go through a birth again and that surely it wasn't time. I was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant and positive that my second pregnancy would be another induction because I 'knew' my babies liked to stay in for that little bit longer.

Tim convinced me to go to the hospital to get checked by using the "you don't want to have to wake Cruz up in the middle of the night and frighten him" card and..he won. I reluctantly headed for the car with Cruz and Tim and agreed that I would get checked at the hospital so that we could take Cruz to a friends place for the night IF I was in labour (which ofcourse, I was convinced I wasn't).

We drove to the hospital - Cruz sitting in the back unaware of what was happening, Tim keeping an eye on me as each of my 'braxton hicks' occured and I was just sitting waiting until the moment I could say "I told you so" again to Tim. I was 99% convinced, you see..I had convinced myself.

We got to the hospital and the midwife took one look at me and assured me that I wasn't in labour. Or if I was I was in very early labour. She could tell this by the way I was coping with the pains and laughing at Tim. She offered me some sleeping tablets to get some sleep at home that night and was just about to send me home when all of a sudden she changed her mind. She told me they weren't busy that night and that because I had made the effort to drive to the hospital and cart our nearly 3 year old up to the maternity unit, she might as well do a check that the baby was doing ok and see if there was any progress on my part. 

While the monitors were on the baby, Tim and Cruz stayed with me. Cruz lay on the hospital bed with me ready to hear the baby's heartbeat and see the lines jumping up and down, just like we had done a number of times before. The monitor was hooked on and a few seconds later it picked up a contraction. The midwife asked if I had felt it and I ensured her I had, but it was nothing serious. She referred to the contraction as "a really good one". Again, I laughed - this time a little more nervously. About 15 minutes after the monitor had been hooked up and 4 or 5 pains later, she asked Tim to take Cruz out of the room while she checked what was going on in the 'birthing department'. 

It was then I was told that I was 4-5cm dilated and that Cruz needed to be taken to our friends place straight away. I was shocked... and was sure that it was all still one big mistake on Tim and the midwife's behalf. I walked into the room where Tim and Cruz were sitting waiting. Tim asked if I was ready to go home...sure I was, but according to the midwife we had a little boy to drop off before things started speeding up. Apparently.

We rang our friends (8pm) who would be looking after Cruz and asked them if we could come and drop him round. This would be the first time that Cruz had ever slept away from home. And to tell the truth, I was probably more worried about that then the fact that I had a labour to endure. We dropped him off, made sure he was settled in and then got back into our car. It was a surreal feeling. Tim asked if I wanted to go straight to the hospital or go for a bit of a drive and so.. being the hopeless romantic that I was, I decided that we should enjoy some alone time while Cruz was staying with our friends. And so we headed for McDonald's drive thru and got some soda water, a cup of ice and an apple pie.  

Once we arrived at the hospital (9:30pm), Tim carried our bags to reception to meet the midwife that had checked us only an hour earlier. Ironically, it was the same midwife that had been a part of Cruz's delivery as well. Very quickly we were taken through to the birthing suite and a bath was run. I could not believe that I was in the birthing suite and that everyone (except me) thought that we were going to have our baby in this room within hours. I was in that bath for about an hour. In that hour the pains completely vanished and it was then that even Tim started to question if maybe my labour had completely stopped. 

During one of the midwifes routine checks of the baby's heartbeat, she noticed that the heartbeat was too high. Following procedures, she got me out of the bath, hooked me up to a monitor, called the doctor and explained to me what would happen if the baby's heart rate didn't fall within a certain time period. The doctor arrived and hooked me up to some fluids and within minutes the heartbeat came right. Our new midwifes arrived (a change of shifts) and came and introduced themselves. I took the time to tell them my fears about the last stage of labour and explained what had happened during Cruz's labour. They were very understanding and agreed that the best option was to make sure that I stayed calm so that I could give the birth my best shot. An anesthetist was called and I was given an epidural. This time round I didn't feel that I needed the epidural, but was worried that if the pain started to intensify or if things went down the same track as Cruz's birth that I wouldn't cope. The epidural worked beautifully other than one spot under my right rib that made me think that the baby's foot was stuck or that somehow I had broken it. True story.

When they came to do a routine check at 11pm, I was 10cm dilated. The doctor suggested that we let the contractions do their thing for another hour before we attempted to push so that I had the best chance of pushing our baby out without intervention. In that hour Tim and I marveled at what was just about to take place, took our camera out of the bag and then got the baby's clothes out and lay them under the heat lamp so that they could warm up. We were calm and ready to meet our baby. That hour was amongst the most special times of my life. I couldn't wait to have the baby so that we could pick Cruz up and enjoy our completed family together - the four of us.

The doctor and midwife returned after an hour and explained to me what would happen. I asked lots of questions. Told them my fears again and they answered my questions one last time. It was time. And with three pushes our baby was born. They quickly placed him on my chest and Tim and I stood in awe of how quickly our baby had been born. Our second son - Hunter Duveen Baker was finally with us, born at 2:30am weighing 8 pounds 6 oz. He was perfect and the splitting image of his big brother, just smaller.

A minute or so after he was born we noticed he was having trouble breathing. The midwife took him over to the baby machines and tried to give him some more oxygen. After a while, with Hunter still struggling he was taken to the Special Care Unit. I couldn't go with him because I had to wait a few hours in the birthing suite while the doctors finished in the birthing suite next door and then came and stitched me up.

We were wheeled back to our room at 6am. Tim went straight from there to pick Cruz up. Tim took Cruz to meet Hunter in the Special Care Nursery and they allowed him to bring Hunter back to our room for a few minutes so that we could spend some time together. The lighting was bad and the only photo Tim was able to get of the three of us was this blurry photo, but it's a special one.

We made sure that we didn't tell anyone that Hunter had been born, until Cruz had come up to the hospital and met him. We then allowed Cruz to phone both sets of grandparents and deliver the special news that a baby had been born and that he was a big brother. Both sets of parents were surprised as we hadn't told anyone that I was in labour. After that we sent out the text messages to family and friends and finally shared the news on Facebook. Before visitors arrived we spent some quality time as a new little family, marveling at the fact that Hunter was finally with us. And that our family was now complete.


  1. Lovely story Leanne. Glad you had a much calmer birth this time. The hospital staff sounded very supportive. :)

    1. Thanks Mel. So much better this time round. It was a wonderful experience.

  2. Such a lovely story. I sat here reading it with tears streaming down my face. Our family is complete, like you with 2 adorable boys, but I'd go through labour again in a heartbeat. Such an incredible experience... The first time you see that brand new little person, oh, I'm crying again!!!

    1. After Hunter's birth I know exactly how you feel. It is an amazing feeling and one that will stay with me forever. The world seems to stop and all that matters is that new little baby in the room.

  3. What a lovely, positive birth story Leanne. How special that Cruz was able to tell his grandparents the happy news.

    1. Thanks Claire! We loved involving Cruz in the announcement of Hunter. We made sure that he was in the photo we shared on Facebook for Hunter's arrival too. They already have such a strong bond.