It is late morning and Mathew is feeling comfortable enough that he is quite chatty with his sister. He was up for some visitors yesterday and saw his Nana and Poppa then later Uncle Harry and Aunt Christine. His aunt and uncle had the BEST birthday card for our birthday boy! They took a picture of themselves in Lucha Libre Wrestlling masks and made a card out of it. It is hilarious and just so spot on for someone who lives for wrestling like Mathew!!

With Mathew in a good mood I will take the opportunity to write more about his birth day, 24 years ago.

I left off yesterday when John was sent home and I had the bathroom incident. The next morning… not too early, John bounced back in ready for the baby to be born. He was so disappointed to find out the contractions had stopped. I resented every woman who came in, popped their baby, and moved on ~ it felt like I was going to be there for months!

The nurses encouraged me to get up and walk around so that is what we did. Right through the maternity ward where all the lucky mothers were oohing and aahing over their precious cargo. It was coming up to noon ~ the deadline after which the doctor was going to order a drug to get labour moving along. It was just about then that the contractions started up again.

I learned at the same time that drinking juice and water all night long wasn’t the greatest idea because the contractions cramped my stomach and I barfed everything up. Now when I first was admitted I informed the nurses that I wanted whatever drugs they had, without asking for it, as soon as I could have them. I was pro-feel-no-pain. They listened very well. I still had to ask for drugs.

At the first sign of real discomfort I asked for, and received, some shot that gave me a bit of a break for a while. Around 4 or 5 pm the nurse sent John off for supper so off he went to a pub right next to the hospital. The whole time he was gone I shot daggers in his direction and tried that “out of body” experience. I worked very hard on getting out of my body and going into someone else’s for a while. Whoever says they’ve done it is full of bullshit. I had more need than anyone yet there I stayed, feeling every moment of my body getting ready to push out a watermelon.

John came back in time for the serious stuff to start. By 6 pm I was waiting for an epidural. I am (or was) frightened to death of needles but the pain was making me a believer in a hurry! Once the epidural was in (which I didn’t feel, although the size of the needle made John feel faint) the relief was wonderful. I couldn’t get out of bed anymore because my body was frozen from the waist down. After a while I started to feel awfully uncomfortable and the nurse, troubleshooting the source, realized I had no catheter. As soon as one was inserted I filled one of their bags and felt so much better.

The next couple of hours went easily because I was in no pain. During this time my cervix dilated from the size of the head of a pin to a dinner plate. I’m serious – go see how big a 10 cm circle is!!! The thickness of the cervix goes from finger thick to a very, very thin piece of paper. Both at the same time. No wonder it hurts.

The epidural was removed at the optimum time and its effects wore off just before I went into transition; just the way perfection should be. The nurse told me to let her know when I was in transition. I looked back, baffled, and said how would I know? With a knowing smile she replied I would know.

How right she was. She had barely walked out the door when I suddenly felt said watermelon drop in my body and suddenly felt like I was going to! Seriously whose stupid idea was it to put everything so close together? I didn’t have time to even breathe! I grabbed John and hissed, “GET THE NURSE. I’M IN TRANSITION!!!!”

The nurses hurried back and moved my bed into the delivery room, all the while telling me not to push. I gaped at them as if they were nuts…. not to push? After 24 hours of being there? I don’t think so ~ and furthermore, had any of them every gotten that urge? It isn’t a weak little effort that you think, um…I think maybe I’ll push now. Oh nosiree. This is another calculation by your body of which you are not a willing participant. There was no choice and I wasn’t listening to them in any event.

It took a little while before Mathew made his appearance. At one point my mouth got so dry everything stuck together and I started to hyperventilate. The helpful doctor gave John the oxygen mask to put over my mouth which compounded the problem. I pushed it off (not very graciously) and croaked, “Water! I need water!” I got a few ice chips that was enough for me to breathe again.

At another time I heard the doctor ask if …I thought it was me… I needed a chair. I looked at her insanely and pointed out why would I need a chair if I was on the delivery table? She said it wasn’t for me and that she was concerned about John, who was looking a little faint by then. I gave them all the evil eye and didn’t care if he passed out cold on the floor! He’d had 24 great hours so why was he the centre of attention???? He said no…at least I think he did (maybe we should check though).

After all that excitement Mathew made his appearance at 10:03 pm. As soon as his head cleared I got that “natural high” women talk about when having a natural childbirth. What it is really, is all your organs falling back in to place after being squished and squeezed into tiny unnatural positions for months. I could breathe! It felt wonderful! I went all out to get the rest of him born.

I was in my happy daze as soon as he was born (knowing he was healthy of course). It was the first time I’d ever seen John break down in tears of love and pure joy.  I asked how much the baby weighed and was told 6 lb 12 oz. I then asked why everyone fussed about how big he was supposed to be when he was so small. The doctor helpfully pointed out that Mathew was three weeks early (and the baby fat is put on those last three weeks). I was instantly grateful he was early!!!

It went well until the doctor proudly held the baby up to show me our first born.

I stared. And stared. Then being the good mother I am, asked what is wrong with his head? He isn’t going home with me looking like that! He looked like one of the coneheads from Saturday Night Live. The doctor laughed and said when babies are born fast their soft skulls turn into coneheads while being born. She said it would round out quickly. The next time I saw him being held up for me he had a little blue hat on that looked so much better. I knew he would come home with me then. I was asked if I wanted to hold him…. and being mother of the year I said no. I had carried him for 9 months and it was someone else’s turn – like his father’s. They did plop him beside me long enough for a picture and then John got to hold his little boy.

John was only permitted to stay with me long enough to move me to the maternity ward. It was after visiting hours and the battle ax didn’t even want him to come in at all. That didn’t sit well with me but he was allowed to drop off my little suitcase (geez, thanks!). The first night babies were kept in the nursery and brought out for nursing. I waited and waited and waited. I only saw him once  I kept peeking at him, marveling this beautiful little baby was ours.

Poor John. Our car had arrived from Germany. It was in Vancouver and he had to go get it. The day Mathew was born. So he spent the day taking the ferry across to the mainland, doing all the paperwork before getting the car. Then he had to get the ferry back to Nanaimo before driving to the hospital. He couldn’t get there fast enough!!

And that is the story of Mathew being born. He still didn’t have a name though.

He didn’t for 3 more days and then I did it on the sly. My mother of the year started early folks!