When I was a kid living in Malaysia there was a tv show called The Big Blue Marble. It was about environmental stuff and the theme song started with a chorus of childish voices singing...the world's a big blue marble when you see it from up there...the sun and moon declare...our beauty's very rare...
It's a catchy little number and one that is deeply ingrained in my childhood psyche (much like the cheer song for the University of Minnesota, see post previously) so perhaps that's why I was singing it through contractions. In the bath. At the hospital.
Yes, I was told by the birth centre to come on in after the contractions that had started the night before...and just excuse me a moment as i get another one and have to call c to come and squeeze my thighs and rub my back...
phew, back again...so, in I went with sister in law N because C was still in northern NSW, a 6 hour drive away, only to be told that because I was just on 36 weeks I was considered premature and so I WAS NO LONGER ABLE TO USE THE BIRTH CENTRE.
Imagine my delight as they pointed me to the delivery ward. I was left alone to have a few more happy contractions and then, it seemed, I was about to be released. I talked as hard as I could about prelabour and my sister AJ being in it for a week before proper labour beginning, I argued that as an IVF baby, a FET baby no less, that it must be older than 36 weeks anyway, it was a 10 day blastocyst that was transferred... not only that I made a point to chat merrily throughout the contractions just to show I could though fuck knows what I was actually saying.
I was a hair's breadth from going home, C was on the phone asking if he should catch the last plane... god here's another one...breathing breathing making little moany noises but trying to keep my face loose...
we were saying no, no, plenty of time...and then the midwife decided to do a quick internal exam.
Cervix effaced, 1 cm dilated and midwife was touching the baby's head through the membranes.
And that's how, a few hours later, I ended up in the antenatal ward and then in the bath and the singing through contractions began.
Having missed the plane, C was now driving home and expected at half past 12 that night.
ooh ooh ouchy ow ow but relaxing face and breathe gasp breathe...
I decided I didn't want to progress any further without him. By the time he arrived...I hadn't.
And finally this morning, the new shift of doctors and midwives decided yes I could go home.
As a little goodbye present, my mucus plug emerged during a urine sample. It was beautiful, ruby red and gold. The midwife was pleased and encouraged us to leave quickly. It's just that if you stay, she said delicately, they'll put a clock on you and... we took the hint.
So here I am.
Back at home. N, C and my sister K are feeding me, rubbing my legs and organising all the baby stuff I failed to do. oooooh oooh another one, another one.....
Sadly the baby shower was cancelled but...then, it's currently raining and a baby is coming and as I look out my window and breathe through the last of the previous contraction I think: well there is a baby shower. Of sorts.
I've gone past the point of merry chatting through contractions, past even the point of singing old tv tunes. It's just breathing and vocalising through each contraction, calling for back massage or leg rubbing...and trying to remember each one brings me closer to this thing we have worked so hard to achieve.
and inside my baby stretches and moves closer and closer. Head is engaged, but then all our heads are engaged, all focused on this amazing journey.
oh baby oh baby ooh ooh
soon baby soon.
we're here and we're so looking forward to meeting you.