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Mark Gerald Allen Lubansky - the birth
It has been said that writing a blog is the ultimate pretentious self-indulgence, although that was before the advent of Facebook. With that in mind, here is my version of the birth of my new baby boy. Focusing on me, not Bec.
Sunday, 6:15AM, I woke up to the weird indescribable sound that is made when someone pushes the buttons on the radio. I ask Bec what time it is, and she tells me two things: To go back to sleep, and that my prediction was wrong. I had predicted that the baby would be born on Tuesday. There was no way known I was going to get back to sleep after that! Bec had been awake since 5:30AM and her contractions were irregular, close together and weak.
We lie in bed for a while before getting up and preparing for the day. I shower and don old, torn jeans, old t-shirt and budgie smugglers. That's right: Mark is going to have an embarrassing Dad right from the beginning.
Breakfast is punctuated by Bec doing all the coping things as contractions come on. I ask her what it is like. She says, "Really bad period pains, but at least they go away."
Not that I know what period pains feel like either.
As the contractions come on, Bec uses her coping techniques. So far so good.
7:30AM Bec courtesy calls the midwife. She is told when to call back. I potter around doing stuff: moving furniture; getting the email ready (I needed to change the date, for starters), things like that. I checked the footy score - Melbourne is down by 50 points at half time. Masochist that I am, I check the live score: Melbourne is in front with a few minutes to go (they won, Rebecca said, "Go Melbourne!"). Not that that is where priorities lie, it is just that things were calm and relaxed. In fact, I didn't know what to do - I was ready for panic and screaming and pain and yelling. I'm used to it. But so far, so good. Or the calm before the storm.
9:15AM I have now got the birth pool ready to be filled. Our bedroom is just about back together from yesterday's plastering and I'm about to do some cleaning.
9:45AM The bedroom is ready. I've been out to the shop and bought the paper and some paracetemol. I still have lots of little tasks I can occupy myself with. And Bec is still doing well.
10:30AM I am running out of "feeling useful" tasks. Our bedroom is as ready as it is going to be. The birth room is as ready as it needs to be. Downstairs is a veritable labouring woman's playground. Rebecca is now electrocuting herself for future pain relief and has decided that it is time to put on her CD that I like the least. The contractions have spaced themselves out but are getting stronger.
11AM We look at the date and realise something. Today is May 4th. We are having a Star Wars baby! May the 4th be with Bec!
11:30AM Early lunch time. Rebecca has a bowl of chicken soup. Hopefully enough of the good stuff will cross the placental barrier to fortify Mark for the upcoming ordeal.
2:30PM It has been a steady couple of hours. The contractions have been getting gradually longer and closer together. I found time to sneak in lunch. And we also watched a movie. The midwife popped round to inspect Bec. Everything is fine and she is doing really well at 2cm. The midwife says to conserve her energy because first labours can take a long time and it is like running a marathon.
4:15PM We're now about 11 hours in. Just as the midwife left, Bec went through a patch where she felt quite nauseous, and vomitted after the contractions. The contractions are now basically time on- time off, and I have stopped timing. I've just tried calling the midwife again, but there was no answer. I've left a message.
4:45PM The contractions have been getting stronger. I still haven't got through to the midwife, so I tried the birth centre. They said they would send a midwife around, but she probably wouldn't be here for half an hour. Bec has been doing really well, and with a bit of luck things should be following their natural course. It occurs to me that I should be recording her breathing noises - we could reuse them on Halloween as ghost noises.
5:15PM (Note, from here on, these are recollections rather than things I was writing at the time) The midwife has arrived. She has gone to assess the situation, and Bec asked whether she could get in the pool. The midwife has inspected her, and told her that there isn't time - she wouldn't make it upstairs! Rebecca has just naturally assumed a position she is comfortable in. The midwife is desparately trying to get hold of the other midwife who is on her way from the hospital. That midwife calls and asks for directions. Fortunately for all concerned, she calls from the local pub, so I could give her directions easily.
5:40PM One final push and out comes my beautiful little boy. He goes straight onto Bec's chest for skin-to-skin. Shortly after, the other midwife arrives. Rebecca pushes out the placenta within 15 minutes. It is a good thing she didn't use the injection or the placenta would have preceded the baby! While Bec delivered the placenta, I held Mark on my chest. The second midwife went, the first midwife stayed and did all the post stuff, but more of that next entry.
By the way, for those who are wondering what I am recovering from (from the email). I realised afterwards that I was 30 mins off having to play the role of midwife. But I have recovered from the shock of that realisation.
Comment from Guido
What can I say Alex....mazl-tov?
Congratulations on your new arrival and best wishes for a whole new world together.
Comment from Rob and Marie
Well done both, and welcome to the world Mark! May the 4th be with you all. I'm surprised you didn't call him Luke.
Hope you are all well.
So far we are all well. We were toying with the idea of calling him Darth...
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.