Your Birth

Dear Rosie,

“I can’t be, it’s too soon and I’m positive I’m looking at the test wrong” I whispered to my friend from the bathroom floor at 5am in the morning.

“Sarah, you’re pregnant, I can see the line! Girl you are pregnant! Go and tell tim!” she exclaimed.

Could this really be happening? I’d visited the doctor to make sure I was healthy, I’d tracked ovulation and completely ruined any romantic feelings between your Dad and I as I demanded we discuss my cervical mucus. I sat on the floor for over 20 minutes just staring and deep breathing. It was a weird cycle. Stare at the test, get excited, stare at the test, panic I read it wrong. Repeat.

I finally decided to stand up and go and tell your Dad. He was fast asleep but I will never forget the look on his face. His girl was on the way.

The next 9 months were a hilarious mixture of aversions to meat, becoming overwhelmed in crowds, belly rubbing, gestational diabetes cooking, underpants wetting, insulin jabbing, constant sweating, mood swinging, milk chugging blur. But I have NEVER been so proud of my body and what it was making. You sweet Rosie, it was you!

Because I had gestational diabetes, we knew you needed some extra help to get out to us safely. Each week I visited the hospital, every worry, every anxiety about giving birth became background noise to the sound of your heart beating away. On my 38 week check, our Doctor asked us to pick your birthday. It felt like such a strange thing to be asked to do. To pick your child’s birthday.

On Monday the 13th of August, your dad and I packed the car and said goodbye to our house. Little did we really know we were actually saying goodbye to life as we knew it. The drive to the hospital was eerily calm. I remember rubbing my belly constantly and promising you that I’d get you out safely to us.

Something you will come to know about me Rosie is that I am not great with needles or pain of any kind. I panic. I cry and then I cry again. So when the doctor came in to insert the gel that would get our labour moving, to say that I misbehaved would be an understatement. I screamed so loud when the doctors tried to break my waters that the woman in the bed next to us started crying too because she was getting the same procedure next. After a few hours of labour and contractions where I cursed your Dads existence, everything just stopped. Contractions stopped, the pain stopped, it just stopped. The real kicker was the woman next to us screaming out “oh look, my water broke!” and being wheeled off to have her baby while I laid there waiting. The only thing keeping me sane was the constant steady beat of your heart Rosie girl.

The next morning our doctor came to visit and said that it was time to get you here safely. They took your dad and I to a small operating room where they tried to give me an epidural. After 9 local injections, a doctor who kept saying “this is more blood than I would have expected” and “we’re going to need a bigger needle” and more screaming from me than I am proud of, someone magical came into the room. Pam, sweet, sweet Pam. She was the head midwife and was exactly what I needed as I sat there screaming. Pam grabbed me by the face, and officially pulled me into line. “Sarah, you need to pull yourself together for this baby, take a BIG DEEP BREATH and let the needle go into your back”. With one almighty big breath, the needle went in and we were all officially calm and numb from the waist down.

Rosie, if you ever have babies and of course I hope you do, TAKE THE DRUGS. TAKE WHATEVER THEY OFFER YOU and say THANK YOU.

After another failed attempt to break my waters, the decision was made that air lifting you out through the sun roof was going to be the safest way to get you here. I’ll never forget the doctor saying to your Dad and I, “I think it’s time to have this baby, your daughter will be here within the hour”.

Being prepped for surgery was such a surreal feeling. I remember the buzzing of the machines, the chatter of the hospital staff and your Dads hand firmly placed on my shoulder. I remember feeling extremely naked at one point and I asked one of the orderlies “ummm, excuse me, am I naked? And if I am…how much longer do you think it will be before we get started?” he laughed and promptly put a towel over my lower half until we were ready to start. There were over 20 people in the room, charting about the weather and their footy team.

I remember the humming of the lights, the anaesthetist gently rubbing the side of my face and asking me what I was up to over the weekend, the tugging of my doctors hands on my belly and then suddenly, the room went silent. It was as if the whole room took a deep breath. Then from over the top of the blue screen, there you were. Screaming in all your naked gooey glory. Your hair came over the top first (this would soon be what you’re most famous for) and you opened your eyes and I swear you looked right at me.

I kissed your Dad and through the hysterical tears (what a surprise) and exclaimed “can we PLEASE call her Rosie?” and of course your Dad agreed. You were born to be our Rosie girl.

The doctor whisked you away and I demanded your Dad stay with you and not let you out of his sight. I got a brief cuddle from you where the paediatrician told me I should give you a big kiss. Was he joking? Had he seen you? You were by far the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen but you were completely covered in white goop that was INSIDE me. The photo of our first kiss will live on in history as the most hesitant kiss I have ever given someone. The doctors whisked you away again because my OB had found a cyst on my ovaries and decided it was a good idea to get rid of it while I was already on the table. I was away from you for what seemed like an eternity, but I knew you were with your Dad having that invaluable first skin to skin.

When I finally got to hold you, to look into your eyes and to feel your skin, I remember feeling a physical shift in my body. Maybe it was my heart opening, maybe it was my brain trying to comprehend what had just happened, or perhaps it was just my body knowing that it had a really important job to do.

As we tried to give you that first feed, something was wrong. You weren’t ready and I was exhausted. I saw two midwives look at each other with concern, but I didn’t care. You, my daughter, were here in my arms and life felt complete. Little did I know that the pregnancy and your birth would be child’s play compared to the challenge I had in front of me to feed you the way I had dreamt of.

All my love,

Your Mum

xo

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