Elki; 14 years ago on the last day of February and summer, 2002, your father and I visited the birth centre at Flinders medical centre for what would be our last appointment before your birth.
I was 41 weeks and 4 days pregnant. The midwife was getting concerned about the length of my pregnancy and advised me to have my waters broken to stimulate your birth. She even mentioned casually that if this did not stimulate labor you may need to be born by cesarean. I was very upset by her insensitivity; determined to have a natural birth, and looking back now as a more confident and knowledgeable mama, I would have told her what I thought, that you were not ready, you and I were perfectly healthy, there was no need to stimulate your birth, and I am not having my waters broken….
But I was young and more fearful, and you were my world. So, at about 4pm I had my membranes broken and your father and I went back home hopeful that soon you would begin to make your journey to us.
And you did…..
At about 9pm that night I felt the first cramp, the very beginning of contractions. At first these were occasional and easy to bear for several hours. I remember your Dad and I went to bed to try and get some rest and at a point the contractions began to get stronger and too uncomfortable; bed no longer an option.
We wanted to wait for as long as possible before going into the birth centre, and at around 1:30am on the 1st of March, we decided to go. Your father rang Noni and Pop; they were taking us to the hospital and staying for your birth.
We arrived at the birth centre at 2am; I was taken from the emergency area to our room in a wheelchair. The room was like a spacious hotel room with a double bed, small kitchen, lounges, bath, and bathroom with a shower and toilet.
I settled in, pacing and walking around the room and hallways of the maternity ward; breathing through each contraction. The contractions were steadily becoming stronger and more intense, and closer together.
A midwife was there popping into the room occasionally to see how I was going and to check on me.
As the contractions became more intense I had a long shower; enjoying the relief and warmth the water gave. I was unsure how I was coping; I didn’t know how much more painful the contractions would become and if I was going to be able to cope with them. But I had the support of your amazing father and your Noni assured me I was going really well.
I had brought incense and music to put on whilst I was in labor with you, and at one point your father lit an incense for me but I promptly told him to put it out, the smell making me feel sick. I don’t remember the music ever being played, my mind too focussed on breathing through each contraction.
As the hours past the contractions became closer and closer together. I was nearing when I would begin to birth you. The midwife on duty left and another took her place. She came and checked on me and I remember needing to lay on my back for this and it being very uncomfortable.
After this came the point of labor that I remember most vividly, and I later realised that I was going through transition. I remember feeling a loss of control and fear; not knowing how I could possibly get through this! As each contraction came I did not know what to do; there didn’t seem to be any position in which I could bear the intensity.
It was then the midwife suggested I try the bath. I stripped off my clothing and climbed in but as soon as I lowered myself into the water I knew that I had to get out! I needed solid earth under me and you were coming now!
Your Dad and the midwife helped me out of the bath and over to the bed where I knelt with my knees on the floor, leaning over the bed with my elbows, holding your fathers hands as he supported me from the bed.
The urge to push was uncontrollable and the immense pressure as your head came down my birth canal enormous. But it was only two or three contractions before your head crowned; the midwife guiding me. I squeezed your Dad’s hands, his strength and love giving me the strength I needed, and pushed, it was painful and burned but you were so close.
And then with one more contraction and push your tiny body flowed like a wave from my body; you were born! It was the most amazing, relieving, beautiful feeling in the whole world, and that I had ever experienced, and then the midwife passed you to me, your Dad exclaimed, “it’s a boy!” and I held you; my glorious, so small, crying little baby boy!
What an amazing surprise, I had never felt such joy before as when I saw and held you for the first time.
You were born at 6:08am, on the 1st of March 2002. You weighed only 2.59kg or 5 pounds,12 ounces but you were so alert, healthy and perfect. Your skin looked to big for you and oh so delicate, and you were so soft. We named you not long after, your little face telling us to choose Elki.
We snuggled in bed and you had your first feed,
your Dad had his first hold of his precious boy,
and it was just amazing.
During that morning I remember after about an hour I birthed your placenta, having been given oxytocin to stimulate it’s birth. A doctor came to check on you and gave you the apgar test. If you had been any smaller they would have wanted to take you to the maternity ward for monitoring, I couldn’t imagine being apart from you for even a second! But thankfully you scored very high on the test and the doctor was not concerned.
We bathed you, which you did not appreciate at all,
I had a shower, and we dressed you and kept you warm.
We rested and slept together, you in my arms all the time,
And you had your first visits from family, including your Nanny and Poppy.
At about 3pm on your birth day we took you home; so happy and bewildered by the arrival of our first, sweet baby.
I began my life as your mama, now 14 years ago. Since that first day you have thrived; gaining your birth weight and more by the end of your first week,
And always approaching life with exuberance, vibrance, loving energy, and a heart of sweetness.