Xander Hayden Smurthwaite
Born 24.09.08 @ 12.59pm
Weighing 8lbs 12 oz
At long last I am very proud to be able to announce the arrival of our baby son, Xander Hayden Smurthwaite, who was born by emergency c-section on 24 September at 12.59pm and weighed in at a hefty 8lbs 12 oz.
We got back from the hospital late this afternoon after an extended stay at the hospital:
Things kicked off in the early hours of Saturday 20 September, but despite having three strong contractions in each 10-minute period, I was only 1cm dilated when we arrived at the hospital and got sent home. The contractions died off a bit, but I wasn’t able to get much rest.
Over the next few days, I went back to the hospital several times with severe, very regular contractions, but each tie I was only a couple of centimetres “gone”, so I went home again, The fourth time, at 3cm dilation, they would have kept me in, but I was told I couldn’t use the birthing pool as someone else had beaten me to it. I opted to go home again and wait it out in the bath tub instead, hoping that by the time I got back in again the pool would be available and I could have the water birth I so badly wanted.
After four days of off-and-on contractions and no sleep, my waters finally broke in the early hours of Wednesday 24 September and we headed back to the midwife unit. Unfortunately, the place was inundated and we were given a private room in A&E (which actually meant we got treated as a priority, which was rather nice!), and I was found to have meconium in my waters, which effectively ruled out the water birth – I would have to go onto the labour ward instead of booking into the midwife unit after all.
Strangely, it was at this point that I turned to Dale and said, “This is going to end up being a c-section”.
Through the course of the morning, I continued my regular and painful contractions using nothing but a TENS machine and counted breath control for pain relief. I was still only 3cm dilated, so they started me on a drip to help thing along, which effectively meant I was getting maybe 30 seconds between painful contractions. I tried gas-and-air, but it initially made me gag violently, which added to my distress, rather than helping me cope with things. By this time I also had a temperature and was pretty much delirious most of the tie, having conversations with people who weren’t there and coming out with the most ridiculous, non-sensical comments. It was also becoming apparent that Tadpole was becoming a little distressed and that a c-section may well be on the cards. I consulted with Dale and my sister (both of whom had been with e throughout giving their unerring support and love) and, in one of my more lucid moments, admitted defeat and asked for an epidural (apparently my conversation throughout that was insanely funny!).
Shortly afterwards, it was made very clear that there was no longer a choice – I had to have a c-section and I gladly agreed – anything that was required to keep the baby safe was fine by me.
I was quickly prepared for surgery and Dale was dressed in scrubs to join me in theatre.
Shortly afterwards, our beautiful son was delivered, but was “grunting” a little, so he was quickly whisked away (after a brief kiss from each of us) to make sure everything was fine.
While I was in recovery, I zoned in and out of lucidity and as eventually transferred to a ward, but our baby was in the high dependency unit. It was a little distressing being the only Mum on the ward who didn’t have her baby with her, but I consoled myself with the fact that he was receiving the very best of care and I was able to go and visit him briefly. Later on that night I was able to breast feed him, which was a wonderful experience. If I thought I’d felt a rush of love when we was first brought out of me, it was nothing compared to how I felt holding him in my arms and feeding him myself.
It wasn’t until late on Thursday night that Xander was transferred to the ward to be with me and the feeling was wonderful. Having him right there beside me was the most marvellous thing ever. Xander still had to have a course of antibiotics to clear him of infection (I was found to have Group B Strep) and so we weren’t expected to leave the hospital before 1 October, but we were actually discharged late this afternoon and Dale was very pleased to welcome us home at long last – we are now a proper family!
Throughout our entire stay at the hospital, the staff were marvellous – I couldn’t have asked for better care for me and our son and they went out of their way to make things as easy as possible for us, offering assistance when Xander was having trouble staying latched on (which he can now do beautifully, by the way!) and helping to keep my spirits up when I was still waiting for him to join m eon the ward, as well as near the end when I was the only “original” inmate left on the ward and felt like the old lag who was never granted parole!
Dale and Leni were both absolute stars throughout and I can’t praise and thank them enough for being there for me and Xander throughout it all. Leni is now a doting Auntie and Dale is the most devoted Daddy you ever did see – it’s a beautiful sight!
So, here we are, very tired, but very, very happy, and home at last with our wonderful, perfect son who we both love to distraction.