Number eleven has hit the ground, and I mean that literally. She was delivered in our lounge with little fanfare and surprisingly quick. Not that we didn’t have warning as Simone had laboured off and on erratically all through the day. With long pauses and nothing seeming very serious, we all went to bed wondering if it would peter out or crank up, but at about 10pm she came in to me to say there seemed to be some rhythm and she would just let the midwife know.
At 12.15pmish her waters broke and I called the midwife to update her but said the contractions seemed to not be very strong. “I think I’ll wander over”, Elaine, the midwife, said, and when I went back into the room Simone was in full swing. I could see we would be lucky if Elaine got here in time and started to show Simone how to pant to slow things down a little, but bearing down there was no way she was going to follow any bloody instructions…and told me so. Ahem!
This stage is called transition and often it’s only realised in hindsight. It might be where the ‘Mother to be’ tells everyone to F off…or she might attempt to leave the room herself. Haha. Tara tried that! In this case it was beautifully clear, and I smiled as I spotted it and knew it would be all over very soon. Babies coming this fast are usually delivered perfectly, and Mothers who have been able to actively labour, feeling safe and comfortable in their own surroundings in the way that suits them, usually birth beautifully. And she did. The midwife arrived immediately after and all was well.
It always astounds me how perfect human nature is. The body decides the time is right, and begins the birth process. With no intervention and only unwavering support and confidence in her ability from those around her, her body does all the things it needs to. Perfectly. Not strung up in stirrups on a narrow table to help the Dr see, but where she is able to move freely to her own rhythm, in a room dimly lit with just words of encouragement, a cool cloth to wipe her brow and maybe a barley sugar.
It also is incredible how easily children take something like this in their stride. Just two days before Simone’s older children witnessed the birth of a neighbours lamb. Perfect timing! And so after the birth of their new baby sister were very comfortable checking out the placenta after three year old Tai cut the cord, as the midwife explained the hows and whys. As long as we let them be involved at their pace and without our own inhibitions and fears, it’s all just life.
Number eleven. What’s that? A soccer team of grandchildren? Aren’t we lucky! Aren’t they lucky! They love their cousins and can’t wait to share the newest addition with them. And even though Tai has seen plenty of babies, he wanted to know when she was going to start walking around…as in preferably that day, and also commented that she hadn’t said much either. Hmmm, the wait is going to be excruciatingly long for him I suspect.
For me however these first few days as that newborn smell lingers in her soft fuzz of hair and her milky baby breath is pure delight. I sit in the lounge watching the children on the tramp as their Mum showers and baby sleeps and the suns starts to dip behind the trees. We snuggle heart to heart in the late afternoon sun and her little baby snores soon have me dozing right along with her. So very lucky indeed…