real life

Jack's arrival: a birth story.

At just a few days old, you are sleeping soundly as I write this. Your tiny little face is so innocent and sweet; the absolute definition of perfection. I find it incredible that you are so calm given your speedy entrance into this world, but I have to say that I already get the feeling you are going to be this way in life, you know, the type to just take things as they come and roll with the punches. I get this feeling because I think you already know that you are the third child; my third beautiful baby boy. You are not supposed to be here for another two weeks but the Doctors were worried about my blood pressure and decided to try to coax you out….I wasn’t too keen because I wanted to give you as long as you needed to grow, so that you would be born strong and prepared for the craziness you are being born into, but alas after a week of negotiating my heart out the Doctors decided our time was up.

Twice the Doctors tried to induce labour but you still weren’t quite ready. On the third attempt though, just when I thought I’d still have to wait days to see your little face, you relented. Third induction attempt for my third baby; maybe numbers will be your thing? I started having regular contractions at about 5pm, just as your Dad and two brothers arrived thinking that they might get to bring me home with them. At six o’clock the contractions were so close and regular we knew you were definitely on your way. Dad decided to call the babysitter and take your brothers home for their bedtime routine. Labours can be long, and though we knew that each labour tends to get shorter with each child, we guessed that we still had a good four to six hours before you would be born. Dad would be back in plenty of time.

Renee and Jack. Image supplied.

About fifteen minutes after the tribe left my waters broke and my contractions got longer, a lot more intense and soon I virtually had no break between them. I called for a nurse who took me around to the labour ward in a wheelchair despite my strong arguments that I could walk perfectly fine and I called your Dad to tell him to hurry up. The next 25 minutes were probably the most intense of my life. Your spine and my spine were pressed together and the nurse kept telling me that if all went well, it’s likely you would probably be born within the hour. But I couldn’t believe it would be that quick, especially when your older brothers were 13 hours and seven hours respectively. For the first time it crossed my mind that I might give birth to you alone. At the time it didn’t concern me because the pain of your labour felt like the worst yet, all I could think was how will I manage hours and hours of labour when it is already at this intensity? I needed to push but the midwife said it wasn’t time. I had both of your brothers without pain relief but at that moment, I wondered whether I would be able to manage the same with you. The pain was near unmanageable, but the midwife was saying it still wasn't time to push?  I thought third labours were supposed to be easy?

That was the last conscious thought I can recall because two minutes later you took your first breath and were in my arms. The midwife was shocked because, having only been in the labour ward twenty minutes she thought we still had plenty of time to plan out breathing and pushing exercises. She thought this because a minute earlier when she checked she couldn’t even see your head and then suddenly you were out, crying and in my arms. As the midwife ran to get a Doctor and tell one of the other nurses to call your Dad, our room was quiet, I was still and calm and so were you. In the whole world there was just me and you, alone. You with your slithery wet little body in my arms, and your tiny little face all scrunched up in thought probably wondering what in the world had just happened. All I could think about was how teeny tiny and wonderful you were, with so much dark hair and so much like your eldest brother, but also just so you at the same time. You held onto my finger with your tiny little hand gripping mine so strongly and then like the most wonderful fireworks display I’ve ever seen, you opened your beautiful dark eyes and my heart exploded. It was the most instant and incredible love. Even though you are my third child, your presence felt instantly right, like you were supposed to you and I was supposed to be your Mum all along. I don’t know how long it was before the nurses came back, but those precious moments with just me and you alone in the bubble of your arrival are something I will always cherish. Fifteen minutes later your Dad arrived. The nurses hadn’t been able to get hold of him, so he strolled into the room expecting a long night of labour ahead and instead he found me cradling you and feeding you in my arms. I have never seen such a kaleidoscope of emotions run over anyone's face before: shock; love; pride and disappointment at having missed your first few moments of life. So many feelings, thoughts and then suddenly all of it forgotten as he held you in his arms for the first time, his face beaming with love and relief that you were finally here, that  he had you in his arms.

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Renee, Jack and the rest of the family. Image supplied.

That night I was allowed to sleep with you in my bed. We both slept hard, both of us exhausted, both of us comforted by each other’s warmth and breath. I don’t think I will ever forget how many times I half woke up through that first night of your life and smiled to myself as I saw your perfect little face snuggled up next to me in the glow of dimly lit by hospital room.

The next morning the peacefulness ended as your Dad and your big brothers ambushed the tranquillity to see you. Harry loved you on sight. Finn was interested in you but understandably confused and a bit jealous - because you were taking the coveted spot of the baby of the family. For months we had been tossing up whether to call you Jack or Max, both of us unsure until we could see you face, but from the moment Harry was told of your arrival he insisted on calling you Jack.

Harry:“Can we leave to go to the hospital yet Dad? I can’t wait to meet my new brother Jack!”

Dad: “His name might not be Jack yet….”

Harry:“His name is definitely Jack, Dad”

Dad:“We’ll have to run it by your mother…”

Harry: “His name is Jack”.

Little Jack. Image supplied.

And so despite me thinking we might go with Max as I peered over at you through your first night, by morning you were definitely Jack….or JackJack as both of your brothers have called you from the moment they held you (hit you in Finn’s case).

And so my precious bundle that is the story of your birth. Shortly after your brothers and Dad arrived at the hospital, we were allowed to take you home. And just like that, your life out in the big wide world began. And what a charmed life I am certain it will be, filled with so much love, adventure and happiness.

Welcome to the world my precious baby Jack! How very blessed we are to call you ours.

You can find more of Renee's writing on her blog, The Ramblings of Ruby Tuesday.

How long were you in labour for?