It all began when I went for my weekly check-up on Wednesday the 19th of August. I thought I’d be kept in for an induction but my obstetrician kindly listened to my plea of wanting to labour spontaneously and gave me a couple of days grace, under conditions of returning on Friday to have another blood test to monitor my platelets. She gave me a sweep to get things moving and I was on my way…
On my way to HELL.
I was in a hoop waddling out of the hospital.
Late that afternoon I started to get some irregular contractions, nothing to get excited over as it had happened a few weeks earlier. But that night as I was bouncing away on my ball I noticed I had begun to haemorrhage. And with having thrombocytopenia, I rang the Coombe who recommended I get checked out.
I got checked out. I’m not in labour. I was bleeding but nothing overly concerning. The midwife gave me the option to stay or go home. I opted to go home.
This is where it all went wrong.
The next morning the kids were wild. Frankie was hoping off the walls and Kayla was running around like a headless chicken so Joe took them out for pancakes to give me a bit of peace.
Again, not one of our bright ideas.
Within minutes of him leaving I found myself on all fours on the landing breathing through contractions.
Five hours later he arrives home with the brats. I’m still on the landing on all fours. He picked me up brought me downstairs, made me a coffee and put Frankie to bed. Kayla was bursting with excitement, her little sister was on her way.
I get this strange feeling that my bladder was about to explode. So I race (waddled) to the toilet, with the five-year-old shadow following and within seconds of sitting on the toilet my waters burst. Every last drain in one big swoosh. It frightened the living daylights out of all of us. Their faces were priceless when I think back. I had to double-check she wasn’t actually in the toilet, you hear all these mad stories about babies falling into the toilet.
Only I’d be so lucky.
I was lifted into the shower and suddenly my contractions got so intense. One after another after another. I was finally in labour. Joe rang his brother-in-law who was ten minutes away to come to mind the kids.
Within minutes I felt like I needed to push. I laboured for three hours on Kayla and for one hour on Frankie. I knew time wasn’t on our side. We needed to leave NOW. I sent Joe out to find a neighbour to mind the rascals. He came back terrified to share the news that nobody was home. I then told to go find someone, anyone, not to return on his own.
He arrives back with a neighbour. By now my contractions have peaked, I really need to push. I now tell him that I don’t actually need the neighbour and her friend or the audience of minors that Kayla had gathered together at the hall door but an ambulance.
The dispatcher on the phone asks Joe a million questions, I answer in the background.
Is it her first? NO
Where is she? IN THE HALLWAY.
Can she move? NOOOOOOO!
How far along is she? IN F**KING LABOUR.
‘Where is the ambulance? We rang it an hour ago’.
Joe rings – ‘it’s on the way’.
By now I knew her head had crowned. Every second contraction I had been trying to resist the urge to push. I was terrified, I was afraid I would deliver my baby without a paramedic there.
The next bit is all a blur. I just remember screaming at joe that her head was out. But he already knew, everybody could see it. Joe then ran for his dear life to the flashing we could see through the glass of the hall door and shouts ‘hurry the head is out’ just so more neighbours could hear and join in on all the drama.
It’s not an ambulance but the fire brigade. I see a firewoman strolling towards me – remember I’m inches away from my front door. She tells me to flip over onto my back because there is no room in a 6×6 hallway to deliver a baby on all fours. Mid-contraction I turn over and next thing I knew she was holding her. It was the strangest thing ever, I don’t remember pushing her, it was like she just fell out. God forbid the fire woman wasn’t there! She might have just landed on the floor.
The rest of the fire crew are now trying to squeeze through the gap between my head and the door to get in, while Kayla who is outside with the whole neighbourhood trying to get a peek of what’s going on inside.
She’s already seen too much. She now knows babies do not come from your belly button. They come from your bum apparently. Rather that than having to explain the rest of the female anatomy to her. I am really sorry if my kid and your kid plays together, and she happened to tell your kid about where babies come from. She has already told three of her friends. Try explaining that one to the parents.
So now that I’ve just delivered a baby from my bum I told the fire crew I had low platelets to keep an eye on my blood loss. The adrenaline was beginning to wear off so the fear crept in. I could feel the gushing but I couldn’t see anything but they constantly reassured me I was fine.
My little babogs cord was wrapped around her arm so the fire crew detangled her and kindly asked Joe to get some towels and blankets. He did. About ten times. The poor chap was up and down the stairs like a yo-yo. At one point I think he forgot we had another child because next thing I knew he was trying to cut the cord with Frankie on his hip hanging over the stair gate. He’d been napping through the whole thing until Joe went bursting into his room looking for more blankets.
They suctioned her and held some oxygen in a tube up to her face. Then another neighbour pops in for a nose. Joe’s brother-in-law arrives and so does the ambulance. Kayla comes back in to meet her sister. That’s when they gave her to me. Straight away I lifted my top with the help of one of the firemen and we began skin-to-skin.
She was the image of her big sister.
She was perfect.
She was Kadie.
I was given the option to deliver the placenta or to head to the hospital but I was weak and exhausted at this stage. I could have just lay there all day. My head was pounding looking around at everyone in my tiny hallway and on the stairs. I had eleven people around me or looking over me. From the kids and Joe to the three neighbours, four fire crew, and paramedics.
It was crazy.
The fire crew was hilarious. One of the lads requested I now move onto the sofa, in hope, he’d catch the football transfers. Another joked about cooking my placenta while swinging the jug around for all to see. They all took guesses of her birth weight. One even repeating the famous Snapper line ‘small turkey, big chicken’.
They took the complete piss out of me and my perfectly packed hospital bag. I had it organised to perfection. I was palpitating watching them trying to find the right ziplock bag. I had her first outfit with everything from her nappy to her hat neatly pack in a clear bag but they couldn’t find it. Instead, they took everything else out and destroyed my overly organised bag.
I remember one of the firemen trying to put her vest on. It was one of those vintage romper style vests with buttons down the side. He failed miserably. It was instant Karma for taking the complete piss out of me and my awesome hospital bag.
By now I was dying for my tea and toast. They wrapped Kadie and me up, lifted us onto a stretcher and we took a free ride with flashing lights and sirens to the Coombe.
Read the aftermath of Kadie’s unplanned homebirth.