Heather's birth story: 'Babyice’s Arrival'

Photo credit: Acidice
Photo credit: Acidice

My maternity shoot took place on Monday as planned. We spent the afternoon/early evening on the beach in Blouberg taking photos. Being a model? Not so glamorous... Especially if you feel like a beached whale (the beach theme was very fitting and all) Our photographer was fantastic. You can tell she works with people who don’t like getting their picture taken. Heh. She made me feel comfortable and let me voice my concerns about how certain parts of me would look and gave me tips on how to make them look better. Cath got some ADORABLE photos. Rudi was able to attend the shoot as we had it after working hours which was really nice! He was running around on the beach while we were taking photos, throwing stones around and stuff. I thought he was being rather juvenile until he came up to me and presented me with a heart shaped rock... Which he had been searching for the entire time *heart melts* Don’t think I didn't feel bad for thinking the worst!

Right at the end of the shoot we decided to take some pics of my belly uncovered, but we were next to quite a busy little street and it seemed like all the joggers had come out for the day. Andre and Rudi had to stand holding up a sheet so that I couldn't be seen from the street. At some point a car slowed down and stopped to try and see what was going on behind the sheet! They must have thought it was some kind of porn shoot! Andre kept pretty much to himself and stayed in the background most of the time. It was very difficult being photographed by 3 people. Looking at 3 different cameras is hard! Sharon dominated the shoot (it was her shoot to begin with) and she showed me some of the photos she got along the way. I've got a feeling we got some AWESOME photos and I can’t WAIT to see them!

After the shoot we joined our Twitter friends for a tweetup in honour of Her Royal Highness (Sharon) being in Cape Town. We were almost an hour late and everyone was already there when we arrived. We enjoyed a lovely dinner and some #pinkdrinks with the crowd and got away there around 23:00. By the end of dinner I was feeling decidedly uncomfortable. My back was sore and I couldn't find a comfortable position to sit in. I put it down to the hard chairs at the restaurant and didn't think too much of it.

Rudi and I came home and went straight to bed. I kept waking up with what felt like bad cramps. They started in my back and moved forward into my stomach. This continued all through the night, but not very often. Rudi went off to work, but I couldn’t get back to sleep. The pains just continued to come. I assumed I had overdone it the previous day with the photo shoot and dinner, causing some Braxton Hicks contractions. Persistent ones at that! I chatted to MeeA and Pinkhairgirl about what was happening and they kept checking on me to see how I was doing. I started timing the pains which I had now started referring to as contractions and they were between 11 and 7 minutes apart. At about 12:15 I had a show and called Rudi home. I called my gynae’s office and they recommended I come in to the labour ward to be checked. I told them I’d time my contractions for another 30 minutes or so and then decide. They were now around 5 minutes apart. I was dying to say something on Twitter or Facebook, but I had dreamt that night that I went into hospital and was really embarrassed that they sent me back home, so I put it on ice. After another 30 minutes the contractions were consistently arriving 5 minutes apart and we decided to go to hospital. I notified them I was on my way.

We arrived at the hospital with the hospital bag and everything in tow. They put me on the monitors to check baby’s heartbeat and try to monitor the contractions. My gynae arrived shortly after and said I was definitely in labour. I was still in denial! Oh my! This was happening and I had no way of stopping it! I alerted Twitter and Facebook to Babyice’s imminent arrival.

The gynae offered me an epidural and I gladly accepted. I was 2cm dilated at the time. I had the poor man in a tizz. He had failed to administer an epidural on me before and was well aware of the fact that I was sceptical about it working. The administration of the epidural hurt a lot more than I remember it doing the last time. I flinched while he was doing it as well BUT he got it to work! I felt absolutely no pain. I could see the contractions on the monitor, but felt nothing. It was awesome! So the wait began...

We were waiting around, they came to check me again around 5PM and I had dilated about 5cm. They added some drugs to increase the frequency of the contractions and to help baby move down into my pelvis. We watched some TV, chatted a bit and around 6PM I told Rudi to go and get himself something to eat as it didn’t look like anything was going to happen really soon. Rudi left and at around 6:40 the gynae came back to check my progress. He said I better call my husband, I was 9cms dilated and the baby would be there by 7:30 latest. He told me they were switching the epidural off.

I was like, WHAT? No! Why do you have to do that?! I was terrified. Petrified. I had seen the contractions I was having on the monitor before the epidural was administered and I could see the ones I was having now were much more frequent and intense. They had just become practically unbearable before the epidural kicked in and I could not imagine what they would be like now. I phoned Rudi and told him to hurry. He probably took around 15 minutes to get back. I was in flat panic. The nurse was readying the room and suddenly it felt like I had NO TIME AT ALL and that Rudi would not make it in time. He finally arrived and I started crying. I told him I was scared and he assured me everything would be fine. I didn't believe him.

Soon the gynae was back. When he took his watch off I knew I was in trouble! Rudi had the camera ready and it was time. I was completely unable to use my left hand as they had inserted a drip into my left wrist. The gynae asked Rudi to stand on that side to hold my leg. Suddenly I was given the instruction to push! Rudi was very encouraging and supportive, helping me along. Big love to him. A few big pushes and I heard Babyice cry for the first time.

I had done it! At 19:34 Babyice was born! He weighed 3.555kg and was 51cms tall.

While all this was going on there was a frenzy happening on Twitter. I had asked shortly after announcing I was in labour if my friends could get #Babyice to become a trending topic on Twitter and did they ever! #Babyice became the hottest topic on Twitter, even beating out our country’s president Jacob Zuma who was recently involved in a paternity scandal of sorts. *Our* baby kicked the PRESIDENT off his spot! He hadn’t even entered the world and he enjoyed 15 minutes of fame! Thank you to all my Twitter friends for your support and encouragement!

So I came away from this experience a new mother, with a few bumps and bruises and only 3 stitches. I am so proud of myself and our new baby!

This post originally appeared on acidicice.co.za. Post used with permission.

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