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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

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The Birth of Emma and an Interesting Christmas Day!
Cat Go Blah Blah Blah
Well, so much for having a quiet Christmas day!

Our friends Geoff and Tan have been gestating a baby - well, Tan has specifically! Said tot was due on the 19th of December, but was showing no signs of emerging. We'd been quite involved, because my partner Deb had been asked to be their birth support person. This is someone aside from the parents who is there to, well, help out during what is quite a difficult experience.

In preparation, they all worked on a birth plan, and pregancy belly dancing!

At 8.30AM Christmas day, Deb got a call - Tan's water's had broken. This means that the baby will arrive in the next 24 hours.

We went over to their place in the afternoon. Tan looked like this:

Tan wasn't really in labour, she just had cramping at this point. While we pottered around, the heavens opened, and, well, this happened:

That's taken from Tan and Geoff's front porch. I was worried for my car, which you can see parked across the street.

Deb and Tan did some more belly dancing, and that seemed to trigger something! Tan was soon leaning on her fit ball. I could tell something was about to happened, so I took my leave at this point - no point having yet another adult around when the three people who have planned the whole thing were all there.

So what follows was told to me by Deb.

They called the hospital, because the contractions were coming on quite strongly and frequently all of a sudden. The midwife could hear Tan screaming over the phone, and suggested they might want to head there straight away. This was about 5.30PM, barely half an hour after I'd left them.

Geoff, Tan and Deb all piled into the car when yet another storm rolled in and dumped more hail. Tan was taken by surprise by the waves of pain and was screaming the whole way in. By the time they made the hospital, she couldn't walk she was in such a bad way, so they had to get a wheelchair for her. Quickly wheeled into the birthing suite, she was given some pethidine and gas.

(I've seen photographs from this moment, and the parents-to-be are a bit distressed, but looking pretty relieved to be in hospital. It was only 6PM by this stage.)

At this point, I was sitting at home watching Television. Deb SMS'ed me about 8PM, and told me they'd been in hospital for two hours already.

Tan was already dilated 4cm when they turned up, so things were progressing well and relatively quickly. Even so, I watched the clock ticking, thinking the baby wouldn't quite be a christmas baby if they didn't hurry up! Mind you, I've heard horror stories of women being in incredible labour pain for thirty hours or more. My mother likes to remind me it was 48 hours with me!

Tan was on all fours, and in any position she could get comfortable in. Deb held her tight during the major contractions - she was turning purple with the effort, and even bruised Deb's hand she was squeezing so tight.

After only (only!) about eight hours of actual labour, bubs was getting slightly distressed, so the midwives told Tan to just push as hard as she could to get her out. That did the trick, with about six good pushes, little Emma emerged into the world. She started sucking her thumb almost straight away. Clever kid. I do hear they do that in the womb sometimes. She also latched on very quickly and was getting her first meal.

This was bout 12.55AM on the 26th - this morning!

I'd attempted to get some sleep, but had only been lying down for about forty minutes when Deb called to be picked up. The streets were very very quiet at 2AM on Boxing day, and thankfully the rain and hail had stopped. The front door to the hospital was closed. I wandered over to the emergency entrance... for the wrong hospital, I'd wandered into the one next door. Finally I found the correct emergency entrance, and talked my way into the building!

Geoff met me when I got out of the lift, looking tired. I was glad to see him just because it meant I was in the right place. He took me into the birthing suite, were I saw this:
After - Emma, Tan and Geoff's head
Little Emma was feeding already. She was 3.5 kilos of baby, which is healthy. In fact, the whole thing had gone very very well, textbook even. Even so, sounds like there was lots of screaming, and Deb needed a long shower when she got home.

Deb was in awe. The whole thing had left her bruised, but Tan had done all the real work. She's been a bit dazed since, amazed at what a woman can do. And I got to touch a baby less than two hours old, which was amazing. We both feel a bit protective of her now, having been there right at the start.

We finally fell into bed about 4AM, and slept well into the next day.