6.00am – Alarm goes off on Rick’s iPhone. Obediently, Rick rolls out of bed. Bleary-eyed, I ask for 5 more minutes sleep. Rick does not look impressed.
6.15am – I stumble out of bed, confident that I can get ready in 15 minutes even if my brain isn’t yet functioning.
6.30am – Rick’s parents arrive as planned. I am 7 minutes away from being ready. Surely they’ll still admit me and let me give birth if we’re 7 minutes late?
6.36am – I finish getting ready and take one last look at our bedroom before wheeling my suitcase out.
6.37am – My hospital bag is in the car. I am in the car. Rick is in the car. We’re off.
6.39am – I mentally kick myself for not thinking of packing Sustagen! How could I forget my high-energy liquid food!? Meekly, I ask Rick if we can stop by the service station to buy some high-energy flavoured milk. Rick generously agrees. We park at Caltex, and he jumps out in search of my Sustagen. He returns with two Sustagen knock-offs. I try both and hesitantly suggest that perhaps he would like to drink both. Again, he generously agrees. Either my husband is the perfect man or he’s worked out that he shouldn’t disagree with me on the day I’m due to push out one of his children.
7.05am – Arrive at hospital. I mentally pat myself on the shoulder that we are only 5 minutes late, despite my ‘sleep in.’ Again, the labour ward is – strangely – silent. My midwife introduces herself as Barbara and leads us into the same birthing suite we were in last year for Pete! She seems a little surprised we are so early. She goes on to tell us my obstetrician probably won’t be in until 9am. I almost die a little inside to think that we could’ve slept for 2 more hours.
7.25am – I set up my mobile office using the table on wheels and the fit ball: iPhone – check; MacBook Air – check. Rick watches on, amused, though accepting of the fact that this is indeed the strange woman that he’s married.
8.02am – Facebook and Twitter updates commence as I sip my first cup of tea. Meanwhile, Rick has settled down into the couch with the paper. I almost forget that we’re here to deliver a baby.
8.20am – I tweet: “Personal Hotspot via iPhone 4 + 11 inch MacBook Air = perfect for labour day.” True story.
9.20am – My obstetrician finally appears. I am two parts relieved and five parts nervous to see her. No more relaxing and tea-sipping. Time to get my labour on!
9.40am – Due to unsuccessful breaking of my waters, it’s decided that I will be given the syntocinon drip. I try not to look as Barbara inserts a mega cannula into my left wrist. It hurts. A LOT. I look down at the horrid thing protruding from my vein and decide that I don’t like cannulas. No, I do not.
9.50am – Syntocinon is in. The midwife has given me my lemon icy pole. The television is on. My MacBook Air has 6 more hours of battery life. We are all systems go.
9.55am – Rick suggests that I ‘video blog’ (or ‘vlog’) the labour. I obediently comply.
10.31am – I’m starting to get bored. There’s only so much Morning Show one can watch in one go. I suggest that Rick make the next ‘vlog’ and he does.
11.14am – My first proper contraction. I ignore it and keep tweeting whilst watching the news.
11.30am – I see the trailer for the final Harry Potter movie for the first time and decide I must watch it, should I survive labour.
12.00pm – Ellen is on. Lunch is served. I decide to abandon my ‘liquid diet’ and literally consume the entire tray of food set before me.
12.30pm – Obstetrician pops in on her way to lunch. She asks me how big the ‘ouch’ factor is. I tell her the “ouch” is not that bad…. yet.
12.55pm – A midwife comes in to check on me while Barbara is at lunch. She asks me whether or not I would like her to increase the syntocinon dosage to “get things going.” Before I have time to think, Rick answers on my behalf: “Yes, crank it up please!” I cannot believe my spouse just used the phrase ‘crank it up’ in the context of labour and childbirth. I give him the dirtiest look I can muster, but reluctantly agree that yes, maybe it would be good to ‘up’ the syntocinon.
1.00pm – Contractions are three minutes apart. Ellen finishes. I have to decide – Oprah or Dr Phil? I decide in favour of Dr Phil.
1.50pm – Contractions become intense. I walk up and down the room to get through each one. No longer giving Dr Phil my full attention. Rick does a ‘vlog.’
2.00pm – Peter Everett enters the building with Ready Steady Cook. I ask Barbara to check where I’m at: 4 centimetres.
2.20pm – Contractions are 50 seconds long and about two and a half minutes apart. I start on my second lemon icy pole and decide that they’re one of the best things ever made in the history of mankind (after iPhones and MacBooks).
3.00pm – PlaySchool comes on. I think of the boys at home and realise how much I’m missing them.
3.20pm – I feel like I am ready to burst. Literally. I ask Barbara to check me again: 8 centimetres. At this point, I decide that I can do it. I climb onto the hospital bed and reach for my stress balls.
3.25pm – I desperately feel like pushing but Barbara keeps telling me to wait. I bang the stress balls together as hard as I can. Rick receives a text message on his phone and he goes to answer it. “Turn your phone off!” I
exclaim in a loud voice yell. “But it’s your mum! Should I call her back?” “NO – TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!”
3.30pm – My obstetrician arrives. It’s like Christmas has finally come. I mentally will her to tell me it’s time to push. I see her and Barbara swap knowing glances, and they encourage me to hold out for a bit longer. Are you kidding me?! By now, I’m certain I can hear myself screaming and Rick is somewhere near my head telling me over and over again. “Don’t push, don’t push, don’t push…”
3.39pm – I finally get the green light to PUSH! I have never been more thankful to hear that four letter word. I push, then pant, then push some more…
3.41pm – A warm and beautiful little boy is placed on my chest. He lets out a big cry and opens his eyes immediately to look at us. I couldn’t believe it.
Our fourth son, James Edward Mason, had arrived.