On the 14th of January each year I celebrate my birthday.
2012 will be one birthday that I will NEVER forget!
I wasn’t going to celebrate my birthday this year as it was very busy leading up to the birth of our first child. 2 days before it though, my wife encouraged me to have a small get together. I didn’t want to say “no” to a pregnant woman on a mission, so I agreed and she invited a few of my friends to a newly opened local cafe at 10:30am in the morning for brunch on Saturday 14th January. I’m very glad that we went ahead with it as it’s always nice to catch up over a nice coffee and breakfast with friends.
By about 12:30pm, some of our friends had to leave and the remainder left the cafe with us to visit our new home. I should note that a few times during brunch, my wife mentioned she had some mild cramping (a little like period pain apparently). After about half an hour chatting though, my wife mentioned she was still experiencing some cramping, so I kindly asked my friends to leave as she wasn’t feeling too well.
The cramping down south continued and at approximately 1:15pm I asked her, “Are you sure they aren’t contractions?”, she replies, “Nah, I’d know if they were contractions. They would be more painful!” (or so she thought. I could tell she wasn’t very sure though). Earlier in the month, my wife hired a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) machine, a small device which she now undoubtedly will swear by. I’ll talk more about in a future post. Anyway, we decided to start using the TENS machine to help deal with the discomfort and it seemed to have helped a great deal.
At 1:30pm, I decided to ignore her and start timing the “cramping” as I had a feeling that they were actually contractions. So iPhone in hand, I wander over to her and say, “Let me know the next time you get that cramping sensation”. I start timing and sure enough, I noticed a very regular period of “cramping” and non-cramping. In short, they were contractions!
Holy crap! The contractions were 3 minutes apart already and each one lasted about 40-60 seconds in length. She remained calm though and insisted that I keep timing to ensure it wasn’t going to simply pass. Well as you can see from my screenshot from my iPhone, I timed for 1 full hour and her contractions were as regular as clockwork!
Lucky her hospital bag was packed, because the next thing I did was call the hospital to explain that my wife was having regular contractions and we were advised to go in. So off we went! OMG! OMG! My heart is now racing a million miles an hour. Could I be sharing the same birthday with the newest member of my family? Surely not? What are the chances?
Well, we get to the hospital at around 3:00pm and it’s straight into the birthing suite for an examination by the mid-wife. My wife is 4-5 cms dilated already! She is well and truly in labour now, there’s no denying that!
My wife’s birth plan was to have a natural birth with an epidural. The mid-wife was so amazed as to how well my wife was coping with the contractions and suggested that she should consider not having the epidural… haha, my wife simply laughed as she was still adamant on proceeding with the epidural.
Another 2 hours past and by 5:30pm she was examined by her obstetrician and we were told she was now 6-7 cms dilated at which point she asked for the epidural to be administered as the discomfort she was experiencing was definitely moving towards outright pain now. The anaesthetist took 45 minutes to get to the hospital though and had she known it would have taken that long, she would have asked for the epidural sooner.
With her epidural in, the pain was fast disappearing and it was getting to the pointy end of the stick… pushing… this is the part which I won’t go into too much detail on, but for all the men out there, this part alone once experienced for yourselves makes you truly realise how amazing the woman in our lives are.
It was almost 11:00pm at night and I was starting to wonder if my initial excitement and exhilaration of child birth and potentially sharing a birthday with my first born would be happening as it was getting closer and closer to midnight. My wandering mind was quickly put back on track when our obstetrician was holding onto a tiny little head and a few moments later, the body of my son Jayden! Sheer joy swept over my body and tingles went down my spine. He looked adorable and boy did he have a good set of lungs in him! Waaaaa, waaaaaa, waaaaaaa, cries filled the room and I got to cut the umbilical cord just before Jayden was placed on his mum’s chest for the very first time.
Jayden was born on the 14th of January at 11:11pm, weighing 3.85kg and measuring 55cm long. Mum and dad are ever so proud!
I’m also over the moon about the fact that I can actually say that I share the same birthday as my son! And what better way to celebrate my birthday than to receive the best gift ever! Little Jayden will pretty hard to top!