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Giving Birth is SO Labour-intensive!

We are just days away from meeting Baby NT v2.0 - and I can't seem to stop thinking about the day Kayla was born seven years ago. (Let's just say that my plans of having a natural drug-free birth lasted for about... 5 minutes ... before I turned into a screaming banshee that demanded drugs. All of them. Immediately.) Here's what happened...

I’m not exactly sure why it is called labour. 

Labour has connotations of American farmers picking cotton in the harsh midday sun. Or women scrubbing their laundry in a river while trying valiantly not to be eaten by crocodiles. Or single women trying to meet men that are not married, afraid of commitment or still living with their mother. 

Giving birth does not involve labour. It does not even involve hard labour. It involves a pain so intense that your eye balls want to pop out. 

Which is why I decided that I wasn’t going to do it. 

This realisation hit me at about 6am on the morning of the 21st of December 2005. Baby NT had obediently gone over his/her due date (while waiting for selfish Dr H to get back from holiday) and had decided to begin the journey down my birth canal at exactly midnight. 

Which was fine by me. For about five minutes. When my excitement was replaced by a pain so intense that I wanted to phone my nearest vet and ask to be put down. 

I bravely soldiered on until about 4.30am, by which stage I had crushed Stephen’s hand into tiny fragments, called my older (and more beautiful) sister in Perth and screamed swear words down the phone at her, and had run out of fantasies about tying a string around Stephen’s willy and pulling hard every time I had a contraction. 

It was time for medical intervention! 

Our first hour at the hospital was even less successful as having got to the stage where I was experiencing excruciating contractions that were exactly 2 minutes apart and registered about a 10 on the Richter Scale, I had begun threatening the nurses with a long and painful death if they did not bring me every drug the hospital possessed and deposit them in my lap so that I could choose the best ones! 

Stephen had now slowly lost the will to live and had taken to amusing himself with a box of surgical gloves that he had stolen from a nearby supply cupboard and was snapping them onto his hands while saying, “Trust me, I’m a doctor!” in a rather sleazy voice. 

Where was the choir singing “This love is unbreakable?” Where were the TV cameras filming this momentous occasion for the 8pm news? And where was my bloody epidural?? 

FINALLY, having been in labour for over seven hours, having told Stephen that I would string him up by his manhood if he so much as TOUCHED the TV remote again (he was whining about Samurai Jack being on the cartoon channel), Dr H strode into the room with a needle as long as my left arm, rolled me onto my back, had Stephen hold me down (as I was trying to strangle Dr H for taking so long to arrive), and delivered the miracle drug into the very centre of my spine. 

And that was it. The pain was gone! 

The next few hours passed in a bit of a blur. I vaguely remember smiling at everyone. I seem to recall proposing to Dr H and admitting my undying love for him when he topped up the epidural as some semblance of feeling had returned to my right toe. I think I even wrote love letters to the nurse who brought me my tea. 

I loved everyone. I loved Stephen. I loved the baby. I loved life. 

And BOY, did I love drugs. Drugs are friends. Say “Yes!” to drugs. 

Unfortunately, Baby NT had rather decided it liked living in my tummy, which had been transformed into something from the Swinging Sixties. In fact, if you listened rather closely, you could hear the baby singing ‘The Age of Aquarius’ while waving a lighter from side to side. 

In fact, the baby liked its new drug-induced stupor so much that after 13 hours of labour, it had not even engaged yet – thus reinforcing my thoughts that I was having a boy as it was obviously afraid of commitment and didn’t want to leave home! 

And so, at 1.30pm, I was wheeled into theatre for a Caesar, which wasn’t such a bad idea, considering the fact that I was so tired that the thought of them cutting out the baby seemed like a far better option than having to push it out. I was all for the idea of having the same result with very little work! 

So there I lay, listening to the Wedding March (of all things) on Classic FM, while Stephen (looking very sexy in his surgical gown) bravely watched as his wife was operated on, and the anaesthetist kept trying to wake me up. 

But I was SO tired, and I KNEW we were having a boy – so why stay awake? There hasn’t been a girl in the NT family for 80 years – so what were my chances? Even though I so desperately wanted a little ballet dancer in the family … my son would just have to be gay! 

And so nothing prepared me for the moment the baby was born … 

“It’s a GIRL!” Dr H shouted as enormous wails filled the room… 

I was suddenly wide awake. 

“Are you sure?” I asked, as tears began to stream down my face. 

“Oh yes!” Smiled Dr H. “And she is VERY vocal – just like her Mom!” 

I slowly turned my head and locked eyes with Stephen, who was sobbing as loudly as his daughter. 

“You got your little girl,” I whispered as he squeezed my hand. “I can’t believe you got your little girl!” 

“What’s her name?” asked the anaesthetist as he gently stroked back my hair. 

“Kayla,” I smiled up at him. “Her name is Kayla Rae.” 

Fast forward seven years, and I will be back in the exact same hospital and the exact same delivery room, but this time we KNOW we are having a little girl. And I will most definitely be skipping the whole 13-hour labour bit by having a "fanny bypass" (aka an elective Caesar). And can you believe that I am so incredibly nervous? It feels as though I have fallen head-over-heels with someone that I have never met, and now get to see face to face for the very first time! After having my stomach cut open and half my insides taken out, of course.

No wonder I can't seem to stop crying!


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