I am one of the lucky ones. All we have to do is think “baby?” and one appears. At least, that’s how it went with both of ours thus far.
I blame my cousin for prompting me to go for take two. At 7 months pregnant she was so beautifully round and radiant and excited and… well, the Little Lion was 1 and just cute and funny and joyful and I thought, “Heck, I can do that again and I can do it right this time – no lounging back on the couch, no sitting for hours on end, make sure that baby is back-to-front for its grand entrance into the world, have my natural cow on all fours birth rather than 32 hours of AGONY…”
So we did. We thought “baby?” and within 5 minutes I had blown out to the size of a small hippo. By four months, people were asking when I was due to give birth to that monster-baby inside me.
There was nothing beautiful about being round the second time ’round. It was just hard work. I was buggered. My back was buggered. My ankles were buggered. My pelvic floor was… well that’s a saga that continues.
I did spend an enormous amount of time on all fours, much to the Little Lion’s joy. Not only was mummy growing a continental shelf upon which he could sit, but she had also, apparently, turned into a horse upon which he could ride, tirelessly, up and down the hallway crying, “CLIP CLOP, MUMMY! CLIP CLOP!” When the Little Lion began crashing into the continental shelf as though it was a pillow, we knew it was time for baby-prep to begin.
I bought every book I could find that dealt with new babies, becoming a big sibling, mummies with babies, sharing with babies, etc etc, but do you think the Little Lion was at all interested? He knew there was a baby in my tummy. We’d talked about it. But he did not want to know about random picture book strangers and the babies that their mummies brought home. Sorry.
(Warning: Shameless self-promotion ahead.)
So, I made a book: A Toddler Transitions Story that told the tale of the Little Lion and the big adventure he would go on when the baby was ready to come out of Mummy’s tummy. It was complete with photos of himself, of his Mum and Dad and Nanna and Papa and all the places he would go and things he would do. AND HE LOVED IT! It worked like a dream. He read it every night and before long, he was telling us the story of the adventure he would go on when “Bubby” came out.
(I produce them, fully personalised with your pics and details and professionally printed, so if you know anyone expecting, pass it on! It’s the best preparation for a toddler that I have come across and it’s a beautiful keepsake to look back on too. I also write stories for all the major transitions a toddler may face – moving house, starting daycare, illness, toilet training, changes in family circumstances, etc. So check it out! www.nadineneumann.com.au)
OK, self-promotion done, now on with the story of B2.
So, when I wet the bed in a big way one night in May, we were all ready. Contractions began the same way they had with LL’s arrival, so I thought nothing of it. I was relaxed and repeated my mantra of “this will pass, here comes baby, this will pass…” I went silent with each contraction and focussed on relaxing my face. Did you know that the jaw is related to the vagina in chinese medicine? So a relaxed jaw = a relaxed nether-region, or so they say. And did you know it is almost impossible to hold tension without holding it in your face as well? So a relaxed face = relaxed body, or so they say. I visualised as well – baby moving down, everything being soft for it’s travel down and out…
I made LLs meals for the next day, I put on a load of washing, I ate some breakfast, I engaged in conversation with the friends who had come in those wee hours to look after our Little Lion, and every five minutes I would excuse myself, breathe and wait patiently for the moment to pass.
A couple of particularly strong ones and I suggested it was time to go. Yes, now. Really. Now.
Two minutes down the road and I declared, “I really need to poo.” Warning bells were ringing somewhere in the distance. Mr D almost stopped to let me take that dump on the side of the road, but thought better of it, gave me permission to crap on the towel that covered the front seat of his work truck and put his foot down. Every bend in the road, every bump was Hell. I couldn’t sit any more and the contractions were coming hard and fast. I kept breathing and visualising and reminding myself that it would pass while bracing against the jolting of the truck. I vaguely remembered something my sister-in-law had said about poo and babies coming, so I tried not to poo in the ute.
When we got to the hospital, I crouched on the floor and held the door for Mr D and the bags. Then, 5 meters on, I crouched and waited for the midwife to open the ward door. Then, 5 meters on, I crouched at the side of the bed and apologised for shitting my pants. Then, a minute later the midwife said, “Oh, we’d better call Doctor,” and I said, “There’s the burn” and she said, “Go with it”, and Mr D knelt on the other side of the bed and held my hand and I said, “here we go” and then…
Well, all I remember is one contraction, me shouting like a well-seasoned soccer mum, “COME ON BABY!!!” and that was it. Done. Babe in arms, husband in shock and me, once again, laughing the hysterical laugh of a drunkard. 2hs and 12 minutes. No more than 10 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. Never even made it to the bed. Mad cow on all fours on the floor birth, done. Stitch free.
When doctor arrived, the midwives were mopping the blood off the floor; I was reclining in a beanbag, pumping with adrenalin and absolutely euphoric; baby was snipped and tied and looking around; Mr D was pacing and repeating “How good is that? How good is that?! HOW GOOD IS THAT?!” to which I replied, “If that’s how good it is, let’s have heaps!” Doctor gave us the thumbs up, declared that he felt a little useless and went back home to bed.
It was like I had been to a late-night movie and won a baby as a lucky door prize. I was fighting fit the next day and within 48 hours I was Clip Clopping the Lion around the maternity ward while bemused nurses tried to remind be that I had just had a baby. He never asked about my tummy. He didn’t need to. Bubby was there. He could cuddle Bubby and he knew that he would visit Mummy and Bubby for a few days and then they would come home.
Blossom has been the perfect baby ever since. Bless her beautiful, relaxed little soul.