Louisa Claire


The Day of the Wonderful Surprise

When I fell pregnant third time round I was determined to avoid the “overdue blues” I had suffered through with my first two bubs. I immediately added 10 days to my due date and mentally and practically prepared for this baby to arrive late. I was prepared for weeks of pre-labour uncomfortableness and an 11th-hour-pre-induction “spontaneous labour”.

At 40weeks pregnant The Architect and I headed out to the MTC to see a play. Unfortunately my pre-labour contractions meant that I sat through dinner and 3/4 of the play having contractions…false labour though, I was so sure!

Louisa Claire

Friday morning came and at 40+1 the “false” contractions came and went…more of this delightful pre-labour I’d experienced with the other two.

Saturday morning, 40+2. I start the day at 5.30am with contractions still happening. SO ANNOYING PEOPLE. I am convinced I still have a WHOLE WEEK of this before the baby arrives.

Contractions are about 7minutes apart for much of the day. I spent a lot of time in bed, mooching about with heat packs on the go, generally leaving the house and kids to the hubs. I continue to tell hubs that we have a week of this but part of me is starting to wonder…I finally put on my out of office and send a couple of emails to the team “just in case”. Hubs gets a bit cranky with me – he is convinced the baby is coming in 24-48hours and thinks I need to start accepting this as a very real possibility!

At 6pm he heads off to a bucks night for our new-brother-in-law-to-be.

At 9pm I call him and suggest that he should come home and finish the article he needs to write just in case.

At 10pm I go to bed – can’t sleep, need heat packs, need a back massage, need a break. After a few days of this and sleepless nights I am SO tired and just want to sleep.

Around 2am I get up…and start facing facts. I call the hospital ~ the midwife comments that I am very quiet and I crack a joke about choosing my outfit ~ and start making a list of things we need to do before we head in and say a massive THANK YOU that I decided to charge the camera battery before I went to bed.

At 4.30am I get The Architect up and hand over my (his) to-do list. He eats breakfast while I continue to have contractions for 45-60secs every 3minutes. Once he has finished eating breakfast I suggest he might like to help me with some massage during the contractions. He looks a bit sheepish!

At 5am we call his parents.

At 6am we head to the hospital after telling my inlaws that I will “so be having an epidural!” We call my Mum as we head out the driveway and I very much resist posting an update to Facebook!


The fuzzienss of this mid-contraction photo seems very appropriate!


When we get to the hospital there are more comments about how quiet I am during the contractions. My doctor is already on the ward as he has a couple of other women in labour too so he pops in to see me and the midwife tells him things are moving pretty slowly. I am always surprised by the assumption that because I labour quietly nothing is happening!

I’m 5-6cm dilated and my obstetrician smiles as he tells that I will have a baby that morning.

I start laughing in that hysterical-manic way you do when you get taken by surprise by something. My head was still in the place that this baby wasn’t coming for another week!

He breaks my waters to get things moving a bit more…and it all feels very familiar (my waters didn’t break with my other two either).

The midwife asks me my pain relief plan and I tell her I expect to have an epidural. I loved the epidurals I had had with the other two and was totally fine with going down that path again. That said, I’m in no rush for one, happy to give the gas a go for as long as it helps. I tell her I won’t have the pethadine, (it’s horrible, I think!) and that TENS machines annoy the crap out of me. She looks a bit dubious at my reaction to the TENS machine and tells me that they don’t administer pethadine anymore…now it’s morphine!

We cruise with the gas for a bit and then give the morphine a go – combined with the massage it’s all going quite well. Probably good that I don’t realise bubs is posterior as even though I can feel the pain in my back, not knowing is good for my mental health! I can do this!

I’ve got to say I feel quite proud of the way I coped with all this and with what came next. I remember having a moment where I realised that if I didn’t ask for the epidural then and there I wasn’t going to get it. The midwife and I had talked about how I felt a bit scared about pushing bubs out without the epidural and I think naming that fear helped me get my head into the right place for it. Mentally I was OK with doing it without the “hard stuff” so I thought let’s just see how we go.

Unfortunately because Bluey had done a meconium poo they were trying to monitor him but couldn’t get a good enough read so decided they needed to insert a cap on him. This meant I had to lie down. For those who have done this before you will understand why I then decided to ask for the epidural! Lying down in labour without one = no thanks! As I was only 7cm dilated at this point it was looking like there could be a couple more hours of labour to go. This equalled a double NO THANKS, give me the drugs! The anthetist was called and I started to really hang out for his arrival!

It was around this time that I let out this funny little sound and I heard my obstetrician softly say to the midwife “has she been making sounds like that the whole time?” She quietly replied “No, that’s why I thought it might be almost time.”

In that moment, I knew.

This baby was coming and I was about to go through transition, something I had heard so many women speak of before but had not experienced myself. Oh dear…

A few minutes later and I felt this incredible urge to push. And so it was that I turned from a silent labourer to a screaming mad woman.

My poor husband who had leaned over to help me move was a mere inches from my face as I started screaming SOMEONE HELP ME, IT REALLY HURTS!!

someone. make. it. STOP!! PLEASE! IT REALLY HURTS!!

I was told the anethetist had arrived but they were sending him home.

This time some angry yelling …. “NO!! BRING HIM BACK!”

It’s too late, this baby is coming.


“You are doing it!” my husband and the midwife encouragingly responded (and I very ungraciously thought to myself “I think you are both missing the point!”)


More random screaming at people to DO SOMETHING ensued.

Just as I started to lose control of my mind I managed to stop and focus. What I was feeling was actually no different to what I felt when Bear was born – sure I’d had an epidural with him but it was a “good one” so I felt everything, controlled when I needed to push and yelled a little bit too.

I had done this before, I could do it again and I was going to be damn proud of myself for it.

I also remembered the midwife telling me when I was birthing Bear that if I listened to her and did what she said that they would get him out without any tearing. This was appealing!


We were on.

A few minutes, screams and pushes later and he was born.

All in all it only took 10 minutes of crazy-lady-ness before he arrived.

Another beautiful boy, our Bluey.





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Thoughts on “The Day of the Wonderful Surprise

  1. OMG! Such a beautiful story, and I’m so happy for you all with your new, healthy, gorgeous addition to your family.

    I’m laughing a bit, though, because you managed to combine both my labour experiences into one! The merconium, having to be monitored thing with my first, and the HOLY CRAP THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW with my second.

    Thanks for sharing the birth story. x
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  2. Congratulations!! I had tears in my eyes reading all this…so much like what I went through :) it is such a short amount of time to be in pain for the wonderful result really (although it doesn’t feel like that at the time)

  3. Thankyou for sharing! So well described I felt like it was me, while I was reading I was crying, had clenched my tummy muscles and was holding my breath! Such a beautiful baby boy, well done :)

  4. Congratulations again, Louisa. You did so well. I’m always amazed how different every birth is from another. We can never predict, can we? And I it’s so impossible to explain just how much transition hurts. Oh my goodness, it hurts. I hear you!

  5. well done Lou!! I had been on the monitor with Tabby so I wasn’t allowed to move…hello epidural…then they made me let it wear off…so. not. fun. in the end it ended up being a second c-section. So proud of you for going quiet…I was not quiet…
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  6. Ahhh, love me a good birth story! Louisa, you have every right to be inordinately proud – well done! Just lovely – it really reflects what we can indeed do when we get our heads right…

    (So reminiscent of my birth with Lexie. That transition bizzo…wow…mad!)


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