After what seemed to me like a very long pregnancy – the first time I actually made it to 38 weeks – I went into labour on a quiet Friday night. I have no idea how anyone makes it to the full 40 weeks. I was starting to get severely p*ssed off. Having reached a date exactly in between my No. 1 and No. 3 child, I felt this would be a good time. I sent Husband off to bed because things were moving slowly and not terribly painful. My contractions warmed up through the night but seeing as it was Friday night I felt strange turning on the tv. So I just went to bed. My midwife offered to come but for some reason I wasn’t convinced I was in labour. Around 5am, I started to experience real pain so I told the midwife to come. When I called her, my phone read 4 degrees as the outside temperature. The thought flashed through my head;”Ï cannot imagine going to a hospital right now. Getting up from my cosy bed, putting on clothes, walking down our stairs into the cold, Sitting in CAR (ugh) and bumping along to a hospital 45 minutes away, full of bright lights and noisy staff…” What utter hell. I have no idea how I had my first two kids in a hospital, or indeed how anyone does it.
My midwife rolled up around 6am but by this point I was too far along for the waterbirth I had planned. It takes time to blow up the pool and fill it. I have no idea why I left things so last minute but when she examined me I was already 9cms dilated so that was that. No floating around in the water for me. but at least I got to stay in bed on a shabbat morning… a rare treat! Soon after my kids woke up and I was now at the most miserable point – transition I suppose – and wondering how they would cope with the news that mummy was having a baby but it was fine. Mornings are a cheerful time for them and they were excited by the idea. Apparently Jojo got his younger brothers dressed, put coats on them, grabbed a jar of granola, marched them up the road to our friends house and announced that mummy was having a baby. Luckily the friend had been warned. So all was good. (Jojo later informed me that he had peeked into my room and saw me on the bed in pain, and he felt sorry for me. How sweet.)
After that my labour progressed pretty quickly, I always feel better when I know my kids are in safe hands. And number 4 was born at 8:30. No trauma for my kids of mummy rushing off to hospital (they’ve been through that a few times). They just got to play in the park for a couple of hours or so and when they returned they found a sweet little baby in a basket surrounded by 3 little wrapped gifts – toy trucks and tank. They were thrilled. (Although I suspect Yaroni was hoping for a sister…. luckily he got over it when he saw how sweet the baby was). It was all strangely mellow. We explained the gifts were from the new baby and they were very happy. My midwife and her assistant (they always work in pairs) hung around to sort out the paperwork and check all was well. Lucky for me it was shabbat… so I had food for the entire day all pre-prepared, and we got to have a nice kiddush with our midwives.
We had planned to bury the placenta and plant a tree nearby but as we haven’t quite moved into our house yet, my lovely midwife had the bright idea of freezing it. Unfortunately she didn’t label it so hopefully I wont accidentally defrost it for a stew one friday night….. “Placenta anyone…?”
I assumed my children would not really think that the gifts had come from the baby, but it seems I was wrong. Later that day as I sat on my balcony holding my new baby watching the kids playing outside, I heard a long and earnest conversation between Yaroni and Jojo discussing exactly how the baby got their presents ready. How he got up at 2am and found the sellotape….
so I now understand how children believe in Father Christmas. It’s definitely more fun believing in a little magic now and again.
I, of course, had my own little magic. Having a baby on shabbat is a slightly magical experience. (A little sad though, as you cant take photographs. Still, the memory is forever immortalised in my head). So far all my babies were born on weekends, but only this one turned up on shabbat itself. Aside from that, I am sure my landlord was happy. Instead of having my kids riding their toys around our house from the early hours of the morning, they were all out the door by 7am. So they would have had a quiet one. Their first in the 3 years since we moved in….