Saturday 15th December, 2018
It’s early morning and I was in full nesting mode with no signs of slowing down. I wanted everything to be perfect at home when the time came to leave for the hospital to give birth to our baby. We didn’t know the sex this time round either. I thought about how nice it would be to have a boy since we already had a girl, but also in the same breath, how nice would it be for Jorja to have a best friend in a sister. Either way, a happy healthy bouncing baby was all we wanted.
I got a phone call from my sister in law asking if it was ok if they went to Westfield to do some Xmas shopping or should they stay close by just in case? My reply was “go and do your shopping, we are days away yet I am sure”. Due in just 4 days time, I really hoped baby would be ready to arrive before Xmas day, mainly because I wanted to be at home with Jorja to see what Santa had brought.
That morning, as I pottered, I did feel some niggles. There was a part of me that thought it was nothing, but my gut told me otherwise. Something was telling me this baby was getting ready to come. Around 2pm I noticed that I had passed my mucous plug. This hadn’t happened with Jorja. I called triage straight away and they advised that this didn’t really mean anything. Labour could still be days away. Something told me labour was imminent. It's now 6pm and I’m on FaceTime with my Mum as I made Irish stew. I wanted to have a big dinner in case it all did kick off, I knew we would both need our energy.
Throughout this pregnancy, I had two concerns. One, who would look after Jorja when I went to hospital so I had plan A, B, C and D. Two, would there be a pool available for me in the hospital for another water birth? I knew I had no power over the latter so I prepared for one not being available but I kept the hope alive.
Fast forward to 10pm, it was bedtime. I knew now these niggles were the start of labour and I lay in bed practising my breathing as each contraction came. We started to time each one and at 11pm we decided to call my parents-in-law to come and spend the night. They arrived at midnight and at 1am I decided to call triage again just to let them know I was in early labour. The contractions at this point were completely manageable, everything was fine. Then the midwife at the end of the phone asked, “Is this your first or second baby” to which I replied, “my second”. She then advised we come straight in.
Marcus thought maybe it was too soon to go to hospital since we laboured for a lot longer at home when in labour with Jorja. I explained that second babies come quick, so we left. While on the phone, I told the midwife that I would love a water birth if there was a pool available. She advised that at that point there was one available. We left the house at 1am, no one heard us leave. We arrived at the hospital within two contractions and the car park was practically empty. With one more contraction to breathe through in the car park, we made our way into the hospital to meet the midwife.
We spent the next while having the midwife monitor me and do some paperwork as another midwife filled the pool. As we walked to the room I asked Marcus which room did we give birth to Jorja in, and it was the same room. The minute we walked into the room, I felt an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia, I could hardly believe 2 years had passed already. I felt safe, calm, confident and completely in control of what I needed to do. All was going fine so far. I got in the pool and it just felt so relaxing.
The midwife checked the baby’s heartbeat regularly and one thing I noticed was each time she placed the Doppler on my bump she was going lower and lower. I knew this baby was coming faster than I expected. Fast forward to 3.30am, the contractions were much stronger now. I kept breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth but now on each out breath I found myself being a lot more vocal, like a loud moan sound, and for some reason it really helped. It helped me focus on my visualisation of my baby moving down with each surge and just made them feel that bit more bearable.
Soon it was time to push. It was very different to what I remembered. While I knew that with or without me, my body was going to birth my baby but for the first time I had a real sense of this. I felt completely out of control and now really scared. It felt almost impossible for me to catch my breath as my baby moved further and further down, I was finding it hard to cope with the speed at which she was coming. I was in the pool squeezing Marcus hand. I remember shouting at him to help me, telling him I couldn’t do it. He looked me in the eye and started to breathe. He told me to be calm and to breathe with him. I kept his stare and I did it with him and together we got through each contraction until 4.40am and it was my last push. Little Jazmine was born in the water at 4.43am and the midwife lifted her out of the water and into my arms. It was a little girl and I instantly thought to myself, Jorja you have your best friend now.
I got out of the pool to walk to the bed and as I did the midwife was looking at me in surprise. My placenta had already passed and was half way out. Well that was easy!! I immediately got on the bed and fed my baby and was so grateful to be back in this same room having another baby. Fast forward to 8am, Sunday 16th December, my birthday, and we were getting ready to go home. At 9am we walked in the door of the house to have breakfast with little Jorja. Everyone nearly fell over when they saw a baby in the car seat. They woke up that morning not even realising we had left.
Second babies do come quick. Nearly as quick as this first year.