37 weeks and 2 days gestation
This was the last photo taken of my baby bump, the night before. I wore this nightie, simply because both my suitable ones were already packed in my hospital bag. There was literally no time to change in the wee hours of the next morning. So imagine how embarrassed I was, when the midwife helped remove my robe at the birthing suite, and said: "now that's a raunchy outfit to wear for birth."
Believe me, I wanted to laugh along with her - she had no idea of the strange turn of events that had befallen me. I won't go into them, but it was like I knew he was coming (even though I was completely clueless) and things just "happened" to get us to hospital on time. Speaking of which, little Peter arrived just 40 short minutes after we got into the birth suite.
Peter William Riley, with Dad
a few minutes old
There was somewhat of a drama to his entry though. They couldn't find his heartbeat at first. I had one of those undignified births, where you're flat on your back and your legs are (well) kept out of the way, for want of a better description. But they had to place a sensor on his head to get a heartbeat. I kind of knew he was still with us, but the collective room breathed a sigh of relief when the machine started registering his pulse. There were quite a few medical people in the room by that stage too.
Meconium was found in the fluid, which was a sign he was in distress. Then when his heartbeat started dropping again, they wanted to get him out quickly. I was told to push, and when his head finally emerged, they pulled the rest of him out rather forcefully. I knew he would be okay (just as I always have - there's more to this story) and I still wonder if the medical intervention would have been necessary, had I arrived earlier and they were able to monitor him sooner. It's about their procedures and being able to document how labour progresses.
There was very little warning with Peter's birth though. Three hours passed between the first mild twinge, until he was born - and 30 minutes was spent driving to hospital, parking and getting to the birth suite!
A few hours old, dressed in my hand knits
He was average size though (nearly 4kgs) or 8 pounds, 6 ounces. I tried to breastfeed him in the birth suite. My poor muscles were shaking though and it was all a bit of a blur. The midwives conducted several heel-prick blood tests, and after 4 hours his blood-glucose level, hadn't managed to go over the 2.6 they like for newborns. So the Paediatric doctor came to our birth suite, and proposed taking him to the Special Care Nursery.
That is another story to tell about Peter's arrival though. He had quite an eventful first week of life...