My brand new nephew,
Isn't he gorgeous? Yes, I am biased, having just become an Aunty for the first time, but c'mon, all babies are gorgeous and precious and squishy little love bundles!! The general consensus is he has his Dad's shape face, but Mum's features, he certainly has her stubborness!
Last Monday, having gone 10 days overdue, my sister was informed she 'had' to go to hospital to have an induction. Sharing the same DNA as me, she rankled a little at being told she 'had' to do anything, and lengthy discussion over medical know-how versus nature knowing what's best ensued. We both tended to err on the side that Mother Nature has been doing this baby thing for a while now, and probably has it down pat, but also the Doctors, despite often having a God complex, do know their stuff too, and only have her and the baby's best interest at heart. Plus, she was 10 days overdue, and completely over being pregnant. She just wanted to meet her baby.
So, Sis dutifully rocked up to hospital to have her induction. (I will try to keep this part of the post as TMI-free as possible, but hey, when you're talking babies, you're talking jay-jays!). Some gel was applied to her cervix and... nothing. Now, friends of mine have had inductions and tell me the minute that gel went on, wham! labour kicked in. So Sis (and the entire family) waited. And waited. And waited some more. Nothing, after a whole day, two lots of gel: nothing, no dilation, no effacing, a big fat nothing.
Tuesday morning, after having a very lonely night all by herself in hospital, another lot of gel was applied, and again nothing. Sis has been thinking long and hard and asks for a caesarian, but no dice. There's the difference between private and public hopitals, in private, they can't wait to cut you open, and will use any excuse to whip out a scapel. In public, you have you have to practically take to yourself with the bendy little plastic cutlery they give you with your dinner. (Yes, yes, I know I'm generalising, its called poetic licence and hey, how much fun would a reasoned, rational post be to read? That's right, none at all, so shush.)
So another day of waiting, another day of absolutely no progress. Another lonely night.
Wednesday morning, the most determined midwife on the planet finally manages to break Sis's waters. That is definitely a TMI item, suffice to say, she'd probably be pretty good at playing the piano. Then, they try to attach the little wire monitor thingy on bub's head. He decides to protest and is shaking his head to stop her. Mums, just pause for a second and imagine your bub's engaged head shaking around like a bobble-head dashboard dog. Yeah, fun. They do manage to get it on, but he shakes it off a bit later.
Because her waters have now been broken, Sis can now be put on a drip and given some drug or other that will start labour. It starts, sort of, but never really progresses past a bit uncomfortable. Cervix hasn't budged an inch.
After about 10 hours of mild labour, the Doctors finally get the picture (that the midwives have been telling them for a day and a half now) that the induction isn't working, and Sis gets a caesarian, and finally gets to meet her little man! For those who need to know, 8 pound, 11 ounces, with a whopping 37cm head! No wonder Sis's cervix didn't want anything to do with letting that kid through!
During this whole saga, I had been getting really pissed off at the whole process. My rankling at Sis being told she HAD to have an induction, rather than just let nature to the job probably stemmed from my own feelings about being being basically scared into a c-section I didn't need, and my resentment of that, so I had kind of swung to the opposite end of the pendulum. I can know see that yes, she was over a week overdue, and something needed to be done, and of course, you don't want to just start cutting expectant Mums open just because it's all getting a bit tedious. Part of it was also a kind of protectiveness of my baby sister, and reacting to seeing her getting upset.
When I was getting rather gnashy and attitude-y about the whole thing, and contemplating storming the maternity ward like an SS trooper and applying foot to ass, I had a conversation with my Mum and my own Aunty. They gave me some very wise and timely advice, "Yes, it's frustrating and probably a bit scary, and not quite what she had planned, but hey! Welcome to parenthood". Instantly, the wind went out of my sails and I calmed down. Of course, they were right. In the lifetime of motherhood Sis has ahead of her, this will barely even rate as a blip.
I'm not against anyway a Mother wants to have her baby, nor anyway she ends up delivering. Labour is just the beginning of parenthood, not the defining moment. We need to remember the goal is end up with a happy, healthy baby in your arms, not to have a certain type of experience.
Now that I've had my rant, here's some pics to get us all gooey again.
GG meeting Parker. She was so cute with him, softly crooning, "Hello baby Parker, I'm your cousin". So gentle and tender with him. Bless.
P.S. We have since found out that Sis and her husband found out the baby's gender at 8 months... and managed to keep the secret the whole time!!!! She should be a secret agent!