Monday, February 28, 2011

Mark's birth story, and other memories from long ago - from my faded memory.

Sorry - digital photography was not around at this time, so there is a lack of appropriate photos... lots to read though.

I've not written about Mark's birth before. He was 10 days late! Braxton Hicks contracts for about two days before hand, then on the 12th June, 1998 at 2am I got my first contraction. I remember I was lying on the couch at mum & dad's house (where I was living at the time) because my sleep was pretty crap back then (deja-vu). I know it caused me to wake up and stand up in the the space of one second. I woke mum (cos I'm really nice like that) and she ran me a bath, I sat in the bath, or wandered the house in the beginning of my labour. I don't recall it being too awful, the contractions were far-ish apart and it was all managable except during the actual contractions. Around 5ish Mum cracked it and woke up Vince (my then sort-of partner and Mark's birth father who was also staying at their place) and told him to get dressed and help! Mum and Vince didn't get along so good, everyone including me knew he wasn't the right man for me.

So around 6ish we called the hospital - St George's in Kew when it was a maternity hospital - and they said to come in. The drive too 3 contractions to get there.. so maybe 15 minutes.

When we got there, Vince had to book me in, as he was my "partner" what a crock, should have been Mum. Anyway... I'll try and continue without further barbs at Vince ok.

I was taken to a birthing suite and the midwife hooked me up to a CTG machine, which is a belt around the belly to check on the heart rate. Then the midwife left... or collective memory says at least an hour. I wasn't suffering too much, had the gas for the contractions, but I was pretty crap at using that. My birth plan stated I wanted to walk, sit on the big ball, have a shower and here I was trapped in the bed with a CTG machine around my belly. Mum was doing all the "work" relaxing me, Vince held my hand (oops was that a barb?)

I think from about 8ish I was starting to lose the plot, yelling at people that "I don't want to breathe" when they suggested I breathe the gas through the contractions, the midwife asked "would I like some pethidine".. (again my birth plan said no pethidine because it makes the baby floppy") I remember this statement that I made "Am I in enough pain yet for pethidine", the midwife suggested that I was. So pethidine was given... noice.

After about another hour of me losing the plot, including an internal examination that showed I was only 3cm dilated (bring on the tears). They suggested I have an epidural... yes please.

Epidural on board, watching the CTG machine show that I was having another contraction, that is the nicest thing to watch, know you should be in excruciating pain, but what you are doing is watching a line go up. But the other line (baby's heart beat) was showing the exact opposite. Each contractions caused Mark's heart beat to drop to about 50bpm, which for a baby is very very low. So about 10.30 someone (probably the obstetrician) came in and said "having a few issues, so we might just have to get this baby out) so emergency Caesarean it was.

I was all prepped for theatre, already had the epidural, Vince was coming in to watch as well. When we were all ready for the operation to start, I remember thinking where the hell is he, he's holding up this operation, I bet he's chatting up some nurse. Later he told me, he was dressed in the scrubs within 5 minutes and they made him wait. Sorry Vince, my bad.

Operation "Chop Christy Open" begins, birthing the shoulders I felt, otherwise it was marvellous. Vince was so excited, "I got to see your guts, no one else has ever seen your guts before."

Then we got to see the gorgeous little Mark Emmanuel Orset (as he was originally called) we later officially changed his name to Mark Emmanuel Lantz to make his schooling and essentially his life easier. He was still a little bloody, had what looked like red curly hair, in retrospect, he had the tiniest amount of blonde hair that had blood on it. His eyelids were swollen, and were for about a month... the reason, the cord was wrapped around his neck twice, sort of strangling him. Well that's my theory.

Off to recovery and I was drugged out of my brain, high as a kite actually. I was lying in my bed with my leg bent - my knee was outside of the covers, I remember asking in my drugged voice "what's that big white thing down there?"
"That's your leg, love" OMG that's soooo fuuunnnnnyyyyyy.

I was hooked up to a drip for about the next day and a half. Vince slept on the floor next to me. Marko roomed in with us. Breast feeding was a little problematic mainly due to the sheer number of different midwives all with slightly different theories on how it should work. I recall one woman walking in, asking me to "get ready" and then she started to flick my nipple with her finger... still not too impressed about that. Don't you think she should have asked for permission first?

Despite an emergency caesarean section, I insisted on being discharged after 4 days, as I knew Vince was leaving to work at the snow. We had about 3 days together. I was pretty low, Mum drove us to the edge of the city and Vince got out and started to hitch hike to Mt Buller and really out of our lives. I know he called me a few times, the 2am drunk call when he professed undying love for me (total bullshit and I called him on it), I remember yelling at him, I'm looking after your son whilst you are partying at a ski resort (oh and a little cleaning) and you wake me up at 2am with lies???? (oops I did it again).

Anyway after that HUGE life changing week. I was only 24 years old, newborn baby, crumbling relationship, we managed to pick ourselves up and get on with the business of loving the most amazing little baby who has grown into a great kid. Yes I have my problems with him, but really just totally normal teenager issues, we want him to do stuff, he doesn't want to do it! Simple as that.

Mum remembers there were hours where Mark would be lying on my lap and I would just be looking at him. No wonder we're so close. Anyway after about 18 months, I was still living at home. I was on the single parent pension and my dad said "OK Christy, this isn't going to be forever like this, what are you doing with your life, go back to work at a lab, or go to uni or something, you cannot be a pensioner". He was so right. I didn't want to go back to Melbourne Pathology where I was the shit kicker, no where to go in that company without uni, and I knew the scientists didn't do too much more than what I did, so there was little point in becoming a Medical Laboratory Scientist. But I did like the idea of nursing (they are nice people, I'd like to be nice) so I started my nursing degree in 2000 when I was 26 years old.

Also in that time period, Vince and I totally broke up, we had a couple of weekends at Mum & Dad's caravan in Eildon so he could get to know Mark, but it was all fruitless. I spent a lot of hours on the computer in that new thing called the "internet", I chatted to lots of guys on ICQ... went a little wild (oops again), and then somehow started talking/typing to a guy in Tullamarine who worked strange hours so was available to talk to me when I was online (remember dialup). Anyway we talked for hours and hours, he was nice, but I wasn't in love. One day we suggested we might meet for a drink. I didn't know this fella from a bar of soap really. So we agreed to meet at a pub half way between our houses, and we'd each bring a friend. I took Jo and Jamie brought Dave (who didn't admit he had a girlfriend and tried to chat up Jo - sorry Kirsty if you read this) we had a nice evening, but no sparks at all. But we kept on chatting, cos we got along really well. But by Easter of 2000.... well we were a fully fledged couple and haven't looked back. Jamie accepted Mark without question, Margie I believe was a little wary of Jamie's girlfriend who had an 18 month old son! But she loves me now.

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