Matthew was born at 17:05 on 21 January 2011.

I started my maternity leave on 1 January after weeks of looking forward to being home. Unfortunately, I was at home for 3 weeks before I went into labour. Lovely! 3 weeks of just lazing around and not worrying (much) about anything, except having to cut my time spent with my new baby short. On Thursday, 20 Jan, I started getting cramps at around 11h00. I wasn’t sure whether I was going into labour or not and posted on a mommy forum asking if I was actually having contractions, hahaha! The cramping got progressively worse and neither sitting or lying down would alleviate the pain. The pain was all in my back and I had almost no pains in my tummy. At after 8pm, I couldn’t handle the pain anymore and told Mark that its time to go to the hospital. I can’t believe how calm he was throughout this whole thing. He quickly put the bags in the car and we made our way to the hospital.

At the labour ward, they took me to a room and started the observations. They decided to keep me overnight and moniter me. After 9 hours of labour, I was only 1cm dialated. Mark was told to go home and rest and come back in the morning. I was asked if I want anything for the pain and was given 3 pethidine injections throughout the night and morning. Dr came by after 11am and checked me out. I think I was around 4cm dilated and 80% effaced by then. Dr then broke my water (wasn’t sore at all) and we discovered that baby had already released some meconium in utero as my waters were a bit green. I started to stress a bit but Dr said the baby could’ve gone into distress anytime in the last few weeks and that he’ll be fine.

I was taken to the birthing room and there this fabulous anesthetist gave me the epidural. Absolute, wonderful relief!!! Despite my emphatic claims that I would birth naturally with no pain killers! The epidural wasn’t sore and I only felt the injection to numb the site. After that, it was a waiting game. At 14h25, Dr came by to check how far along I was……. 8cm’s! YAY!!! Almost there! Dr said baby should be here between 16h00 and 17h00. Woohoo! I was excited and started prepping myself mentally to push my baby out. Dr came back around 16h35 to do final check. I was asked if I didn’t have any pushing sensations yet. I told the dr that I don’t feel any different from 2 hours before. She looked concerned but didn’t say anything and checked how far along I was. I was still 8cm’s dilated!! Nothing had happened in 2 hours. Dr wasn’t happy and said that the cord could be around baby’s neck and was stopping him from moving further along the birth canal, thus the reason why I stopped dilating. She wanted to book me for an emergency c-section. She would just check for a paediatrician and anesthetist that was available. She was very sweet and explained everything so nicely. I think she could see how badly I wanted a vaginal birth. When she left, I just cried. Mark held my hand and I just let it all out. I couldn’t believe that after almost 32 hours of labour, I would need a c-section to get my baby.

I was wheeled to the operating theatre and my epidural was topped up. I had this funny feeling in my legs and was really worried that I would feel them cut me. I asked Mark if they started yet and he said that they’ve cut me already! I couldn’t believe that I didn’t feel anything. Shame, he was so awesome and actually looked at one stage. But as quickly as he looked, he looked away again and kept his head turned away from them working on me. Hahahaha! All I felt was this pushing and pulling feeling as the doctors were working him out of me. And then I heard the most amazing sound ever. My baby’s first cry!!! I didn’t realise how badly I was waiting to hear that cry. It just melts your heart… Mark was asked if he wanted to cut the cord and managed to do it after 2 tries.

Matthew Adrian Muller was born weighing 3.47kgs and 53cms long. Mark has been amazing and has far exceeded what I thought he would do. He is changing nappies, burping, bathing. I think I fell a little bit more in love with him…. It was an amazing experience even though I was disappointed in not getting my normal birth.