On New Years Day (cue very heavy rain in Wellington) I decided I'd tidy up some of the cupboards around the house, and I came across a copy of The Sandbox magazine (Wellington Region Parents Centre bi-monthly mag). I'd kept this particular edition all these years because an email that Mark had written to friends and family on the arrival of Noah ended up being published as an article in the magazine about 'Dad's perspective' on birth stories. Here's what he had to say:
I'm going to try and keep this short and sweet, as I've just got back from the hospital and am dying for some food, a shower and a sleep.
Meghan gave birth to our little boy (Noah George) at 10.54am this morning Wednesday 2nd August 2006 after a very quick birth. The sequence of events unfolded as follows...
Yesterday, Meghan complained she just didn't feel right. She still managed to walk into town (a half hour walk) and meet some friends for lunch, but later returned home feeling a little sick. Having put this down to what she ate at lunchtime, we carried on our evening and went to bed at 10.30pm.
From what Meghan had said to me, I had a sneaky suspicion something was up, and managed to finish as much work as possible, make some frozen meals for when we are too tired, and even remembered to bring some speakers home that a lad at work had lent me so Meg could listen to some music during labour.
I was woken at 1am by Meghan fidgeting around in bed and offered to go and sleep n the couch. She then woke me at 3am to say I might want to start preparing myself to go to hospital later that day! At this stage we still weren't sure if Meg just had a sore tummy, or if it was the real deal.
I was woken again at 4am by Meghan in more pain than an hour earlier, so I got my stop watch out and timed the contractions. At this stage they were 5 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 60-90 seconds. Meg had a couple of baths in the next three hours, while the pains continued to get stronger.
The midwife arrived at 7am at our place and said Meg was only 3cm dilated. She expected we had at least another 7 hours from here (equation = 1 cm per hour. The midwife said she would ring us back at 10am and we would take it from there.
Well....as soon as the midwife left, I thought I was living with a Norwegian shot putter with all the screaming and shouting that was going on! Meg had another bath, but the pain was getting REALLY intense so we took to rocking on her hands and knees with hot water bottles front and back.
At 9.30am I told Meghan to start getting ready to go to the hospital as I couldn't watch her in this much pain and phoned the midwife to tell her we were on our way. By this stage Meg had also thrown up from the pain.
We left the house at 9.50am and every traffic light we came to was red!!!! I gave a running commentary all the way to the hospital while Meg was on the back seat on her hands and knees screaming like a good-un, so I don't think she heard a word I said!
We arrived at the hospital at 10.05am and I bundled Meghan through the security doors, handing her over to the midwife while I tried to find a park....luckily I got one right outside the birthing units (on double yellow lines) and wrote a note to put on the windscreen explaining that a miracle was about to happen.
I got back into the hospital, and promptly bumped into antenatal friends of ours who'd been in labour for a few hours and had just checked in. For those of you who know Wellington hospital, there only have two birthing suites with spa baths. Well our midwife had hooked one up for us and when I got in the room Meg was already on all fours in the bath.
Meghan was now in serious pain and I wondered how on earth she was going to last another four hours. How wrong could I be?!
After about 6-7 huge contractions in the bath, her waters broke and the baby's head started to crown. From here on in, it seemed like only a matter of minutes and Meghan was sitting in the spa pool with Noah in her arms, and me an absolute mess in tears.
This has to be one of the most emotional things I have ever been through, as I just felt so helpless to help Meghan, but so proud. She endured labour completely naturally with out any drugs or even gas. For someone who I've always joked about being a drama queen even when she stubs her toe, as Harry Redknapp would say 'The girl had a blinder'.
Anyway, this was supposed to be short and sweet. Just to let you know, Mum and Bub's are doing great.
Mark, Meghan and Noah