The story of Walter Joseph’s birth is an amazing one. He was loved long before he was created. He was in their dreams for many years. His little soul took a little extra time to make it’s way down to meet this Earth. When my sister became pregnant it was a joyous occasion and also one filled with the normal worries that any first time mother struggles with. A fire is lit within your heart and a love begins to grow and attach itself to this little person you have yet to meet.
One thing I always remember about my sister long before she was pregnant was her fears and worries about childbirth, something that had not really ever occurred to me to worry about though she thought about it all the time. When she did become pregnant she sought the birth stories from everyone near and far. There were many horrors to be heard and many heart warmers too. What she soon realised was that everyone had a different story and it would be up to her to create her own birth story. She decided her birth was going to be calm and magical.
On Sunday 6th April, in Geelong Victoria, my little sister went into labour one week early – it was a bit of a surprise! My mother and I packed our bags as quick as possible and raced to the airport to catch the 4.40pm connecting flight to Melbourne. Nervous excitement engulfed us! We had two flights with a stop in Brisbane and then a one-hour coach ride to Geelong… would we make it? We landed in Brisbane no worries and were updated by husband Nick that all was going well and she had received an epidural and was resting. We got news our flight was delayed, first by 30 minutes, then an hour, then two hours… it seemed it just kept getting worse and worse. Picture me sitting at the airport coffee shop with a hot chocolate bawling my eyes out… we would now miss the last coach to Geelong. It was Sunday and we could not hire a car… we may have to stay in Melbourne… we may miss the birth…
Finally we board and fly to Melbourne, we arrive around midnight exhausted and rush to get our bags. We hear from Nick that Kimmy is now nine centimetres and a burst of energetic excitement reaches us… we just may make this birth!!!!!!! We rush to the taxi rank and are glad to hear the driver will take us all the way to Geelong – we dont care what the cost will be! We pile our bags in and go! After an hour in the taxi we arrive in cold Geelong at the hospital around 1am. The midwives welcome us in and direct us up to Birthing Suite Two….it’s quiet, I hear not much at all… I feel an overwhelming sense of calm. We walk into the room, we see her in the bed lying back, she sees us and tears begin. It’s a moment that quietly says “we’re here” and ”you made it”.
My sister is quiet and calm. She’s on the verge of giving birth to her first child and she’s so focused. I’m suddenly so proud in this moment. “She’s doing it” I think. All those horror stories we heard mean nothing now because she’s almost there and its going to be ok. By about 2.15am the obstetrician arrives and very quietly and calmly talks Kimmy and Nick through the motions. He is confident in her. As the pushing begins things start to get real, I feel a little faint at times, a little dizzy… am I really here? Is this really happening? She pushes her way through with barely a sound. She is strong, steady and brave, all the while Nick is there holding her hand and calmly encouraging her. On the other side our mother cools her head with a wet washer.
After half an hour of pushing and a bit of help with suction it’s 2.45am and baby’s head is out. We tell Kimmy to reach down – she feels a soft little head with some hair and is shocked and in awe and amazement. The obstetrician instructs Nick to come down as baby is about to be born. He quietly explains how Nick should hold his arms to deliver the baby! With another push the baby is born into the arms of his smiling father! Cries of joy ring out in the room, tears are shed. Nick holds the baby up and we hear the words “IT’S A BOY!” The little man is thrust up onto his mother’s chest and into her arms. The midwife is hurriedly wiping him down and rubbing him all over and then in that moment we hear the most beautiful sound, his cry. There is nothing that compares to that first cry. It’s piercing and shrill. There is an urgency and a helplessness to it, yet one of the single most beautiful sounds a mother will hear on a day such as this. “I’m here! I’m alive! I am BREATHING!” it says. I still remember my sisters face when she heard him it was utter relief, utter joy, tears streaming down her cheeks. Welcome to the world baby Walter.