On Thursday morning, Maxine and I went to the hospital where she was due to have little Charles in a week and a half from now. We went to view the delivery rooms, and relaxed in the hospital cafeteria for a while. when it was time for her weekly check-up, we made our way to the doctor’s room. We had been joking around, and chatting, so I didn’t think much about what we would hear at this appointment. In fact, Drew did not come with Maxine because he had worked nightshift, and he was resting at home. The doctor asked a couple of questions, and then proceeded to do the physical examination.
We were a little surprised when her facial expression changed drastically…
She informed us that Maxine was 6 cm dilated, and that the baby was ready to be born!
Maxine and I both burst into tears!
The doctor sent us back to the delivery rooms, and Maxine was hooked up to the monitors.
We called Drew and Justin to inform them of the big news, and ask them to bring certain things for the long day that awaited us. We had planned to return home after the doctors appointment, so we did not have anything that we needed! Maxine called her mom and sister and told them that little Charles was on his way. This was an emotional time for us because my aunt and cousin were supposed to be here for the birth. Maxine was quite sad about this. The Skype conversations were continuous for the rest of the afternoon. How thankful we were for the hospital wifi.
While we waited for the guys to arrive, Maxine and I got all the paperwork sorted.
The nurses were STUNNED that Maxine had arrived at the hospital, for a check-up no less, and she had no idea that she was currently in labor. It is not the norm to have someone arrive 6cm dilated and in no pain at all. I watched the screen above, and kept asking Maxine if she felt anything. I could see her contractions peaking on the screen, but she felt nothing. It was so strange!
Messaging everyone in South Africa.
Heart rate monitors.
Little Charles’s hospital hat was all ready and waiting for him.
Look how tiny it is!
Chatting to sister
The anaesthesiologist arrived to introduce himself. Maxine was due to have an epidural, however the nurse suggested perhaps skipping it since she was already 6 am dilated. Since there was no pain so far, Maxine thought about doing it drug-free. The doctor returned to the room to break Maxine’s water. Once this happened, Maxine began to feel the contractions in full force, and she decided that she wanted the epidural ASAP!!!
This hospital was fantastic! The nurse was very sweet, and she found us to be very entertaining! We were all eating Subway sandwiches, while music played through one of our Ipods. In fact, the nurse organised us some speakers. We had Melissa and Sue on Skype and they were watching everything from one of our computer screens. We all tried to keep Maxine as relaxed as possible.
The doctor and nurse were fascinated that grandma and aunt-to-be were watching live from South Africa!! They kept asking us questions about how the four of us met, and where we live… They seemed very interested in these international relationships, and how we all ended up there together.
Drew comforts Maxine.
Ready for baby.
When the pushing started, Justin sat behind a curtain to give Maxine some privacy. Her legs were up, and he didn’t want to see blood and faint, so he stayed away during the contractions. Whenever there was a “rest time” (no pushing), Justin would return to our side of the room. He was good at motivation from behind the curtain, and we often laughed at his comments/ singing.
You probably can’t tell, but she is pushing right here!
I feel so blessed to have been here on this special day. There were many tears shed between Maxine and I. Before the guys arrived, we prayed for the baby and the delivery. We were sending messages to everyone back home. It was sad to not have everyone at the hospital, however we were happy for the miracle of modern technology. Without it, we would not have been able to share this day with the family and friends back home. There were many waiting eagerly for news.
Across the hallway from Maxine’s delivery room was a “Nutrition Room”. We were free to eat and drink whatever we want. I have to admit, we took FULL advantage of this. Between contractions, we snacked on pudding, crackers, cheese, ice cream, drinks, and other goodies!
Drew did not want to see the blood and everything else happening “below”, so he stayed by Maxine’s face, encouraging and loving her. The doctor had me hold one of Maxine’s legs, and push it up on each contraction. I could see absolutely EVERYTHING happening, and it was truly amazing. I was in a state of shock, awe and amazement!! The first time I saw the baby’s head start to appear, I got goosebumps and I started to cry. What an incredible thing to witness.
For a number of pushes, all I could see was the top of the baby’s head… Ie. Just the hair. Maxine would push three times for 10 counts, and then we would stop until the next contraction. I talked to the nurse and doctor a lot. I was truly fascinated with this whole experience. I cannot describe how happy I was to be there!!
The epidural took away the pain of the contractions, however one would still feel the pain that occurs during the “ring of fire”. This is when the baby’s head crowns, and the mother experiences a burning or stinging sensation as the baby comes out.
At this point I was watching the baby come out, and Maxine was in excruciating pain. Drew did everything that he could to comfort her. I will not include the pictures of the baby coming out, however I saw it all happen and I was beside myself with emotion. I was shaking so much that I had to call Justin to join us. We had Aunty Sue and Melissa watching the birth via Skype, and I was recording the birth too. That meant that I was holding an iPad and my camera at the same time, however I was shaking so much that I couldn’t even hold the devices properly. Justin was very brave – he came to stand above Maxine, and he held the iPad. There was blood everywhere, and I was surprised that I was not queazy. I felt quite the opposite actually!!!
Welcome to the world little Charles Phoenix Thew!
(many tears at this point)
Charles was taken aside to be wiped down, weighed, measured, and checked.
7 lb 14 oz
First moments with daddy.
Charles and Aunty Catherine
Hello Mommy! Well done Maxine! You did such a great job!
The doctor was stitching Maxine up and this turned out to be quite painful, so I had to keep my hands under Charles and be ready to lift him at any moment. I felt a little bad because Maxine just wanted to be near her little boy.
Uncle Justin cradling Charles
Wrapped up and happy
Mommy and baby share some time.
Charles was NOT happy about getting his first bath!
His newborn baby scream was adorable!
Washed and ready for a nap!
Drew, Justin and I had some celebratory drinks.
Look at this cute little footprints!
“It’s a boy”
The new daddy fell insanely in love with his little son.
We had guests arrive with flowers, teddies and balloons. As you can see – I was absolutely EXHAUSTED! This was the first point in the day that I sat down and completely relaxed.
This was a truly amazing experience for me!!
I cannot tell you how amazing I felt to have witnessed this!
Good job Maxine!
Congratulations Andrew and Maxine.
Charles is beautiful!!!