“You see, pouches are where baby kangaroos are kept cozy and warm until they are ready to come out into the world.” The Kangaroo Pouch – Sarah Phillips Pellet
And so it came to be that on Tuesday, October 8th, at 8:38 pm, baby Luca Emanuele Furtado, came out of my pouch and joined this beautiful world. Rene was late getting home on Monday night. He had just crawled into bed 15 minutes earlier, around 11:10pm, when that familiar urge to pee swept over me. I groaned and rolled myself to the side of the bed and… there was no mistaking the sudden gush of fluid that poured down my legs. My water had broken. I cursed under my breath and declared loudly, “Rene, my water just broke!” He responded with a grumpy, “I just got into to bed.” Typical man response.
The first new experience for me after three previous births – a spontaneous membrane rupture. I stood in the tub, letting the water cascade over me. I just kept thinking, I can’t be going into labour because I’m not even due yet. I overbake babies in the easy oven, not underbake. The second new experience for me after three previous births – not going overdue. Rene got me the phone and I slowly dialed Norm and Frank’s house number. It was 11:30pm. Norm answered the phone and answered in a slow, ‘Hellooo’, like it was more of a question than a greeting. With the shower still running over me, I said, “Want to hear something funny? My water just broke.” And all I heard was Frank scream in the background, “WHAT!” And that’s how Luca’s birth story began… After we hustled and bustled to actually finish packing the bags, grabbing gifts, calling emergency people to stay with the kids, calling my surrogate friends, planning the next day, and packing the car, we felt somewhat ready to go. My Mom arrived and we were Strathroy Hospital bound. Because I was Group B Strep Positive, I had no choice about going to the hospital. I wasn’t having contractions yet, but my OB wanted me in the hospital to get on IV antibiotics right away. The third new experience for me after three previous births – being Group B Strep Positive. And so Rene complained about the long drive to Strathroy as I tried to pay attention to any contractions that might arise. Frank phoned me on my cell as they were driving to the hospital. It was obvious he was anxious and excited all at the same time. I reassured him we had lots of time and we would see them soon. Later I learned they had packed the car and sat inside, knowing full well we hadn’t even left our house yet. They got out and waited patiently in the house until I texted we were leaving. Then they blasted out of London towards Strathroy. They got there before we did. We met them in Emerge and I registered. We went upstairs to OB and the nurses ushered us to the delivery room and we dumped our stuff. In my entire stay there, I would have three amazing nurses who took care of my every need. The first one was Kayla. She was a young, vibrant woman who made me laugh. I got into a black nightgown I brought – insert note: my blue gown I ordered for the birth had yet to arrive – and I hopped into the bed. From here on in, I am trying to recall details that may be fuzzy to me. They may not always be in order, but I will do my best to explain how the rest of Luca’s birth went. My surrogate friend Lisa Atkinson arrived all the way from Woodstock. She is one of those kind-hearted souls that would offer the clothes on her back to anyone. She offered to be my sidekick for the night. Now, let me explain something at this point… we ALL were going on the presumption that this birth would be quick and easy, as my last birth was only four hours start to finish. We never expected to be walking the halls, pushing the IV cart around from 1 am to 11am and find I was still not in active labour and only dilated 2 cm. SURPRISE! So after Kayla stuck me with the IV, albeit as gently as she possibly could and not a bruise after it was taken out, we basically spent the next hour talking, laughing and waiting for the antibiotics to soak in. Then we walked around the halls trying to bring on labour.