One of the things we learnt last week at our incursion was the journey we take to beginning life. It is one of the most fascinating mysteries of our world. For each of your parents, your birth is a time they will never forget. As a parent myself, I can tell you it is one of the most magical, joyful and emotional times in your life, and one of the few times we truly get to witness a miracle of God – for that is what we all are.
As part of our unit of work this term, I am asking you to talk to your parents and discover a little more about the time you were born.
Every birth story is going to be different, so it’s possible we may all include different information, but I have provided some questions below that you could ask your Mum and Dad so that you can include as much detail in your response. It is not absolutely necessary to answer every question, and families should only feel comfortable sharing the information they would like to share.
When you have collected your responses in your homework book, we will create a piece of writing in class that we will use to form part of a display.
I also ask (if possible) for your parents to provide you with a photo, either from the day you were born or shortly after. This will go towards making our display.
I have provided responses to the questions below as an example :) You should set your writing out in the same way, with a subheading for your question and your response written below.
What time of year was it? What was the weather like?
Olivia was born in August, so it wasn’t too cold. I do remember I was wearing a jumper though so it wasn’t exactly warm either. Kalgoorlie can be pretty chilly when it wants to be.
What were you doing when you went into labor?
I was at school the day my wife went into labor. Strangely enough I was out on the oval with my year fours doing laughter yoga of all things! It’s pretty entertaining we might do it one day this year. It was about 9.30am in the morning and I remember seeing my principal Mr Panaia come across the oval to me smiling. My wife had rang the school and left a message for me to pick her up. My students were very excited and wished me luck as I left. They couldn’t wait to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. Luckily everything is so close in Kalgoorlie. Our house was just five minutes away, and the hospital was only a few hundred meters from the school so we got to the maternity ward before 10am.
Were you delivering when you expected? If not, were you early or late? How did the timing affect your feelings leading up to the day? Were you more than ready to have a baby, or was the whole event a surprise?
Olivia was delivered ten days before her due date, which was fine. It was decided that she would be induced that day after Lisa visited the doctor that morning. That means the doctors would start the birth process rather than wait for it to occur naturally, as there were some minor concerns Olivia could become stressed the longer she was in the womb. Even though we knew for a long time we would be having a baby, nothing really prepares you until the moment it is happening. My wife and I both felt excited, but also very nervous. My wife was especially nervous, which was fair enough as she had all the work to do!
Who was there with you? How did they help support you?
It was just myself and my wife at the hospital.
What did the contractions feel like? Were they what you expected? How did you handle them?
I should probably ask my wife this question, but I’m pretty sure I already know her answer. They were really painful. It was actually really hard watching someone you love go through so much pain, because apart from holding her hand, and giving words of support and encouragement there was not much else I could do. I hadn’t really thought about this prior to the birth to be honest – it was probably the hardest part of the birth process (for me). I didn’t bother my wife with this information though – she had other things on her mind haha :P
If your baby was born via C-section, what was the surgery like? Did you feel prepared for what you experienced? What did the operating room look like? What could you see? Feel?
Lisa did not have a C-section.
How long did it take for your baby to arrive?
Olivia actually arrived very quickly. We arrived at the hospital at 10.00am and she was born at 5.16pm the same day. This is very quick for a birth so we were very relieved it didn’t drag on into the night. I have heard stories for friends who were in labour for 15-25 hours which is a really long time so we are very grateful Olivia decided to join us so soon.
What was the first thing you said when you saw your baby for the first time?
I can’t actually remember to be honest, but I’m sure it was along the lines of, “Oh my God…”. It was amazing, and honestly words can’t really describe it. We were so excited to have a baby and to see our daughter that we didn’t even check to see if it was a boy or a girl! The doctor asked us after a couple of minutes if we wanted to know which we look back at now and think is pretty funny :)
Do you remember what you felt the first time you saw your baby?
It was the most amazing feeling ever. I felt like there were a hundred emotions running through my mind – joy, happiness, relief…it’s very hard to describe. I remember when I first saw her and I just couldn’t believe it. A small part of me was in shock, as this bum in my wife’s tummy was now a real life living and breathing baby – something the two of us had created. I remember saying to my wife over and over, “you did it sweetheart…you did it…I’m so proud”, and we just held her in my wife’s arms together. Every time I see a baby being born on a TV show, or read about it etc. I always think back to that moment.
What was your overwhelming feeling after your baby was delivered? Relieved? Happy? In pain? Sleepy? Giddy?
For my wife I think it was all those things and probably a little bit more. Of course we were both very happy, but my wife was understandably exhausted and very tired. She said she also remembers feeling really hungry afterwards! Shortly after the birth Lisa had a shower and I was left alone with Olivia. This was the first time it was just me and her, and I don’t think I could stop smiling as I held her in my arms. I was so relieved that everything had gone well, and that God had blessed us with such a beautiful little girl.
I remember going home that night, about 9.30pm as I could not stay in the hospital. It was totally surreal. I sat down in our bedroom and just thought to myself, “Oh my God, I’m a father!” It took a little while to dawn on me and I still couldn’t believe that so much could happen and change in one day. I couldn’t sleep for ages – I just remember being too excited and wanting to share our news with everyone.
What other details do you remember of the birth?
I remember everyone saying how small Olivia was. We didn’t know any different as this was our first baby, and we were the first of our friends to have one too. She was 6lbs 6oz which was small, but also perfect. She got a lot of attention from the midwives as she was born with a huge head of spiky blonde hair, and they said they did not get many blonde babies coming through. The midwives were fantastic and looked after us really well. One of the parents from my class that year was also a midwife at the hospital so that probably helped too!
I also remember having to stay a few extra days in the hospital. Olivia had trouble feeding from Lisa, but eventually she got it. That was frustrating for my wife. All she wanted to do was get out of there and relax at home.
Was this your first baby? If not, how did your older child react when he/she saw the baby for the first time?
This was our first child.
Was your partner with you in the delivery room? Did he cut the umbilical cord?
Yes I cut the cord :)
Had you already decided your baby's name before the birth? What name would you have used if I was born a girl/boy?
We had already decided on Olivia if it was a girl, and Harrison if it was a boy. We also considered the names Matilda, Isabella, and Sam, but ultimately none of them came close to Olivia. It was my wife’s choice and she loves it.
Who were some of the first people to come visit you?
The first people to visit were two teachers from St. Mary’s. Katherine Cleary and Courtney Jackson both came the next day in the late afternoon to meet Olivia. It was really nice as they were two of our best friends from school. Your Nan visited a few days later from Cairns, and your Gran & Gramps came up from Perth a couple of weeks after that (they were on holiday when you were born). We also got a lot of gifts from school – in fact we were pretty spoiled!
Is there any other important information you would like to include?
Just that we are so grateful to have you in our lives everyday and we would do it all again if we could