By Jade Glen
From Justin Beiber’s Baby to the delivery of her second child, Sharon Falconer’s Labour Day long weekend was bookended by babies.
Impressively, Sharon was at a sold-out Etihad Stadium dancing along to Beiber’s hits at 39 weeks and five days pregnant, in the heat of late summer.
Sharon even filmed herself singing along to Beiber’s early classic, Baby.
“We were down the front and I recorded myself singing Baby at the concert. Everyone thought it was hilarious,” Sharon said.
“I booked when I knew I was pregnant – I knew if I couldn’t go I could definitely sell them. I was thinking she either needs to come two weeks early, or she needs to stay in until after the concert!”
Thankfully Sharon’s baby stayed put long enough for her to enjoy the concert, the second time she had seen Beiber.
It was that Sunday night that she started getting the feeling that it would be the last night of a family of three – Sharon and David already have a son, Jackson, five.
“I felt like it was going to happen – it was a full moon as well. When I had my son I also went in to labour on a full moon and I remember the midwife saying it was always busy when it was a full moon.
“I looked up (the time of the full moon) and it was 1.50am, and I think I started my first slight contraction around 2am.”
That Monday was Labour Day and, rather fittingly, Sharon was in labour.
“I tried to go back to sleep and thought I’d get some rest. I think I made it to maybe 5am and woke up again and thought, I’m not going back to sleep. I was just hanging around trying to be quiet.”
Living in Woori Yallock, Sharon wanted to inform her hospital, the William Angliss, early and factor in the 50-minute drive in to her decision on when to leave home.
“I was outside on the back deck and my husband heard me on the phone (to the hospital). I was trying to be really quiet, because I wanted him to rest, but he heard me speaking to the lady on the phone and he said what’s going on, it’s happening isn’t it.
“I said yes and he said well there’s no way I’m going back to sleep now.”
Sharon laboured at home while trying to ensure her son had his clothes, lunch and bag packed ready for Prep the next day.
“My dad was on standby because he is retired and lives five minutes down the road. I called him around lunchtime and said we are heading down to hospital.
“It was really emotional saying goodbye to Jackson for the last time before we became a family of four.
“By the time my dad got there I was like we are going straight away – I had to stop and breathe through those contractions.
“I was trying to labour at home for as much as I could, but it had got to that overwhelming feeling where you have to stop and shut the world out for those 10 seconds.”
Thankfully the couple encountered little traffic on their way to hospital, and they were soon up on the maternity ward for monitoring.
“I didn’t have an internal straight away, they were just sussing out the contractions and monitoring me that way, and by the time I settled in my contractions had slowed down a bit.
“They said if you don’t pick up soon we will probably send you home. I was just thinking, I am not going home. Then (the midwife) did an internal check and I was five centimetres already.
“She was surprised; she said I wasn’t really behaving like a woman who is already five centimetres. I was just getting through them OK, I suppose,” Sharon said.
After being admitted to a birthing suite, Sharon was asked about pain relief. She had an epidural during the delivery of her son, and requested the same again.
“I had the epidural and was like yep let’s do this. Then it got to really late afternoon, maybe 6-6.30pm, and the midwife said we’ve got to start pushing. I was pushing for about half an hour on and off but the baby’s heart rate was struggling a little bit.
“The doctors came in to have a chat. I had a vacuum extraction with my son, so when the doctor said forceps I was like OK, if it helps.
“Then she explained how she was going to do it in the theatre. Then I started panicking because friends of ours actually lost their baby in the same way, just a few months prior.
“The doctor said I know the couple you are speaking of – she had to try and reassure me. She said I’m not going to try and be a hero, I’ll try twice with the forceps and if those don’t work I’m going to try and get her out with a caesarean.”
Going down to theatre, Sharon had to leave her student midwife behind, as she was allowed only one support person in the operating room.
“It was such a shame, because she had been with me my entire pregnancy,” she said.
“But she stayed the entire time I was in theatre and I saw her afterwards, which was nice.”
“By the time we got to theatre, the baby had retracted so straight away the doctor said ‘I can’t reach her anymore, we are going to do a caesarean’.
“I was nervous but it’s about the safety of the baby at that point – she can’t stay in any more.
“So I was getting prepped for that, which wasn’t too bad as I’d already had the epidural. My poor husband had to wait outside in his scrubs, just wondering what was going on.
“Once I was all prepped it happened so fast. I had the anaesthetist at my head, obviously, and he’s looking over and said ‘you’ll see your baby in about two minutes’. It was nice to have that feedback because you can’t see and everything happens so fast.”
Baby Kaylee Grace was born at 9.04pm, weighing a petite 2.85kg.
“David took her back to the room while I finished up but I remember because of the anaesthetic I was just shaking, I had to hold on to the pads because I was shivering so much.
“I remember them trying to pile up the warm blankets on me. In recovery I was still shaking. I was so thirsty, so they got me an icy pole, and it was the best icy pole of my life,” Sharon said.
Sharon was up and moving the next day and recovered well from the caesarean.
She said that Jackson has adjusted well to being a big brother.
“When he came to meet her he had the biggest smile on his face. He has been such a great little helper.”