I don’t want this to be a big long post going through every tiny detail about the day i became a mum for the first time but I’m afraid if i don’t write it down soon i will start to forget it.
I don’t want to do a post that is predictable, cheesy and vomit inducing but i apologise because i’m afraid it probably will be….at least a little bit!
Ok here goes….
On the 12th August 2010 I woke up and something didn’t feel quite right, i went to the loo and to me it looked and felt like my waters had gone. I was also getting funny little niggles so i told J and he decided to stay home from work. He commuted up to London at the time and if it did turn out i was in labour it would have been a 2hr trip to get home – not good.
I was just over 39 weeks pregnant and as luck would have it i had a midwife appointment booked for that morning. The doctors was right opposite the flat we lived in so i waddled across the road and explained what had happened and how i was feeling. I expected an examination at the least but she juts fobbed me off saying i had probably wet myself and that first time mums are usually late. I knew i hadn’t wet myself – i was 30 years old and had a pretty good idea what wee looked and smelt like.
Anyway she sounded so sure of herself that when i got home i convinced myself, but not J, that i was just having braxton hicks. Jim downloaded an app from the internet to time the contractions and we lay on the sofa eating Soreen and watching TV.
At various points of the day J would get a little excited and say ‘you know i really think this is it’ – ‘naaaaaaaa can’t be’ i replied. I was so convinced the baby would be late as nearly everyone i knew had gone over with their first baby.
Fast forward to around 7pm and I finally accepted that it was the real thing – it had started to really bloody hurt. It was at that point we called the hospital and they suggested a bath and to call back when the contractions were closer together (they were about 5-8 minutes at the time). J duly filled the tub with bubbles, poured me a glass of red and handed me a couple or paracetamols. It was relaxing for about 4/5’s of the time.
By 9pm i was getting a bit angry and screetchy so J called the hospital again and they did that thing where they make you come on the phone and they listen to you having a contraction to decide how bad it is. They said it sounded like i may need to come in but warned me that it might be a wasted trip if i wasn’t far enough along. Put off by the thought of being sent home we stayed put for another hour or so and by 10pm i really couldn’t take it anymore.
The car journey was not fun.
When we got to the hospital we were shown to a little side room and told to wait for a midwife. And so began the process of waiting….waiting….waiting.
Finally i was examined and deemed to be 3-4cm, i was allowed to stay – good news! But i was not allowed to go to the labour ward or have gas and air as i would need to be established at a proper 4cm for that.
I started to cry, i started to get very angry at J. It felt like someone was repeatedly jamming me up the bum with a red hot poker and it wasn’t very nice.
Then I was offered pethedine. J was against this due to all the sleepy, woozy drugged up baby stories we heard on our the NCT course. I had been against it too but at that point i really didn’t give a rats arse. We were told by the midwife that the NHS doesn’t give out drugs that would put you or your baby at any disadvantage – goodo i though, load me up. Then we waited some more.
FINALLY about an hour later i received a shot of pethidine in the bum. I was moved to another room and i waited some more for it to work. I was crying hysterically at this point. I had always thought i had a high pain threshold and in my warped imagination i thought labour would be a breeze; well maybe not a breeze but, you know, i thought i would be able to cope. I really couldn’t cope at all.
About 20 minutes later i felt somewhat off my face. It was pretty nice to be fair. The pain was still bad but i didn’t really care about it as i was, as i say, off my face. I told J i was very very sorry for being shouty and angry and that i really really really loved him. This was a relatively nice time but it was short lived.
The shouty, angry me came back (not sure when as it was all a bit trippy after the Pethidine) and the already bad pain also came back even stronger. I had no gas and air and i was bleeding quite heavily. The midwife suggested a ‘nice warm bath’ and i remember screetching ‘A BATH?!?!’
J was being ridiculously polite and not wanting to cause a fuss which was bloody annoying. Please dads to be take heed – you must be assertive on behalf of your partner, the NHS is no place for someone with patience and manners.
Finally i was examined again and i was 6cm hurrah! I was wheeled up to labour ward in a wheelchair – i kept yelping and jumping out, due to the red hot poker up bum feeling, so it took (or at least seemed to take) a very long time.
They offered me gas and air but at this point i was scared by the ridiculously long timescales involved in getting anything done so i just demanded an epidural right away. ‘You are doing so well, lets just see how you get on’ they told me. It was a lie – i was not doing well. I just wanted an epidural to take all of the pain away,
In the early morning hours i was finally administered the wonder drug that is the epidural. As if by magic the whole room changed, the mood altered and time clicked back to a normal pace. I was able to see and hear people again – they had faces, i could talk, i could lie back on my bed – it was BLOODY AMAZING!
Epidural and gas and air? Why not!
From our sea view suite we watched the sun begin to rise creating a beautiful silhouette around the pier. We chatted idly, read magazines and watched the cars go by. It was a game of two halves and this was very much the better one.
By 12pmish i was fully dilated, so they told me, and i was ready to start pushing. F’s heartbeat was a little up and down though so frustratingly we were on stand by for a c-section. After all we had gone through to get to this point i was very eager to avoid it.
It was very strange pushing but not really knowing what was going on or feeling any pain. I was so tired that i was actually falling asleep a bit between the pushes. Surreal is the only way i can thing to describe it.
Half an hour later we hadn’t made great progress and F’s heart beat was dropping so it was decided he needed to be born immediately. Enter doctor, various health processionals, a resuscitator and numerous scary looking medical instruments. The once calm room was now full of people in a rush – although it was just standard procedure it was really bloody scary.
The Doctor attached a ventouse to F’s head and proceeded to pull him, with all of her body weight out of my foof. I was extra glad of the epidural at this point.
F’s head was born moments later and it spoke. Like actually spoke, didn’t cry, just spoke. It was baby mumble jumble but enough to totally freak us and the midwives out. I have never seen a baby do that before on the tv?! It was quite nice though as i could relax knowing that he was ok. I started to worry about much shallower things instead, like if he was going to be ugly.
With one final horrific tug he was born. We had decided Jim would tell me the sex and he said ‘It’s a boy baby!‘ i had always been convinced he would be a boy so it just felt very right. I turned into a big sobbing mess. I can’t think of anything original to say at this point – it really was the most overwhelming and happiest moment of our life’s.
I was handed my gorgeous baby boy – it was Friday the 13th but i felt like the luckiest person in the world. I cuddled him, i fed him, i kissed him, i tried to clean some of the muck and blood off him. I handed him to J who like me was just totally blown away that we had actually managed to create a perfect little life.
the best feeling in the world
Although when you are pregnant you know you are having a baby, you never really get your head around it do you? It’s only when they are born you think wow, are you sure? A proper lovely baby all for us?!
We spent about an hour in our room after that, they did all the horrible after birth bits and bobs that i won’t go into (ouch) and then we were wheeled to our ward. I wanted to go home right away (hate hospitals) but had totally failed to compute that having an epidural meant an overnight stay.
It all went a bit wrong form thereon in, i couldn’t wee due to all the swelling, i had to be re-catheterised and i spent 3 days in hospital crying as all i wanted was to be at home snuggling with my new family on the sofa. I totally blame the hormones, J kept saying ‘why are you so upset just look at his little face’ but i felt such a failure for not being able to look after him properly – i was in a lot of pain and tied to a catheter bag which felt like a ball and chain.
I remember reading through my notes of this time and i sound completely unhinged – one bonus was that they let me have a private room for free as i was going a bit nuts. The other bonus was that they brought me shots of liquid morphine – did you try it? Ooh it’s good, i remember sinking into my bed and feeling like i was in a cloud. Hospitals do have the best drugs.
Anyway, anyway enough of the bad – on the third day i did a weeeeeeee!!!!!!! We were allowed to take F home. We were so excited and couldn’t wait to show him off to all of our friends and family. So we packed up the multitude of crap we had brought with us, most of it unused, and put our tiny new yawney bundle into his car seat.
Then off we drove to start our new life as a family of 3! Happy days……….
**************P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)