Birth. I’ve spoken to lots of new mothers since having Baby J, and it’s clear to me that no two birth stories are the same. Or even similar. Thankfully, mine was quite straightforward and Baby J was delivered safe and sound, thanks to the wonderful midwives, and thanks to Dan, who was my rock.
Baby J arrived two weeks early. I genuinely thought I’d wet the bed. Of course, it turned out that my waters had broken. We had a trip to hospital for a brief period of monitoring and were sent home to wait for labour. We arrived home from hospital at about 8am, exhausted, settled back into bed, and WHAM! First contraction.
Now, let me tell you, in the run up to the birth I’d watched countless episodes of One Born Every Minute. I’d seen couples sitting in the maternity ward, resting, joking, eating, listening to music, and generally having a relaxing time. Well, my iPod (with its carefully selected ‘labour’ playlist) never saw the light of day.
My contractions came thick and fast from the onset. I had a warm bath to no avail. I was a screaming mess and hadn’t even got to hospital yet. After a couple of hours at home, we couldn’t hold out any longer and made our way to the hospital. The next eight or so hours were mainly spent screaming at the top of my lungs, and swearing, also at the top of my lungs. Yes. I was THAT person. The midwife kindly suggested I might like to concentrate more on my breathing rather than my screaming. There was no shutting me up. I had gas and air as a pain relief, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this just provides something to bite down on and distract you, rather than providing any effective analgesia.
So, I crushed Dan’s fingers between my own and I screamed and screamed. I simply had no control over it. How some women manage to push out a baby in silence is beyond me! I asked for pethidine when I felt that the pain had become too much, only to be told that I’d missed my window and it was too late. Great. All that was left was for me to push, and when it came to it, push is what I did!
After ten and a half hours, Baby J made her appearance. Getting to hold her in my arms after nine long months was incredible. That little, warm, pink wrinkly creature. She was all ours. Welcome to the world, Baby J!