To celebrate a birthday, a birth story – of sorts.
December 8, 2017
Eight years ago we were young and free. We visited the German Market, drank a lot of wheat beer and decided we were ready to have a baby. A year on and a week overdue I wasn’t so sure!
My contractions became regular on the Monday. My parents arrived, the hamster died (good job really, her cage was in the baby’s room) and I made us all toad in the hole. It took a while, I had to stop every ten minutes or so to grab the worktop and swear a bit.
I tried to sleep, virtually impossible when your uterus feels like it’s being clamped.
We called the hospital and went down. Apparently, I wasn’t in nearly enough pain to be birthing so we left again.
“Go home, take some paracetamol and wait”
Mighty paracetamol! If was as wonderful as they imply it would cost a damn sight more than 29p a pack!
We headed home, via McDonalds. If I wasn’t in labour enough to be admitted then I was going to have breakfast. I sat in the car contracting while Rory ran in to get me a sausage and egg McMuffin and a coffee. Priorities.
At some point that afternoon we went back to the hospital. I headed to the holding pen, where they keep all the moaning, groaning but ‘not quite there yet’ mums-to-be. Shit was getting real.
Mum went home for a bit.
Soon enough I was in the right amount of labour. We moved to a nice room on the business ward, it was en suite. I could hear women screaming like banshees
“If I sound like that you better tell me”
I had some pethidine, that was fun. It didn’t just stop the pain, it stopped the contractions. Not the best when trying to get a baby out.
Mum and Rory were dozing in chairs. I was whacked off my tits, bouncing on a birthing ball like a mad woman. Chatting the head off the midwife and dissing my sleepy birth buddies. The contractions were back on track.
I was thirsty. Only Dr pepper and milk would do! Not together obviously.
I swiftly lost the ability to keep anything down. I vommed, a lot.
Rory went home to get changed and showered. See how I’m the only one who’s not been home yet. I could have done with a rest.
After this it all becomes a bit of a blur. I was dehydrated and uncomfortable. They kept prodding at me. My dignity and patience had long left by the third midwife and I was pretty rude to her.
Somehow I ended up in a medical room. I was on gas and air. I had a catheter, a drip and some stuff to induce more labour maybe? I don’t think I even felt the contractions by then.
I was so dehydrated I was making little sense. Less than usual. I was babbling on about all sorts of random crap – standard. At one point I gave everyone my personal review of Wall Street 2, a film I still haven’t seen to this day.
I told them I needed to go for a wee. They told me I didn’t – I had a catheter in. I insisted and dragged my huge, contracting self and a pole with all the different bags on to the toilet. I squeezed myself and all my paraphernalia into the small toilet to discover they were indeed right. I didn’t need to wee.
People had concerned faces on. It felt like there was a lot of hushed talking. I may have just lost the ability to listen properly.
At one point a group of people came to look at me. I have a vague recollection of asking if it was a school trip with all the people coming to gawp at me and my vajayjay.
I’d had enough. I was tired and I didn’t want to do it any more. Like when you’ve done one shot too many and you want to miss out the whole taxi ride bit and just be home and in bed.
They thrust a yellow sheet at me, telling me I needed to sign it. I couldn’t even see straight, never mind read. I was asking Rory if it was OK to sign it. I suspected they were anticipating my death.
They wheeled me to theatre. Oh yes they did!
On the count of three they were going to lift me onto another bed. I was mortified
“Can’t I just scootch over myself? I’m really heavy. I don’t want you to hurt yourself. I really don’t mind moving myself. I can totally do it.”
They lifted me, I felt bad for them. They gave me a spinal block. They were going to remove baby with forceps.
Baby was tired (I knew that feeling) and the head was turned so it was stuck maybe. I looked and saw these two great slabs of meat near my arms.
“What the hell is that? Is that my leg? IS THAT MY OTHER LEG? WHAT ARE THEY DOING UP THERE?”
I looked down to see three people looking busy. Like the witches in Macbeth.
They told me I was going to need to push. I couldn’t feel anything from the chest down, I wasn’t going to be able to push. They said I had to.
“I’ll try but I’ll just be pretending”
I made the face and noises like they do on the TV – it worked. Cherish by Madonna was playing, they told me baby was here. I think they took it straight away. It needed putting in a towel.
There was silence. Just Madonna.
Then the crying started. First baby, then me. They gave it to me.
“What is it?” “A girl” “Are you sure?!?”
I looked at her, my first born. The little girl who made me a mum.
She was perfect and still is.
This may not be entirely how it happened, I was away with the fairies!