The day finally arrived, on the 23rd October 2012. Two days past my due date I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He is without a doubt, the best, most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me in my life. I am completely and utterly blown away by him and to say I love him more than anything else on this whole planet is an understatement.
Throughout the last nine months I have taken every step possible to look after myself in pregnancy and to prepare myself for birth. I have eaten well, exercised, practiced yoga every week, taken vitamins religiously, and attended a brilliant antenatal class in my local area. As the due date approached I felt ready, eager even, for it to start. I knew it was going to hurt, but after nine months of waiting I was more than ready to meet my baby.
What I hadn’t really thought about was that they don’t call it ‘labour’ for nothing. And nothing can prepare you for what it actually feels like.
I’d started to get ‘signs’ a few weeks before he actually arrived – period type cramps and a ‘show’ which appeared a week before he arrived. Having never done this before I started to think that every little pang or cramp was labour starting. I became obsessed with researching what it feels like when it starts and trying to work out if this was ‘it’. Despite reams of information and hundreds of discussion boards, all I could decipher was that ‘you’ll know when it’s labour’.
I found this really annoying. Why couldn’t anyone describe the pain? Is it like some secret club where all details must be kept fully confidential once you’ve been ‘initiated’?
But, then my labour started and guess what….’I knew’.
It started in the early hours of Tuesday morning and by 4am I knew these contractions weren’t going away. They hurt, but nothing compared to what was to come. By 6am I called my mum and told her she needed to come now. At this point hubby and I had started the breathing and moving exercises. I also stuck the TENS machine on. It didn’t do a lot. In fact I think I ripped it off as it was just annoying me.
I was determined to do as much of my labour at home as I really didn’t want to go in and be sent home having not dilated enough. By 9.15am I knew it was time to go to the hospital. The car journey is one I would rather forget. Contractions and speed bumps? Not pleasant.
As we arrived at the hospital the contractions were coming thick and fast. It was at this point I turned feral. The noises coming out of me were something I imagine you could hear on safari, or in the woods late at night….terrifying and indescribable. I should also point out that at this point I was walking down the hospital corridor next to Costa coffee. It wasn’t my finest hour. Everyone looked terrified as they sipped their morning latte’s.
So in we go to the triage at about 10am and I have to be checked so they can ensure I’m over 4cm dilated. All I’m thinking is that there is no way I’m going home and if they even try to send me I’m going to chain myself to the nearest midwife. Luckily I am. My waters also break….no going back now.
I won’t go into too much detail at this point. During the pregnancy stage I don’t think I’d have liked to have read the small print. But I will say that it intensified very quickly. I dilated at the speed of light and he came into this world at 12.18pm. Even if I’d wanted any, I’d have had no time for any drugs. The midwives were shocked considering it was a first baby. According to them I’m a, “natural breeder with an ideal cervix for giving birth”. That’s one I won’t be putting on the CV.
It’s hard to find the words to describe what it was like holding my baby for the first time. It was the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had. Totally worth every bit of the labour. And despite the pain, I found the experience of labour to be quite astounding. I feel quite honoured to have gone through it.
My hubby was an amazing support, breathing through every contraction with me and never once complaining as I was hanging off him digging my nails in and wailing in his ear. He was my biggest cheerleader as I brought our son into the world and this has made our relationship even more precious. And having my mum in my labour was incredibly reassuring. Sometimes, no matter how old you are, the only thing that makes it ok is your mum. And even though I know she struggled watching me in pain it has brought us even closer.
So there you have it. After 40 weeks, my new life as a mummy starts. I’ve decided to keep the blog going as I venture into motherhood and experience all the trials and tribulations, ups and downs, and firsts that my new life throws at me. Here’s to the next 18 years (and counting)!