Content warning: This post is about childbirth and no, that doesn’t involve any storks.
Oreo was due on the 20th of January. That came and went with no sign of anything happening and lots of advice on how to make things happen.
With all the nursery long set up, I was starting to feel like Miss Havisham with a bump.
So when I was eating my Sunday lunch and felt a small twinge, I didn’t think too much of it. Me and Mr Outlines went for a walk as the contractions gradually became more regular. By about 8pm, they were powerful enough to have me bent over. I rang the birth centre* and the midwife told me “You sound very calm”.
“I’m not when I’m having them, I replied”. She told me to take some paracetamol and have a warm bath. This is when we discovered we didn’t actually have any paracetamol in the house (cue Mr Outlines going on a mad dash). Sat in the bath, I felt like a whale in spasm. The warm water did not help me at all and I didn’t like not being able to move freely through each contraction.
My parents arrived and we decided it was time to got to the hospital. On the way through contractions, I was thinking of everyone I wanted to make dua for, and made du’a for them.
Bent double, I was introduced to my midwife and shown the softly lit private room where I would be giving birth. Between contractions, I said good bye to my Dad, then got changed into my nightie. The midwife examined me, I was 4cm dilated, so thankfully something was happening, but she felt it was too early for any stronger pain relief. So I persevered and was asked if music would distract me. I said yes, tuned in the radio and a Queen song was playing. Me, my Mum and the midwife all agreed what a wonderful band Queen were, much to the bemusement of Mr Outlines, who still doesn’t believe me when I tell him they are one of Britain’s best selling bands.
I would like to say that I remained calm and composed throughout, but I didn’t. I screamed and shouted, although to my Mum’s great approval, I only swore once.
Gas and air time and I was puffing and blowing on it so hard, I felt like a demented saxophonist. The midwife offered me an aromatherapy massage, but it lasted about two minutes before I screamed at her to stop, because I couldn’t bear for anyone to touch me.
“When do I get to the pushing part?” I screamed.
“Soon, dear”, said my Mum, which as she later admitted was a big fat lie.
Strangely, despite the fact I tremendously lazy and hate even standing in a queue, I couldn’t bear to sit or lie down. When the midwife offered me pethidine but said I’d have to lie down to have it, I refused.
And time passed. Then I was pushing, compelled to push through the buring pain, just wanting to get the baby out. The midwife guided me through each push, until finally, whoosh she came out. I could see that she was
I couldn’t believe the size of her. It was like they’d snuck a six week old in there. I felt absolutely vindicated as I had sworn all along that she would be a big baby, but as my bump wasn’t that big no one believed me.
Mr Outlines held her while the midwife delivered the afterbirth. On examination, I was told I’d have to go to theatre for stitches. While I waited to go, I held her in my arms. As I predicted, she looked like a baby version of Mr Outlines. Off to theatre and I had a spinal anaesthesia, which was amazing, I just lay there all cozy and warm while the surgeon did what needed to be done.
Then back to my baby, Mr Outlines and my Mum. I fed the baby, while we decided on a name. The first name had been decided before she was even made, but we were still deliberating over middle names.
I fed her and and enjoyed that wonderful feeling over getting to know her little face and falling in love. A love that is not because, a love that just is.
*This is a midwife led, low tech centre, based within the delivery suite. I gave birth at an NHS (universal health care system) hospital and it was fabulous.