My first birth story starts with a text message.
The date my first born would enter the world – March 12th 2014. Chosen by the NHS. Confirmed by text… kind of like a hairdressers appointment. But with slightly more gravitas.
Once I’d mentally processed the fact that my C section was inevitable and indeed, the safest option for both of us, I stopped feeling resentful of having my perfect birth experience “robbed”. In fact, even though I didn’t get to experience the tenterhooks of experiencing the first twinges of labour and the dramatic drive to the hospital, the hypnobirthing; instead I was able to do all my preparations for birth knowing precisely how much time I actually had to do them. By the time the date came, I’d had my roots done, a bikini wax, eye brows threaded, the house was deep cleaned, freezer stocked with a month’s worth of food and Ed had handed over his work for paternity leave. It couldn’t have been any more chilled out.
On the morning of the 12th March I got up, showered, did my hair, applied a touch of strategic makeup (eyebrows, under eye concealer…just for the photos, of course) and calmly waddled off down the path to the car.
I don’t think I actually really ever had any idea what having a baby would be like, but I definitely didn’t expect to be rocking up at Southmead Hospital Maternity Department, handing over my notes and casually announcing “I’m here to have my baby”. It was most surreal.
Regardless of the fact that they churn out planned Caesarians every single day, we never felt like “just another C Section”.
After being shown to a bed in the ward and dressed in gown and sexy compression stockings I braced myself for a really long wait. I had brought magazines but I was too excited read. We were 2nd on the list but I was really convinced that I’d be bumped for emergencies or that something would come up and it would be an agonisingly long wait…but just 20 minutes later I was told to gather up my things – we’d been swapped to first.
FUCK. I’M ACTUALLY HAVING A BABY RIGHT NOW.
I walked down to Theatre and I remember Ed getting into trouble for keeping this jumper on under the gown and then getting flapped because he needed the loo and didn’t want to have to hold it in all through the surgery.
Then it’s all a bit of a blur. Spinal going in, being laid on the bed and tilted over to the side, beeps of equipment, lots of people in the room… Being told the first cut had been made. I didn’t feel anything. And then suddenly this little thing was held up over the curtain. 9:36am. It’s a boy. It’s DEFINITELY a boy. He’s on my chest. We’re both shaking like a leaf and tears streaming down my cheeks.
And that’s it. I remember looking down at his tiny fingers and his little face and feeling slightly apologetic for wrenching him from his cosy womb without any warning! Even though it was our first meeting, I felt like I’d known him all my life.
I feel so incredibly lucky to have access to amazing medical care to allow such a safe birth for Edward and such wonderful care for me. I breastfed him straightaway in the recovery room and we stayed on the post-natal ward for two nights. I was up walking around and showering the next morning, sore for a couple of weeks and then took it easy for about 6 weeks while I healed.
I was more terrified of having a Caesarian that I ever was about having a natural birth but it was absolutely fine. I really want other Mums-to-be who might be upset and stressed at facing the possibility of needing a planned Caesarian to know that it is such a small part of your journey into Motherhood. Once your baby is out is when the real hard works starts. Don’t ever feel like you failed to birth your baby or be afraid of the whole process. You just need to do what you need to do for your child. THAT is what being a Mother is.
Happy birthday Edward and YAY ME at surviving my first year of Motherhood.