Birth

Uncategorized

My waters broke at 11pm on Thursday 6th June.

I woke up to a tummy ache. I thought the movement in my tummy was the baby and I put Tim’s hand to it. Then I felt water leak out. It kept coming. I lay there for a second. Then I said, Tim.

I think my waters just broke.

My teeth started chattering.

It was only 2 days past the due date. I thought he would be 2 weeks late. I was measuring small. And I wanted a good night’s sleep. It was too late at night. I was too tired for this.

We called the hospital and they said to come in at 10am the next day. We lay towels on the bed.

The pains carried on all night, like the worst period pains.

My dad drove us to the hospital in the morning. I had thrown up my breakfast but I could still have a contraction in silence.

They checked my sodden maternity pad, my pulse and temperature and my notes, and sent us home.

The pains got worse. I ate icecream. I threw it back up. I felt hot, then I wanted a blanket.

We called the hospital at around 3. The contractions seemed to be 3 in 10 minutes. I hadn’t felt the baby move all day. Because there were not enough midwives, the hospital was on divert to a different hospital further away. We were sent there.

I screamed the half-hour car journey. But we reached the hospital and I was only 3cm.

They sent me for a bath.

The first photo of him

I was put on the antenatal ward for the night. No-one there was in proper labour. I was the only one moaning and screaming all night. I slept the few miniscule minutes between contractions, and woke in agony, delirious, hitting and scratching Tim. Sometimes he would feed me bits of banana.

Finally, at midnight on Friday 7th June, 25 hours after my waters broke, I was wheeled screaming to the delivery room. They strapped me up to the heart rate monitor and stuck an IV in me. My temperature had risen and they thought I had an infection.

At 2am we thought it would be very soon.

I needed a poo. They said it was the baby’s head. I was pretty sure it was a poo.

At 5am he still wasn’t born.

It was starting to get light outside.

They wheeled in a special machine for sick babies. The paediatricians and doctor were brought in. They were going to take the baby away for antibiotics as soon as he was born. The machine was there in case he was ill. They were worried he was a very small baby.

I felt annoyed at all their fussing. I thought they just needed to pull him out. I was too tired to push him out. The contractions had slowed down and weren’t strong enough. I was falling asleep. Everyone was falling asleep. They gave me juice for energy but it wasn’t enough.

Finally, they put me on an oxytocin drip and, after pooing before a roomful of people, I pushed him out at 6.24am on Saturday 8th June 2019, 31.5 hours after my waters had broken and the pains had first started. He was plopped on my chest covered in blood and meconium and I thought, Oh, not on my top! He looked exactly like a baby.

Then they took him to be stabbed all over with needles, looking for a vein for the IV. It was a violent beginning.

Day 3

Letters to baby 5

Letters to Baby

Sorry I don’t know what I’m doing.

How can you bring a whole other person into the world when you are not so sure about the world yourself?

It’s probably a little late to be having these thoughts.

You are 30 weeks old inside me. About 10 more weeks until you are here. That’s not scary at all!

You are so lucky, baby, that you will be born here. You will not be hungry, you will not be in fear for your life. You will grow pampered and spoiled and sad. Pregnancy has made me especially sad with the world. We have so much potential! We could make utopia! We have so much knowledge but maybe not enough wisdom.

I’m sorry, baby, you will wonder at this world you were brought into.

Maybe you can help change it. Maybe it will get better. Maybe we will stop killing everything.

I would like for us to build a little house in a warm country away from the city and to live off the land. But I can’t do that on my own because I am an idiot. I don’t know anything. Without the internet I am nothing. This is the humanity we have made. As a whole we have so much knowledge, but individually we can’t survive on our own land.

Everything is made convenient for us, we can watch any video on Youtube in the blink of an eye, but there is no soul to our lives, there is no meaning, and we are all sad.

Give me hope, baby, with your strange bubbling movements, with the cramped feeling that is you under my ribs. You are a miracle to exist and isn’t that what we all need, one miracle, just one, and we know the miraculous, the divine, and we have hope then, that anything can happen.

I have to stop now, I can’t look at a screen for long anymore. In the first trimester, when you were just a little bean, I was plagued with eye-strain-like headaches and couldn’t glance at my phone without feeling sick. I hope this doesn’t start up again, because I need to search for a life for us and the only place I know where to look is the internet!

Letters to baby 4

Letters to Baby, pregnancy

Dear baby,

I struggle with the concept of bringing a child into the world because I am not so sure about the world myself.

I feel like God, bringing forth conscious life.

But I do not have a god’s power and I cannot mould that life into what I choose and I cannot protect it forever. You will find out the loneliness of the world and you will be sad.

How can you bring another person into the world when you don’t yet know how to be happy?

Is love convenience?

Uncategorized

I think that I don’t want to be on my own.

I don’t think that this has got anything to do with him. I don’t think he is personally what I want.

I think I want the idea of him. Of having someone to do things with.

Like run away to Europe and never come back.

Like save for a mortgage on a house.

Like raise our child.

I don’t know if that is what love is. Is love convenience?

Financially it’s easier. Decision-making is a shared load. Loneliness is kept at bay.

Isn’t that why people stay together? Because it’s easier.

Nowadays most people can’t afford to be single.

Messaging Madness

Uncategorized

As dangerous as bloody heroin.

But I thought that I was immune from these silly habits.

I’m not very good with technology or social media.

Then again, I hate speaking on the phone. And I’m lonely.

I thought I liked being alone. Until I lived on my own. Then I quickly realized that liking being alone meant liking hanging out in a busy family home where I was never alone.

Through messaging you feel connected. You are distracted from the cold truth that we are born and die alone and that our minds are our private prisons forever.

It’s a brilliant invention. You can plan group meetups, send pictures privately, screenshot humourous or serious conversations to discuss with other friends, even play scrabble.

But when it comes to love…

On weekends we message in the morning to say hello and chat about our evenings. On weekdays we’ll touch base throughout the day, if not too busy at work. In the evenings we’ll catch up. When I’m bored I’ll message him. I’m often bored. When I’m sad I’ll message him. I’m often sad. If he doesn’t message in a few hours I’ll send him inane updates or question him on his whereabouts or his ideas on life.

On Messenger you can see when someone is online or the last time they were active online. So you know when someone is ignoring you. You also know when your ex is fucking someone else all night long.

Or you think you do and you have to send him messages asking who the whore is and hoping he uses contraception, while really he’s innocently heating up fish soup and his phone has simply rudely died.

I check to see when he was last online.

I refrain from messaging for as long as I can.

I send an unrestrained string of wise, witty messages to make sure he remembers how amusing (and insanely needy) I am.

I am allowed to be like this, of course, because I am pregnant and lonely and he is selfishly in Paris, sucking on French tits and smoking weed out his French windows. Since being pregnant I have let myself be beautifully needy. It is a true accomplishment.

But now I have decided that we can only ever be friends, because I cannot trust that he will come back. This means I must end this addiction. I must be content without messages from him. I must never check my phone. I turn off my active status so I can also never see when he was last active. I must detach.

I must detach.

I think I might be a little bit insane.

But aren’t we all?

Are we?

I hope so.

Letters to baby 3

Letters to Baby

Dear baby, You nestled in, neither child nor anything remotely considered human, discluding beliefs of the Catholic Church and I would advise to disclude the beliefs of the Catholic Church, you nestled into your warm dark bed and perhaps it would always have been best to tear you out with my fingernails.

I don’t like the world one bit, it all flashed across my mind like fire. It is toxic, it’s all death and destruction, a baby all soft and white and fragile is not safe in a world like this. The autumn air was wrought with peril. The blackish leaves like Halloween decs were ripped screaming from their branches. The puddles were frosted glass, cracked and splintered. Breath fired lungs, gusted vicious white plumes. The sun was more like a snowflake, pale and sharp. My mum always says, It’s a dangerous world out there, she’s only joking, well only half-joking, she’s a big worrier. Well she’s right, I choke on my own spit. Through the hot black tunnels of me was a tiny beating heart like a beetle clicking. A few weeks old and pulsing angrily. You could be the centre of the world.

But it was very cold and the cold made me sad, I thought you wouldn’t want to be born into a cold world. It is all treacherous ice and dark mornings, it is old people slipping and breaking their hips and dying frozen in their living rooms. You wouldn’t like it out here, I thought. You would be sad.

But your heart was loud as thunder in my ears. You see all these men sending other men to war and you see pub fights and you see people sleeping in the street and you see the Prime Minister lying so smooth and bland and you can’t help it, you just love them all. God gave me ovaries, I don’t know if he counted on love.

Dear baby, I will make the world magical for you. This is what you have to do. This is what mothers the world over have to do. I will make the world magical and it will stop us sinking into despair.

I don’t mean to be negative, baby, and that’s the whole point. We are lucky because we are in a rich country and we have family and we won’t starve or be on the streets. We have choices.

But it doesn’t mean we can’t all feel the Earth spinning into oblivion and all the stars winking out like cheap Christmas lights and it doesn’t mean that the rivers don’t gush with poison and our lungs don’t wheeze with nitrogen and sulphur oxides, unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, and everybody is not sad.

I will show you the magic, baby, the old pagan magic that they tried to burn with the witches.

Our world will be small, as the worlds of small children are, spent in patches of garden threading daisies, in corners colouring, compartmentalizing buttons and beads in colours and shapes, teatime and bathtime, enraptured by orange segments and bubbles. In the small things we will find the wonder, and the world won’t wrap at the door, that distant land of men in suits causing trouble.

Parents dream of their children’s eyes big and luminous like Catherine wheels and their smiles spread wide like beach parasols at all the beauty in the world.

Then they do not have to think, My child should not be born. He or she should stay curled up inside me like a mollusc. It’s safe there.

What are their brains like then? Are they dull or do they burn like galaxies? Or are they still and omniscient in the ocean-quiet of the womb?

All these babies that should not be born. All these little strangers that will grow stranger with the years until you cannot remember what they were, gentle prods and nudges inside you.

The galaxies glitter and each pale blaze is a blind spot, a hole as if from a cigarette burn.

I will love you but I am not sure that it will be enough.

Are you excited?

Uncategorized

He doesn’t want to be here. I have to be here.

He is not going to come back. Not even for six months.

I am not waiting now.

I needed that hope because I wasn’t excited about the baby. I conjured images in my mind of a happy unit of 3.

Are you excited? That’s what people ask you.

Over and over again. Are you excited?

Are you excited?

No.

It’s going to be here FOREVER. I want to meet it. But then I want to put it back inside me. I want to pop it out and look at him or her and stroke and cuddle and then I want to pop it back into its safe little universe.

But if we were together, it would be ok. We could look at him or her and be amazed. We could build a world together out of fantasies in our mind, the old magic of 3.

But he is not coming back.

It’s like going through a breakup over and over again.

But I am strong enough now because I am excited. Finally. And I don’t need him. And it’s going to be okay.

He is not going near my vagina again.