First few weeks into motherhood…

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5 weeks and 4 days into motherhood and it’s super chilled. From what I can work out so far, it seems to be

lots of sitting with a baby guzzling your tit as if starved even if was fed 30 minutes ago,

lots of jiggling around, rocking, swaying,

talking in a stupid voice, mainly to bestow poo congratulations (what a humongous Korma-like poo that just squirted into my hand, well done!),

and quickly dashing about when he is either asleep or with a family member

to scrub poo out of nappies, hang up the washing, and other important jobs

such as eating, showering and going to the loo.

Monday mornings are to watch Sunday night’s episode of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Friday mornings are to watch Thursday’s episode of Ambulance or to go to the Healthy Child Clinic at the Children’s Centre to get him weighed and then as soon as possible to watch Thursday’s episode of Ambulance and probably to cry because it’s such an emotional programme that restores any lost faith in humanity and is amazing and I love it.

Those are the big events of the week. I think that that sums up the first few weeks of motherhood. One day it took 4 hours to go to the park.

Pregnancy has prepared you for the slow pace of life. When pregnant I could sit staring into space doing nothing for hours and couldn’t focus on anything if I did try to be productive (isn’t growing a baby enough productivity!). Once I’d finished working my biggest jobs were household chores, and it’s exactly the same now except everything takes a bit longer because you have to keep stopping to pop the baby on your boob and to rock him to sleep or to stare at him for ages when he’s being awake and sweet and not needing anything.

I’m still struggling with the concept of playing God, bequeathing life.

But I will probably forever live life on the high of giving birth. Even though from the outside life appears absolutely deathly boring, I feel excited every day.

Birth

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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