We are utterly besotted. I cry at the drop of a hat! Every time I think of her, or see her with himself, I just cry with pure happiness. There's a good chance the tears are assisted by a healthy dose of my old friend, hormones!
Having experienced Labour, it is now clear to me why it is not called "peaceful walk in the park" or something similar. I started Labour with airy fairy ideas of making it to the big push on gas and air. Only a first time mother would have such notions! Here's some things you may or may not know about Labour;
1. Pre-labour pains are painful. They are the pains BEFORE the pains! And they are hard work. And can take hours or days, depending on your misfortune. They also actually feel like what you think real live labour pains feel like, especially for the first time mam, but you haven't a clue what your talking about! In real live labour you will long for pre-labour pains! So the hours I spent in pre-labour breathing through each pain, walking, squatting, thinking I was dialating, were in fact doing very little. I was actually 19 hours in pre-labour before I had dialated! Every time I tried to go to the loo I got a mother and father of a contraction and had to hop up from my perch! When it was time to go to the delivery room I was begging for the epidural! When I was offered gas and air I said, yes please, and the epidural!
I had no plan, with regard to pain relief, except to go in and see what happens! I have the utmost respect for every woman that gives birth medication free. You are heros! But anyone that decides to go with the epidural after thinking they wouldn't, don't be hard on yourself. God made Anesitist to help us through!!
2. Gas and Air should only be taken during a contraction. Sucking on that bad boy between contractions may seem like a great idea, but in the end, you get dizzy and sick! Much like you've drank too much wine! Labour day was the first time in 9 months I felt drunk and hungover - all at once!
3. Labour is nothing like the telly. It is a looooong process! Mine was 10 hours, the actual labour bit, not the pre labour bit. And the only bit of action was the last 50 mins for the big push..
4. When I say there was no action, that's not strictly true. The epidural can fall out! It can happen to 1 in 100 labours. And guess what? I am officially a part of that statistic! When it stopped working and I got the full force of those contractions. Well, let's just say I was calling for the priest and told himself to put a bullet in me!! By Jaysus they were rough. A lovely man came down to give me more drugs. He was an angel... You have to remain really still to get it done, which is a bit of a sick joke considering the pain your in. I had to sit up and himself was coaching me along, it's ok, says he, you can do this. Stay still says he. So I made an executive decision. I fell asleep. Yep. I actually used my ability to fall asleep at will to block out the pain. The midwife said she had never seen anything like it! Power of the mind is a wonderful thing. Not as wonderful as a lb epidural though. That stuff is the bomb! Within 20 mins I was right as rain sitting up telling jokes as if it never happened!
5. You don't get to keep your midwife. Not that I expected her to be mine forever and bring her home or anything. But the wonderful midwife and doctor that were with me from 12am had to leave me at 8am because their shift was done! I was gutted because they'd been so good I wanted them to see the big push! But they were replaced by an equally lovely team and by the end of it all I felt like i would love these women for the rest of my days.
6. Labour, gas and air, pain - all a combination that could result in verbal diarrhoea. The stuff that I was coming out with! My goodness! I told the first epidural guy that he was a real treat. Said in a time dripping with sarcasm! He was so rude! Then when it fell out, the midwife was afraid to get him back in case I gave out to him!
That's not all I did! I asked them to tell me if I pooed during the push! And it gets worse!
The consultant came in at the end. He was a bit of a dish. Myself and the junior doctor had been discussing him earlier in the morning. Anyway. There he is, working away at my nether regions. I'm in the throws of it. I turn around to him and say "your social life must be terrible". Says he "why?" Says I, "well, when I spend all day sending emails and the like in work, I've no desires to do it at home. Must be the same for you?"...
I thought the midwives were going to collapse with laughing! Himself thought id lost the plot! The doctor just looked at me and said "right! Well! Let's get going"
7. The aftermath. It doesn't matter how well it all went or how not to plan it went. You really don't care if you've been split in two. When they fling that baby up on top of you, and it does seem like they fling her. And you hear that cry! It's like everything fades. No one asked me to sign a non-disclosure form, as I long suspected they would. You just don't care about it anymore!
And then the emotions come! Jaysus I think for the first hour it was only dogs that could understand me! I was sobbing and crying and declaring undying love like nobody's business!!!
All in all, Labour Day was a success! We survived to tell the tale. And have come
Out the other side of it as a trio instead of a duo. And even though I still feel a little like I've been turned inside out and scrubbed with bleach, I would do it all again, a million times over.
She's worth it!