Sunday, 21 August 2011

The Story of my Bump

After reflecting on my wedding day it led me to thinking about my pregnancy and giving birth.

I know lots of mums blog about childbirth but I feel it can only be a good thing for other mums-to-be out there.  Had the internet and social networking sites existed when I was pregnant I might not have felt so terrified!

You see, I’m a coward.  And the things I’d heard about giving birth had made me just a little worried.  It hurt, I knew that.  And I don’t like hurty things.

So, anyway.  Hubbie and I married in the August and decided to try for a baby in the December.  First try, baby in place!  Little did I know that this was to be the only ever time for us.

At the time I fell pregnant I was nannying for two girls aged four and one.  This involved lots of walking, lifting and carrying.  When I started bleeding at six weeks, I thought it was all over.  My doctor said to take it easy over the weekend and hope for the best.

That was probably one of the longest weekends of my life but during this time we made the decision that I would give up working.

Weekend over, I set off for a scan and, thank heavens, all was OK.  First lesson learnt, it’s not unusual to bleed early on in a pregnancy.

I waited for the morning sickness to kick in and nothing happened.  Hooray!  I craved oranges and Mars Bars and would eat them in abundance at all hours.  Being pregnant suited me and the only difficulties I encountered were with my nipples.  The start of my pregnancy was in the winter and I would spend many hours walking our dog.  This was when the trouble started.  The discomfort would begin with a tingle of coldness and then go into full blown agonising pain.  The only way I could leave the house was with two huge dollops of Germolene and cotton wool balls on my hooters.  A rather peculiar shape, which my gay neighbour certainly noticed on several occasions. (He also noticed when later I was walking my dog with newborn son in arms and I’d left my top undone, including nursing bra, for all the world to see my milk bottles! - Thank the Lord for honest gays!)

When I went for my final scan the midwife asked me if I wanted to know the sex. “No” I told her.  “Do you have a preference?” she asked.  “Well, I’ve always imagined I’d have a girl” I replied.  At this point she started laughing and, when I asked why, she said “I’ve just seen his testicles!”  I’m sure she acted inappropriately, and nowadays you’d be sued for less, but hey-ho!

So pregnancy passed and baby decided it was time to arrive.  A rather funny episode of ‘The Young Ones’ must have got something moving because I went into labour straight afterwards.  At least we thought I had.  Pains started in the early hours of the Saturday and baby eventually popped out at ‘Coronation Street’ time on the Monday.  In fact they were about to send me home at lunchtime because everything had stopped.  Yippee, I thought, I don’t have to go through the pain after all, and I can go home to my lovely dog.

That was when the labour kicked in properly and it was all systems go.  Had he not been bungeeing up and down my fandango with the umbilical cord around his neck, it would have been a lot quicker but eventually (after an episiotomy) he appeared.  I’d never considered needing to be cut, but by this point they could have done anything to me.  I felt no pain when they did it, although hubbie said when he turned back from preparing a Babygro, the sight that greeted him looked like a car-crash.  Glad he was at that end and I wasn’t.

Apart from a lot of pushing, heaving and murderous looks at hubbie and my sister, it was all quite uneventful.  I didn’t utter one expletive (I’m a good girl I am!) and when I looked into my baby boy’s eyes for the first time (apart from thinking that he looked a bit like an alien) I thought “Yep, I know you!”

Another thing I wish I’d known was the first dodgy nappy full a baby does.  Good grief, it was like trying to remove tar and nothing would budge it.  I remember shuffling around my cubicle in the ward, my stitches now beginning to get sore, thinking “What on earth is this?”  Suddenly a voice in the darkness from the bed next to me said, “You’ve found the first poo, haven’t you?  Don’t worry, it’s normal!”  That voice from the shadows made everything feel better.

And so the learning curve continued and I became a human dummy.  I was lucky that I could feed for Britain and never struggled once and I feel truly grateful for that and those treasured moments.

Now I look at my ‘baby’ about to get his GCSE results and approaching sixteen and I think … we did that!  We made that character and he lived inside my belly for 40 weeks.

Mother Nature, when you work properly, what a wonderful creature you are.

The character of Libby in ‘Diary of Mummy Misfit’ is desperate for a second baby.  A forty, has she left it too late?  Check it out on Amazon.  Now also available in paperback at Lulu.

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