Monday, 18 June 2018

9 months in vs 9 months out



The week before I gave birth to River, I watched an episode of One Born Every Minute where a woman appeared to be having a sneaky fart in the pool while her husband hummed along to Enya and suddenly she had a baby pop out. She was calm as anything throughout her whole labour and birth and I was determined to be just like that. I read (skimmed through) the first three chapters of a hypnobirthing book, so in my eyes I was ready for it.
Cut to me, one week later, choking on and projectile vomiting a McChicken sandwich up my bathroom walls. I remember sitting in the bath, covered in my own sick, desperately crying down the phone to my midwife telling her I couldn't do it. I imagine she was just sat sipping her coffee on the other end, rolling her eyes at another dramatic pregnant woman thinking early labour was something to moan about. At this point I had already been sent home once from the birth centre because I was a grand total of ONE centimetre dilated and I thought it was time for the big event. Nuh uh. It took 30 hours from the point of feeling my first contraction to actually giving birth.

I did finally pull myself together after spending hours falling asleep mid bounce on a gym ball (hilarious for everyone but me) and I actually focused myself on getting through it rather than just crying about the pain of contractions. 
I had made Jason promise that he wouldn't let me have any drugs because I wanted to do it all without them. And boy can he keep a promise. Saying no to a begging, hysterical woman in labour takes some real balls and I'm so grateful he stuck to my wishes. I think he just enjoyed watching me suffer while he put his feet up and ate snacks to be honest. His main concern throughout the whole process (and throughout most of my pregnancy really) was anticipating the moment that I was gonna shit myself. Even now, if I have a teary moment about when River came into our lives, Jase will bring me right back down to earth with the shit talk or point out how weird Rivers head was when he came out. To be fair, it was weird. Neither Jason or I had ever been present for the birth of a baby before, so seeing his stretched out alien head was something we both politely ignored but secretly freaked out about in our brains for a while.

Looking back, my birth experience was pretty good. It baffles me that the sheer joy of having your baby in your arms is powerful enough to make you completely oblivious to the hideous scene that everyone else in the room is VERY aware of. River had pooped inside me before he came out, so that, combined with the rest of the bodily fluids and Mr Kipling cake crumbs floating around in the pool, must have been quite a sight. But honestly it’s the coolest thing ever and if you don’t have a baby, HAVE ONE, GO ON.

When I look at River now, it’s so hard to comprehend that he was wriggling inside my belly for all that time. I used to poke and prod my bump and feel his bum or his foot or the top of his head. Some nights I would lie on the bed and suddenly he would stretch out so much, it would look like he was about to burst through my stomach,  These days, he's spending his time climbing up all the furniture and emptying the plant pot, handful by handful onto our cream carpets; which is cute for about 2.7 seconds before it gets really old, really quick. 9 month old River also massively enjoys squealing and chasing the dog around the house to the point where Pierre looks like he's begging us to abandon him at the dog shelter. Riv hasn't quite grasped the concept of being gentle and thinks that smacking the dog repeatedly is acceptable and loving. I feel so sorry for the dog, but I also quite enjoy the little break I get when he's pestering him so I don't do much about it other than to tell Pierre to get over it. 

9 month pregnant me was scared all the time, hungry all the time and hormonal all the time. 9 months later and that description is just as accurate, if not more so. You don’t suddenly become an all-together human when that baby comes out of you. But on the plus side, your baby’s head will be lovely now. 

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