Hobbling at a snail’s pace along the hospital corridor to the shower room, still woozy from the general anaesthetic and in agony from the category 1 emergency c-section the night before, I started to resent having paid £250 for antenatal classes.
‘Just a bit further now’, said the nurse as we navigated the never-ending corridor. She was carrying a bag of my urine which was attached to the catheter I must have had fitted at some point during all the commotion of the previous night. If I hadn’t displayed my ladies parts to all and sundry over the previous 3 days, I might have been a bit embarrassed at the thought of her having to remove it.
The pains had started on the Friday evening after a particularly raucous visit from my sister-in-law and my niece and nephew. Having been sent home from hospital twice on the Saturday, they eventually let me stay in on Sunday, gave me a shot of oxytocin and off we went. Except we didn’t, and I found myself being knocked out in an operating theatre, still asleep when my baby entered the world and took her first breaths.
During my pregnancy I’d had a bit of queasiness in the first couple of months, but no sickness at all, and other than transforming from a petite 5’2” woman into a Weeble, I managed to escape all of the nightmarish pregnancy symptoms you hear of. So 3 days of labour followed by a general anaesthetic and a slicing and dicing was not what I was expecting when I wrote on my birth plan that I wanted as natural a birth as possible, thank you very much.
Still, the end result was a healthy, beautiful little girl, even if I can’t remember much of our first meeting. Thankfully, my husband made sure he took plenty of photos of me holding our daughter for the first time, just as I was coming round from the anaesthetic. Not so thankfully, he managed to catch me at my ‘supporting hobbit from Lord of the Rings’ best.
It’s now eighteen and a half months since our lives changed forever, and every day since has brought more joy, more ironing, more laughter, more panic and more love of my bed than I could ever have imagined. It’s been the best year and a half of my life by far, and I can say that while being a mam is nothing like I’d expected, so far, it’s been everything I’d hoped for. (Apart from the hobbit look. I never hoped for that.)