I had been told my entire life by my beloved grandmother that having a baby was like having a rather large poo. Having suffered with constipation since I was born, not to brag, but I was pretty good with somewhat challenging toilet visits so this seemed like something I was going to be more than capable of. And her having had six children meant that I trusted her more than most to accurately describe the pain of the labour process.
With this in mind, having a baby highlighted two things to me.
1. My nanny was most definitely a big fat liar.
2. If she wasn’t, then the size of her poos must be the same as small planets.
Having had regular visits to the hospital due to a ‘lazy baby’, at 38 weeks the consultants decided that enough was enough and I was to be induced. They were sick of me…
“Are you ready to have your baby?”
I was ready. I had been ready for a good ten weeks, as I was fed up with peeing when I sneezed, but to be faced with the prospect of having a baby in the next few days made me doubt myself. I had Teen Mom 2 to catch up on first of all…
But we did it. We left the house knowing we would return as parents and that was as exciting as it was vomit inducing. Talking of inducing…
If you look up what induced means in the dictionary, it doesn’t seem too bad. Words like persuade, convince, influence all jump out at you.
Where giving birth is concerned, those words should be replaced with force, break open, yank out.
We got to the hospital with so many bags I felt like we were moving in, manic smiles stuck to our quivering faces and jokes galore to disguise the fear underneath. Suffice to say the midwives put us in the far corner of the room away from other humans and left us to it.
I had a pessary which would take up to 24 hours to work. A hormone rich creation designed to make my body go in to labour. Like- now.
A whole day of sitting waiting to see if my cervix would fall for the baby-getty-outty imposter or not. Did I have a clever cervix? Or one that would indeed take the bait and release the mini-me?
My contractions started to build and I was having four in every ten minutes throughout the night. I’m not going to dumb this down for politeness – They were a piece of piss. I was feeling like superwoman. I found them so manageable and kept secretly feeling smug for having such a high pain threshold. Was that it labour? That all you got?
I didn’t sleep a wink however and when the following morning rolled around, everything had stopped. My body had hung up a ‘do not disturb’ sign on my vagina and decided to not have a baby today thank you. Reluctantly I called Simon who was now grabbing some urgent last minute bits and told him not to bother coming to see me, I was a failure, and would have to go another 24 hours as it had all halted. I decided to get some sleep and ten minutes after I shut my eyes, I peed myself. A lot. So much that I beckoned the midwife over and sheepishly admitted that my bladder had been sick. She then informed me that it wasn’t my bladder, but my waters, that the pain was going to intensify now and that I needed to get Simon and my mum there ASAP. I called him.
‘Where are you?’
‘I’m buying a flask for your tea…’
‘Is that an urgent last minute bit?’
‘That depends on whether you want decaf tea or not…’
‘Ok. Well my waters just broke so you have to come to the hospital.’
‘I’ve got my ticket and am just waiting for number 37 and I will be right with you.’
My mum was a little bit more ‘action stations’ and set off straight away.
By the time they got there. I was in so much pain I couldn’t even say hello. It was like all of the period pains I had ever had were happening all in one go and I went from being able to laugh about the hospital sandwiches, to not even being able to open my eyes during a contraction for fear of them falling out under the strain. The midwife gave me a shot of morphine in my bum to shut me up after all of this as I was making noises similar to a broken air raid siren, and then they wheeled me off to the ‘push baby out’ ward. (She had offered me paracetamol originally and I had kindly reminded her that I didn’t have sinusitis, but ‘baby’s-head-in-pelvis-itis’.)
And that was it – me and my apparent child bearing hips were off to do what we were built to do.
Bear a child.
And yet all I can remember thinking was:
This is absolutely ridiculous- exactly how bloody big were nanny’s poos!