Life is hard…Then you have a baby and it gets harder.
Now don’t get me wrong…I wouldn’t swap it for the world…but no one actually tells you how hard it’s going to be. All you hear about is what a wonderful miracle it is and the amazing bond you will share with your baby.
You think about the decisions you will need to make…like will you go for bottle or breast? Or maybe both? Will you co-sleep or will they sleep in a Moses basket? Are you hoping to get by on just gas and air, or maybe you want a water birth? What you don’t realise is none of it is your decision. None. Of. It.
I had it all planned – I wanted a water birth. I love swimming and feel at home in the water, so I wanted my baby to enter the world feeling at one with the water and I couldn’t think of a better way to give birth than that! But no – my little bundle of joy had other ideas.
We were back to back, which basically meant the back of his head and his back was against my spine. After 29 hours since my first contraction I was ready to cut him out with a spoon, given half a chance. Every contraction ripped through my back like a hundred knives and I was writhing in the birthing pool like a seal caught in a net. Tears streaming down my face I told my partner ‘I can’t do this.’
Unsurprisingly I had no choice – the baby had to come out! I opted for diamorphine to ease the pain and that meant no water birth. That was the first of many compromises to come.
Fast-forward 3 hours and it’s time to push. I grabbed my partner’s arm, dug my nails in and puuuushed. The best thing I did was listen to the midwife. Breathe when she said breathe and push like my life depended on it when she said push. I remember hearing the midwife say ‘Ohh we can see his eyebrows’ and I thought to myself ‘Well we’re at the worst bit just keep pushing!’ So I did and within minutes he was there, in my arms, a blue tinged bloody mess. He didn’t cry…he just opened his eyes, lifted his little head and looked at me.
That was the moment I fell head over heels in love – and my whole world shifted.