Five years ago today, I was sat gazing at my newborn bundle in a horrible hospital ward waiting for my consultant to turn up so that we could be given the all clear to go home. And the drama of my little girl’s arrival into the world was all but forgotten. She was here at last. After so many months of trying to conceive, a miserable nine months of being sick for the whole of my pregnancy and then being four days over her due date. She was here. And thankfully, safe and sound in my arms at last.
All of my births have been extremely fast and that might sound good if you have endured hours (and days!) of long drawn out labours but in actual fact, I don’t believe it is any easier, just different. Giving birth so incredibly fast is actually terrifying at the time. You don’t have time to mentally prepare for you baby coming into the world. In fact, I could barely catch my breath between contractions and of course, there is no time for any pain relief either.
I think Honey’s entrance into the world was definitely the most dramatic of my four. Due to the complete incompetence of the hospital, she was almost born in the carpark! She was my third baby and I awoke in the night with my contractions coming thick and fast. My Dad was on hand to take care of my other two children and off we sped into the night to get to the hospital. We had called from home to say that we were on our way but when we got there, we were faced with locked doors at the maternity unit and an intercom system that didn’t work. At this point, my contractions were no more than a minute apart – this baby was coming NOW! If it wasn’t for the patient sneaking out for a cigarette, who could let us in, it would have been down to my poor Other Half to deliver the baby right there in the carpark I swear. Apparently, there is supposed to be a security guard at the entrance at night to let people in but he was nowhere in sight. Fabulous!
So we were in at last. By now, I couldn’t walk and luckily there was a wheelchair in the entrance but it was one of those ones that you have to pull backwards which made me feel sick but I was faced with either that or walk so I didn’t have much choice! But I do suspect that it had actually been abandoned there because it was broken as only three of the wheels worked. Nightmare!
So my Other Half dragged me along in this stupid broken wheelchair to the lifts only to find that they were out of order. So we were racing around to find another lift when a cleaner told us that we would have to use the service lift and believe me, this was as rickety as it sounds. I didn’t think we would ever get out of the thing it was awful! Then when we finally got to the labour ward, the doors were locked and thankfully, a passing cleaner let us in would you believe! When I re-tell this story, it sounds like some far-fetched soap opera labour story but at the time, it was just awful. Being in the final throes of labour and having to go through all of this? Awful!
So we made it at last. The midwives took me into the side consultation area to see how far I had progressed and then whipped me straight into the delivery suite! They were concerned that I was so far advanced without the baby or me being monitored but hey, I would have been in there a whole lot sooner if we could have got into the hospital in the first place! Grrr! Anyway, out came the doppler and they couldn’t find baby’s heartbeat. I don’t think I can explain just how terrifying this was. I thought we had lost her, I really did. There was much whispering between the two midwives and was told that this baby had to come out now. I was in complete agony and the thought that something might be wrong was just horrific. But literally within half an hour or so of arriving at the hospital, she was born safe and sound and perfectly healthy. Such a huge relief, I can’t tell you.
The joy of meeting your baby for the very first time is always completely overwhelming but her dramatic entrance into the world and the fact that for that split second there I thought I had lost her, meant that I did hold her that little bit tighter.
My darling girl has been as bright as a button since the day she was born and she has brought so much love into our lives. She really has. And now she is five. I can’t quite believe how quickly that time has passed. Everybody says it and it is such a cliché but it does go by so fast and they are babies for such a short time (as much as you wish you could keep them as that tiny little bundle forever so they never have to leave your side!) Now, she is at school making big brave steps into the world and I love seeing her grow into such a sweet little girl.
Happy 5th birthday Honey Rose.
And happy birth day Mummy 😉