At exactly 19:42 on Thursday 16th March 2006 I became a mother.
And my world as I knew it changed forever.
I’ve never written about my pregnancy and labour before but I have read the birth stories of many others.
So, in honour of my gorgeous daughters 5th birthday today, here is our story
Two weeks before I was due to go on an all inclusive holiday with family I found out I was pregnant.
My first thought wasn’t about how my life was going to change. It was more “oh fuck”.
You see, I never wanted kids.
There, I said it.
Kids were a bind. The kind that drained your wallet and your drinking time.
I didn’t have the time for a baby.
I mean, my weekend started on a Wednesday and ended on a Sunday for christs sake. How on earth could I possibly parent with all that my weekend entailed going on?
No, being a mother simply wouldn’t do.
Parenting was not for me.
Until 4 digital pregnancy tests and an emergency test done by the nice nurse at the family planning clinic lead me to my “oh fuck” moment.
I had convinced myself that I was going to deal with the pregnancy rationally before I made any decision. Questions needed to be asked, after all, I was single and it certainly wasn’t planned plus I still lived at home. Sure I had a job and a steady income but could I honestly do what was needed? Could I be a mum? Should I be a mum?
Besides, I’d just been promoted and was just about to start my (almost) dream career in London.
A baby would royally fuck up my plans.
I went to see a friend who, before any pleasantries, handed me an ice cold pint of cider. I should point out that she didn’t know I was pregnant, she just knew me so well she had it ready for when I walked through the door after I’d called to say I was coming round!
My head told me to have it. Besides, it was almost summer, I’d had a stressful day and hadn’t made a decision. I mean, really… what harm would it do?
Seconds later my heart waded into the argument telling me that drinking when you were pregnant was bad for your baby or at least that’s what I’d read somewhere. Why take the risk?
I will never forget the look on her face when I refused the drink saying “oh… erm… no. Thanks though”
She looked completely hurt. Betrayed almost.
In that very moment, I knew there was only one possible road my life could go down and my heart claimed it’s victory.
My due date was 17th March 2006 – St Patricks Day. Ironic don’t you think given that I’m half Irish? I’m fairly sure a tear trickled down my Dad’s face when I told him.
I wish I had some kind of horror story to share, months and months of stress and worry and week long morning sickness.
But I don’t.
My pregnancy went really smoothly.
Every milestone was hit and everything normal: blood tests, urine tests, scans, baby’s growth.
I was offered every piece of advice under the sun and told horror stories about the pain that made my toes curl.
My labour started at 1am on 16th March 2006 and the pain was slow building. I managed at home on my own until 9am when I called my Mum. She drove me to the hospital.
My waters hadn’t broken and the midwife in charge decided that because the unit was having a “quiet day” they’d put me in a side room so they could monitor me as this was my first child.
12 hours after my first twinges of pain my waters broke and the pain started to intensify but I was so tired I just wanted to sleep.
In walked my midwife who gave me a shot of pethidine.
It was amazing. Pethidine doesn’t take the pain away it just tells your brain that the pain doesn’t belong to you. It’s really, really weird but gave me enough respite to sleep for a couple of hours and to get the energy that the next few hours demanded.
I laboured in complete silence. None of this shouting and screaming like you some of the women doing on One Born Every Minute.
Sweet, serene silence.
The midwife couldn’t believe it but I knew. I knew because I’d seen enough birthing programmes to know that wailing like a banshee wasn’t going to get me anywhere and was probably going to piss some people off.
So I breathed through it.
Keira was born at 19:42 and weighed 7lb 2oz and delivered by ventouse cap.
She was placed onto me and I just, well, looked at her and she just looked at me.
I remember smiling at her and thinking “oh fuck”.
I have never looked back.
Happy Birthday Angel Face xxxx