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on acquiring a son

Thank you for all your nice wishes everyone. :) Matei was born on 30th of December at 16:52 in the afternoon and is currently being very busy sleeping snuggled up to his daddy. I am taking it easy, marvelling at the child and idly contemplating when my insides will stop feeling like they have been violated with baseball bats.

I had a lovely home birth and followed by a very exciting transfer to hospital (my first time riding in an ambulance with sirens and flashing lights!) due to post-partum haemorrhage. The hospital discharged me this afternoon though so currently at home eating every green leafy vegetable in sight.

December 29th - played cards with friends for seven hours straight, until 11pm. Went to bed. Enjoyed the sleep of the satisfied gambler.

December 30th

woke up wrecked with powerful stomach pains four minutes apart. All abdominal organs commence a crampy one-upmanship with each other necessitating about twenty trips to the loo and confusion over whether I'm having a baby or dysintery.

2am - The OWWWWW is still continuing. Sleep attempted but not an option. I find I can't stand to be lying down. Lying down is agony. On the other hand sitting is good. Kneeling and rocking is even better.

3am - the midwife is coming at 7. In an attempt to pass time and distract myself from the pains that are more frequent and intense than I anticipated I talk to the internet and watch Motorcycle Diaries.

4am - The Owwwwww factor is intensifying. The Hypnobirthing Sleep Breath (short inhalation, long exhalation) is no longer doing it for me. On the other hand the TENS machine is my new love. I want to marry it. I never want to give it up.

5am -The Sleep Breathing breath is not only not helping, it's actually hindering. Instead I cling to Z and we dance. I sing when a contraction hits. Everything is very calm but I wish the midwife was here.

6am - Z busies himself with setting up the birth pool. I busy myself with wishing the midwife was here and using the HypnoBirthing Slow Breathing (long in breath, long out breath, breathing into the contraction imagining my stomach filling up like a balloon) and reciting all kinds of hippie thoughts about working with my body to welcome my baby into the world.

7am - midwife is here. Everyone's heartbeat is fine and I'm 5 cm dilated. Halfway there. Hurray. Z starts filling up the birth pool (a process that takes well over an hour and necessitates him to help it along with Rushing Off To Boil Water On The Stove In the Kitchen, like in the good old days). I hang on to the sides of the pool, amp up the TENS and alternate my regime of Slow Breathing and Singing.

10am - I am in the pool. The ache in my hips is reducing. It is heaven. I love the Birth Pool even more than I love the TENS machine. It is like the best jacuzzi in the world. The pain is instantly reduced by 40%. I start to unwind and drift off between contractions.

11am- I make my one and only attempt to eat. I take a bite of toast and instantly feel nauseous. Sweet juice and water are the only things I can handle.

Noon- 7cm dilation. Respectable, but slower than I was hoping. I get back into the pool and distract myself from dissapointment by filling up the pool with the household's collection of rubber ducks. Also discouraging the cats from joining me in there, no matter how much I appreciate their moral support.
I recite more hippie affirmations and visualise my cervix opening up like a flower.

1pm- MY HIPS ARE KILLING ME. It may be the worst pain I have ever felt. It feels like someone is pouring acid into my joints. Also, it is relentless. While contractions stop this doesn't. The water isn't helping. Pacing up and down isn't helping. I feel like crying. I start to cry and get the shakes. I realise that I am approaching either despair or transition.

2pm - It's despair. The hippies lied. My cervix isn't doing shit despite the visualisation and staying at 7cm. The hip pain on the other hand has intensified, and whoever has been pouring acid in my joints is joined by someone with a pneumatic drill. When the waters break my cervix goes up to 8cm, BUT THIS IS NOT ENOUGH BECAUSE I HAVE HIP PAIN AND I WANT TO DIE. Or at least drugs. I WANT DRUGS! DRUGS DRUGS DRUGS! The midwife and Z tell me I'm doing great. I look at them like they are insane. Z tells me I'm doing wonderfully and it will be over soon. I want to kill him because wasn't he paying attention to the fact that my cervix is stalling and my hips are killing me and this baby is never going to come and what the hell were we thinking wanting to have children in the first place. Why am I at home? I should be in a hospital, where there are epidurals. In fact that's where I want to be right now. I tell the midwife I can't take it anymore and I need to transfer in to where the good drugs are.

2:15pm The midwife tells me that I'm at 9cm, and talks about the reasons to stay at home. Sensible reasons. Rational reasons. I don't care about any of them though. I can't take 5 more minutes let alone another hour. I walk around the house howling and casting myself upon Z and pieces of furniture, clutching a hot compress to my hips. The midwife offers me a painkiller that takes only 20 minutes to work. I swallow the pill while being incredulous over the fact they don't realise I can't take 20 seconds, let alone minutes. The midwives give me every homeopathic remedy they have which seems relevant. Mmmm, alcoholic flower remedies.

2:30 I pace up and down like a demented tiger. I can't stop because when I stop I think about the hip pain more. I walk more than I walked throughout the last month of my pregnancy. I hate everyone. I want to die. It is clear to me that having a baby is the stupidest idea I've ever had. A Caesarean section sounds like the best idea in the world, right about now. Not even the birth pool helps anymore. It only mocks me with its failure to dent the hip pain. I am losing it. I am going to pieces completely.

2:45 The drugs kick in. The hip pain reduces a notch. I regain a fragment of my sanity. A wave of a powerful feeling is moving through me. I pace some more. I sit on the loo and rock. I get back in the pool. Nothing appeases the feeling. I know I want to start pushing and that I'm not supposed to yet. The midwife asks me to breathe through the contractions some more and not push. I try this for about three seconds, until I can't take it anymore. I have to push. The midwife tells me to go with what my body is saying.

3pm- Pushing is fun! Who knew about this? Why did nobody tell me? Pushing is great! I love pushing! I finally feel like I can actually do something instead of just breathing through contractions. Now it feels like I'm working with the contractions instead of simply putting up with them. I hang on to Z and breathe the baby down. I have never been this focused in my entire life. I lose sense of space and time. I am so completely concentrated on the contractions and my breath that I am zoned out. I notice the other people in the room but their words drift over me. I only focus on Z. We breathe together. I have regained my groove. I am sailing.

4pm- The baby's head is near to crowning. I can feel it bobbing forward with each push and then drifting back. I keep looking at Z. We breathe. The hip pain is manageable. We can do this. THe baby is coming to us.

4:30pm - I decide to step up the pushing a gear, bear down harder, for longer. My legs are shaking and I have cramps in my thighs so I need to keep shifting in the pool. The water takes my weight, takes pain. The baby comes nearer and nearer. Some fifteen minutes later it starts to crown. OWWWWWWWWW. Buuurrrrnneeeeng.

4:50 The head is fully out. The body follows the head. My son slips from me smoothly as a fish. He dives into the water. I catch him, lift him out. The baby's crying. Z is crying. I am riding waves of adrenaline and delight. I am holding my son. This parenting shit is unbelievable. It is the most surreal moment of my life.

5-10pm The cord is cut. The midwives hand the baby to Z. He holds it next to his skin wrapped in towels. The baby makes a brave but misguided attempt to suck on Z's nipple.

5:25pm After the placenta is out I suddenly notice that the birth pool is more like a bloodbath. I cast a questeniong look at the midwives. A look that says "Is this normal?" they cast a worried glance which says that it is not. They fish me out of the pool. I am still high on adrenaline but I notice that my legs are shaking. The midwives conclude that I have lost over a litre of blood. An ambulance is called and it comes very efficiently. I go to St. Mary's for patching up. They give me fluids and drugs and toast. I realise that I have been awake since 1am and that I haven't eaten in over 24 hours. The toast is like an explosion of tastebudal rhapsody in my system.

I stay overnight. I discover that my attempts to walk to the bathroom end up in fainting. I also disvoer the necessity of winding the baby and his aversion to having a dirty bottom for any longer than 3.5 seconds. We all go home. We cuddle the baby and watch Life of Brian. We note that this parenting gig is still unbelievable.


( 74 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 31st, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
Absolutely beautiful. It's an every day miracle: every time I hear about a new baby I want to cry! Congratulations, all of you: he is such a lucky little chap.

x x x x x x x
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) He's more lucky now that we're not trying to wind him every five seconds in the mistaken belief that he's troubled by gas instead of hunger.
(no subject) - land_girl - Jan. 6th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rainsinger - Jan. 7th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 31st, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness oh my goodness oh my goodness. Happy new year and HAPPY NEW PERSON!
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you :D

(Deleted comment)
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you :D

Having babies is great but extremely hard work so I'm glad I waited. It gave me more chance to get that whole sleeping thing out of my system.
Dec. 31st, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
Wow! Congratulations! I've been thinking about you all day. I'm so glad everything is ok.
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)

Everything is getting better every day. The baby's main interests are still sleeping and feeding but you're welcome to come visit anytime.
Dec. 31st, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
Beautiful baby!
Congratulations and Happy New Life as a Mummy!
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)

He's a lovely little boy. I think I'll keep him.
Dec. 31st, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
wow, what an amazing and beautiful story. I'm so glad you and Matei are safe and well. Great work!
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)

My clueless-but-laidback attitude is paying off!
Dec. 31st, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)

My eyeballs bugged out at the ends of the eye-a-torial ligaments when I scrolled through my friends page and saw your icon. I couldn't read the post fast enough! Although I was crossing my legs during some of the more painful descriptions.

Congratulations on hippie-ing it through! I'd be all "C-Section, lots of drugs, please."

And wow, he's here! And now I know his name!

I am so excited for you!!!!
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)

He's a lovely lovely little boy and we're completely prepared to overlook his occasional smelliness.
Dec. 31st, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
oh this entry was beautiful! Congratulations!
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:27 pm (UTC)
thank you. :)
Dec. 31st, 2007 10:41 pm (UTC)
Congratulations - it looks like he was worth it.
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:27 pm (UTC)
Totally. :) Especially now that he's settling.
Dec. 31st, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
congratulations. glad st mary's sorted you out.
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
St. Mary's were brilliant - patched me up very efficiently indeed. Even the food was okay.
Dec. 31st, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
Congrats and welcome to Mummyville :-)
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) I'm loving it so far.
Jan. 1st, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's all coming back to me now :).

Congratulations, Nina, Z, and Matei! He's absolutely gorgeous.

Jan. 6th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) We're very fond of him.
Jan. 1st, 2008 12:37 am (UTC)
Wow! So wonderful! Happy New Baby! :) xx
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)

He's an excellent little boy. Even the cats don't seem traumatised by his presence.
Jan. 1st, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)

You all rock. All three of you.
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)

Come and visit if you're ever in London again.
Jan. 1st, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Oh honey, congratulations! Such lovely news!
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)

It's been a good start to the year so far.
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( 74 comments — Leave a comment )


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