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Birth Story part 1- the Siege

Birth Story v2.0 - Keep Calm and Carry On

Although I had appreciated not giving birth in the middle of exams or sofa deliveries, by the time August rolled around I was immense of girth and devoid of humour. The birth pool which we had inflated for a test run on my birthday celebrations/mock spa still sat in the spare room, mocking me. Thanks to nesting urges and two months of house arrest due to immobility courtesy of SPD, my house gleamed. My post was filed. My labour play-list compiled. My to-do list conquered of every item bar "Give birth".

I had been so sure that I would have a baby in July* what with the intuitive feelings and teasing nightly contractions, that the more I marched past my due date the deeper I descended into a gloom whose only logical conclusion seemed to be that I would never have a baby. Never ever ever ever ever. Or at least not without significant scientific and medical intervention.

"Why does the baby hate me?" I would moan, rationally, to my husband at some suitable time, such as say 2am. "Why does it not want me to able to walk and pee and turn around in bed like a normal person?"

"The baby doesn't hate you," Z would reply kindly, with one of his more tactful turns of phrase. "The baby loves you and so wants to hang around being one with you as long as possible."

I stepped up my eviction campaign. I drank raspberry tea in such quanities that my teeth turned seasoned-smoker yellow. I chewed upon chilli after chilli with grim determination. I would shout "Out!" in my crossest tone while waving a fist in the air. I had two cervical sweeps. And when all of these measures failed to produce labour I simply gave up and decided to enjoy what could not be controlled. I spent the last two days of my pregnancy in a dreamy state - meditative and relaxed - sending messages of affection to my unborn child. As I lay on our enormous new sofa in Z's arms, our foreheads touching and hands entwined, my mind grew increasingly still and calm and a single phrase floated through it over and over again. "I am sailing on the waves of love and everything will be all right."

On Wednesday the 4th of August I woke with powerful intestinal cramps. Some three toilet trips later I thought Hmmmm but refused to entertain any kind of hopefulness. I spent the morning locked in combat with NHS snafus (crowned by the non-functioning telephone number of the antenatal clinics) trying to schedule an induction for the following week (futile and utterly farcical) and the afternoon lying on the sofa registering intermittent abdominal crampiness and engaging in an elaborate game of Call My Bluff with my Uterus.

* (news just in! Intuition and wishful thinking display remarkable similarity!)



deep sky, firefly

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