I was reading one of the Blogs that I follow http://wonderlandbytatu.wordpress.com
A mum with 2 children, whose honesty like so many others mums I follow and love inspired me to do this… an excerpt from my Memoir (through Amazon and Lulu if anyone is interested in reading further).
24th March 1983
Here I am lying in bed in the hospital. I am to be induced tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. I have had the obligatory enema and mini shave, thinking, “My God, this is only the beginning of any embarrassment or degradation—tomorrow morning I will bearing much more to the world.
At 5 a.m. on the 25th March, I woke up in a hospital bed and was served a mandatory cup of tea by a smiling, whispering nurse. By 7.35 a.m. I was wheeled into the delivery room. As I lay on the pristine, starched white sheets, staring at the ceiling and the fluorescent lights above me, my thoughts were ones of terror. I was now scared to death as to what lay before me. To make things worse, the paediatrician who was supposed to guide me through the birth with the hypnotherapy did not arrive, so the prospect of going through childbirth “à la natural” was now frightening me beyond belief.
I was placed on the drip at 8.40 a.m. To the hour, my first contraction hit at 9.40 a.m. Even though the paediatrician had given me a few lessons on self-hypnotherapy, I could not concentrate long enough to guide myself through it. The idea of a needle protruding through my arm now seemed far more preferable to labour.
By 2 p.m., the contractions were physically overpowering me and I didn’t think I could handle much more. I tried everything I could to ease the pain; lying on one side, then on the other, knees bent up to my chest, straightened legs, on all fours, standing leaning over the bed, grabbing hold of the sheets, walking around the bed, squeezing John’s hand till I almost drew blood.
The pain of childbirth, though mercifully and miraculously erased so quickly in one’s mind after the event, looms like an undefeatable spectre when you are in the throes of it. My original intent to try for a drug-free birth ended up with me screaming, “OK, I give in! Give me an epidural!” I don’t even think I said please!
Fortunately for John I didn’t yell abuse at him, as some women are known to do. I pitied him standing beside me. He was helpless, looking upon my writhing body that seemed possessed by demonic forces.
“Do you want ice chips to suck on, darling? Would you like a shoulder rub? A back rub? Or should I just leave the room perhaps and come back when you’re done?”
The straightforward truth is that no matter what a husband might suggest or offer in his endeavor to try and alleviate your misery, he cannot help you. You are alone in the battle. You are the one who is grimacing, panting, squirming and bearing the discomfort and the pain. And when you look up at his unhappy face, knowing that he probably wishes he were anywhere else but watching you, all you can do for each other is hold hands.
The anaesthetist came in; I rolled onto my left side and he inserted a needle into my back. By this stage a small pin-prick in my spine was more inviting than a glass of champers and a full body massage administered by George Clooney. It was miraculous how quickly the epidural took effect. With each contraction, although I felt some sensation, I felt no pain and only the overwhelming desire to push, usually at inappropriate intervals when I should have been panting. My doctor arrived at 4.55 p.m., and with the help of forceps and my legs high in the stirrups, baring all and sundry to the brightly lit room, my baby daughter entered this world, weighing in at 7lb (3.175kgs).
Here was this tiny human being we had created. A miracle, perfection in every way, with ten fingers and ten toes, her head covered with dark hair, her body coated in vernix. I was overcome with a euphoria you feel after you have given birth, one of life’s natural highs that you could never dream to be possible. She was placed on my stomach as I cried tears of excitement, joy and gratitude for how beautiful and perfect she was.
We had decided to call her Lauren, and now that we beheld her tiny face, the name seemed to fit her exactly.
When she was taken away for the “cleaning up” process, John and I were left alone to exchange private words and to somehow articulate the event that had just taken place. In the space of those moments, we tried to come to grips with the fact that we now had a daughter, that we were now not a couple but a family, and to contemplate how our lives would change forever.
Even though I was totally exhausted, I could not settle and was absolutely famished. I tucked into a huge plate of sandwiches and a cup of tea while Lauren was attended to by the nursing staff. She was then brought back to us and shortly afterwards was put to my breast to suckle the colostrum. All I wanted to do from this moment on was to hold her close, look at her, touch her and smell her. I felt an instant and unshakable determination to love this little person unconditionally from the very first time she was handed to me, wrapped snuggly in the baby blankets that I had bought months before. My instinct told me that all I wanted on this earth was to be able to protect her from this day onwards from any harm or misfortune, for as long as humanly possible.