Monday, May 15, 2006

A Decade of Motherhood

Today is no 1's tenth birthday, which feels like a huge milestone, both to her and to us. Blimey. Where have the last ten years gone? In a blur of babies and nappies mainly, I think...

To celebrate this momentous occasion I took her shopping on Saturday with a good friend whose birthday is the day after no 1s. No 1 like all my offspring arrived very late, so my GF was demanding that I have the baby on her birthday, so it seemed only appropriate to take her on our trip.

It was quite strange thinking on Saturday that I had gone in that evening to be induced, and no 1 didn't actually arrive till two days later... we've packed in a lot in the last two days and it is quite mindblowing to think what a long time I was waiting around for (in a fair amount of pain, as well...) After ten years the hideousness of the experience remains undiminished. I can remember calling for an epidural at 7am on the 15th (this after 7 hours of excruciating racking labour pains, as a result of the three lots of prostin I had been given), and then having to wait until 10 am for the anaesthetist. The reason for the delay turned out to be that my roomie (who was being induced with me) was having an emergency caesarian. It was a weird experience - I shared two of the most harrowing nights of my life with a complete stranger, during which we told each other all sorts of intimate details about our lives, and we left hospital never to see one another again.

Once I finally got the epidural things got fairly boring for a while as I dilated ever so slowly. They started off saying the baby would come around midday, but by midday I was stuck at 9cms and appeared not to be going anywhere at all. By 3pm I had progressed no further, so the consultant was called. He immediately decided that it was forceps or a caesarian for me. The caesar I wasn't bothered about, apart from the fact that they had let me go on so long I was thinking why didn't you say that twelve hours ago you buggers. But the forceps for some reason really freaked me out, and Spouse had to pretty much slap me on the cheeks to get me calmed down again. The consultant did manage to do something to get me to 10cms and then I was allowed to have a go at pushing the baby out. But she was having none of it, at some point she had turned round the wrong way and in turning back again in the birth canal her head was at such an odd angle she wasn't going to come out without help. So, forceps it ended up being... Although by that time, quite frankly I was past caring. I just wanted this baby out of me.

I can still remember suddenly thinking, whoops this is going to get messy, and telling Spouse to come up my end of the bed. The consultant turned round and said, He's a dentist, he won't mind some blood.... I didn't see any of the aftermath, but Spouse assures me a little is putting rather a lot of spin on it.

The consultant clearly had a sense of humour, as I can remember him describing what to do to the registrar he was training (by this time there seemed to be dozens and dozens of people in the room - did I care? Not a bit) that what he was about to do was like sliding a knife between butter. Yeah, right. As he approached me with these whacking great metal things shaped like tennis rackets, part of me was fascinated, thinking how on earth do they fit? Whilst the other part of me was horrified - he was going to put those things INSIDE me????

But as it turned out he was top notch and no 1 was extracted with minimum fuss, and barely a forcep mark on her head. After several moments of extreme tension the room broke into spontaneous applause as she cried for the first time. Spouse and I of course were on cloud nine, but I was amazed at how thrilled the professionals all seemed. It was a magic moment. The first of many...

And so it was on Saturday I took my oldest baby on a girlie shopping trip for the first time. It felt like a rite of passage for both of us. There are probably no clothes now left in our local shopping centre, and part of me is mourning the loss of my little girl, who is on the cusp of leaving childhood behind. But I can't but celebrate for her really. Ten years ago I held her in my arms, and started on a journey of discovery. The journey continues, but each day it gets better and better.

For my special K with love

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Awww, what a special reminder of the birth of your daughter. Time certainly does fly. :)