I was very anxious carrying my first child, I wanted to obtain every piece of information I could about pregnancy and birth and I followed the progress of my growing baby almost daily with one guide or another.
Any unusal pains and I would be at the Doctors or hospital requesting a scan. In fact, I felt like I was the first and only pregnant woman on earth and was fairly ego-centric about things. I loved gathering resources and books and tips about pregnancy and childbirth and my whole life revolved around me and the baby. Nowadays I admire women who just ‘get on with it’, they continue almost as if they were not pregnant, managing to exercise, work and socialise as before, but back then I thought they were simply irresponsible.
As I approached my due date I had no idea of what labour would feel like although I’d read ever article I could get my hands on. I knew it would hurt and as I have a low pain threshold I thought it was very likely I would choose a lot of pain relief. After being in labour for 5 hours I felt it was time to get to hospital, but I was only 3cm dilated and the sinking feeling I felt at this news was emmence.
I tried everything under the sun to ease the pain, walking, taking a bath and sitting on a yoga ball, but I just didn’t know what to do with myself. The pain took control of me and I was pleading with the nurses not to leave me. Their suggestions of paracetomol or gas and air were not helping, I just wanted an epidural.
As soon as I reached 7cm I was pleading for the epidural and when I saw the man who was going to ease all the pain he instantly became my best friend. I gave him my best ‘pleading’ eyes in the hoped get on with it right away. And he did, it was an amazing relief but the pain was still very strong as Charlotte was back-to-back, there was no let up with this labour.
“To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children” Genesis 3:16 – well thanks Eve!
However, despite the pain, giving birth was the most amazing thing that I’d ever experienced. After an hour of pushing she just wasn’t coming out. Charlotte was delivered with vontuse and forceps after 26 hours of labour weighing 7lb 3oz. Because I’d had an epidural I had to stay in hospital overnight, it was AWFUL, I was so tired but I couldn’t rest for the noise of the ward.
The feeling when your baby is first placed in your arms is indescribable, the relief, instant love and maturnal instinct that kicks in is extraordinary. Soon after I was able to understand Gods love for each of us as his children, it is BIG LOVE.