Friday, 21 February 2014

An ending and beginning

It has happened.
It was inevitable.

Charlie has now been 'out' longer than he was 'in.'
We marked the milestone with an 'un-birthday' party.

It seems like an ending of sorts.

Or at the very least it seems a good time to reflect on the past 18ish months.

It's probably no secret that I didn't love being pregnant.  I never really got the glowy thing going.  I was sick at the beginning and in pain in the middle and then spent the last month having 'practice' contractions.

I'm not big on birth stories and I have put off writing mine in any detail but maybe the time has come to share a few things about dear little man's birth.

Like most preggos I was ready for the pregnant part to be over.  It's just so uncomfortable.  However, I wasn't ready for what came after.  Naively, I wasn't afraid of labour.  I knew it would end eventually, either naturally or with medical assistance.  I was, however, terrified of having to keep a little human alive.  I have never been a 'baby-person.'  I'm still not, really.  I love my son to pieces but that's about where it ends when it comes to me and babies.

At the end of my labour, after having pushed for three hours with no success and being man-handled in surgical theatre by at least twenty people, I was terrified.  I was so tired.  Things had not gone to plan to say the least, my calm homebirth having been scrapped 12 hours earlier when I started bleeding heavily.  I was crying and incoherent.  In an attempt to calm me, someone said, 'Just a few more minutes and you'll meet your baby.'

I appreciate the gesture and maybe that works for a lot of women.  For me it made everything worse.  One way or another, and it was looking very likely to be 'another,' this little being was coming into the world and I knew I wasn't ready.

And then he was here.  They put this little, hairy, bloody thing on my chest and I felt...nothing.  He was whisked away immediately because he wasn't breathing (silly thing had got his cord wrapped around his neck twice).  Within seconds he was crying and back with me, but I still felt nothing.  There was no rush of 'happy hormones' or relief or joy.  He was crying and I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't feel the lower half of my body and I was exhausted.

The next eight days in hospital were some of the hardest I have ever experienced.

It took a long time for me to bond with this little human.  For months I was going through the motions, making it up as I went along, stubbornly refusing to get all mushy about this little guy, but determined to do everything 'right.'

How silly.

The most important thing I have learned in the last nine months is loving my son is way easier than I thought it would be, especially when I get out of my own way.  These past nine months have been so hard and exhausting with very little respite.  I struggle with my selfishness and my need to make him and Pete happy everyday.

The unbirthday marked a ending of sorts but also a beginning.

Almost immediately after his party, Charlie's personality began to appear.  Most of the time it's cheeky and mischievous, but it is also sweet.  It seems to have come on very quickly. It's a constant learning curve and I always feel behind. I can't imagine how it will all change again in another 9 months.

I don't have any pithy or clever endings today but maybe that is appropriate for this loopy journey I am riding.


  1. I really enjoy reading your posts about what you are going through, etc. Please know you are not alone in any of those feelings. I was the same way when I had Xavier....I didn't have an immediate connection. I do love him to pieces, but I still find myself being selfish sometimes and wanting things to go the way they used to. Parenting sure isn't easy!

  2. I have a strong feeling that my experience will be similar, so it was great to read your perspective. I have to remember that going through the motions at first is okay and a connection will come along.