It seems hard to believe that last Monday, as I got into bed planning a relaxing Tuesday, that, less than twelve hours later, our family would have a new addition.
But at 4.20am, bang on my due date (which makes a total mockery of my last post), I was woken by a vaguely familiar pain.
At 7.00am, with my Mum and Dad duly stationed on child-watching, dog-walking and cat-feeding duties, we were on our way to hospital. Four hours later, bub was born in the birthing pool as planned and, slightly more unusually, within his completely intact waters.
In fact he was actually a little reluctant to leave them, preferring a gentle swim around before being released and placed on my chest bright red and calm. There he was – 6lb 13oz of scrunched-up, vermixy, don’t-look-in-the-water perfection.
I’d like to say that this is where the story ends – with a textbook delivery the student midwife present was looking forward to writing up – but it’s not.
It turns out the labour was the easy (if still slightly painful) part. An hour and a half later, after bub had enjoyed his first feed, messages to family and friends duly sent, and tea and toast hungrily demolished, I started to feel a little hot and dizzy, and was wondering if it was normal to lose this much blood?
And so the post-partum haemorrhage made its appearance. To the uninitiated this means a lot of blood and, as one midwife said, once that tap is turned on, it’s hard to turn it off.
Thankfully, in my case, it was turned off – and quite quickly – thanks to the fabulous midwives and doctors (the NHS really is amazing), although by all accounts it was quite a dramatic turn of events.
Now, however, I’m fine and – most importantly – so is bub, who was none the wiser for the events unfolding around him as he lay sleeping in his crib. Aside from a slightly longer than expected hospital stay, I have suffered no ill effects and, having spoken to a couple of friends who experienced the same thing, my blood loss was pretty piddly. But then, I always was a drama queen.
Now I’m home, I can see that those three nights spent in hospital – whilst long and frustrating – (not to mention exhaustingly dull) were actually good for me. I had no choice but to rest and concentrate on me and bub.
Away from the growing mound of washing, the constant demands of a pre-schooler and the relentlessness of everyday life…
I was able to focus solely on bonding with our new son so that we could introduce him to his new world.