It has been 6 months since I first held you in my arms. You reaching 6 months has been quite emotional for me, which I didn't think would happen, but silly me, I'm already welling up as I write!
I have been thinking a lot lately about 6 months ago. The week of labour, the first hours with you, and the things I didn't write in your labour story. Less about the pain and the specifics of what happened at the hospital, more about the emotions and when you arrived.
That week was very hard, and I was so desperate to meet you. It is strange talking to the people that were around at that time, going through it with me, and what a difference experience they had. Daddy and Grandma kept telling mummy it was time to phone the hospital, that you were coming. Grandma has told me about the panic and worry she felt. I didn't feel those things. The contractions were close together (5 minutes, 4 minutes, waiting for the 3 minutes) and strong, and everybody would think, as each new morning came, today will be the day. But I knew it wasn't. I was never worried, just frustrated and tired, but I just knew. I would call the hospital when Daddy and Grandma told me to, and we went in for checks, and we would be sent away again. I had to tell them not to make me phone any more. When it was time, I would know. So they did, they stayed quiet, they let me decide.
The day I got that feeling was strange. The contractions were 4 minutes apart, I was exhausted, I was finding coping hard. I was trying different positions, walking. I spent almost an hour walking up and down the stairs like a crab! I drank pints of pineapple juice. I was desperate for it all to be over. Grandpops had to go to the hospital with your Great Grandad, as he hadn't been very well and the consultant had called him in. Grandpops came home at 4pm, and told us the news through his tears. Great Grandad has a very rare form of cancer, and has a year to live at the most, but probably won't make it that long. I cried and hugged everyone, felt the pain and the sorrow of the news. I thought about how desperate he was to see your Daddy and I marry, and his excitement over our wedding. But we knew our saving wasn't going well, and I knew we wouldn't be able to marry in the next year. But even more than the wedding, your Great Grandad was so excited and so desperate to meet you. He had bought so many things for you, and had copies of your scan pictures. He wanted to be the one to buy your first toy, and he wanted to buy your car seat to make sure you were safe. And as I was thinking about these things a contraction came. I went upstairs with daddy away from everyone to try and cope with the pain. Daddy continued timing, as he had been for almost a week. By the next contraction, I knew this was it. It had come faster, and felt stronger, and different. I contracted for another half an hour, then called the hospital.
We were at the hospital by 6pm, and all of the midwives wanted to send us away, and didn't believe that I was ready yet, but I knew and I stayed. By the next morning, they finally believed me as I was 4cm and fully effaced. That day is mainly a blur for mummy. I remember a song coming on (seven nation army) and turning the radio off as I wanted peace. I remember trying to eat and not being able to keep anything down. I vaguely remember Daddy and the midwife trying aromatherapy to help mummy. But other than that all I remember was that the pain was so much, I was in a different place for most of that day. I wasn't really in the room, and all I knew was the pain. Whereas your Daddy remembers all the conversations with midwives, all the people that came in, the people who tried to talk to me but I couldn't, what different people said and did, and all the waiting. I don't. I had no concept of time, I had no idea if someone entered the room or spoke, I was in too much pain, crouched on the floor, just trying to make it through each contraction. I think it must have been at around 4.50pm when I snapped out of it, and I was suddenly very aware of everything again, because the pain had changed, and I needed to push.
The next little while I spoke about it my birth story. I was only 7cm, they told me it wasn't time to push, it would probably be about 6 hours until it was time, but I pushed anyway, then you were coming, and they finally believed me. Everyone was quiet, I was focused, squatting, leaning on Daddy, using so much strength I never knew I had to get you out.
Then at 5.48pm, you were out. I closed my eyes, exhausted and relieved, and rested onto Daddy, but just for a moment. The midwife was saying 'look! look!', and another midwife next to me( I hadn't even noticed she was there while I was pushing!) touched my arm and told me, very excitedly, to look down. I looked at her first, and then looked down, and there you were. My first thought was how perfect you were. And then I was wondering why nobody had touched you or moved you, and they were telling me to pick you up. They were letting me be the first, so I scooped you up off of the floor in amazement. You really were perfect, and so beautiful. I thought babies came out looking a little squished and funny, but you were absolutely perfect. I tried to pick you up and cuddle you, but you had a very short umbilical cord and barely reached my chest, so I just held you there, and bent to kiss your head as you began to cry. You didn't cry very much though, just for a moment. It was as I kissed you you stopped. I smiled at Daddy who was looking amazed and emotional, smiling and saying 'wow', all red and teary. I was very aware I wasn't crying, but was just in absolute shock. I didn't cry until you were 3 days old, and I was watching your Daddy holding you, and it all hit me. Daddy also told me afterwards that waiting for your first cry was awful, but I didn't feel that way, I wasn't waiting for it. I accidently hit you during that first cuddle, which sounds awful, but where the needle was put in my arm for a while whilst I was in labour as I was severely dehydrated through loosing lots of fluid, I had got nerve damage, which nobody knew yet, and I just tried to stroke your head, but didn't have proper control over my arm and managed to hit you, shocking me and everyone else in the room! But you were fine and didn't seem to mind. Daddy cut the cord shortly afterwards and then we had skin to skin and your first feed, before mummy was sewn up and you went to Daddy for your first cuddle.
Those first few hours went quickly and I was desperate to go home, so was trying to organise us all as fast as I could, and have my shower and get everything ready, and was asking for all the medical checks to be done. I was thrilled and so relieved you were finally here and safe, but I was also suddenly very organised. I was also surprised at how much pain I was in as I expected the pain to be over as soon as you were out. Then when they told me we had to stay in the night as they couldn't get all the checks done until the morning, I was upset and frustrated. Then terrified. I had to spend a night with you on my own, and I had no idea what to do. I was so scared! It seems strange to me now, but I was. I spent the night with you in my arms, just holding you, feeding you, staring at you, and enjoying you. It was so special and I barely slept at all. I was so excited, amazed and in love. I was just taking all of you in, and you did the same, and spent so much time staring into my eyes. I was amazed that the sleepsuits that had looked so tiny when I bought them were far too big for you, I was amazed that the dark haired little girl I was expecting wasn't dark haired at all, and I was amazed at how perfect you were.
And now I am looking at the beautiful red headed girl sleeping on her play mat after a morning of waybuloo, rattles, rolling over and gurgling that I know so well. The bright, happy, greedy, funny, active, independent, curious little lady I love so much. I have spent every day with you for the last 6 months, every new experience you've had and with each new thing you have learnt, I have been there with you. But in a weeks time, I start work, and you will be going and spending your days with Nikki and your cousins, and mummy wont be with you. And mummy is finding that so hard to deal with right now. I know soon it will be easy and normal, and won't bother me at all, but I am dreading it. You have spent 9 months in my tummy, then 6 months with me all the time, and now we have going to be apart for hours each day, and I am going to miss you so much sweetheart.
I have to go now, my little princess, and make the most of this week we have left of mummy's maternity leave. I am going to make the most of each playtime, each cuddle, each feed, each kiss, smile and giggle. Mummy loves you more than you can know.
Love Mummy x x x x