Tomorrow my baby is one. The teeny-tiny 6pound 15oz little doll, that I held for the first time 364 days ago will no longer be zero. It’s a weird feeling thinking back over the last 12 months.
This time last year I was on the phone to my midwife, having woken up to waters breaking at 6am trying to be calm, although let’s be realistic, if the concept of actual labour, especially the first time keeps you calm, then you’re either downing some serious St John’s Wort or well I don’t really know, I was not calm.
I sat there with tears welling in my eyes trying to tell myself that it’s ok, this is normal. That day, my sister who was visiting me in Auckland, (oh, did I mention I was in New Zealand?) and I walked and walked and walked, with me in a back brace and the concept of having to induce labour powering us on we trekked the hilly streets of Auckland like there was no tomorrow. Thanks to no annual leave my husband had to go to work and I had to try and wait for him to get home to go into full labour, I managed.
At 8pm that night we went to the hospital. I caught a cab (did I mention we didn’t have a car) and Tom rode his scooter behind. Apparently there is some law about taxi drivers not being able to pick up women in labour, but we couldn’t afford an ambulance and I was not walking, so I bit my tongue, almost the whole way through, and smiled to the cabby as I jumped in the backseat. Thankfully he wasn’t chatty.
There’s something painfully disappointing about being told you are less than fully dilated when you feel like you’ve experienced the most excruciating pain in your life. If only you could have some indication of what’s to come.
The labour ward was full but there was a spare bed in the newborn suite, to which I was moved to. Of course the babies were sleeping and the nurse kept coming in and asking me to be quiet… haha. I also had a student midwife that night who tried to pat my head a lot. Thankfully my blessed husband understood that touch wasn’t really my love language at that point steered well clear of that. She was so sweet though and really did have a good intention with that cold washer and with as much grace as I could muster told her ‘No washer’.
We got through to 5am when there was finally a spare bed in the labour suite, and the newborns could have their quiet rooms back. I don’t think I was particularly loud, Thomas describes it as though; I’d spent the whole night running away from a kicked toe. I don’t remember that but he said I ran around that room like there was an escape.
After I got the epidural at around 10am the rest was fairly peaceful. I met my delight at 3:33pm and the rest is history.
And now as I sit on the edge of my bed, surrounded with wrapping paper and pink toys I can’t believe that was a year ago. I was looking through old photos of her the other day and she was kissing me on the cheek after each one. She honestly is such a perfect little human and I’m so lucky I get to be her mum.