I’m not quite ready to talk about the labour. At least not in any narrative styled format. There are some fragments which feel a little more accessible so I will pass those on instead.
Light contractions started on Friday 11 February and they were accompanied by a need to drink lots of sweet, earl grey -decaf- and feeling utterly drained as if I had the flu.
I spent Sunday in bed counting the time between contractions. I watched bits and pieces on my ipod playlist including The American and Hot in Cleveland.
We went to the hospital at 11.30 on Sunday night and were sent back. I was confused about the reference of waiting until the pain was unbearable but I began to understand what they meant from 2.30am onwards.
My plan had been to go through the birth alone but between 2.30 and 5 in the morning I wasn’t able to let go of G’s hand and he stayed with me through the whole thing.
St Michael’s hospital has an impressive view of south Bristol which was lovely at night with ‘electricity so fine’. After the epidural kicked in at around five in the morning the sunrise on Valentine’s day was even nicer.
I was fully dilated at 8.15. I could’t push until 9.15. The epidural stopped working around 10. I went into theatre after 11 and the first questions I asked when she was finally delivered were what time was she born? and ‘what colour is her hair?’
I lost a litre and a half of blood. She weighed 10lbs and two and a half ounces.
I had a ‘spinal’ which numbed me from the chest down in case I needed a Caesarean but before that I would have agreed to anything for some pain relief. I remember thinking that the form they got me to sign could not possibly be enforceable in a court of law.
I was quite chatty and complained about the CIA and waterboarding and tried to explain why torture was appalling. The anesthetist said that at least I hadn’t lost my sense of humour. I’m not sure why he thought I was joking.
Her first two nappies were put on by the hospital staff. The first nappy I put on was with the help of G and we put it on backwards. Luckily it was him that got told this after he took her to be examined by the doctors at the hospital.
She cries in hysterics when she is hungry but sings a warbling note of discontent when slightly unhappy that sounds like ‘al-lah’. The volume descends until she’s barely whispering. The sound is quite reverential and sounds like ‘why hast thou forsaken me’.
When she’s upset she pinwheels her arms as if she’s bowling overarm – a cricket analogy that came from papa. Sports references are not the first place I would dip into but this one stuck with me.
Her mood swings are instant and she gets distracted for around 10 seconds before remembering whether she was upset or not.
When she finishes feeding she places her head on both her arms and falls asleep scrunched down on my chest.
The G and I are convinced that she doesn’t come across so well on photographs so we keep taking more and more in order to capture how beautiful she is.
Still not too sure who she looks like but am thinking that she has my eyes.