One evening in 2004 I sat in front of the tv, watching the news. It was some feature or other about families, They showed a very quick scene of two people lounging on some grass and then a toddler clambering over their legs. If I remember correctly I don’t think even their faces were shown, just their legs (one of those arty shots). In that one instant I knew I wanted a family; up until then I’d only yearned like that for an amazing pair of shoes or a coat in a shop window that I was willing to part with a weeks wages for, only this time it would cost me the rest of my life and the yearning was about a million times stronger.
I pestered Horace for a couple of months and whenever I did, he patiently explained to me that it would be hard work, that it would be expensive, that we’d have to decorate, that we wouldn’t have time to ourselves etc etc etc. It was all a bit ‘blah blah blah’ for me, because common sense didn’t really come into it. I wanted a baby, and I wanted it NOW. Of course he was right and I knew it, but my biological clock said it was time and I can confidently say the ticking drowned out everything else Horace said. Poor love. I didn’t mean to steam roller him into fatherhood, still as I always say – he won’t do anything unless he really wants to – he just needs badgering for a bit until he realises it.
We started trying shortly after my 29th birthday. Everyone said it might take a while and I was looking forward to ‘practising’ without having to worry about contraception for a while. So, when May arrived, I thought my period would too – although I did have a tiny sparkle of hope buried in my tummy. That was how I felt. On the day I was due to start, I went to Boots on my lunchbreak at work, came back and did a pregnancy test. I sat on the toilet, peed on the stick, prepared myself to feel stupid for paying so much for a pregnancy test for no reason – and then nearly fell off the seat. I looked down at the two blue lines and felt like some one had hit me in the chest, a huge euphoric belt of utter and complete shock and joy. I knew in that moment that everything would change, and that I wanted it to. This was everything I had waited for. I was going to have a baby. My baby, our baby. Wow. Omigod. Every exclamation you can think of, went though my head, or should I say out the top of my head. I was blown away.
Speaking of which, I floated through the rest of the day. I told a colleague first, and then in the back of my mind I thought I should stop there – but I couldn’t. The whole office knew by the end of the day. I rang Sis up and she came up to reception, where I passed the pregnancy tests over the counter to her, she looked at them and grinned and confirmed that I’d read them right. Two blue lines – pregnant! The whole world knew before my husband, how bad is that.
I went home, sat Horace down and just said that I had something to tell him. I remember being unable to stop smiling, I told him I was pregnant and desperately wanted him to jump up and down and hug me, and be really enthusiastic. As it was, in true Horace fashion – he said that I shouldn’t get too excited because it hadn’t been confirmed at the doctors and that if I was, then it was fine. A very understated response I thought, but at a positive one. I don’t think the excitement of having a new baby sank in, until he held Darlek in his arms.
I was very calm about the thought of giving birth, I just thought that I’d have contractions that would gradually get closer together, that I’d go into hospital, they’d give me pain relief, it would be a bit painful and then I’d have a baby in a couple of hours.
It wasn’t like that. Below is the factual, what happened and when, account of that day – inside my head it was a very confused, knackered, panicky, stream of events. I started with contractions, or at least what felt like really bad stomach cramps and went into hospital. I remember feeling vaguely worried that I’d been up for 24 hours and I had a lot of hard work ahead of me, and then when the nurse asked me about pain relief and I said ‘gas and air’, and she said that the pain wasn’t bad enough yet – I got scared, really scared. It felt bloody painful enough. They did an internal examination, and whilst they were checking on things my waters broke. I felt like I’d torn on the inside, which was exactly what I’d done really.
They brought a plastic jug in filled with water and ice-cubes and gave me a cup so I could have a glass of water. By this point I was so frightened I couldn’t stop myself shaking. I could barely pour the water into the cup, the ice-cubes rattled so loudly, and in all truth I struggled to not to spill the water and to actually get the drink to my mouth. The nurses looked a bit concerned, probably because I looked so absolutely petrified, and because I was so obviously shattered even before going into labour – so they gave me Diamorphine and I fell into a muggy sleepy state for a good few hours – surfacing every now and then, wanting to tell Horace I loved him.
I have the rest of the birth story on my MAC somewhere. If anyone is vaguely interested, let me know and I may bob it on here :O)