The Day I Was Born
Time moves inexorably onwards. I celebrated my 37th birthday the other day and thought I should really post something to mark the date. Obviously I can’t remember any of it, with being a tiny crying baby an’ all, but my mum and dad recall quite a bit. I thought I’d write a birth story with a difference, this is mine.
Mum and dad took a bit of persuading, I think they just thought it was another of my daft ‘blogging things’ but they humoured me nonetheless. So armed with a cup of tea and my netbook I trawled their memories as best I could.
Mum said she had been in hospital the week prior to my birth. She’d suffered from high blood pressure and they wanted to keep an eye on her. In those days they didn’t often let mothers go past their due date apparently and because of the high blood pressure they really wanted to start the birth and make sure both mother and daughter were ok. So they began inducing the birth at about 10am, mum and dad were left alone in a hospital room for about an hour to begin with.
Throughout the chat, my dad made comments about the whole process in the usual way he does.
Dad: ‘What I want to know is why Mother Nature decided to do things this way anyway, wouldn’t it be so much easier if people just laid eggs? I mean, there’s all these arms and legs and things that get in the way. It’s all a bit messy. Eggs are simpler aren’t they really? And you can just leave eggs where they are sometimes and they just hatch. So much easier!’.
With a surprising lack of resentment, mum said I was an unexpected breach birth. The consultant hadn’t picked up on it at all, although one of his ‘Running dogs’ (quote: Mum) had suggested that this might be the case. The consultant was so sure that everything was going to plan he refused to allow an X Ray which is what they did to check the location of the baby in those days. When it all got complicated Dad was pushed out of the room and left to wander the hospital wondering what was going on. He didn’t even know his wife was having a breach birth until after I was born. Dad admitted he wasn’t around for much of the birth and said that ‘They wanted shut of me!’
Mum told me she had gas and air and something she thought was Pethadine, although she wasn’t sure. She did say she hadn’t a clue about what was going on and couldn’t be bothered to push. The one thing she remembers is having a lovely dream about our old pet dog who was just about to scratch his nose on a thorn bush. Being scared didn’t even come into it, mum was ‘drugged up to the eyeballs.’ and was too far gone to be bothered about anything.
When she finally came round a bit, her first thoughts were ‘It’s like Picadilly Station here!’ because everyone was running around in circles and there were so many people in the room with her. Poor love was exauhsted and found out that she’d had an episiotomy because of the breach birth, which mum said was more like a major operation than a birth. It took about a month for her to get over it. I can only imagine the pain and feel rather guilty about it if I’m being honest. I’ve always said that I started as I meant to carry on, ie, to go bum first into life. I was born at 3pm in the afternoon ‘just in time for tea!’ my mum has said in the past.
After I was born I was immediately taken by the midwives to be cleaned up and mum was left to recover a little. Two hours later I was returned to her all pristine and dressed in a standard regulation hospital sleepsuit, plonked in a plastic box that looked like a fish tank. Mum said I was quiet and happily breastfed, it was only later that I started having problems with colic, when I’d draw my knees up to my tummy and cry. ‘Even then you had tummy problems’ she said.
I asked what their first thoughts were when they saw me. Dad wrinkled his nose slightly and said to be honest it was ‘Ew, that’s it is it? It’s a bit ugly’ and then looked embarrassed. ‘You see, all babies look the same love, I’m not being horrible, it’s just the way it is. I know I was relieved that you had two arms, two legs and a head.’ He also joked that my first words were ‘Chocolate please!’
Mum said she didn’t have the maternal rush of love that some mums go on about, but that she gradually grew to love me very much indeed. Her thoughts were very matter of fact, ‘That’s my baby, and I have to look after it now’ which might sound a little harsh, but I had similar thoughts on the birth of my first child. I think the responsibility of the situation kicked in rather than a huge wave of hearts and flowers. Dad said much the same. Proudly mum told me that I wasn’t a wizened wrinkly baby, that I was smooth skinned and immediately went into second size baby clothes because I was a good size. I was also bald as a coot.
Mum said she stayed in hospital for six days after the birth and that dad bought her a bunch of tulips just before she left to come home with me. On the way home mum held me in her arms in the car. Dad explained that they didn’t have seatbelts in the bad old days.
So that was how I came into the world. I was surprised at how little they seemed to remember, but I guess 37 years is a long time. I’ve gone from that tiny little bundle to a great big grown up. Whilst looking at all the old photographs I felt like I was looking at someone else, was that really me there?! Time does funny things to people, and unfunny things too! (Kay stares a little sadly at slightly wrinkled hands)
The day I was born was a Friday, and according to the poem ‘Friday’s child is loving and giving.’ Mum and dad certainly gave me life and love and if I show loving and giving traits then it’s all thanks to them.
Sentimentality aside, please join me in a resounding chorus of…..
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to YOU!!!
You look like a monkey….
….and you act like one tooooo!
Thank you! *hands out home-made sponge birthday cream cake as made by my fantabulous little Sis*