Firstly. I must point out, that what I am about to write is purely, my own personal experiences, of pregnancy and child birth. I have no medical training in this field and as every women and child, or baby’ is different it will not necessarily be the same for anyone else!
For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to have children. I did the usual ‘girly’ thing of playing with dolls, like Tiny Tears, etc. when I was a child.But I discovered I had a flair for babies and children, when I took a C.S.E. exam in childcare and development, whilst at school. I managed to achieve 97%.
As soon as I got married at 19, I wanted to have a baby, but my husband, quite rightly, persuaded me to wait a while.(he was one of 8 and although he wanted children of his own, he wasn’t in a desperate hurry).We waited about 6 months, before trying to get pregnant. I became a little obsessed and would read everything I could about pregnancy, birth and babies. I couldn’t walk past a pram without looking inside ( I still can,t!). It took us about 8 months to get pregnant, but it felt a lot longer. I had the usual ,sickly’ feeling, that most women get, my period was late and my breasts felt different, sort of full, so I went to see my doctor, armed with my urine sample ( home pregnancy tests, were not so good back then) I had to wait 3 days for the result and rang the surgery during my lunch break from work. When the receptionist told me the result was positive I wanted to shout it out and tell the world, but as my husband had to know first I had to keep it a secret until I got home. My pregnancy went well, I gained the right amount of weight and my blood pressure etc. was all good. I first felt my baby move at around 11 weeks, at first it was just a flutter, but as he grew it got stronger. I would lay on my back, in bed and watch him move, with wonder, guessing if it was an arm or leg I could see poking out.
Apart from feeling nausea and tired I felt quite well. I attended parentcraft classes, which prepared me for the birth. I was taught breathing and relaxation methods, that I practised a lot, at home. I would lie in the bath and practise the breathing. I was a nervous of giving birth, but tried to think of it as a positive thing. I longed to meet my baby and the only way this was going to happen, was to give birth.
I awoke, at around 6 in the morning with mild stomach pains, on my due date. I thought I was imagining it, as everyone had told me that first babies never come on time. They were wrong. as later I had a ,show, (the mucus plug ,which keeps everything in place) so I knew things were happening. I rang the hospital to ask if I should eat breakfast, they suggested something light, so I had toast and tea. I remember being told, at parent craft classes to make my way to hospital when my contractions were 5 minutes apart. I tried timing them and they were every 3 minutes, so my husband rang again for more advice. They said to come in. We arrived at about 8that morning the nurse examined me and said”You will have baby today” I thought, of course I will, that’s why I’m here!
When asked about pain relief I said I didn’t want anything I didn’t need and would go natural if possible. I coped with the pain by walking up and down the hospital corridors for as long as I could. I then managed with my breathing exercises, which really helped me. The pain was nowhere near as bad as I had been led to believe it would be and after about 6 hours my baby boy was born weighing 8ibs 2ozs. I felt an instant surge of love for him. I had to stay in hospital for a very long week, those were the rules then, although we were both doing well, I found breastfeeding difficult, as my baby wouldn’t latch on and eventually put him on the bottle .
Once we got home I settled into mother hood quickly and loved every minute of it. Mind you, I did have an exceptionally good baby.
When he reached 18 months, we decided the time was right to try for number two. This time I got pregnant almost straight away. I felt extremely tired this time( probably because I was looking after a toddler as well as carrying a baby) I used to grab a nap while my son was napping.
I went for an anti natal check-up a few days before my due date, after an internal examination, the doctor told me I wasn’t ready and the baby would be at least another week or 10 days. I left feeling disappointed, but later that afternoon, just after finishing tea I went into labour. This baby was lying back to back, so the pain was worse this time. I tried gas and air, but it made me feel sick, so I managed without it. My second son was born after 4 hours of labour, weighing 6ibs 14ozs.
When I had my third baby I was on my second marriage. This time I used a home pregnancy test, as it was valentines day and I thought what better present could I give my husband! Again I had a good pregnancy, but this time my baby was over due, quite a shock, as the first was on time and the second a few days early. We had sex in the morning ( sorry, too much info) and I went into labour quite soon after. I only just made it to hospital, as my third son was born 2 hours after arriving (much to my husband’s shock) weighing 7 lbs 4ozs. I loved being a mum to my boys, and my step-son and if it weren’t for my husband putting his foot down, I would have had many more!
To summarise I would recommend going to anti natal classes to learn as much as you can and try to embrace labour, rather than being scared of it, but please remember this is only my experience, GOOD LUCK TO ALL EXPECTANT MUMMIES, ENJOY EVERY MINUTE IT’S THE BEST THING YOU WILL DO’ IN MY OPINION!
I would like to thank Sarah Willmot and Vanessa Willis France for allowing me to use their beautiful photographs on this post,
As always questions/ comments are welcome.