It’s almost the anniversary, the ‘sayonara vagina’ anniversary, otherwise known as Jessica’s’ birthday.
At this time of year, I always find myself drifting back two years, reminiscing about the day that changed my life forever, well more like days that changed my life. This time last year I was full of tears at the thought of monster child turning one, I was very much full of hormones, depression and love. The second time around, I’m still batshit crazy, but slightly less hormonal, kinda, maybe, slightly, and more ‘d’aww, my little baby is growing up.’ I’m thinking all my pregnancy, birth and feeding hormones have evaporated – my boobs are testament to that – gutted. I’m in that denial kinda phase of child birth, I only have good memories, it wasn’t so bad.
No no, my deluded mind. It was fluffing horrendous and here’s why.
It was a warm – I know, warm in Scotland, well I guess, I was 9 months up the duff and carting around more weight than I would like to mention, so every temperature was too hot for me. But to give Scottish weather its due, it did grace us with a few weeks of sun. At least I think so, this is what I’m talking about, my memory has tricked me into thinking everything at this time was wonderful. This is exactly how stupid people end up preggers again.
Anyways, as I was saying.
It was a wonderfully, glorious sunny Sunday in August, one day past my due date. The night before I had done the check list of ‘get this F’ing baby out me RIGHT NOW’ as like I say, I may have gained a few pounds during pregnancy and I was all for expelling most of it out my shamshima at any point. I ate a Pizzahut pizza and their spicy chicken strips, those chicken strips never fail to cure constipation if you know what I’m saying. Sheest. After the chicken I encouraged David to hop on board the love train, also known as a 9 month pregnant grumpy lump of a woman who really needed the baby out. A grumpy whale with copious amounts of gas, what man wouldn’t want a slice?
Feeling fat and hungry, most likely, the next day, Dave and I took the car to be cleaned inside and out while we ate. I don’t know why we cleaned the car, maybe for Jess. We must have been those crazy, anxious, clean parents that didn’t want our baby to catch a disease from our filthy car. We don’t afford such luxuries for poor Jess now, she eats old raisins (and on occasion dry cereal) from the car floor daily. She’s still alive, it’s all good. I remember walking after we handed the car in and my back began to ache. I got a little suspicious, but not too fussed about it all. I’m not sure what we done after getting food. Who cares, I was fed and clearly happy.
I wasn’t happy for long. I was soon to be in mind numbing pain. On the Sunday evening I experienced contractions, horrible, back tightening, need to rock on the sofa, painful contractions. I don’t know if I’m stupid, naive or what, but I didn’t know what the hell was going on. Is that normal? All I know is I stayed up the whole night taking paracetamol until the early hours watching Friends, until the pain eventually slowed and stopped. Very little sleep happened that night. For me. Dave was snoozing away, tucked up in bed, unaware that I was high out my swollen tits on paracetamol binge watching Friends. It’s okay. I wanted to be alone. I didn’t want anyone ‘annoying’ me and certainly not touching me.
So the next morning, I waddle to the bathroom, get showered, faff about and get ready for my midwife appointment. I inform her I have been up all night in but feeling good as the pain had stopped – clearly delirious already. She was very pleased (devious cow) and happily joked that the baby would be here very soon, within a day or two. Being a stunning masterpiece of a backwards camel, the midwife couldn’t resist hiking my maxi dress up and having a look at my goods (that’s really creepy. I take it back, she was lovely and wanted to make sure I and baby were good). I mind she asked if it would be OK to check how far dilated I was. It wasn’t until then that I thought ‘oh dilated. Oh yeah, I hope I’m dilated’. The midwife popped her head out from the abyss and exclaimed that I was 2cm gone. Excellent I thought. All that fucking torture last night and I’m 2cm dilated. The truth be told I was actually happy for the 2cm accolade. Can you imagine if all that pain was for nothing?! Lord above, no.
As a good will gesture, the midwife gave me a little sweep, if you don’t know what that is, then it’s best you Google it as all I know is she went down there, something went up there, I felt some weird movement and pressure and she popped back up. Pretty sure this is how the install tracking devices on women.
All swept up, I made my way to my parents house as my mum and I were going to force dad to buy us lunch. We ventured out to the local shopping establishment and, if I remember correctly, my dad treated us to the indoor market Chinese for lunch. While sitting at the table my contractions decided to come back, with a vengeance. But I wasn’t giving up my chicken curry for no woman! I recall my parents looking at me and asking if I was OK, if I wanted to go home. I replied no and that I was fine…as I sat turning all kinds of red and white, my back tightening, pressure building in my lower everything. I was convinced it was nothing, no baby would be appearing, it was just these pesky contractions playing up again.
By now I was 2 days over due. You would think something might have twigged in me that I was in the beginnings of labour, but I was blissfully naive. Blissful might be a large stretch, I was in agony every few minutes. My parents knew I was in labour, they clearly didn’t want to burst my ‘I’m fine’ bubble, sitting exchanging glances with each other that ‘this lassie is mental and having a baby’.
After lunch we walked round the shops, with the odd ‘hold on a minute’ from me while my body continues to rearrange my bones and tendons or whatever the hell it is doing to cause so much pain. I would pause in a shop, let the moment pass and continue with my business. Lunch and shopping complete it was time to pick up David as we had a meeting with out mortgage adviser. We where in the mist of purchasing our first family home. – something I DO NOT recommend doing whilst pregnant.
I don’t know anything about our mortgage, nada. I was there, at every step, discussing the terms, the length, the interest, everything. When it came to the final meeting, the signing of the mortgage I was painfully heavy in contractions. I have no idea what the mortgage dude was saying, all I know is he sat peacefully, slowly drinking his tea explaining all the ‘stuff’ and I was sat across from him smiling, nodding, wishing he would get out (much like the baby) as I was in excruciating pain. I signed some paper, which must have been our mortgage agreement, smiling, making chat while having the strongest contractions I had experienced thus far. I remember the mortgage adviser making a joke about the baby coming and that he better leave before he was in a ‘get the towels’ situation. He wasn’t far from the truth.
That night I sat up, alone, gubbing paracetamol, enduring another night of torture. David was fast asleep, exactly where I wanted him. I couldn’t handle or want any fussing, I sat moaning, groaning, perched on the edge of the sofa all night, watching Friends until 7am. The one where Rachel has a baby. I was on season 8, I had watched an entire season the previous night.
Eventually I cracked, at 7am I took my crying, sore, ‘please help me’ ass through to David and asked to call the hospital – apparently this ‘I give up’ is a classic sign the baby is coming. Who knew? Certainly not me at the time. I was more upset that I was tired and sore and I couldn’t go through another night of that again.
David called the midwife while I groaned about the place. Do you know you need to past the ‘are you sure you are pregnant’ test and the ‘yeah but are you reeeeeally sure you are hurting that much?’ and the ‘are you even in labour or just being dramatic?’ test before the midwife will let you go to the hospital. By this point I had been having contractions for 2 nights, over 2cm dilated, my waters had broke in the shower, I was borderline delirious – so much so that I thought my contractions were slowing down despite having 2 on the 5 minutes phone call with the midwife, both times I couldn’t even speak. But this midwife knew best, told us my contractions weren’t close enough, strong enough and that I wasn’t leaking enough water from my expanding vagina! Stupid cow! Defeated, I waddled my body through to my ‘spot’ on the sofa that had comforted me for the last two nights.
This time is was different, this time I mounted the sofa, knees planted in a squat position and let out a noise I had never heard before. A blood curdling scream. Dave rushed through to me and I groaned that he needed to get an ambulance here, NOW. In what I can only describe as needing the largest poop of your life, I told him I wanted to push. I was going to push. With every single contraction I groaned. I was absolutely shitting myself (not literally, that comes later).
David got on the phone straight away, after informing the phone operator of our situation, David found himself receiving phone instructions on how to deliver this baby as the ambulance might not make it in time. Poor bugger. He must have been shitting himself. I wouldn’t let him touch me, at all. Anytime he came near me I shouted ‘DON’T TOUCH ME!!’ I’m a strong independent lady – kidding. Not sure why I chose that path, guess I was in so much pain I didn’t want it made worse? Luckily for David the ambulance and paramedics arrived promptly, to find me, a half naked, groaning, baby head throbbing out the yahoo, crazy pregnant lady in the throws of labour.
They asked me if I wanted gas and air, I’m not sure I even answered as much as grab the gas. I was spread eagle on our bed, vagina throbbing for all to see. It must have been a tad messy down there as they asked for a tissue, a wipe maybe so they could have a better look. David duly obliged…..and brought them Dettol wipes – anti bacterial cleaning wipes. It brought a whole new meaning to ‘cleans any surface’. Before the paramedics could notice I received a lovely Dettol vagina bath. Sparkling clean and ready for action. Then they all joked and laughed once the Dettol packaging became obvious. Thanks Dave. Next we had a choice to make, have the baby right here on this bed and possibly need a new mattress as it was going to be very ‘messy’ or cart my heaving, Dettol clean ass down two huge flights of tenement building stairs. We choose the latter, much to the pleasure of the paramedics who were not keen on delivering a baby, it was not their forte.
I was carted down the stairs like a Queen on a throne. Well, here’s not much regalness about my scenario other that I was on a chair, I shouted and groaned while throwing off the blanket that was placed to hide my ‘modesty’. I wanted it off and wanted my legs as wide as possible and I couldn’t give a toss about anything of anyone.
Oh I might have failed to mention I lived on a very busy main road at the time. Everyone got an eye full. You are all very welcome.
Off we zoomed to the hospital, with the sirens wailing away – after a quick (longest) 5 minute wait as David needed to nip back up stair for his wallet. How exciting. The next hour or so are a bit of a blur to me. I remember getting to the hospital and needing to be put on a bed. The staff offered to lift me but I demanded that I could do it myself, eh?! I climbed onto the bed, lay back, sooked in all the gas I could and ignored contractions while cracking out jokes.
That’s right, I ignored contractions. Every single one at this point wanted me to push that baby out, but every time that child’s head crept closer to the exit, it hurt. It hurt a lot and I didn’t want to commit, go for it because that previous hurt was going to be nothing on this new hurt. Offt, no thanks. David stood by my side the entire time, listening to my croaking, dry voice, I think he might have gotten me water at one point, but it’s all a bit fuzzy. I do remember telling him I was ‘high as fuck’ and that it was painful. I also dropped a comment that it was so painful I would never be doing it again and that my sister in law was fucking insane for doing this twice in the one year – something that I love to tease her about – sex fiend.
I think the midwife eventually lost her patience a little bit with my pretty much crossed legs, refusing to push. She warned I may need to be cut if the baby wasn’t ‘coming out’ – aka get pushing woman! Jess was ready to come out and say hello, she had been hanging about crowning away down there for a while now. The threat of ‘cutting’ was too much for me, so I thought it best I actually start working and stop living the dream on this gas and air.
The room filled with people, an older midwife came up to me and told me to stop sucking on the gas and concentrate pushing the baby out – stupid cow, that gas was delightful. I figured I had better get the baby out, I do recall asking if she was OK as I was ‘ taking my time’ the midwife reassured me she was OK. So I pushed. Will all my might, through a contraction and even when it stopped. I pushed my darling little vagina assassin out in one big ‘arrrgggghhhhhhh’ push while gripping onto the hospital bed for dear life. Let me tell you this my friends, gas and air did absolutely fuck all to numb that pain. It felt like a burning ring of fire, it was not very pleasant at all. When I watch a TV show with a woman giving birth it really does bring back that awful ‘owchie’ pain. Shudders. Have a baby they said, labour isn’t that bad they said.
Little Jessica was here, out of jail and into my arms after a quick wash and weigh. Fit and healthy, crying on my chest as the doctors attending to my baby torn vagina- but that’s another post in itself. After 2 nights of torture, one sweep, 2 seasons of Friends, half a packet of pain killers, one peep show in Govan, very little verbal abuse, several poor inappropriate jokes, a poop on the bed, and an almighty push Jessica was born. Just like that – HA! What a ride.
There you have it, our ‘spontaneous birth’ story. I’m not sure why they use the term spontaneous, like a spontaneous trip to the shops. There was nothing spontaneous about it, I was contracting for two days! The whole thing has traumatized me, in a good way. No wonder so many people talk about the birth of their children, it really is something else. It’s not gone unnoticed that David doesn’t get much of a mention here, he was with me the whole time, supporting me, looking on in sheer terror I imagine. The truth is I barely know what I was doing let alone Davids activities. I only recall what he wore and that he was very patient, masking his own worries for the sake of mine. And obviously laughing at my wonderful jokes…I’m not even sure about that. The only thing I know for sure is we ended up with a gorgeous, perfect little baby (and a not so perfect vagina). And, in a heart beat, I would do it all again!