During the first few months of my new life with a new life, I wrote random pieces and snippets. Small glimpses into the mind of a new mother, trying to deal with the realities and pain that is all part and parcel of the journey. I plan to edit, compile and share them. This is the first one.
Tuesday 11th June 2019.
I have a seven week old. This day, seven weeks ago, I was in hospital, in labour.
Nothing about those sentences seems real to me. As I write this, a little man in a lion coloured onesie is asleep on my chest and I still feel like this is a dream, or just a temporary arrangement. But no, he belongs to me. He is my responsibility. And that is scary.
Seven weeks ago, after two days of pre-labour pains, a doctor checked my baby’s heartbeat and decided it was safer for me and the baby to cut me open and remove him vertically, as opposed to pushing him out horizontally as had been the plan. Honestly, in hindsight, I am relieved I had to have a C-section as I can only imagine how drawn out my labour would have been, if the first few – read 12 – hours were anything to go by.
During the second half of my pregnancy I was diagnosed as borderline for gestational diabetes. That meant I had to watch my diet, exercise a bit more than a pregnant woman wants to, and stab myself multiple times a day to check my blood sugar levels. I say stab, it was a pin prick, seven times a day. My fingers actually started to bruise. It also meant I was brought in to see a diabetes consultant regularly alongside my pregnancy consultant, meaning I was spending more time inside the walls of the hospital than I spent at my desk in work.
The main fear for women with gestational diabetes is that the baby will be huge – massive – and cause all sorts of pain if left to find its own way into the world. My baby was within the normal parameters that the consultants like to see, but my doctor still felt a desire to not let me go over my due date. So three days before that date, I am sitting in a small room with a doctor who I’ve learned likes to joke a bit, trying to take in what he’s asking me. ‘Can you come in Sunday?’ baby’s due date was Easter Sunday, and this man in a sandy jacket was asking me to come to hospital and be induced on the day I had hoped to be drowning in chocolate.
As he calls through to the labour ward to see if they would have room for me that weekend I could just listen, slightly shell shocked. I knew women with GD are often induced, but I thought I’d have more time. At least a couple of days. What hospital was going to accept a pregnant woman on the eve of a bank holiday?
My one, it turns out.
But still, now I sit here wondering when this temporary arrangement will change. But no one is going to come and relieve me from these babysitting duties or tell me there’s been a mistake. Which is good, cause I kind of like him.
Think I might keep him.