This day 46 years ago, after a rather traumatic birthing, my son was delivered and was whisked away for Cot rest, as he had had to be a forceps delivery. He weighed in at 7lbs 8 oz's and was instant love the second I met him. I had of course got pregnant first, then married when three months gone. I had a quiet wedding at Kensington Registry office where the rich and famous often go to get married. I was 21 and blissfully in love with a student.. no money, no career plans, just was going to be a mum. My husband was 20 and at University in London studying Philosophy.. what we were going to do for the future, was all unknown and I sailed into these uncharted waters without fear, as you do, when you know no better!
I had gone to one lesson on birthing a baby and decided that apart from the diagrams, which made no sense to me, the fact that the lady taking the lesson was unmarried and had not birthed herself - I could do better things with my time than worry about all that was going to happen.! We shared a large flat in London with several other students, and hardly managed to be paying our share of the rent... we were as poor as church mice... but I was going to be a mother.
Then had to tell my parents that I was getting married.. I rang them the night before the date, and I remember how my mother cried that she had not been involved and that her friends had not been invited.. callously I told her 'its my wedding' I don't need to impress your friends*
I shrink inside me now, knowing how hurt that must have made her feel.. but at that time I was very headstrong and so sure I could make the right decisions. So, we got married.. had a sort of party afterwards with our friends... most of them students and poor,. so it was a massive curry that someone had cooked, and lots of cheap beer for my reception-
My baby I discovered would be due the end of February.. this fact I knew from the doctor when he first examined me. I had left it until 5 months before I registered with a doctor.. he was very angry at my leaving it so late in the pregnancy, but blissfully I ignored him and was totally wrapped up in my new state of motherhood. We managed to get through all the hard times, with my husband being away all day at University and I did a variety of temp jobs to keep us going .
We lived in 2 rooms of a house, and waited until it was time. The due day came and passed, and then the next evening,my tummy started getting tighter and tighter until it was as hard as a football... then it relaxed and then the tightening started again. Whilst my husband was trying to complete his essay, the feelings grew and grew until I had to ask him to go and find a telephone and call the ambulance. I was still not feeling any pain, but the ambulance men put me on a trolley to wheel to their transport, and we both went to the hospital.
Because I was in such early stages, they then sent my husband home to wait.. It was 3am now and he had to find his own way home which I know took him a long time by hitchhiking
I was still lying in my bed, when I heard a person start to scream and shout for at least half an hour, and then I was struck by the thought that this birthing lark might hurt quite a lot.!!!!
... it honestly had not impressed itself on my mind before!
At 7.30 they came in with a cup of tea, which as I reached for it... I could not take it, as the pain suddenly escalated and there I was climbing this mountain of pain that was like nothing I'd ever felt before... The day passed, and the pain was immense so they gave me drugs to ease it, but it caused me to try and escape them as I had now decided I was in a James Bond movie and was being held prisoner! I clearly remember having a foot on the floor, and two nurses holding me back from running off...
Of course, now you see why I had to have forceps, I was such a ninny and totally lost the plot!!!
At 4.30 in the afternoon this poor little baby was dragged out of me, and he looked grey when I first saw him... when he had rallied, and was all cleaned up and wrapped up in a towel to meet me for the first time, my heart literally turned over... I could not believe this little one was mine... his eyes looked out without fear, and I examined as you do, all his parts, his ears, his nose, the shape of the head... all of it was quite magical to take in..
I had many many stitches, but it was all worth it, I had become a mother of a darling little boy... who today has turned 46 years old, lives the other side of the world, and when the latest baby arrives in April, will be the proud father of three sons..
The day that changed my life was full of pain and hurt, but the reward was meeting that darling boy and falling in love completely and totally with him forever.