A Dicken’s Tale & a Conehead

I remember after giving birth to my son that I was amazed.

I had given life to someone. I had made him, carried him, and brought him here safely. Truly amazing, but not the amazement I am referring to.

The pain, the torturous, agonising, screaming my head off pain. That’s what had my jaw on the dance floor.

I have always wanted to be a mother. I have never been sure what else really. I love to dance. I love to read. I love to cook. I love to help others to help themselves. I have flirted with a number of different careers, some fleeting fancies – become Nancy Drew, others that I remain faithful to now like cooking. However, to be a mother was always there, unwavering. My own mother is like Mary Poppins. Growing up was a wonderful affair full of adventures, moral lessons, storytelling, never ending patience (hers) and my father’s ability to make everything about farts, our home was a happy one.

Falling pregnant with our son was a most enjoyable time. Constant lethargy that means you must go to bed at 6pm. Hungry constantly and having someone else to blame. Wearing loose fitting garments and flip-flops for 9 months. I loved every minute of it. I googled names, star signs, furniture, children’s literature quotes to scrawl across the nursery walls. I dreamed of what colour the babies eyes would be. Would they be shy? Would they like anchovies? Not once did I think about the BIRTH. I attended my midwife appointments faithfully. I went along to a few antenatal appointments, sure, but to be honest the Greek and I usually sat up the back, googling “what doesn’t give a pregnant woman heartburn from Indian takeaway shop”.

My son is a leisurely kind of person. Inquisitive and observant, he likes to take his time. Every morning he likes to fill me in on his night’s dream. With more twists and turns than an episode of Columbo, he will not be rushed. My daughter is an entirely different breed. Abducted by aliens each night they do things to her hair that defy gravity. She emerges, or her hair does, quickly from the covers. Demanding to get up and start her day, her first words are always the same; “where’s my lunch?” She came powering into the world. As in life her big brother had cleared the path for her, removing any obstacles or possible dangers, she was here in a flash, asking only to be fed. My son was weeks overdue and born after a 14 hour labour. Being induced, I was warned to be prepared, to be patient, it could well be a lengthy process.

Then it began. Hormones via a drip fool your body into labour. No build up, no dress rehearsal. The midwife assigned to my deluded self was at the end of her shift, disinterested in demeanour, and I quickly decided deserved to be assassinated. In between screams on a giant bouncy ball, I implored her to tell me why very long arrows where being forced down my spine and out of my ass? “This is it. Labour.” She replied. Damn you chicken tikka masala.

With a birthing plan jam packed with words such as unassisted and natural, she did not enquire if I would like any pain relief other than gas and air until around 3AM. Having gnawed the mouthpiece of my gas and air down to a Melba toast shape, I screamed “YESSSSSSSSS”. As I rolled over and received my prize, I remember seeing the Greek lying on the floor next to me. Opaque and dehydrated, I realised I had been crushing his hand with my free hand. I looked at it pale, grey, and unfamiliar from his usual tanned, reassuring shovels. “Are you the knife for my melba toast?” I asked it. Petrified and probably homesick the Greek reassured me, “yes, yes, I am. When all this is over we can go and get you pate, my love”.  Sometime after I asked nicely, “please Sir, can I have some more?” “More, MORE” shouted my Mr Bumble, “it has only been 38 minutes since the first one”!

Then she arrived, my Nancy. Starting her shift, and wearing only a halo of diazepam, Mr Bumble was free to go. Nancy spoke in gentle tones, offering massages, holding ice chips to my cracked lips. She, the Greek and I were a trio to ourselves for the next seven hours. The artful dodger danced behind them as I spun round on a carousel humming, “Who will buy this wonderful mornnningggg”. When doctors appeared quickly to form an episiotomy (a fancy word, for a big giant tear), I cared not a jot. I was pregnant with arrows, forever, and I had made my peace with that. Nancy magically transformed my bed to halve its size, and I was unsurprised, I knew she could do it. A hoover attachment appeared at some point to “apply and assist baby”. I looked at the Greek and caressed his face. “Honey, should we call the first one Bow, do you get it”. He smiled, I knew he would like my joke, he gets me. He is my Greek.

Then there it was a great big scream. A baby. No arrows. Nancy applauded, the Greek collapsed and I held my baby boy. Looking like something out of the coneheads movie. I had never seen such beauty. Finally, you are here my wee arrow. Let us sleep now.
Or so I thought.

That story boys and girls is a whole other blog……..
Happy Saturday xxx

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