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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Did I mention I'm not having any more children?

Did I mention I’m not having any more children?

Labour alone would put me off.  There are only so many times one can be in the worst agony of their lives whilst their husband cheerfully plays on his iphone or has a sleep, before it permanently upsets ones matrimonial harmony.

Thing two’s labour coincided with the World Cup, England’s first game of the World Cup to be exact. 

I had asked the husband to write down the time each contraction started so I could see how far apart they were. By this time they were too strong to talk through so I tapped him with a pen when I felt one brewing.

He was so absorbed in the football however, he tutted each time and said "WHAT?" then remembered and said "Yes, well done, come on Rooney, I mean bride."

As we were still on the ward for pregnant ladies with problems (sounds like a therapy group) or those who had just given birth and were recuperating, I tried to be very quiet.

So each time I had a contraction (or contraption as the husband called them) I did heavy breathing and flapped my arms about…quietly. 
Then they ramped up a gear and I did heavy breathing, flapped my arms about and clutched my quilt cover… quietly.

Then England scored and the husband cheered and whooped and shouted and I was FURIOUS at him. 
"If I can manage to keep quiet through THIS (I pointed at my rock hard tummy) then YOU can keep quiet through that, that, RUBBISH" I hissed.

Luckily for me, just after that I was deemed far enough along to go upstairs to labour ward "Really?" the husband said "They don't look that painful" .... where the TV did not work so he had to have a sleep instead.

And then there was Thing One’s birth…. The first birth. The one where you have no idea how painful labour is and so make sweeping statements like “I don’t want any pain relief. I’ll be fine without it.” In fact I think I wanted a water birth.

The closest I got was when I asked to have a bath. At first I was too shy to even remove my t-shirt in front of the midwife. I was such a prude back then.

That all changed when I was overcome by the biggest contraction of my life. I ripped my top off (why?), clambered out the bath (NOT easy when the size of hippo and having a seizure) then staggered naked and dripping wet down the hall screaming "Get me an epidural NOW!"

Suddenly being seen in the noddy was not such a big deal after all. 

The husband was under strict instruction to talk me out of any painkilling options if I started to weaken, so said "Come on Princess, you are doing great, give it another half an hour"
"I swear to God, go and get me an epidural now or I will bite your fingers off" was my response, only I think it had three of four swear-words in it too.

Once the epidural was in, I think he managed to stay awake long enough to ask the doctor, if in his opinion, giving birth was more painful or less painful than snapping a cruciate ligament in your knee… which he did playing football and uses as his trump card ever since.

In Thing three’s labour, he thought himself such an expert he went home, convinced nothing was happening any time soon. "Might as well get some sleep in a comfy bed!" he announced cheerfully. 

That was at 9.30 pm. 
I had her at 10.45pm. 

He had just got home with his takeaway kebab when I called him and moo’d down the phone to come back. I’ll never forget his tut. He’ll never forget how far I can stretch his fingers back.

And then after you’ve given birth you’ve got all that work to do to try and fit back in your clothes. 

I started off power-walking, but people soon cottoned on to my power-walking pattern. I’d go round the outside of the park, then round the inside past the pond, then outside again, inside again and then outside. 

How anyone could work out such a complicated routine is beyond me, but they did, and they make comments like:
"Oh, you again" 
"How many times do you walk round this park?" 
"You are not very busy are you"
It made me feel like a right saddo.

So then I bit the bullet and joined British Military Fitness, a ball-breaker of an exercise class held outside each morning and evening in various parks, run by the army (hence the name). The first time I did it I thought I was going to die. 

I also had to concentrate on not wetting myself (cheers big-headed babies). My breast pads fell out in front of everyone as I was doing my push ups, so that was nice and embarrassing
I cracked a "Look at me, I'm Princess Leah" joke and held them over my ears... 

Needless to say I was picked last when it came to team selections.

So then I tried swimming. I thought it could be a nice family activity we all did together, till the husband  said  “I’m not going swimming with you, you can't swim properly. You won't even get your hair wet."

I did not realise how well you could swim was defined by how wet your hair got. The husband says it's the biggest giveaway of a poor swimmer.

I wonder how well he'll swim since I bent all his fingers back again.


  1. I loved labouring -- that part I'd do again. It's the children you have to contend with when you're done. Got enough of those.

  2. How many have you got? Wow - tell me about your labour experiences!