In the first part of a new weekly column, The Gazette’s Julia Bennett describes the trials and tribulations of becoming a new mum.
I’d vowed not to be a screamer during labour.
Having watched hours of One Born Every Minute (not a TV programme for the squeamish among you) I was determined to give birth to our bambino without the rest of the hospital hearing my every shriek.
The thing is, being a first time mum I hadn’t realised that when you’ve got something the size of a watermelon wanting to make its debut into the world, screaming out in pain is just one of those things you can’t control.
In fact, screaming is a bit of an understatement - if I’m honest, it sounded more like a herd of rhino had escaped from the zoo.
The pains started while watching my eldest step-daughter performing in a show at the Winter Gardens one Saturday evening. Was this the real deal or was bambino (who was already eight days late) continuing to tease us with his arrival?
By 4am the next day, there was no question about it. It was action stations.
After lots of pacing around the house and a bath the hubby drove us to the Vic.
I’d been lucky with a problem free pregnancy so we headed to the new midwifery led unit, where the rooms are like the pent house of hospital wards with a flat screen TV, a huge birthing pool, birthing chair and even a reclining seat (where the partner can put their feet up if it all gets too much).
Over the following few hours there were a couple of cups of tea (what else do you expect an English woman to drink in a crisis?), plenty of grunting noises, not much talking and some bouncing on a ball, before I took the plunge in the birthing pool. It was surprisingly relaxing. Granted it wasn’t quite the same as a dunk in a hot tub with a cocktail in each hand, but the warm water certainly helped ease the pain.
The hubby, on the other hand, had serious hunger pains.
“You’ve got plenty of time to go and get some lunch,” the midwife said confidently.
I guess our bambino had other ideas as 45 minutes and a lot of screaming like a rhino later, William Joseph Mellor arrived into the world at 2.05pm on December 15, 2013, weighing 7lb 4oz.
(The hubby made it back in time in case you were wondering. But never did get to finish his butty.)
In an instant I joined the parent club - a mum to this gorgeous, perfect baby bundle in my arms with his velvety soft skin, dark eyes staring intently into mine and his tiny hands reaching out to me.
We’ve got our whole lives to get to know each other. And I’ve got about 15 minutes to learn how to put a nappy on this wriggling little chap!
n See her next instalments in our Eve pull-out every Tuesday