We are five days in. I am typing this half-lying on the sofa, arms outstretched to the laptop balanced precariously on my knee, while a small, very small, person snuffles into my neck.
It is magic. The sleepless nights, the logistics of managing four under five, the living in a building site are as nothing beside how magical it is to know this little person, who five days ago we hadn't met and couldn't imagine.
Can you tell we're still on a high?
It seems incredible that it is only five days since he was born. I'm already finding it impossible to imagine a life without him in it, as though he has always been here.
Yet it is only five days. This time six days ago I was settling down to bed in hospital, believing, irrationally, that I was never going to have this baby, and, more rationally, that I was going to be sent home in the morning, still bleeding, still intermittently contracting, still pregnant.
It was not to be.
If you are squeamish, uninterested in these sorts of details, or related to me by blood or marriage, you might want to look away now...
If you're still reading, and haven't read this post, it'll give you the background, but when I woke up in hospital at 3 am last Tuesday I was definitely not in labour, and I was definitely fed up. My mum had dashed up on Sunday when I was admitted and B sent her off to Tesco's to buy pineapple and curry, while he came in to bring me home, and the girls went to nursery.
And then the doctor appeared, examined me, and said; "Actually, we've changed our minds, we're going to break your waters. Have a nice morning, get some lunch and we'll be back at one-ish."
We spent the morning sorting out the logistics back at home and walking, just to get some fresh air. I wish now that I had spent some more time relishing being pregnant, but I didn't and now I can barely remember what it felt like.
2pm. We are in the labour ward. I am not contracting, haven't, in fact, since mid-afternoon the day before, but nonetheless, this is happening. A midwife and doctor are doing unimaginable things with what looks like a knitting needle. Nothing happens, although they think they've broken through the membranes. We are sent for a long walk.
2.55. We are back from our walk. We have got very familiar with the loop up and round the hill over the last couple of days. The views from here are still much nicer than they were in London, and even better, this time the walking seems to have worked. I am definitely having contractions.
3pm. Oh. My waters have definitely broken now. Ow. Tens machine.
3.45. I look at the clock. This pain is almost unbearable I've only really been going for an hour. I can't take much more of this. I desperately want to be examined, to be told that I'm nearly there, but I know I can't be and I am frightened to be told that I have hours more of this to endure. I have apparently lost all my colour. I am made to lie down. I turn the machine up.
4.10. I ask, somehow, what happens next, and am told that although things seem to be happening quickly, I am probably still a way away, but I will, in due course, feel pressure in my bottom and an urge to push. I think; "I've been feeling pressure in my bottom. Don't hope. Don't hope. Don't say anything. It can't be."
4.15 (according to my notes). The midwife has gone to the loo. "I am pushing!". B is rushing down the corridor, desperately shouting for her. She runs in, dragging on an apron. Shouting for a colleague.
Push. Pause. Pant. Push. Pause. Pant.
I am very present in the moment, in a way I don't remember with L. It hurts. More than I could have possibly imagined or remembered.
4.29. "Put your hands down".
I have my baby. M. He is warm, and wet, and pink. He is not crying, but he is snuffling, breathing loudly and noisily. B is crying and now so is M. I am in love.
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