JANE & BETSY
The birth of my 1st child a comedy of errors when I think about it. We were convinced I wasn't actually going into labour despite being 40 weeks + 6 days and I was bleeding and having mild contractions. So my husband and I made a conscious decision to leave the hospital bag at home. I mean really? We arrived at Kings at about 9.30pm and low and behold, I was actually in labour so Giles had to race home in our totally knackered old camper van and go and get it. He parked back at the hospital in such a hurry that he decided not to pay for parking...later, he would regret that.
We sat in our nice clean room like, well, expectant parents and waited for the unknown. Turns out the unknown hurt quite a lot so I asked for an epidural. The babies heart rate was a bit erratic and I was still bleeding so I was on a monitor the whole time. The pain was immense and was very glad to be given the epidural. The difference it makes to the whole experience is amazing. They popped my waters manually and I cannot tell you how loud and gushy the noise was that escaped from me! They held a bucket under me and it all cascaded in. It was a decidedly messy 10 hours if i'm totally honest. Everything went quiet and it was almost just a waiting game - which lasted until the morning.
We bought 'snacks' of Jaffa cakes (which I didn't eat) but now my husband can not even look at a Jaffa cake without being reminded of the ickyness and downright madness of child birth. Word of advise - never take your favourite snack to the the birth of your child. It may never be your favourite again.
When it was 'time to push' I couldn't feel what was going on and the baby wasn't coming so a weird amount of people suddenly came into the room and started the process of taking the baby out with the ventouse method. After a lot of effort, they finally pulled out a very purple looking baby girl! A man who looked like the cricketer Monty Panesar took her to a table for a moment. He didn't look worried so I wasn't that worried. But looking back, I think he may have been jiggling her into her first breath. Not sure. I was quickly handed my healthy little girl - so many new and amazing, scary, wonderful feelings entered my core. We knew already what we wanted to call her - Betsy. Beautiful Betsy.
I had to stay in hospital for about 2 nights - until I had produced a great big wee that the nurses were satisfied with. Then Giles went to get the car seat only to find that our van had been towed away. 'Funny story...' was how he began the explanation when he came to tell me. Not very funny at all really. So he had to go to Deptford to retrieve the van. But it turned out to be fine as I was able to stay in hospital and eat my lasagne that I had ordered for my supper - winner!