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On the day you were born I shouted at your dad for handing me odd socks to wear to the hospital.
It was 4am, my contractions were only a few minutes apart, and I was worried about having matching socks.
You’re almost eleven now, and I suspect this fact will not surprise you.
But, on the day you were born I had absolutely no idea what was to come. No books can prepare you, nothing you can imagine comes close.
Your arrival was the single most bewildering, amazing, terrifying and magical thing.
It wasn’t perfect, but you were.
You arrived after 21 long hours. Those hours now remain only in flashes. Moments that are crystal clear in my foggy recollections of that day. Just a few, so much lost to my own mind’s protective arms, but enough to leave with me with a sense of the fear and the wonder.
Slow progress made in a calm, quiet room. Mutterings of a dropping heart beat heard: monitoring, lots of monitoring.
A sudden rush into the brights lights and noise of an operating theatre. Fear and confusion, tempered by a wonderful team (I wish I remembered their names). An emergency c-section, and a small bundle handed to two very dazed parents at 8.47pm.
An abrupt arrival on a ward in the early hours of the next morning marking the beginning.
Alone and unable to move, unable to pick my precious bundle up unaided. Surrounded by crying babies, the soundtrack to our first hours together a chorus of four brand-new voices, and the shushing of four tired mothers.
The books can’t prepare you, and birth plans can become a measure against which we can only fail.
Even though I took the epidural, ended up with the cannula, never pushed: the day you were born was exactly as it was meant to be.
On the day you were born, I became a mother.
Four days later, desperate to go home, we were released from hospital. Our newly formed family, out in the world. The start of something.
Our lives are made up of moments. Some moments rise above the noise, a sudden burst of music in the static of our everyday. These are the moments that stay with us, that change us. These are the moments that matter.
I have joined in with The Honest Company’s Honest Moments conversation as I realised that I had written very little about my birth stories. Even though these are the three most important moments in my life, I have found it difficult to capture and weave the threads of those stories together. It feels good to make a start and share the first of my birth stories with you. This lovely video from The Honest Company shares a few more.
*I have not been compensated for this post. All thoughts and words are my own*
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