Time for Day 6 of Fab-ruary…
I have two children, who I like to call ‘my littles’ (perhaps as a way of trying to stop time moving quite so fast?!). One, my boy, is 8. The other, my girl, just turned 5. I love them both equally – as any Mama knows – but today I want to talk about the birth of my son.
I knew I was pregnant pretty much immediately and felt joyous from that day. Exactly like I was constantly walking on air. A friend, who’d already had her first, told me that she’d decided not to tell anyone about her pregnancy until she was eight weeks along (in case anything happened in those most fragile first few months).
I didn’t tell anyone and I remember feeling like I was keeping the most delicious, most exciting, secret all to myself. I felt so special during those first few weeks – I’ve never been so aware of my body as I was then. Every strange little movement or feeling or sensation, it was like he was talking to me, telling me he was OK. And I felt a deep connection with this life growing inside me.
I was living in my home town then and my business, at the time, was operating from premises about a half hour walk away, past the centre of town. I’d set off in the mornings and I’d pop in to the library in the town to read the books on pregnancy. They’re in a secluded part of the library and I’d grab my book and sit on one of the comfy seats and lose myself for half an hour or so, learning everything the books could tell me about what was happening to this little being. It was such a truly delightful experience, reading about what was happening inside me (“He’ll be the size of a grain of rice! Then a bean!”). I’d literally float out of the library, imagining my son growing in my belly (I also somehow knew he was a boy; just as my brother senses that his growing baby, his firstborn, will also be a boy).
We told family and friends. Everything was OK with the pregnancy. I’d feel him fluttering around inside me like a butterfly, feel him waking up with the birds, learnt to mould myself to his rhythms, enjoying feeling him moving, stretching, limbering his limbs.
Then, seven weeks before he was due, he decided he wanted to greet the world. It’s not supposed to happen like this was my immediate reaction. Then fear. To say I was terrified is quite the understatement. Off we went to the clinic, our Dr rushing there as quickly as us, on his mobile half his way there, trying to reassure me, to keep me calm. In the clinic. A whole squadron of nurses, it seemed, all speaking a language I didn’t, at that point, understand well.
Me, a bed; my boy, simply trying to greet the world. For him it was simple. He just wanted to come out! For me, everything happening. too. fast and in a different language (mostly). [The Dr would later joke – and still jokes – that he’s glad he had all those extra tutorials with his English teacher, that they paid dividends that morning!]. Me trying to stay calm, because I somehow knew that if I got stressed, everything would be worse. Instructions to push, then not to, then rushed activity and shouting (I honestly had no idea what was happening and have never been as terrified as I was during those minutes (which seemed like an eternity). Then another instruction to push. A voice from somewhere telling me “This too shall pass”.
Then he was born.
The room calmed. I calmed. I looked for him, desperately, wanting to know he was OK. Then the nurse passed him to me. And I had him in my arms. My beautiful, eager, ever-curious boy, his blue eyes looking right in me (yes, he had his eyes open; he was desperate to see the world he popped out seven and a bit weeks early to see!).
He was so light I could hardly feel him physically but in that moment he filled my being with that part of me that I’d always knew was missing.
That moment I saw his blue eyes and held him for the first time?
Best moment of my life.