Ok so I’ve touched on my experience of giving birth in Ibiza. It was weird and relatively traumatic but I knew reasonably well what I was doing the sixth time round so I got over it.
Being the size of a Sherman tank for near on ten months at a time and then giving birth has been quite a major part of my life thus far so I can’t really escape regaling you with the odd detail of the other arrivals. I am a recidivist birth giver. What can I say? I love babies. Maybe I should be locked up for my own safety.
My first birth was an eye opener. I remember looking incredulously at another mum on the ward afterwards. She was there fourth time round and I had to ask her why on earth anyone would ever do that more than once. Clearly I ignored myself with alacrity after that. The boy was due on the 4th January so I was looking forward to getting Christmas out of the way then getting on with the matter in hand. The memory of this Mary woman having done it was about to be celebrated with lots of high exultation type stuff so why couldn’t I grab a bit of this birth action? Virgin issues notwithstanding. Unfortunately by around 10 AM a couple of days before Christmas crippling labour pains made it clear the boy was about to make a Jesus Christ upstaging entrance before the big, big day. I had nothing in the house, no provisions other than Christmas stuff, no nappies and no food for our poor cats. Unless I was going to feed the new arrival liquid stuffing and cranberry sauce something had to be done and quickly. I guess I could have fashioned a nappy or two from the new Christmas table cloth but I figured I had a bit of time left. I dashed in a waddly, ungainly and very unattractive sort of way to the supermarket at the top of the street. Standing in the queue, basket of hastily chosen goods in hand, the smiley cashier enquired when I was due. “Oh in about a couple of hours I imagine” I managed. My attempt at casual conversation somewhat pole axed by my doubling over with another contraction. I’ve never seen anyone handle a supermarket till and twenty tins of cat food with such speed and dexterity to this day. I was out of there in two seconds flat and powering my way to the call box like a ship in full sail.
I’m sick of this!
Once I was ensconced in the hospital bed I started to realise just how bad this was going to get. Mid way through I felt horribly sick having eaten lunch en route. I screamed at my mother, who’d come along for the ride, to pass me a bowl. Unfortunately I entirely misfired and threw up all over my husband’s shoes. Revenge is sweet. Feeling the need to clear my throat I then spat out the remains, misfired again and hit my poor mother. Oh, the fun they had.
In retrospect it must have been normal procedure but as soon as the boy’s arrival looked imminent the midwife pressed an alarm button to summon someone to help. Having only seen her press the button with no explanation, and in so much agony I couldn’t for a second believe it was normal, I then convinced myself I was in fact about to die. I screamed the bloody house down until the boy shot out and actually landed right at the end of the bed. They had to catch him to stop him shooting right off and hitting the deck. To this day I think it was the force of my screams that propelled him there.
Come in number two, your time is up!
Number two came along relatively easily except that I was persuaded to try some gas and air I didn’t want. It must have been instinct because it most definitely didn’t agree with me. Just beforehand I’d asked one particularly hatchet faced midwife if I could eat something. She’d refused on the grounds that things were about to gather momentum any time soon. One sniff of the gas and air and that was it. I just remember telling my hubby that if that bloody bitch was intent on starving me I didn’t want her anywhere near me ever again. At one point apparently I attempted to get off the bed telling everyone I was going home. Not my finest moment with a baby’s head hanging out from between my legs. I have had better ideas along the way. I was later told that gas and air can bring out the worst in some people so I think maybe I should have trusted my instincts. My poor husband spent the whole time in a state of fear. Not because I was giving birth and he was squeamish or anything. He was just dreading the poor midwife coming back in and what I would do to her if she did. What can I say? I like my food.
After that I decided I’d had enough of hospitals and my next one would be born in the comfort of my own home with a midwife who would actually let me do as I pleased. Clearly I had a preference for regurgitating my dinner on the shoes of the person who got me into that state in the first place. Beats squishing their hand any day if you ask me!
All my children appear to be too much for one blog post so I’ll share the joy of birth numbers three four and five with you another day.