I remember walking the fluorescent filled hallways, the receptionist on duty calmly looks up and then back to her Heat magazine. Outside, in London, the snow is just starting to fall, and my Mother has arrived all the way from South Africa. I'm not allowed visitors so my company is ear piercing screams from down the hallway. I waddle the same path, every hour, just for a glimpse of a small being or the inside view of the labour ward. As I know soon, soon it will be my turn. My back is aching and my feet are so swollen no amount of elevation will cure this elephantitis.
Another day has dawned, day 2 and finally the hour where I can get comfort from my loved ones. What a lonely experience giving birth is, with 2 visits a day and no TV, your only hope of interaction is walking the halls or braving the cold icy pavements.
48 hours pass and with each hour a promise of "it'll be your turn next, love", I soon start to grow tempered, but the beeping noise of the heart monitor reminds me to calm myself.
16 hours of labour pass, I'm been prepped for the final stages and the only thing I remember is "you got to get this baby out in the next hour, love". 1 hour passes, the worst thing I experienced came at the end of that hour, "love, feel the baby's head, you're crowning!". This is not what I want to feel, I've been pushing for an hour and all I can feel is a sliver of head, that baby should be out by now. I pass out, I wake to sirens going off, the baby is stuck in my pelvis, my companions are rushed outside to make way for all the doctors. The bed is now tilted, I'm upside down, I pass out again. I come to and I can't hear the baby, what's happening with the baby?
I wake up to see my mother holding my baby, she's OK, she's alive, I can hear her now. I'm hooked up to my 3rd blood transfusion, I can't move, I'm paralysed with exhaustion. I look over and am filled with sadness, that baby should be in my arms on my chest getting her first meal from me! She is not.
Baby is now lying in a box, next to my bed, I can't hold her I'm too weak. I'm trying to be strong but I'm failing, here is this little girl so beautiful and I can't protect her, love her, bond with her. It hurts.
My other half tells me he has informed our friends and family that he is a proud daddy of a healthy baby girl, and mommy is doing just fine. I remember feeling anger for what he did, I was not alright, and neither was baby, we were not fine. And we did not get the happy picture of a family united after giving birth, I still feel a pang of resentment for pictures taken just after giving birth, where mummy is smiling with daddy's arm around her and a sleeping baby. I never got that!
We spend the next two days in high dependency unit, I don't touch baby, until she spits up in the middle of the night, I wake and she's choking, I try and grab her and am attached to the IV, I look over in terror and another mother is just staring back at me...bitch...HELP! HELP! My baby is choking I cry, a nurse calmly comes over and turns the baby over, I grab baby and hold her so tight and promise she won't be alone again.
It has taken me many months to come to terms with my birthing experience, this is not what everyone experiences, but this is what I experienced...like it, don't like it, but it's what happened, it wasn't all rosy....