So, it's upon you! and you are a concrete mixer of nerves and excitement. I am going to give the real experience of a natural birth, as I have no experience of a cesarean.
It's those little niggles that get you excited, hanging onto your kitchen sink with each tightening. Yes, you have a good old chuckle...labour?...this is easy, what's the fuss about?
You could go for hours like this couldn't you!...don't worry, you will!
You see, soon you will go dashing into the labour and delivery ward at warp speed incase your waters go...won't you? only to be stuck on the monitor, given an internal and told to go home and have a good night sleep...it's only Braxton Hicks.
Yes, we've all been there. Your heart hits the floor and you drag your slippered feet and dressing gown draped bump back down the corridor, envying...yes, envying all the screaming, labouring women in their delivery rooms.
Don't worry, you won't be envying them for long, you'll be sympathizing with them soon!
You do as you're told, climb into bed and close your eyes.
But you can't sleep can you?, you JUST KNOW something is occurring.
Eventually sleep consumes you and are rudely awaken by a pain. Quite a bad pain, is something wrong? you wonder? The pain happens again, and again, and again.
Welcome to the world of labour!
But hey, it's mild, you've got time to have a lovely shower, pack those extras in your hospital bag, have a cup of tea.
Then it ups a level...my word, you know about it! hospital is beckoning. By the time you get to the loo, bag in the car, haul your other half away from the footy, get in the car, get stuck behind the bin wagon, tractor, learner driver (why does that always happen when you're in a hurry?), hit every speed bump on the way- the hospital seems a million miles away!
You get there, but you're stuck...you can't move...the pain ups another level. Are you at the point where you wail a little bit in the car park?
Your other half has to practically carry you through the door of the labour ward.
Midwives calmly show you into your room, and quietly ask you your details....
name? how the hell do you know your name?...does she know the pain you're in?
date of birth?...today! now!...please!...get this thing out!...
and address? you look at your other half who is currently walking around the hospital bed, hands in pocket, looking rather lost, shaking their head, nope, they have no idea of your address either.
The midwife connects you to a monitor, and checks your dilation....three centimetres. What? you can't push yet?
And then she leaves...where has she gone?, where's the pain relief? it's ok, the pains gone now.
Yes, it's fair to say that this will go on for a matter of hours, I won't be specific in case some poor soul reading this is due to go into labour with baby one and doesn't want to know about the thirty something hours that labour can go on for....
So, as the pain intensifies, and doesn't even leave enough time between contractions to finish that bite of your boost, you start to get a little irate, usually with your other half...
They try to mop your brow, you threaten them that if they come within one inch of your body, their fingers will be snapped in half.
They try to rub your back, they get a back hander.
They offer you a drink, you calmly take the cup and quickly throw the water in their face.
You grab their hand, they pale with the pain.
The time comes, you can push...you feel that every organ inside your body will be produced alongside the baby.
You push again, you can sense that you will be an empty shell once you've give birth to your intestines, stomach, spleen and bladder.
I will hurry the process along now, as usually if said baby hasn't announced its arrival by now, you will have used every swear word you know, and those you'd only heard of but had never said until now. Also, if baby hasn't arrived yet, you will now be letting the midwife know that you've changed your mind. And push the head back where it came from, you've had enough, and that you've decided against having a baby.
However, the moment of glory arrives, and with one final great big push...the wonderful, precious, long awaited bundle is born, NOT the way you saw it in the movies, or read in books, it isn't clean. But you don't care! The pain is gone, you hold your precious bundle and everyone cries and smiles and suddenly you are amazing!
The midwife tells you that you're fantastic, your other half smothers you in kisses and is so proud of you, and the little squalling bundle on your chest is so adorable.
Next chapter coming soon