Z looks back

I’ve been sitting here, drinking wine, eating a late supper which mostly is bread and fruit and reading blogs, when it occurred to me that midnight approaches and I’ve told you nothing about myself. Not today, that is.

I’ve been thinking about having a baby. Yes, mine…but not now, that’d be a bit icky. It’d be weird. No, about when Ro was born, which is nearly 24 years ago, when I was a youthful 30.

I’d been quietly in labour since about 2 am, so I didn’t get much sleep, but it was all right until about 3 in the afternoon, when it changed gear and we rang the hospital half an hour’s drive away, called my mum, who came to look after El and Al and drove off. I can still see their little faces gazing after me as we drove away; I wonder if they remember, and what they were thinking?

The roundabout just the other side of Yarmouth Harbour bridge had just been resurfaced, badly, and the car made a strange noise as we drove over it – we thought for a minute we’d got a flat tyre. I was writhing silently in the front seat and the Sage was calm and relaxed, damn him. We arrived and checked in.

“See you later” he said. “I’d better go home and feed the dog.”


Okay, I had a bath and all that sort of stuff, and was put in a room on my own. Two midwives came and chatted a bit, but I was fine; done all this before, didn’t do pain relief or anything as I really don’t like not being in full control of my thoughts….I’d tried pethidine once and I hated it; didn’t help and I couldn’t concentrate.

Anyway, time went by and as long as I didn’t lie on my back, I was fine. After a couple of hours, it changed gear again, so I rang the bell and they decided to take me to the delivery room. I asked if my husband was coming back – they’d rung home, but had no reply. I felt a bit upset, it was hurting and I wanted him.

I was just being helped – lifted, I think – I weighed 10 1/2 stone, several pounds more than in my previous pregnancies, so I was sorry for the nice midwives – onto a trolley when the Sage burst in and put his arms around me.

It didn’t hurt any more. Honestly. I felt the pain drain away, and it never got to me again. Ro was born at 8.30 and the midwife said his weight was 3.25 kilograms. “What’s that mean?” he said. “Just over 7 lbs,” I said. “7 lbs, 2 oz” said the midwife, a few seconds later. Honestly, that was one of the best moments, doing that conversion minutes after giving birth.

A couple of years ago, I found some photos of El and Al, with me and the baby in hospital the next day. They looked so proud. I was all choked up.

Anyway, the point is that it really is mind over matter sometimes. I think this hypnobirthing stuff might work. And if they aren’t sure if it’ll be enough, then Phil needs to leave the hospital for a couple of hours, saying he’ll not be long, get stuck in traffic and get back just in time.

17 comments on “Z looks back

  1. Weeza

    I remember you sitting on the stairs, holding on to the bannister and huffing with your eyes shut tight. I think we both behaved immaculately because we knew “now was Not the time!”. Then I remember the phone ringing at grandma’s and the long drive to the hospital – the traffic was still terrible – and little bro’s fabulous alien skull and purple tootsies! Of course we were proud 😉

  2. Z

    Like you, Deena, I find it’s best to focus on the positive.

    So do I, Eddie, I’m as proud of my sons as you are of yours.

    Nor does Eddie, Dave.

    I huffed, Weeza? I? Huffed? I think you exaggerate. I may have rested my eyes a little and sighed once or twice.

  3. unpretentious

    Hi:). beautful post. when there is perpetual happiness then the meaning and value of happiness maybe lost. could it be that we have ups and downs in our lives to give us a break from the monotony of happiness?

    if ur husband had been with u thru out mayb u wouldnt have remembered this moment or cherished it so much. his short absence and his come back when u most needed him is what has made u write this and feel grateful aout it is what i think

  4. The Boy

    He went home to feed the dog? I don’t know if my good opinion of the Sage is hightened or diminished!

    Pain is absolutely a thing of the mind. Though I’d agree with you that childbirth “au natural and ancient” was never a pain free thing, I think we’re a bit too pain free in this society. Don’t really know how to handle it.

  5. Z

    Hi, Unpretentious, welcome – you are in Chennai! I have several friends there and have visited them a few times, and been a guest at two weddings.

    Yes, although my reaction at the time was rather like the Boy – ‘He went home to feed the dog?’ He did cut it a bit fine on his return, though unintentionally.

    Boy, it’s what I like about him – he’s a bit unpredictable. Reliable, but not always in quite the way one expects. And what could be more important than feeding the dog?

    Girl, indeed – all I can say is that it’s worth it, because 30 years on, you get grandchildren.

    No, really, I finally found that embracing the pain, as it were, was the best way of managing it. Each contraction was one I wouldn’t have again; it brought the birth of my lovely baby closer and I looked on it as purposeful and productive. I preferred to stay in control by not having drugs, but some people find they control themselves better without the pain – the thing is, afterwards, it is completely over, ceases the moment the baby is born, and it doesn’t matter any more.

  6. Lucidity Heights

    My mother always recounts the tale that in mid-delivery of my twin brothers (7lb and 6lb a piece!), the delivery room suddenly emptied of all medical staff and my father to boot. It emerged later that they had all popped out for a sandwich…

    Gawd bless the mighty Norfolk and Norwich 🙂

  7. sablonneuse

    Ooer – no pain relief at all? I think there should always be something on hand. My first was relatively painless so I went for the second full of bravado. The cord was twisted round his neck so I was soon asking for the gas and air. . . .
    Loved reading about your experience. Great post.

  8. Z

    Hello, Lucidity Heights – I suppose that’s marginally better than getting out their sandwich boxes and taking a break in front of her, but only marginally.

  9. Z

    Sandy, they offered me gas and air second time round (when I was at home), but I hated that too – it was cold and I didn’t like it, but was too polite to say so, so I pretended to breathe it in, but kept my face mostly averted! I really was better left to myself, though I’d have asked if I’d wanted anything. But if you don’t try, you don’t know if you can do it.

  10. Honey

    hi, what a lovely uplifting story. I get to hold a brand new born in my arms tomorrow, my friend’s in a hospital so it’s all rather of the moment.
    My first was a home birth, which was fine until husband realsied he HAD to be there. He was always rather in favour of dads being absent at the birth. Just goes to show really.

  11. Z

    Honey, I’m not even telling you about the home birth, when the Sage suddenly produced a bucket to receive the placenta….

  12. luckyzmom

    The memories of both births of my children are still so vivid almost 38 and 30 years later. I am plesantly glowing with the thought.

    Thanks for sharing.


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