Becoming a Mother
Back in Saint Anne’s day it was frowned upon not to be a mum, of course it is a vastly different world we live in today. I did not think about becoming a mother except to my dogs until I met Jeff, the father of my children in 1998. He was keen to have children and I was not against the idea. We did not decide to try as such but decided to stop taking precautions. I fell pregnant almost straight away. Unfortunately, I miscarried after 3 months, which it turns out is quite common. The miscarriage affected me a lot more than I thought it would. I was going to have a baby … and then suddenly I was not. It did not help that I miscarried on a Saturday but could not have it confirmed until the Monday, and then had to have a D&C.
Anyway, I fell pregnant again about 3 months later – and had Pippi in November 1999. As I have mentioned in a post about Pippi, she was 3 weeks late and I had to be induced in hospital, when I wanted a home birth. Pregnancy for me was relatively easy, I did not have particularly bad morning sickness, only feeling nauseous a few times. I was working as a Sales Engineer for a Foundry at the time and was able to work until 3 weeks or so before Pippi was due, even though it meant driving a long way around the Country. At the time I was driving around 30,000 miles a year.
I did not enjoy the experience of giving birth, I was in hospital which I do not like, I started being sick almost as soon as I went in to labour … and continued for the 22 hours that labour took, having taken every kind of pain relief there was available. Then Pippi was in intensive care for 4 days with a bilateral pneumothorax which was also hard. Once Pippi was home, I was not used to babies so was unsure about what to do with her. We had recently moved in to a small town and I did not know many people, and this was a big change to my life, having spent the last few years going in and out of Formula One companies for a living.
However, as with most women, I survived and so did Pip. Jeff was keen to have another baby; I admit that I was not so keen and planned to be sterilised. I went to hospital but had a cold so the hospital said I would need to go back when I was well. In the meantime, Ben came along.
Again, pregnancy was not a major problem, well not to me … apparently, I was a bit insane at times on both occasions around Jeff. I desperately wanted Ben to be born at home, and when he was late, the midwives made it clear that I would be induced in hospital within two weeks if he did not make an appearance before that. I started going for bumpy car rides, eating pineapple and eventually took Cod Liver Oil. This influenced my tummy … although not in the right way! I called Jeff home from work as I was feeling ill by this point. Pippi was 3 and not easy to look after when I was heavily pregnant and needing to visit the bathroom regularly.
When Jeff walked in the door, he immediately said “I am calling the midwife and my parents to come and look after Pippi”. Apparently, I was puffing loudly every few minutes … The midwife arrived relatively quickly but said, “I am sure you will not be ready yet and I have another couple of women almost ready so I will examine you and then leave you to it”.
As soon as she examined me, she said, “Don’t push, I’m calling the emergency midwife as she lives closer” and within 20 minutes of the second midwife’s arrival and with no pain relief at all, Ben was born. My two dogs, that were always by myside were in the bedroom (where I was giving birth), although one of them – Dudley – a Cairn Terrier Cross - was caught and taken downstairs, the other Gizmo – a Shih-Tzu - hid under the bed and remained in the room the whole time. Apparently, the strangest animal the midwife had at a birth was a horse!
My in-laws had taken Pippi to buy some chips expecting proceedings to take a while, but by the time they were home, Jeff was holding Ben at the top of the stairs. I had an interesting conversation with my mum about 20 minutes after Ben was born. I called to say I had Ben and she asked what time I had him, I said 6 o’clock, she said, “what this morning?’ I said, “no 20 minutes ago”. She was having none of it and said I was mistaken; I could not possibly have had a baby 20 minutes before speaking to her … bless her. She did eventually believe me.