I look at the wedding picture on my wall and I want to smack that smug bitch in the face. She’s mocking me. She’s looking down from that perfect moment on the sometimes overwhelming whirlwind that has become my life and providing a completely unattainable pedestal that I am desperately trying to climb back on to. Expect the bitch has greased the pole.
Let me explain.
Almost 2 years ago now I had the cliche perfect wedding, married my absolute best friend and was sublimely happy. So happy that my wonderful husband and I decided to try for a baby only a few months later, expecting it to take 6 months to a year.
Um no. Within a month, we were having a baby. I was ecstatic, so was my husband. I knew immediately I was having a girl and was in love with my little fantasy child already. I kept going to the gym, rode my dirtbike until the bump got in the way, did yoga, swam, I was in perfect condition to have a glorious natural birth. I had chosen a fantastic holistic midwife and was going to deliver my daughter in a pool at a birthing centre with nothing more than massage and a lot of swearing.
Let’s all just pause here for a good old belly laugh at poor naive first time mommy me.
Yeah suffice to say nature gave me a big two fingered salute on that one. I laboured at home until I felt I couldn’t cope anymore and called the midwife saying I was ready to transfer to the birthing centre about half an hour away She reminded me that if I wasn’t ready they’d send me back home and was I really sure? Ah yeah. I was sure. She sounded skeptical but turned up at our house. Then after a quick examination she was all business as I was good to go, in fact she said I was doing so well I could deliver at home if I wanted,
Ah yeah no, I’m not that much of an earth mamma (more power to those who do) so we were off to the birthing centre. I bobbed around in the pool, Husband and my Mum using acupressure on my back when the contractions hit and all was going well into it came time to push.
And my baby’s heart rate dropped. Every time I pushed. And the midwife phoned the nearest hospital to tell them we were making an emergency transfer. And the birthing centre midwife asked if we wanted an ambulance and my midwife said we don’t have time to wait an ambulance we are going NOW. And she all but threw me into a wheelchair and ran through the corridors, leaving my husband and mum to make their own way to the hospital. while telling me to breathe deeply through an oxygen mask and to visualize my baby being born safe and well.
It’s at this point my memory gets a bit hazy. I remember being strapped to a table, lots of machines beeping and alarms going off, a nice doctor explaining what was happening (but I wasn’t listening) and a nurse blowing three veins trying to get a line in my arm. A male nurse or doctor was still trying as my baby was being sucked out, at which point I do remember turning to him at saying “at this point is that really fucking necessary?) as the poor guy was trying for a fourth time.
Welcome to the world baby girl.
That kind of set the tone for the next few months really. I was in shock. I still can’t really talk about it without getting tears in my eyes. Luckily our gorgeous girl is absolutely fine, and now she’s smiling, playing and more than a crying pooping potato with a face she amazes me every day.
So we weren’t really prepared for that. We also weren’t prepared for my husband getting made redundant so I had to go back to work when baby was 10 weeks old. I wasn’t prepared for my body to take so long to heal from that delivery. I wasn’t prepared for the stress of working, pumping, snatching moments with my daughter and wanting to tell everyone who visited to go away because I didn’t want to miss one cuddle or share any moments because I missed so many.
And wasn’t prepared for the slow, insidious creep of depression. Which is why when I look at my wedding photo I want to cry. I don’t recognize that person anymore. She looks like a model standing next to my gorgeous husband. And I want to scratch her eyes out.