There I was last month, having just polished off my latest blog entry for Aptaclub and musing over what I would do for the next two weeks or so before baba was expected to put in an appearance – because most first babies are late right? Then it was 1am and I woke thinking I needed to go to the loo for the umpteenth time except….. I will never forget the look on my other halfs face when I said ‘um, I think my waters just broke’.

Now, I am surprising myself as I type this but I have to say – labour, on balance, was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s no picnic but I was honestly expecting a rougher ride. So, what was it that made it not so horrendous? I was very fortunate I believe to have a fairly legendary midwife with me for the duration (and of course the other half, also legendary but in a not-a-qualified-medical-professional kind of way). Her name was Denise and she roams the halls of Holles St. by day and togs out for Ballyboden by night (if she ever reads this, thank you!!).

Denise and I had a chat about how I wanted to do things when I arrived. No great plan really, I’d like to keep moving, see how I get on and always have the option of an epidural on hand. So we walked the corridor – the short corridor that is well worn by many women shuffling up and down day and night. I tried a TENS machine (bit useless, I probably put it on a bit late). Then I bounced on a ball for a while, then I hit the shower sitting on a stool sucking on some delightful gas and air. All of this passed about four hours at which point Denise, almost gleefully, told me that I was almost there and could go the whole way myself. Eh, excellent time for an epidural I thought.

Excellent timing indeed, once that epidural kicked in this mama kicked back and took a nap for an hour or so before the final frontier – pushing. Yeah, it’s tough and all that but you are firmly on the labour train at that point and there is no getting off until that baba comes out so I thought ‘dig in’ and got on with it.

The baba arrived about an hour later, after a little suction assistance. It’s a pretty amazing feeling and can be a bit of a blur. I remember her having a little whimper and then opening up those lungs of hers we have become accustomed to since then. I remember her being handed to me, feeling overwhelmed and then laughing as she sneezed explosively all over me – even that was somewhat cute.

Then, all too soon, off to the labour ward where the fun really started – the baba is here now, what do I do now then? Uh oh, I really wish I had read the ‘how to look after a baby’ book rather than the pregnancy book….

Anne Marie