Fourteen years ago tomorrow I became a mum. I was already in hospital at this stage as my waters broke a few nights before he was born and I needed to be monitored. I had never been in hospital before (except for visiting elderly relatives and scan appointments) and it was not an experience I ever want to repeat. It was hot. I was huge. I was scared. K was still working and only able to visit for a short time each evening. I eventually went into some sort of rubbish attempt at labour sometime the evening before he was born and it proved to be a long and tedious and painful process ending in a very traumatic forceps delivery around 7am. I was whisked off to theatre almost immediately to sort out a third degree tear while K was left with our equally traumatised son who had needed the resuscitation trolley (the thing they show you on your hospital “tour” and I remember the words from the terrifying midwife “if your baby needs that then it means that they are having trouble breathing and there may be a problem”) to get him over the shock of his birth.
Fourteen years have not lessened the memory of how scared I was, how naive I was and how totally unprepared for motherhood I was. To say that I struggled is an understatement and I think it is safe to say if it weren’t for the fact that my mum was around A LOT I wouldn’t have coped AT ALL. T was not a settled baby; he slept little and was sick a lot. I was suffering with the aftermath of his birth; the physical pain of the delivery and the shock of it all. Not a great start for either of us. But, the fourteen years have been the happiest fourteen years of my life. Yes, there have been some truly s**t days and weeks in there but I can truly say that there is nothing in my life that I have worked harder at than surviving the first two years of his life and I am so proud of the wonderful young man he has become. Despite being separated for the first few hours of his life and not being able to cope with his early few months/years we have the most incredible bond that I hope will last forever. He makes me laugh like no-one else and he makes me smile every single day.
Fourteen years. Amazing. There were times I didn’t think I would survive the first fourteen months. But we did, and we are all the stronger for it.