While I’m in the mood to write and now I have a positive vibe regarding my pregnancy I thought it would be the perfect time to walk myself and you guys through my labour. What I remember and how I felt.
For me the labour started on Thursday morning. We were scheduled to have a scan in anticipation of an induction on the Friday. When we arrived at the hospital at 9:30am I remember the waiting room being filled with lots of parents and future grandparents eagerly awaiting their name to be called. No sooner had I sat down, my name was called. As Mr Willetts hoisted me off the chair with a 1,2,3 (he always did that I think more to prepare himself for the load he was about to pull) a discontent man behind us rather loudly pronounced “she only just got here, why does she get to go first?” I remember looking back and him with a stare that I hope described how I was feeling in the moment “mate, I’ve been waiting 9 whole months for this moment spare me the first appointment or fight me for it”.
Once we got into the scan they checked everything was well with bump & the lovely scan lady (is there a correct word for that person… if so I don’t know what it is) noticed that we had lost some fluid around the baby. She was convinced my waters had broken and I hadn’t noticed. She wondered off into the corridor and returned to tell me that they wanted to induce me early to ensure little Willetts arrived safely. We were then ushered into the corridor awaiting further instruction… it all got a little serious at this point. Mr Willetts went quiet but continued to play games on his phone and huff every time he had to restart his level and I sat there being nosey and listening in to find out what others scans were showing. The head of the department was doing a strange meet and greet around the corridor for those who looked like they had been waiting a while. He approached us and asked why we were parked in the corridor. After a brief explanation he raised his hands and in an accent that can only be described as Rafiki from Lion King (imagine it) he exclaimed “you’ve waited long enough, let’s get this baby out!”
The next thing I know we’re on our way home to pack up the last of the hospital bag. Mr Willetts was planning his snacks and working out exactly how many sandwiches he would need bearing in mind this labour could go on for a while. I remember at this point being utterly disappointed that we’d spent so long planning and preparing for a home birth and it was all being stripped away in an instant.
We were told to wait at home and the nurse would call when there was a bed free for us to go in and be induced. We logically thought that left plenty of time so we got home, I double checked the hospital bag and reluctantly packed some pieces for the bump to wear when it arrived. Meanwhile in the kitchen Mr Willetts was planning on cooking up a storm, oven on, pizzas in and all the sandwich supplies he’d been stashing were laid out to make a feast. Then the phone rang. They were ready for us. If I had been in the same room as Mr Willetts at this time I assure you I would have seen smoke coming out of his ears. Instead just a huge huff and the disgruntled movements of him returning all of his ingredients back into the fridge.
When we arrived at the hospital we waited and waited. Only to be told that the labour suite was so busy that we’d need to come back tomorrow but in the meantime go home and wait to go into labour naturally. You can imagine the look on Mr Willetts face. So, with his mum already here we once again returned home. Obviously via Tesco so Mr Willetts could pick out something for dinner along with a couple of treats from his mum. We got home and I went for a nap while dinner was prepared and we waited…
As I sit back on the sofa almost 8 weeks after giving birth its really difficult for me to imagine my life without Halley. Then I look back on my “bump shoot” at week 32 and I’m filled with mixed emotions. Seeing as I haven’t posted a blog in 2 years, I thought whilst the baby naps now might be a good time to restart and in a word “put pen to paper”. In reality it took me 3 weeks to write this post and I’ve had to update the number “8” in reflection each time I click on here to start typing away.
Getting to 32 weeks at the time seemed like a constant uphill battle. Having previously suffered a miscarriage at 16 weeks I found it really difficult to relax during pregnancy and felt like everything was a constant worry. In the back of my mind I think the 16 week mark was a real turning point where the worry changed to belief, but never a sense of excitement and in hind sight I think that really showed in my face. It certainly affected my mental state throughout and I really wish I could have relaxed more and enjoyed the ride.
I didn’t enjoy being pregnant one little bit. I was obviously eternally grateful to be able to carry the little darling but the sleepless nights, constant heartburn and backache were something I was more than happy to wave goodbye to when she finally arrived. I think the most difficult part for me was how different my work life was in reflection of being pregnant. Before I liked to see myself as a pro-active hands on person and I don’t really take well to someone telling me I “shouldn’t” be doing something. However towards the end of my pregnancy working on a boat and trying to balance the extra 3 stone I’d gained on my little legs was not an easy task and I found myself both static and useless for a large part of the day. Obviously safety first as there were instances where I found myself slipping down some steps or almost turning my ankle trying to move at my old pace. Being smack bang in the middle of the Christmas rush and not being much of a help for me was really difficult (I like to think I made up for it in cheering people on and supporting them through the stress of that Christmas customer).
Then came the maternity leave, this was the point where I actually almost lost the plot. The first couple of weeks were great! I could potter around the house tidying up on my way, making sure dinner was cooked for my hardworking (yeah right) husband when he arrived home each evening. however, I very quickly realised that I was going a good 9/10 hours without actually speaking to anyone other than via what’s app or social media, continuously replying back to the “how are you feeling” “any signs off arrival” texts. I mean I was glad people cared but there are only so many ways you can describe how uncomfortable you are.
It was after a few weeks that me and Mr Willetts actually sat down and had a serious conversation about the prospect of him giving up his job so I could go back to work after the baby was born. I couldn’t see myself doing this for another year. If you know us well you’ll know I’m a bit of a social butterfly and Mr Willetts… well he could be in a room crowded with interesting people and still happily stand there and say nothing. I’m happy to report that since having Halley my attitude has completely changed and whilst I’m keen to find the balance of being social I’m sorry Mr Willetts but you gotta work!
I think its really important to note that not everyone enjoys being pregnant and whilst there are women out there on social media who make it look like a breeze we should always be conscious that everyones experience is different and it doesn’t take a lot to support someone through the experience and be mindful that its tough work physically and emotionally to grow a small human.
Now that pregnancy part is over it’s about raising a small human and getting over the trauma of child birth! Stay tuned to find out how we’re getting on!
p.s I’m fully aware that all the lovely pictures that go with this post are pretty much the same pose in different backgrounds and clothes… I’m not keen on how my fat pregnancy face looks when its facing the camera.