Contractions can be so cruel. They creep up on you slowly. You know what’s coming – an immense, insurmountable rise of pain. It hits you at full force. You try to brace yourself but really, there is nothing you can do but ride the wave of pain until it is over. You mentally try to loosen your tense body and prepare yourself for the next one.
They can be terribly cruel when the pain seems to be bringing no result. “Still 2cm dilated”, “Only 4cm dilated”, I remember saying “How can all this pain not be making things happen? How can that be?”
Throughout my pregnancy, I have always said that I would do Tom’s birth again. I was induced which wasn’t the best thing in the world, but my labour was hard and fast. The contractions were painful, but they were moving something, I was pushing and there was an aim to get to the finish line.
Jeremy’s labour was nothing like this. An induction drip that hit maximum strength with still no result after 7 hours was not my idea of a good time. And this was 3 days after my waters broke and contractions had been happening on and off since. Never in my right mind would I have imagined myself to be this mentally and physically exhausted. It really was one of the biggest tests on my body that I believe I will ever face in a space of time.
I don’t know what they are talking about when they say women forget the pain which is why they have more children. I’m not forgetting Jeremy’s birth in a hurry. Not only that, but being parted from Tom for so long was my biggest fear and I had a much harder time than he did being away from him. I don’t think I want to repeat any of it.
When Jeremy did decide to join us he appeared rather suddenly. Just like that, after being told I was only 4cm dilated and not to push, suddenly, as the finishing touches of an epidural was taking place, there he was…
There are so many things to hold onto post-labour when it comes to Jeremy. The bonding time I had with Jeremy straight after the birth was amazing. I never had this experience with Tom. I barely got a chance to hold him and I didn’t get to take much in. I didn’t get skin on skin for his first feed and the feeds thereafter were difficult. Jeremy was placed on my chest for a much longer time than I remember with Tom. After he was placed in the special care nursery for being 4 weeks premature I was able to spend so much more time soaking him up and doing it in a more rested way. It was hard being away from him, but I gradually got used to it and having no visitors in the hospital allowed me to focus on the task at hand which was to rest, keep up fluids and get this milk into my baby.
I was so over the moon to feel him latch for the first time. No shield, no worries, nothing. This little man was premature but already ahead of the game. We fed and fed and fed. We are still going and a week in, he has nothing but my milk and is putting on weight. By this time Tom had a dummy, my milk, formula and a nipple shield. It still was alright in the end of course, but it certainly feels good to be without the contraptions.
Contractions can be cruel. They creep up on you, but then suddenly, in the space of a second, a baby appears before your eyes and while for me, the pain will never be forgotten, the love that you feel in that second when your baby appears before your eyes, is also never forgotten.
The pain is gone, but that love that is felt will remain forever. And that will ALWAYS make it worth it.
Welcome to the World Jeremy.