A New life

As I lay in my bed tonight I just thought that tomorrow will be my first born’s 26th Birthday. I was remembering all the funny details of his birth and I had to get up and write this down. Isn’t it funny how you can remember your first child’s birth with such clarity? I don’t remember half the details of my girls  births now aged aged 20 and 11!
I was just 21 years of age when I became pregnant. I wasn’t married but I was engaged to my boyfriend Anto, (now hubby). We were madly in love and we were at it as often as young people in love and lust can be at it. I was actually one of those girls who was on ‘The Pill’, believe it or not, it happens more than you think!
We had been away in America working and had come home for a visit when I realized I was caught! Anto was in shock to say the least. I guess boys don’t get good sex education in school as he kept saying, ‘How did it happen?’ I would say, having loads of sex had a big part to play in it! I actually took the news very well. I was in love. All would be well. Women are more mature like that….
I remember telling my poor Father who became traumatized and horrified that his young daughter was to be an ‘Unmarried Mother’ as we were called in the day.
We were soon back in America and me and my bff shared an apartment with our lads. There was a big crowd of us Irish in Naples Florida and we had lots of fun. We loved the Florida weather and we would spend every weekend on the beautiful gulf beaches, everybody laughing and tanned. I forgot how young and carefree we were.
I had a very healthy pregnancy and had no need to go to the doctor till I was about seven months. We had no insurance over there and I wasn’t sure if I was going home to Ireland to have the baby. I think I was waiting for my dad to say, ‘When are you coming home?’
Anyway the doctor decided for me, it was too late for me to fly, I would have to check into a hospital.
Now my Ma had already been sending me over bottles of liquid parafin. Does any body know what that is? Well neither did I, but my Ma said take it every day, it’ll help the baby come out easier. ‘Holy Mother, this didn’t sound good. What did she mean?’ My poor Mother. I can only imagine the worry she went through then over me. Her first child giving birth and she not being able to be there for me. To be honest, I wouldn’t have wanted my Ma to see me in such pain.
Because the pain came. Oh dear Lord Mother of Jesus! Like a hot poker up your bum! Theres no really other good way to explain the excruciating pain that is Labour. Oh my God.
I had been in Labour all day on the 15th September 1989. To be fair, it was all very bearable till 12 o’clock that night, when the real pain came. It was so funny because my Ma’s advice was, ‘not to go into hospital till the third stage, they’ll only be fiddling with you!’ So I had been reading the book on the stages and the feckers got it wrong, because my first and second stage didn’t happen. There was no mucus, there was no plug, there was no water, just Mother of Devine chronic burning pain. Eventually, at 5.30 am, I let Anto wake the others to bring us to the hospital.
 Everybody was so excited, but I was just counting the minutes till I got to the hospital for that thing that took all pain away, ‘The Epidural’. My other pal Teresa and her fella decided to come along too, so John drove and I was in front beside him and Anto and the other three were in the back. I didn’t feel like pushing at all but I did feel an overwhelming pain in my groin. I told John to drive faster and he speeded through the early morning dawn to the Naples Community Hospital. It was 6am when we arrived (thankfully alive) and my friends somehow got me into a wheelchair and rushed me in. I still had no leakage so the first thing I asked for was the Epidural. Because in my reckoning, I was still in my first stage of labour!
The nurses took me away to have a ‘Look’ at me. I knew then what my Ma meant by fiddling with me. (Not for the faint hearted) At that the nurses got very excited, “You’re ready to push! Aren’t you great? Very quick you are! Fab!” As they wheeled me off to delivery. “But my waters didn’t come, there’s no mucus! Can I have the epidural please?” I whimpered in pain. “It’s too late for that! You’re baby will be here in a minute! Push!”
Well I checked the clock and it was 10 mins past 6 when I went into the delivery suite and at ten mins to 7, I was still pushing! (And make sure you have a good clear out, otherwise pooh comes! It’s all very embarrassing!)
Then the mean old nasty Doctor came in to have a look, “Needs an episiotomy,” I heard him say. “Whats an episiotomy?” I asked as I found out to my horror as the knife cut me open down below, (without anesthesia). “Aghh!” I screamed as I heard a gush of water come out, (There was my stage 1) with blood and mucus, (My stage 2) and a baby’s cry. It was a boy! He looked perfectly formed and he had ten fingers and ten toes and he was the most beautiful thing that I would ever see in my life. A new baby.
A new life.
Jean xx

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