The Other Type of ‘Coming Out’

I don’t remember a great deal about the birth of each of my children. It seems a common phenomenon that most of the pain and trauma of the child-birthing experience tends to fade from memory very quickly after meeting the new arrival.

One shot of Cupid’s arrow and we succumb to the love bubble that is new parenthood.

The long awaited journey into the tunnel of parental bliss and sleeplessness begins.

Call it endorphins, call it adrenaline – call it Mother Nature protecting the survival of evolutionary process. Whichever way, many women tend to take it in their stride and move on fairly quickly (provided the birth is not too horrific).

My final birthing experience was by Caesarean section involving the standard six week recovery. Although we could have opted for a natural birth, I was hesitant to take on any additional risks given I had previously had to have an emergency C-section with Master C three years before.

Our obstetrician, Dr Keeping, advised us that if we wanted to take the stress-free approach, that a Caesarean was our best option. Being laid back and quite liberal in his approach, the fact that he offered us this advice meant there were real risks to consider. Even though I prefer birthing the traditional way, we heeded his advice to err on the side of caution and opt for the ‘less risky’ method.

Miss L entered the world in a straightforward, sensitive and highly successful manner. It was such a different experience to those I’ve had in the past – the environment was calm and relaxing – in fact it was completely orderly and civilised: exactly the opposite environment we had experienced in the past…

We affectionately giggled as we saw our little girl’s angry, red face for the first time as she was pulled from my womb and held up over the screen. It was our first glimpse of the feisty, ‘opinionated’ and loveable personality type she has – we were instantly smitten!

Then I was able to put her straight to my breast, and just breathe her in, and cuddle her.

This didn’t happen with any of the others, except for Master M. However I had a postpartum haemorrhage with him shortly after he was born, so this cast a shadow over the initial ‘buzz’ after his birth. 

Both Master Z and Master C had breathing complications and were rushed to Special Care, and Miss D wasn’t birthed by me, so my role was completely different. One standout memory I have at Miss D’s birth is feeling so envious. I wanted it to be me that was giving birth – the craziness of that statement does not escape me – but it was just so foreign to me being the partner who was helpless and unable to assist in any real way.

This time around, we had time to enjoy our little girl after she was born – and one of the anaesthetists actually took photos of the whole process for us. This was invaluable for both Lis and me, as we were able to look back through and enjoy the event, in our own time and space.

Childbirth is truly fascinating.

The pregnancy, I remember far less kindly than the birth itself.

I’m one of those weird women who actually enjoy the whole process of childbirth. It’s such an exciting time – and one that inevitably changes both you and your family forever.

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