12 years ago tonight I gave birth to Moo. There was no selfies, Instagram,Facebook, Twitter, or memory sharing facility so on this day none of my social media prompts me to “time hop” It was a time before cutie pregnancy pictures (I think there exists 1 picture of each of my pregnancies) no baby showers bigger than weddings or fancy ways of announcing that you were expecting, 3D scans etc. In fact there is no trace of this nine months and the events of this evening other than in my mind.
I don’t share my life with Moo’s dad anymore so there is no one to say “oh remember when…” If there was it would probably be “oh remember when you took the speed bumps too fast on the way to the hospital and I nearly knocked myself out on the gas cylinder wedged between my legs”
So on this night I go for a run. Normal day to day life clouds the memory and I am too busy worrying whether he has cleaned his teeth taken his iron tablet or got the right sports kit to give proper consideration to those few hours that saw him enter the world. Running allows for perfect recall.
As I ran tonight I went through the key events of that night and reflected on the very practical and functional nature of them. There were no flowers baby boy balloons or grand gestures. But it was a hell of a night!
1. I had been in labour all day but hadn’t thought the need to share this news until I realised that my potential baby sitters were about to get stuck into the holiday rum. The thought of drunken Grandparents in charge of a toddler of cunning ways made me blurt out… I think I am in labour. The toddler was duely removed protesting loudly and being bribed by jammy dodgers.
2. The mid wife was called and arrived full of enthusiasm for a home birth to be clearly told by baby daddy that wasn’t happening due to the potential mess -and to put her sheets away! Listening to baby’s heart beat the midwife said “he will be here soon” thereby ruining the “surprise” some hours later. The five beautiful girls names had to be hastily redrafted.
3. I danced to Dean Martin naked in a rocking type of way before getting into the bath to talk to my sister. She offered reassuring words and encouragement. I asked her to send a coded message to Ma to notify her of impending arrival. My Daddy can’t know when his girls are in labour – too worrying!
4. The trip to the hospital at close to midnight involved gas and air speed bumps and swearing like a sailor. Baby daddy had plenty of snacks he had learnt that from the last time where he apparently nearly died of starvation during the protracted delivery of son no1
5. I refused to lie on a bed but after an argument about the midwives catching skills I agreed to get on the bed. The discussion went something like this. Midwife “he will be here by 1:30am” me “arrgghhh he is coming now” They warn you about the head and I can remember it but my God they should tell you about the shoulders. 5hrs and 47 mins and he was here! At 1:15 am
6. Lively and wriggly Moo was wrestled on to my chest a perfect tiny little person. There are no words to describe that feeling. There was then a “discussion” about cord cutting and with some reluctance we were separated for the first time.
7. I don’t drink tea or like toast so I just got up and had a shower and got dressed. I remember it
was dark and warm in the room and Moo was under a light with his Daddy staring in wonderment at him
8. The next bit is where my Ma gets agitated about my irresponsibility … We put Moo in his car seat paid the parking (2 things we had failed to do without a lot of fuss with baby no 1 so we felt quite like pro parents) and went home to bed.
At 3:30am on the 9th March 2004 Moo got into our bed and we all fell asleep.
As I run I can visualise the messy bedroom the little Popey hat he wore and the funny noises he made. Running allows my memory to unlock these precious times and enjoy them far more than any picture video or social media prompt could ever do.
The 5hrs and 47 mins is important as it means a marathon is always shorter and less painful than labour. My aim is to run my 1st 50k in this time or less.