February 1, 2015: My due date.
I remember spending the majority of my time rotating my hips on a gym ball, whilst eating curry and pineapples. It didn’t quite work, of course, but I was feeling pretty fed up of waddling around feeling like a beached whale, or rather, a potato with cocktail sticks for legs, and I desperately wanted to feel normal again.
I also spent my last quiet pre-baby days playing loads and loads of Destiny, playing in the crucible with my Titan and her ridiculous jump. Al and I haven’t played it in a long time, and thinking about how much fun we had playing it this time last year, I’m starting to miss it again.
My enormous belly got in the way of pretty much everything (apart from playing Destiny), and I felt tired. I couldn’t wait to get back to normal, and I was desperate to get my hands of a glass of wine and a Benson. I was self conscious, because I had put on lots of weight. I made excuses for eating McDonald’s every day for about two weeks because I was “eating for two” and I’m still paying for it.
Sleep was hard to come by. I invested in a bolster pillow, in an attempt to even out my weight and keep my body aligned, but it didn’t work, and I had to roll around all night due to stupid pain in my hips that would not go away.
I worried that my stretch marks would never fade, or if my belly would ever go back to its normal size. Having gone from a 24″ waist to a 50″, I was scared that my body would be changed forever, and I wouldn’t like what pregnancy had done to my body.
Turns out, I wasn’t that keen, but I got over it (kind of).
But, through the aches and pains, and the stretch marks, pregnancy was enjoyable (in places). I loved being able to feel and see Esme move around in my belly. I would spend hours poking and prodding my belly, watching what looked like an elbow or a knee stick out here and there, whilst drinking a cup of camomile tea. My belly would be the most ridiculous shapes sometimes!
I smile when I think about how much camomile tea I drank whilst pregnant. I basically live off the stuff! Then, once Esme was born, I didn’t drink any, and I haven’t touched the stuff since. Weird.
We decided that we wanted to call our little girl Esme many, many weeks before she was born, and decided to give her ‘Rose’ as a middle name.
We were thinking about calling her Emily, but I’d gone off it after a while. I remember crying to Al, feeling guilty for changing my mind because I knew he liked it. I began flicking through baby name books again, and quite liked Esme and Hazel. Tallulah was our first choice, but it didn’t sound great with our surname.
I kept the name ‘Esme’ to myself, because I didn’t know if Al would like it. A few days later, Al asked me what I thought of Esme, and I was really surprised that he came out with it! Now, I don’t know if it was the same day, but it was definitely the same week, but Al put on a game entitled Skyrim that he used to play years ago (before we were together).
There was a saved game on there, so we decided to take a look at where he got to last time he played it. And, lo and behold, Al’s character’s name was Esme. We didn’t discuss names after that!
It felt like an age before my due date came along, and every day after that, I longed to go into labour. Little did I know, it was one of the last days of plain sailing pregnancy.
February 1, 2015 was a Sunday, and Al went to work the next day. As we neared Monday night, I began to have contractions, that started around 2am on Tuesday morning. I was positive I was slowly going into labour, so Al took the day off on Tuesday. I was awake all night, pacing and rocking on my gym ball.
I decided to have a shower around 11am, and shortly afterwards my contractions stopped. I felt silly, and was sad that I had made Al stay home from work, because it was eating into his paternity leave.
We went to bed Tuesday night and at 2am on Wednesday morning, I had contractions again, though this time something was different. It felt like my waters were leaking every time my belly tightened, and it worried me. I phoned Withybush Hospital, who asked me to come in at 8am.
This is where my dignity slowly disintegrated. I went to see the midwife, who immediately asked me to drop my pants so she could inspect my underwear and what they were covering. Some rubber gloves, lube and a speculum later, I was told I had to attend Glangwili Hospital at 8am on Thursday morning.
So, I knew I was to expect the arrival of my baby girl the next day. What was most impressive, was that she told me to expect to go into labour at 2am, due to that being the time my body wakes up.
If you want the whole birth story, I’ll tell you later on in the week, but it went pretty well, apart from the slightly alarming meconium (baby’s first poo in the womb)!
One year later, and I’m sitting on the floor wrapping birthday presents, whilst my almost 1-year-old sleeps soundly upstairs. I’ve worked extremely hard to try to get my body back to the way it was, and although I’m not there yet, I’m getting there.
Motherhood has treated me well, and Al has taken Fatherhood in his stride. He’s never faltered (or, at least, never shown it), and Esme absolutely adores him (as do I).
I’ll let you know how Esme’s birthday tea party going on Friday evening, when hopefully, she’ll be so tired out from playing all day that she’ll fall asleep really early and have a lie in (I wish).