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One born every minute | The labour story – Sofia Belle

Let me set the scene. My crazy child has run around all morning throwing hair clips out of pots, putting them back in, climbing up and down the sofa, sat a millimetre away from the TV, hung off my dressing gown and begged for more food all whilst shouting ‘bugger bugger bugger’ at the top of her tiny lungs.  Then, THE YAWN came. That was it…whisked up to bed.

So, child asleep, I made a cuppa, settled down for breakfast and looked through the Sky planner…I know, I’ll watch children and afterbirth being born whilst I munch on my Quorn sausage and scrambled egg. Welcome One Born Every Minute – the tears roll, the eurghs come out and I thank the Lord that LagerDad isn’t as dense as some of these blokes in the labour room on TV.
Then I think about my  labour. Which took place exactly 19 months and 1 day ago.
Everyone loves a horror story don’t they? Well mine wasn’t.  So you won’t find one here.
I remember waking up feeling different, the day after my due date and the midwife came round to give me a sweep. If you’re not sure what that is…don’tGoogle image search it. I said to this massive handed woman ‘I’m sure I’m in labour‘ and she replied ‘No no you’re definitely not, your cervix is too high‘ and booked me in for another sweep the following week.
Fast forward a few hours, I was pretty sure I was in labour; it dawned on me when I went for a walk around Waitrose and had to lean up against the freezers for a good few minutes whilst other shoppers happily went about their Sunday shopping. I had no real pains though, and having never had a baby before I really wasn’t sure what to expect. It turns out,  I was dilating but not contracting. All evening I wasn’t able to get comfortable but wasn’t really in pain. I remember we were watching Ibiza Weekender and trying to work out the contraction calculator – clue: we didn’t.  I got Stuart to call the labour line but they said ‘I couldn’t be in labour as I didn’t sound in any pain’. So, we went up to bed about 11.30pm and then suddenly I felt a gush, assuming it was my waters I got up to check only to find it was blood and panic hit. I called the labour ward and they were pretty casual about it, they said I could go in ‘if I wanted’.
So, we literally popped into hospital to be checked and left as a family of three.
We had a few hairy moments, LagerDad had tears and went as white as a tin of Dulux Brilliant White, he got escorted out by my dad, who had arrived in the nick of time, whilst my mum stepped in – introducing herself to the room by pouring a jug of water all over me “Oh sorry I’m so nervous I need a G&T” – nice one Jan, don’t worry about me laying here sweating trying to push a watermelon out of a thimble.
Enter LagerDad, enter the inducing drip and then with the shift change….enter the most glamorous midwife you could imagine. Fan-bloody-tastic.
It all went pretty quick from there, I told them I needed a poo, they told me I probably didn’t and after a few strangulations of LagerDad and a complete inability to get my head around the whole breathing through contractions/panting out/pushing regime. A baby was born!

Our baby, the baby we had firstly tried to conceive month after month (yawn) and then the one that had made me a non- smoking, tee-total, fat waddling incubator for nine months, was here. She had arrived, all 8lb 3ozs of her. And she was pink. Very pink. With a funny shaped head and a big squishy face. And she looked big. And like Phil Mitchell and really not how I had expected.

After a sleepless, walking on air kind of night in our private room at Royal Hampshire County hospital in Winchester, the new dad returned in the morning and his first words were “Oh wow she looks much cuter today” and we both laughed because we knew that we’d thought the same but didn’t want to say.

Our pink bundle of joy, did not look like what either of us had expected when she was handed to us, but a few hours out into the real world with room to stretch out and de-squidge, our little girl was absolutely perfect and ready to come home with her nervous, excited, petrified first time parents!

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You can read about Arlo’s arrival into the world here.

How was your labour? I’d love to hear!