Call the Midwife

This morning I awoke to a smiling Freddie planting a sloppy kiss on my nose. After he threw his toast around the kitchen whilst I made lunches and a [decaf] coffee, we snuggled on the sofa in our PJs for half an hour of  CBeebies before it was time to get dressed and begin the day. Sometimes that half an hour is a manic one of Fred bashing mega blocks against the coffee table in time to RaRa the Noisy Lion. This morning he cuddled into me, and once again I was overcome by the tsunami of love which renders everything else unimportant … which is mesmerised by the life I created, the speed at which he is growing and developing, and in awe at the amount of love my heart contains for him. I still have to pinch myself and probably always will … [note to self: must not become embarrassing mum]

10427675_1725501787676252_6630502015762500153_nToday Freddie is 14 months old .. and it’s also International Day of the Midwife. I doubt there has been a day these past 14 months when I haven’t remembered Freddie’s birth and the people involved in it. If you’re a die hard blog reader, you’ll know that I had a natural water birth, exactly as I’d wanted, not even a whiff of gas and air, and even a second degree tear was perfectly stitchable. It goes without saying that it was the best day of my life, but that doesn’t quite do it justice; it was empowering, it was the birth not only of my son, but of Verity the mother … the Verity who left behind her hedonism and impulsiveness … and became entirely focussed on the little boy who shot from her vagina into the birthing pool at 4.39am on 5th March 2015. It was so affirming, so powerful … and so overwhelming. My body actually knew what to do; and I could still tell you every detail – from the tuna sandwich I was eating on the antenatal ward, to the shade of my nail varnish, and the “Hits of the 90s” CD we found in the birthing room which we listened to for a while [although we turned it off before things got properly heated, as I didn’t want Fredders born to East 17] … It was beautiful; there was laughter amidst the agony, and I will always be so grateful to those who were around the birthing pool offering support and companionship on the journey to becoming a mother …

I’ve recently begun volunteering as a breastfeeding friend on the postnatal ward at the hospital where Fred was born. Being back there reminds me of that first night, exhausted, hot, yet wide awake, looking with wonder into the crib beside me. Even the fear I was bleeding to death didn’t take away from the complete euphoria. I remember saying to him “we’re going to have so many adventures, you and I” … and here we are, 14 months on, chalking them up.

Every single day I’m grateful I decided to go it alone. Motherhood is exhausting, challenging, frustrating and messy … but I wouldn’t swap it for the world. I still hanker to relive it all …. to go back to the birthing pool and see that wrinkly little wailing face one more time. Beside me is a sleeping Elmo-pyjama-wearing Fred, hot and bothered, snoring, teething … 14 months in the world …

 

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