This particular blog post has been a long time coming. When I started writing about pregnancy at 30 weeks pregnant - 13 weeks ago - I had a slight suspicion that one day I might have to give birth and then I would get to write the best giving birth blog yet.
I resolved that my giving birth blog post (bit of a mouthful) would be different to all the others! It would reveal the truth! It would steer clear of scary looking medical acronyms and Midwifery Jargon. It would describe every stage instead of just the ecstasy and the agony. It would not resemble breakfast news reports of the Oscars where a four hour ceremony is pureed into two sentences about who won, who lost and who was the 'worst dressed'.
My blog would finally reveal the truth to poor women like me everywhere who were 'pee your pants' terrified of labour, and comfort them with what I suspected - that women generally over dramatise these things and it really isn't as horrendous as people make out - and it would not, I repeat not, be a typical giving birth horror story!
If you have read my earlier posts you would know that my biggest bugbear during pregnancy has been putting up with people who have had the audacity to trot up to me and announce how utterly horrific childbirth is knowing full well that I would one day soon have to give birth! Never in your life will you ever have any other medical appointment that people feel they can comment on negatively en mass. You will never have, for example, your Appendix out - and have to deal with friends, family and complete sodding strangers tumbling over themselves to say
"Oh my goodness! You are going to HATE that! HA HA - Good luck Lassy! It's fecking agony! You'll be lucky to get through it! I don't envy you! Ouch!!"
I would not join this scaremongering league I cried! I will break the pattern! I would be a revolutionary. Women would cheer and say thank you in their droves!
"God Bless you Sister! FINALLY, someone has told us what we needed to know and not just indulged in a sympathy provoking petrifying tale that breeds nothing other than more terror for this process so many of us have to face!"
It would only be a matter of time before I was then asked to meet the Queen and perhaps become Duchess Kate's pregnancy companion.
So, here I am in a bit of a quandary.
It has been exactly 11 days since my last confession and exactly one week since I gave birth. I have waited longer than I would have liked to have started this long awaited blog because I have waited to be in the right state of mind. My usual writing 'voice' is tinged with sarcasm, over dramatisation and the never ending quest for wit and I tend not to write if I am having a rather depressing day (although I have written the odd post with that downtrodden flavour).
My mother doesn't like it if I write anything negative. Herself being the epitome of positiveness of course!
"Only write about funny things darling and when you are feeling good - don't depress other people with your sad feelings, keep them private. Other people don't want to read about how sad you are dear! Keep it bright and breezy! That's what people want to hear! And if you are feeling a little bit down just pretend you are fine and happy. Keep it inside sweetie"
(sound Mental Health advice there people - in fact, I think you can find that quote in the new NHS 'dealing with depression' guidelines!)
My problem, therefore, is that the description of my labour and the past week might not have met your expectations of a bright, breezy blog to chuckle at whilst eating a sandwich - but more than that - I am sad to say... and I do apologise... but now I have my very own 'Giving birth horror story". And I swore I wouldn't conform to that tradition.
So - from what angle should I write?
Do I lie when we know brutal honesty is my Raison d'être?
Do I conform to the tradition of labour misery tales and give you a blow by blow account of 'The Worst Labour in History' (no I am not over-exaggerating, I never do that!)
Do I just give you the highlights and a few low lights in jolly British euphemism form?
Do I skip over it, take a Pass go card on the Childbirth Monopoly board - and go straight to a humourous breastfeeding blog post complete with mammary and teat puns? (I have several).
After much deliberation I have come to the conclusion that I will do what only I can do. What I have always done. Describe the event through my eyes. Describe the entire process from my perspective - my sarcastic, layman angle. In my style. And I am going to glaze over the truly terrible elements, much as time, these 7 days, have already glazed over those elements. I am going to go back to what I started these blogs to do - describe what pregnancy is like to ME - an utterly uninformed unimpressed first time mum to be.
If you need sound medical details there are great websites out there whose cups overfloweth with descriptions of the stages of labour, childbirth acronyms and maternity modules. If you want varied birth testimonies, again, you will find them in their abundance - and if you require a tale of terror just trundle up to any disenfranchised looking mother in the supermarket and ask "So, how was your labour?" and they will tell you. And mothers in the Cheese and Dairy aisle will overhear you. And the check out staff will chip in. And before you know it, it will look like the end of a Richard Curtis Rom Com where a village of people stand applauding around you chanting "Childbirth is Hell! Childbirth is Hell!"
My blog won't necessarily reveal the truth - but it will reveal my truth - how I found labour. It might not help first time mums to be in their millions - but it might provide a spot of light entertainment over your lunch break.
And, if nothing else, it will keep my Mother happy.
To be continued...