Except all the stories I saw were focused on Kate.
When she left the hospital with her baby to meet the hordes of paparazzi I thought she looked gorgeous. Beautiful. Perfect. Like a princess should.
But then I was sad and I stared at the picture of her and thought about the hours after I gave birth...
According to the midwife who delivered Austin I had a quick birth (It didn’t feel like it!). I had watched a few episodes of ‘One Born Every Minute’ but nothing could really prepare me for what happened after the baby was born.
Austin arrived on 04/04/2014 at 12:16 in the birthing pool. He was perfect. The labour was both as bad and not as bad as I was expecting, if that makes sense!
I knew about the ‘second’ labour – delivering the placenta, but I was not prepared for it. This was the true horror of giving birth. I could not get my placenta out, I was worn out and I had no more contractions to push against to get it out. After what felt like a few more hours I was told to get out of the pool so I could deliver the placenta in a bed. They finally gave me the injection to get it out.
Then the internal investigations started which revealed that I had some grazing which required stitching up. Finally I got to hold my new baby and cuddle him and stare at him. But then I needed a wee. I didn’t think I needed to ask for permission to wee, and no one told me I did but Oh. My. Days. The Pain! I could hardly walk – which is a bit dramatic, but that’s me to a T!
No one knew that I was in labour. I didn’t tell anyone, no parents, no friends, I know I couldn’t have coped with everyone waiting for news. But poor Kate, the whole world knew she had been admitted to hospital, waiting for news.
When we did tell family and friends that Austin had been born, I refused to let them come to the hospital, this was our time to get to know our new son. I wanted to show him to the world, but at the same time I wasn’t ready to share him. He was mine, ours, and I wanted to keep it that way.
I had to beg the hospital to let me go home, which they finally did at 10pm. I needed to get home to my own bed and spend time with my son. I hobbled/ran to my car, so excited to leave but still so sore and aching. I could not imagine having to stand holding my new baby and pose for photos.
The next day I allowed family and friends to visit, after I had a bath, which involved Richard slowly lifting me in and out of the water. They were not getting any special treatment of makeup, nice hair, but I did put on a giant maternity dress that my mum talked me into buying for after Austin was born, which was basically a giant flowery tent.
Austin meeting friends and family was a bittersweet moment for me, I was so proud and so ready to show him off, but I was jealous of other people holding him and I immediately wanted him back in my arms. It was three weeks before the three of us had a day without visitors.
But poor Kate, the first few precious hours after giving birth, she was in ‘hair and make-up’ ready to face the world. She was given a dress, a pair of heels and sent to face the world, where she would be judged for being in a dress and not in sweats, for wearing make up and for having perfect hair.
I think she looked gorgeous and blissfully happy, but I am so happy that that isn’t my life.
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