Birth Story, Not Horror Story: Mama & Mia


Birth Story, Not Horror Story

There are many birth stories circulating the internet. I’m not convinced all of them are helpful.  It occurred to me that I hadn’t told ours before. It’s real, but not filled with horror. I want to share it because it’s the start of our story.

Mama’s Birth Story

  • 3am.  39w4d pregnant.  Convinced baby will be late. I am very impatient so it would be just my luck to overdue. I feel uncomfortable, so get up to pee, hoping I will go back to sleep.
  • Can’t get back to sleep. Still just feel uncomfortable and achy. Ugh.  This must be what late pregnancy is like, the next couple of weeks will be fun.
  • Become suspicious this isn’t just uncomfortable, it feels a bit crampy, perhaps I am in labour.
  • Time the pain, regularly 4 mins apart.  Three thoughts; one, OK that seems like contractions, two, that’s good I thought they would be far more painful and three, 4 minutes doesn’t seem far apart – am I going to give birth alone on my bathroom floor?!
  • 5am: Call husband (who works – and lives during the week – a good 2 hours away) Tell him not to panic, something is happening, I’ll probably need to see a midwife, it’s Friday so he can work from home anyway.
  • Take some paracetamol, make and eat some toast, run a bath.
  • Get in bath.  Hideous idea, really painful, feels much better to be on all fours.
  • Contractions are 3 mins apart alternating between front and back.  This is exhausting.
  • Throw up toast and water consumed so far. Great.
  • 6:30am: husband arrives – how they heck did he get back that quickly?
  • 9am: Call hospital “yes, it sounds like you’re in early labour, give us a call back when you feel like you need some pain relief and come in, please don’t come in without calling us first” Hang up phone, then think ‘I’m calling you because I want to have pain relief’!!!
  • Call Mum – only logical thing to do!
  • Hubs picks up Mum.  I start worrying I am not going to be able to get in the car so call hospital again.
  • 10:30 – at hospital. Have show (yuck!) ask for drugs – paracetamol – yay! (eyeroll) 3cm dilating (fucking 3?!)  must wait until 5 to be admitted to L&D.
  • 11:30 – Falling asleep sat on the birthing ball, breathing through contractions but becoming increasingly uncomfortable, can’t see how I’ll be awake to push this baby out given this could go on for days! Midwife appears, checks – 5cm oh and the anesthetist is free should I want an epidural.  Yes Please! this is met with a slightly disbelieving ‘don’t you want to try gas and air’?  no thanks! I’m aware if I say no now and I want one in an hour they may be tied up.


  • Epidural

My arms have excellent veins but apparently my hands do not.  Takes a long time to get a cannula in. Ends up in the side of my wrist practically, but who cares? It takes a LONG time to find the right spot for the epidural to go in, 2 people debate where to put it whilst I’m leaning doubled over on the bed with back contractions.  This was very unpleasant and painful, no other way to put it, but it was the worst part.

  • I’m now happy as Larry sitting around chatting. I have to keep turning onto my left side as Mia keeps running away from the heart monitor. At some point they break my waters with a hook (lovely, but I can’t feel anything) and turn her because she is back to back (explains the horrendous back contractions).  I hear this is a very unpleasant thing to have done but I couldn’t feel it so I was fine.
  • They tell me they’ll leave me for another hour or so, then we’ll get pushing, so push the epidural button now, then try and leave it alone so you can feel to push.
  • About 10 minutes later we decide baby is ready to come now…oh dear!
  • They tell me they’re going to cut me. Lovely.
  • Next they decide her heart rate isn’t great so we’re going to use the ventouse.  Fine by me, but around 10 people then run into the room like something out of ER and that scares me.
  • A few more pushes and out she comes!  She is absolutely teeny (6lb 7)!  I was 9lb 8 so for some reason I thought this meant I’d have a big baby!
  • She is perfect.


  • Around 3am I get bored.  Decide it’s time to come out.
  • I was facing one way, but I decide to turn around and face the other, it feels more comfy to me.
  • Everything is very dark and it has been mostly calm, now everything’s moving and squeezing and it feels very strange, I’m not sure I like it.
  • Now things are getting really weird, I’ve definitely moved, there’s not enough room, I’m getting a bit frightened.
  • WOW! What was that! Everything is very bright, brighter than I’ve ever seen before. I have never seen so many shapes and colours.  It’s so LOUD! It hurts my eyes and ears.
  • I am so cold, but then they wrap me up and put something on my head and I feel a bit better.
  • Someone is cuddling me, she kisses me and tells me she is ‘Mummy’
  • She is perfect

Bringing up Georgia

Mama’s Positive Body Image for her Daughter


Mama’s Body Image

Why is Mama’s body image so important? I felt the weight of this (pun intended) as soon as I was told I was having a girl. Amongst the many other exciting thoughts I had about having a daughter, the fact I would need to tutor her in body image loomed large.

A Little History

I have never been the smallest girl.  I wasn’t the biggest either but does that stop women criticising themselves? Not this one! Before I got married I lost a fair bit of weight.  I’m guessing around 2-2.5 stone.  My dress was a Size 10.  The one thing I didn’t lose though was the voice in my head.  I still thought I was ‘too big’ and ‘should have lost more’.

One thing I have learned with age is it is true what they say ‘youth is wasted on the young’.  Now I look back and I can see I was an idiot. I looked fine. After the wedding the weight crept back up again because the strict diet and huge amounts of exercise were unsustainable for me (if that’s your jam, good on you!).  We decided we wanted to start a family and I thought I would try and lose some weight whilst we tried to conceive.  That didn’t happen and so I was overweight and pregnant.  Then I basically spent my maternity leave sat on my bum eating chocolate and became the biggest I can remember being.  So in May I trotted off (read FORCED MYSELF kicking and screaming) to Slimming World.  I’ve lost around 3st 10lbs and am about 1.5 stone from target.

So, What about Mia?

So what am I going to do to try and ensure Mia won’t have body image issues, here are a few things:-

  • Stick with Slimming World

I plan on getting to target and staying there.  One of the reasons I love Slimming World is because I feel its a sustainable eating plan. I want to be healthy for my daughter. We eat a lot more vegetables nowadays and that can only be a good thing. If I’m keeping on top of my weight and eating healthily I think that demonstrates that I respect my body.

  • Never Feeling Guilty

If I do have a splurge (prime and most recent example being Christmas) I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I’m not going to bemoan the fact I’ll probably have put on a couple of pounds, I will simply go back to eating healthy and watch the weight fall off.

  • Not focusing on my flaws

I am over 30, I have almost made peace with my body. My legs will never be the slimmest and they’re not going to get any longer, I don’t have big boobs, I carry my weight on my lower half. Big deal.  My body is vessel that I am using to get around in.  If other people don’t like it, sod ’em. As long as I am fit and healthy, I don’t care.

  • Explaining why we exercise

I will always tell Mia that we exercise to be fit and strong.  To be the best that we can be. Not to lose weight.

  • Not Giving a Fig about the effect of a second pregnancy

I hope Mia will have a sibling one day.  If/When I am carrying them I will try not to moan about the fact I’ll be getting bigger, ‘fatter’ and the after effects in front of her.  yes, she’s only young now, but you never know what they’re taking in.

  • Focusing on things other than the body

It’s 2018. Why are we still so consumed by women’s appearance?  How about the fact that Mia can be anything she wants to be;  an astronaut, the Prime Minister…


Mia on her Body

My favourite thing is my feet.  They get me around, I can even run now!  Also, they go in my mouth. My hands are pretty cool too, they do lots of good stuff; draw, pick things up, push buttons, touch things.  They’re amazing really. When I think about all the things I have touched and picked up, it’s interesting; cheerios, books, buttons on my toys, my dummy, my Mummy and Daddy, my drink, my toy pushchair. Wow, that’s a lot of things. All the places I have walked now too; the park, the big shop, Grandad’s house, Nana and Grandad’s house. My feet have been to a lot of places. I wonder where my hands and feet will take me as I get older.


 Tactical Tuesday at Joanna Victoria

Late Talker: How Does it Feel for a Mother?


Late Talker

Mia is a late talker. At 22 months she says around half a dozen words. There are around a billion articles on ‘what to do’, but not much about how it feels.

This blog is inspired by writing from another Mama that touched me because it was so honest.


I feel I should caveat this piece by saying it will probably come across as melodramatic, I’m sure it will mildly annoy some and positively offend others. There are far bigger issues that people face and the likelihood is that Mia will eventually catch up.  I don’t believe there are any signs of an underlying medical condition, so as people deal with baby loss and autism and childhood cancers, this is trivial. 

On the other hand you will see I list loneliness on the list of how this feels, so if no one writes about it, how are people supposed to stop feeling alone?  

  • Most of the time:

Honestly, most of the time, you settle into calm acceptance that your child will talk when they want or need to, it’s very unlikely there’s anything serious wrong and in 10 years time no one will know they didn’t speak until they were 2…or 3…then

Other Times:

  • The silence is deafening.

You’d give anything to hear just a sound other than your own worries on a loop in your head.

  • Frustration

  • Like you’re so frustrated you want to put your head through a wall.
  • Speaking of walls you may as well be talking to one. It doesn’t matter how many books you read and songs you sing, zero progress is made.


  • Alone

  • I am sick of the sound of my own voice. I have to listen to myself chatter complete nonsense about the cars on the road, the weather and what sound a duck makes, all day with no feedback. It’s exhausting. You feel desperate.
  • It feels very lonely, like everyone else’s kid speaks in sentences (definitely not true before 2!) And yours is so far behind there is no hope of her ever catching up.


  • Isolating Yourself

  • It makes you want to leave a Mama group you have been a member of since you were pregnant, because watching videos of other people have conversations with their kids who is the same age as yours makes your heart hurt.
  • Like others posting such things are rubbing your nose in it, showing off their more advanced child.
  • Next you feel like a bad person, for feeling upset about someone sharing the joy of a child’s progress.
  • Then you feel awful because your child is healthy and there are bigger issues in the world than the fact she doesn’t say “Hi Mama”.
  • You can’t get excited if they say anything new because the next day it will be like it never happened and you’ll be back to square one. Hopeless is the word I guess.


  • Other People:

  • “Oh, you’ll wish she’d shut up when she starts talking”. Will I? Seriously?! When all I want to hear her say is “Mama” for 22 months I’m going to wish she didn’t?! People said that with walking. It was rubbish. I still love watching her toddle about because I waited a long time and worried so much.

And Finally…

When she does talk, which I’m sure she will, she will choose her words carefully. They will be significant; carefully measured out to deliver her message correctly. She will change the world with her words; she will move mountains. I see greatness in her, her eyes and her gestures tell me she is watching; taking everything in and calculating. Always thinking. When those sweet little lips do decide to give us the gift of her perfect voice, I’ll be waiting. And it will be the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.