This time 18 years ago I was massive. 4o weeks pregnant and like a puffed up whale. I had refused to buy any maternity clothes and yet bought a lot of stretchy clothes. The first of all my girlfriends to have a baby, total denial about the actual birth had meant I had not been to any classes! My thoughts were that the baby was going to come out anyway so what was the point going to get scared half to death!
My partner, was from an Irish farming family and his approach to the actual birth was that he had seen tons of heffers give birth, so he wasn’t sure whether he’d be there for the birth! Seriously I should have seen the signs, but I was totally in love with him and the idea of having our baby.
So she is 18 tomorrow and we did it, we managed to get her safely to adulthood without any major hiccups. 567, 648,000 seconds we have been privileged to support and guide her.
I was due to be induced – due to the puffed up whale status, but at 4am on 24th April 1996, it all started. I woke him to tell him, he went back to sleep! A bath didn’t help as it just added to the whale feelings.
Anyway I had the best day, no pain (an epidural), best 4 best friends with me all day, and yes he did come and stay and was brilliant. I had the best experience, crunched ice cubes, supplied to me by one of my girlfriends, as the hospital can’t supply anymore – Health & safety don’t you know! Drinking champagne within 20 minutes of her birth and its been brilliant every single day since then.
I remember vividly looking down at this beautiful baby in the car seat on the way home from hospital and thinking OMG what have I done, for about 5 seconds before a wave of love came over me.
I became a single mum, raised 2 beautiful daughters, it was tough but the joy they have brought has been immense. As a single mum I scared witless of not doing enough, not being around to see them safely to adulthood (I know it’s a bot morbid but I did!) , and here we are on the eve of adulthood and I did it. Well, we did it. Her father, my amazing husband who has been in our lives for 5 years now. Her lovely little sister, her grand parents, our great friends and a bonkers godmother!
To my girlfriends who were there at her birth and will be there at her party on Saturday. I know we will cry and I make absolutely no apologies for it. You’ve been there for us and I thank you with everything I have. She is amazing, beautiful inside and out. She has a warm soul and the kindest heart. She is clever, beautiful and funny, and WE did an amazing job. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes she drives us all mad – how long can anyone take in the bathroom, or to get out of the house?? But she is amazing and I am so proud to call her my daughter.
Lauren we love you xox