Tomorrow, one year ago, is the day L. was born and the memory of that moment is still so vivid in my mind. It was Monday morning and I was on my wobbly way to the hospital for a final check-up. I was exactly 41 weeks pregnant and showing no signs of labour, which was ironic at this point given that back in December I was signed off work early because I risked pre-term labour. It had already been three weeks since I had been diagnosed with excessive levels of amniotic fluid (explaining the oversize of my belly) and the doctors still did not know the cause. When I met with my obstetrician I knew he was going to tell me I would be induced. As I heard the news, I was overwhelmed by mixed feelings: relieved because it had been weeks that I was eager to have this little bub out of me, scared of what it meant to be induced (I had heard ‘artificial’ labour could last longer than usual and that it was extremely painful) and overjoyed at the thought of finally meeting our baby boy or girl. The moment we had been waiting for nine months had finally arrived - it was exciting.
On my way out of the hospital, I rang Mr. Franglais to announce the news and as soon as I heard his voice, I knew something bad had happened. He was in an ambulance on his way to the emergency room after injuring his knee playing football. It was surreal. How could this possibly be happening today?
I wobbled all the way back home by metro, packed, took a shower, and went back to the hospital again – on my own. I did another sonogram, more blood tests, more monitoring and by 7:30 pm Mr. Franglais finally arrived. What a relief to have him by my side, even though he was now the one who was wobbling.
Once all the tests were complete, we spent another hour anxiously waiting to find out whether I was going to be induced that evening or the following morning. Finally, we were told that the delivery rooms were already full and that I'd therefore be induced the next day. I wanted to come home for one last pregnant sleep, but the midwife convinced me to stay, "just in case". At 9pm, I checked-in my room and we took one last photo of the bump.
As I was left alone in my tiny space I tried to imagine what was coming next, hoping that everything would go well the following day, that the excess amniotic fluid meant nothing and that I would give birth to a healthy baby.
After that, it all happened really fast. I climbed into bed to read a magazine and before I knew it my waters broke. Just like that - no warning (and no induction). Half an hour later, I started feeling my first contractions which were already less than five minutes apart so I was quickly whisked off to the delivery room. I was in so much pain, my arms and legs were uncontrollably shaking and I remember thinking how stupid I was to get pregnant in the first place because I really didn’t want to go through the pain which was simply unbearable. Shortly after, I got an epidural and the relief was almost immediate. I even fell asleep for a couple of hours while the mister snoozed off in the chair next to me. Six short hours later, it was already time to push. At 6:35am on a snowy winter morning in Paris our baby was born: it was a boy.
I was crying tears of happiness, tears of relief and tears of joy. We couldn't stop gazing at this little human being we had created and whom we were now holding in ours arms. He seemed so perfect. After the nurses had finished cleaning him up, we were left alone to indulge our first blissful moments as a family. It was so incredibly magical. I would relive that day a million times over if I could.
Ps : I wrote this with the intention of posting it yesterday, but never actually got round to it. So I have decided to “cheat” with the posting date. Pardon.