Needle and thread

“Don’t put those near me.”

It was 4am in the morning, and I’d already been labouring for over 24 hours. Seeing the midwives wheel their instrument trolley of doom towards me was the most sobering moment of my birth. 

I felt like a drunken sixth form student again, half passed out, half dressed, and slurring inaudible rubbish to whoever would listen, but seeing the portly lady unpeel the glimmering steel blade from its wrapper lurched me into reality. Attempting to hoist my leaden body into a sitting position, I remember the garbled warning I repeated again: “don’t put those f***ingthings near me I said.”

I never swear: ever. Well, very occasionally, when my dribbling, feral toddler holds a stand-off at soft play, then I’m guilty. The odd, whispered blaspheme slips out after pleading with him for the tenth time to, please come down.”

The lovely midwife, who’d probably heard this vile warning as many times as she’d blinked, just looked up at me with a sympathetic smile and said, “oh lovey, it’s fine duckie. I’ll tell you when I need to use them.”

That was it. That was the moment I knew that I had to get my daughter out, however humanly possible. No one was cutting me up this time.

With my first child, I was cut and had a nasty tear. As the midwife was sewing me up, she actually turned to her colleague and said, “where does this bit go?” 

True story. 

Gulp. 

Okay, so I can laugh about this now, but it didn’t exactly leave me brimming with excitement the second time around. Oh no. In fact, those words were churning in my mind as the midwife was preparing an injection. 

I’m unsure what Godly force consumed me then, but I was so utterly desperate for my baby at that point, that I began to push with every sinew and fibre I could ignite. 

“I can see the head. It’s there.”

I pushed so hard after hearing those words that I vomited. 

Appearing through my dazed vision and pool of sick was my baby: my white, slimy, screaming baby daughter. I was hopelessly in love, sobbing and kissing her tiny face. Scrawny, bird-like. Skeletal and so beautifully, wonderfully real. 

The pain and exhausted desperation faded into obscurity in an instant. I’d done it. 

(No Tudor tools of doom necessary. No 🧵 needle and thread this time, bitch.)