Posted by: Joan Spiller | September 22, 2011

28 / 09 / 88 – And so it begins

My diary says at the top of the page: “Catherine Julia, born 2.07am. Weighing 8lb, 8oz. It goes on to say this:

“So the epidural was magic. No two ways about it. One minute I was in agony, wanting to just cry from sheer exhaustion and pain. Next, I was laying back going “I can do this!”

I well recall that experience, to this day. Of losing all feeling from the chest down. It was slightly surreal.

My lovely doctor had found us an anaesthetist who would do the minimum epi – not the norm at all back then .. I’d heard dreadful tales of a baby with headaches or big dents and bruises from a forceps birth. NOT my baby thank you!

Anyway, my diary continues:

“The anaesthetic wore off around 1.45am – just as I was ready to push – so that was good. Well, I didn’t want to push but the Doc asked me if I felt like it .. I gave it a go and some 20 minutes later CJ was being placed in my (somewhat nervous!) arms.. ”

I’m going to ditch the diary now and go from memory, except for this quote from mid way through day #1 of her being born:

“She has a great head of dark brown hair, blue-grey eyes, lovely skin and is just beautiful. Definitely a case of love at first sight.. we’ve spent most of today just staring at each other.”

When CJ was handed to me, I was – as I’ve already stated– blown away. She stared up at me and everyone else in the room just ceased to exist. This tiny little creature had arrived and my life was about to change forever.. It was incredible.

I remember gazing down at her. She stared back – inky dark eyes just drinking it all in this time round. There was no crying, no howling baby thing like it shows in the movies. There was just some unexplainable connection taking place.

I was utterly overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility, of love – of something so strong I have no words to explain or describe it. Suffice to say it was AWESOME.
Would I do it again? Hell no 😉 But this time round – it was an amazing experience and one I am so glad to have had. 

I recall a variety of things from my time in St Helen’s hospital.

There was the nurses trying to take her away to the nursery so I could rest. Yeah, as if. CJ was one of the first babies in that hospital to stay with her Mother 24/7.

There was the awful 4 days she spent in the incubators, when diagnosed with jaundice. My baby turned yellow! So not her colour, either! More on that later..

There was a battle with the hospital when they wanted to have an intravenous drip put into her on day #5 .. because they wanted antibiotics in her and back in those days went for maximum vs. minimalist treatments.

My Doctor bought me antibiotic cream, the drip (and the IV one too!) was sent away in no uncertain terms.

I think the most scary aspect of being a little alternative, of having ones own ideas of how to do things was the lack of support and understanding supplied by the medical profession of the era.

They didn’t like the fact that I had thought it through and they sure as hell didn’t like that there were things they wanted to do that I wasn’t comfortable with and that I might not bow before them gratefully accepting all and any sage counsel they had to dispense.

It was not a fun few days and I couldn’t get her home fast enough..

Although I did miss the nappy bucket at the hospital. Dirty nappies go in. Clean nappies magically appear on the shelf. This did not happen so simply once home.



  1. Lovely 🙂 Doesn’t the time just zoom away.


  2. Reblogged this on Because life is for the living.. and commented:

    Am having a stroll down memory lane as we approach CJ’s 25th birthday (how the heck did that happen? Last I checked she was 3yrs old sheesh!) 🙂


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