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May 1


Posted on Saturday, May 1, 2010 in Family

I am in awe of so many things right now.

Midwives. Unsung heroes with an amazing ability to see you at your worst, your most base, with fluids erupting from every orifice to choruses of endless abuse and profanity. I can think of no other person who, with no formal introduction, you will so quickly drop your knickers for with no worry about intimacy or pride.

My own midwife last Sunday pushed the bed out of the way and brought me a physio ball, an oversized beanbag, and a tank of nitrous oxide. She pushed me into a hot shower and held my hand through my own personal hell, of which I can remember virtually nothing of. I begged her for drugs, I pleaded with her to stop being mean, I screamed at her for making me breathe and I told her that I wanted to die and that it was all her fault.

When my baby was born, she kissed me and I as I thanked her for the experience and moreso for not listening to me, it struck me that she’d have to do this all over again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. Guiding women through horrific experiences with the same sweet ending… that reverend silence as a brand new baby is placed on its mothers breast and all pain is forgotten and tears of relief and gladness trickle onto sweat-stained pillows. What a truly awesome job.

Homoeopathy. They put me into that horrible ward when first admitted, and told me I was not yet in labour despite two days of contractions. I lay on the bed and listened to seven other women puffing and sighing and keening through their pain, sleep an impossibility. I listened as several poor souls attempted to drink water only to throw it right back up again as their helpless husbands mopped and sighed. Every now and then a lonesome howl would erupt from behind an anonymous curtain and sneakered feet would run towards it. I wanted out of there, sharpish.

I popped two Gelsemium 200c pills from my homoeopathic kit and two minutes later my waters broke. POP – off to the labour ward with me! I find it hard to consider that a coincidence. As soon as baby was born I popped a few Arnica 200c pills and within an hour of the birth I was washed, dried and eating a full plate of chicken and asparagus smothered with gravy. They offered me a painkiller but I honestly didn’t need it – my body had fixed itself thanks to those useless little placebos.

The Accidental Terrorist. I can’t imagine the helplessness a man must feel as a birthing partner. I didn’t consider the fact that he was on his feet for seven hours straight without a sniff of a smoke break with his bad back while I was huffing and puffing. He massaged me, played me music on his mp3 player, said beautiful and supportive things to me as I thrashed and mewled like a severed demon from the bowels of hell.

At home he stayed out of sight but left a trail of cleanliness behind him. I’d wander into the kitchen at 5am to find it all re-arranged and spotless. The garden suddenly became transformed into a haven of handsome wooden flower boxes and brackets intended for hanging baskets, even the statue of the three nude ladies which he’d pfaffed at before were hung lovingly by the back door. Beading suddenly appeared by the skirting boards and the laundry pile vanished. His nesting instinct drew an awe in me that I’d never seen before, a renewed love that won’t be forgotten in the arguments to come.


We named him Tom, because it was TAT’s Grandad’s name. Whenever he speaks of the man, he does it with such childlike adoration and always with a quirky smile hidden below the surface of his face. Though I know countless people will say ‘Ahh, a good normal name’, or ‘Play it safe with a standard name, you do right’, as they have done already… I don’t care. Tom is what feels right, every man I’ve known who the name belonged to has been the salt of the earth and you just can’t mess with that. Tom. Tom Thumb. Ground control to Minor Tom.

Henceforth known as Sir Fartsalot.


Bring on the comments

  1. Grandad says:

    Good grief, girl! Can you not spell your own son’s name yet?

    It’s Fartzalott. Sir Fartzalott. Or even Sir Fartzalott Macapooloo.

  2. Jo says:

    Ah Kate.

    Beautiful, tearjerking post. So happy it went so well. He’s a beauty. You’re all great:)

  3. K8 says:

    Grandad; I may have to change it to Sir Shitzalott… his follow-through abilities are not to be sneezed at.

    Thanks Jo :) There was a whole other hormonally laden post but it got used as a floormop instead. Up and down like a fiddler’s elbow, me.

  4. Grandad says:

    Aw, bless. He is so like his daddy.

  5. Jo says:

    Take care of yourself babe, and take some silica if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

    These baby blues (or the aftershock of a birth) is not to be sneezed at.

  6. Beautiful story. Congratulations and Tom was our name if we had a boy. I’m amazed by those Gelsemium tabs – I spent a long time in that soul-destroying pre-labour ward too, I will be getting some of them for next time.

  7. Jenny says:

    Congradulations Kate and Tom, welcome to this crazy fecked up world!

  8. Holemaster says:

    You’re a gem Kate.

  9. Baino says:

    You’re so right. My mother was a midwife and the only babies she could not deliver were ours. It’s a vocation, not just a job. As for TAT what a wonderful guy it’s those little things that make such a difference when you come home. Tom is a wonderful strong name for a lovely strong baby. Congratulations you.

  10. Ah, congratulations K8. This post brought tears to my eyes. It also made me wonder, what are Puppychild’s and Laughing Boy’s names when they’re not in blog posts?

  11. K8 says:

    Jo- I think t’was silica that got me my driving test passed! That, or the ‘third time’s a charm’ theory.

    Patchwork Bird- I seriously recommend that childbirth homeopathy kit (here) that Helios makes… they do a booklet with the kit that describes symptoms and remedies, makes for a distracting read!

    Jenny- Thanks! Probably helps to have a slightly fecked up ma.

    Holemaster- I too am holemaster!!!! Where do I apply for teeshirts?

    Baino- Thank you :) Everything’s back to normal now… boo.

    Jenny- Seán, and Ríanna. Yer wan with the umbr-ella ella ella hit the music charts about a month after she was born… that was bad timing!!

  12. AnFearbui says:


  13. unstranger says:

    Your writing talent is quite superb. Difficult to type with tears streaming down my face.
    Thanks for sharing K8.

  14. Thanks – that’s a nice detail to know :)

  15. Wha? I pop back to England and you get pregnant and have a baby all in – what, nine months?

    Tis a miracle!

    Congrats to you all. Mwaaaaaah xxxx

  16. K8 says:

    An Fear Bui; Thanks and welcome!

    Unstranger; Aw shucks, go on outta that ye big softie :)

    Jenny; Don’t tell anyone I told you…

    English Mum; Thanks!! It’s all a blur, they blindsided me!

  17. Kate says:

    Congratulations and well done you!!!! He is beautiful!

  18. Rachael says:

    Aw Kate that was beautiful, as is your new wee man!

  19. K8 says:

    Kate; Thank you! His eyes look a bit freaky in that photo though… they’ve chilled out since then.

    Rachael; Thanks- we’ll have to meet up at some stage and playdate our Toms:)

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