16 Years On…My Son’s Birth Story

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Today is a birthday milestone for my son Liam – he turns SIXTEEN!  I really mean it when I say that I can’t believe how fast these 16 years have flown by, it feels like yesterday when his dad and I welcomed him into the world.

Last year on my blog, I shared 15 years of birthday parties, to celebrate. This year, I’m going to share my son’s birth story! I found a box of old diaries at the weekend whilst decluttering the house, and found one from 1999 which I used to document my impending motherhood.

Back in 1999 I was 22 and Liam’s dad (John) was 19. I had been working as an administrative assistant in a London University, and John was working as a roofer. We were engaged. We didn’t have mobile phones, or the internet at home, and life was very different back then! John and I split up in 2003, when Liam had not long turned 4. We have both gone on to marry other people, and my son sees his dad often.

It’s been nice to read back on this time of my life. It made me smile, made me cry and made me realise how young and naive we both were. I’m sure if I had been a blogger back then, I would have written about this, so here are my words, exactly as they were in my 1999 personal diary…


26-1-99

Well hello there and welcome to my new, yes you heard right, new diary. Now, I realise that I’m 22 years old these days, just over a month away from being a mummy, but my life feels as though it has hit a low point, and believe it or not, I’m now compelled to start a diary all over again like when I was a kid.

9-2-99

Well, there’s a good start for keeping my diary – I don’t write in it for 16 days. Oh well, I’ll write in it now. Who knows, next time I write I could be a mummy!! Anyways, the reason that I am writing at all is because I am feeling well pissed off, unloved and basically like a lump of poo – a downside to being pregnant I feel.

At the moment I’ve got this awful pain, especially if I have to turn over in bed. It feels like someone has got a monkey wrench and tightening me up. I will go as far as to say that it is REALLY PAINFUL and I just hope that labour and birth ain’t too much worse, cos I really don’t think I am going to be able to cope.

11-2-99

Well this is just grand isn’t it? I went today for my 36 week check and have been admitted into hospital – high blood pressure and protein in my urine. My BP has come down to 120/60 – whatever that means and they are monitoring my wee for 24 hours.

When I was told I was gonna be admitted, I couldn’t stop crying. I had to have another scan – fortunately the baby’s head is down. I phoned up mum,. then John, who (love him) panicked. I really REALLY wanted him there and when he got here after work I was so pleased to see him. I’m being tested tomorrow for gestational diabetes which has spooked me out. I really miss John and I hate being here. If I don’t stop writing now, I’m going to cry, so goodnight.

12-2-99

Well it looks like I am going to have to stay in here for another night, according to the midwife. My BP this morning is 120/90, and I have to go and have a test for diabetes – great.

11:30am. Got back from having 3 blood tests in one arm and it HURT!! I’m just waiting for mum to come and visit. I phoned John and told him I’ll probably have to stay in again tonight which he got in a panic over – bless him. He told me he didn’t go to bed until 2am cos he was so worried. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I slept like a log.

I really hope my BP goes down. I don’t want to be in here for the next 4 weeks that’s for sure. I’m now cursing myself for being so overweight – but big women must have had babies right?

Oh well, the time is about 12:30pm and it is so boring in here it is untrue. I wonder what time mum will come? I hope that it is soon. Just had a gross lunch which was, as described: GROSS.

My BP is now a normal 120/70 which I am pleased about. I hope the let me go home. It’s Friday and I miss John, I can’t wait for him to come and see me later on.

Mum came at 3pm and brought me a nightie and some clothes.  Sharon apparently freaked everyone in my family out by saying I was having a caesarean section – I’ll get the proper story off John when I see him tonight. Spoke to my loved one and he sounds really down. He says he misses me, I miss him too, but it’s for the best that it is done. He told me he’s written me a letter. I can’t for 6pm when he can come and see me.

10:30pm, BP 140/80

Pure happiness burst out of me when I saw John – can’t describe it at all. He wrote me a really sweet and adorable letter telling me how much he loves me. It really pulled at my heartstrings because it came straight from his heart. I know now how much he does love me – not that I doubted him before, but it does take a hell of a lot for him to put his feelings down into words.

Shas and Mark also came to see me, as did Moira. John is coming tomorrow at 11am so I will be phoning him bright and early to get him out of bed! I’m really hoping that they will let me go home tomorrow. My BP has gone down, so I’m hoping, but the midwife said not to expect too much. Oh well, cest la vie.

13-2-99

Had an absolute crap sleep last night cos of all the pains, and also cos I had to keep getting up to go to the loo. My BP is 140/80 this morning, so I hope it stays down and that they let me go home cos I don’t want to be here any more.

I don’t believe it, I am being kept in AGAIN. I can’t stand it, but I know it’s for my own good. My urine is no 3+ and I have swelling. They’re going to check to make sure I don’t have a urine infection.

14-2-99 – Valentine’s Day

I have to stay in again tonight, I hope I can go home tomorrow.

John brought me 24 red roses and a balloon and a lovely card and a box of chocs.

My BP is staying between 80 and 90 and John has been here all day.

10:10pm, Just phoned John and told him that tomorrow will be crunch day  in the sense that they will decide to induce me or not. So just in case, he is having the day off work. I’m REALLY scared now and I wish he was here. I just want to go home and cuddle up to him.

15-2-99

Well, I’m in again for the night. I am getting really pissed off now. I know it’s for my own good, but I really want to go home to John. He had the day off work today, so he was with me all day, but the day just goes too quick for me. Maria and Jo came up in the night time.

10:15pm, Just got off the phone from John and he is so upset it’s unbelievable. He was crying on the phone and obviously, this upset me. He says he misses me and wants me home. I want to be at home too, cos yes, I miss him. I know it sounds naff, but being apart from him for 5 nights is torturing me. It makes me realise just how much I love him. When he was going home tonight, I just didn’t want to let him go. He means everything to me, and I hope that they send me home tomorrow.

16-2-99

All I can say is that the time is 10:35pm, I’ve been induced and I’m shitting my wack big time. I’ve had some gel or something put in at 6pm (boy did it fucking hurt) and I’ll be re-examined at midnight. I’m classed as high risk and I am well scared. REALLY SCARED.

I love John so much and I am so glad that he is here with me. I also love all of my family and I can’t till I have baby Jade or baby Liam in my arms. Please God keep us safe and well. Thank you. Amen.

17-2-99

They induced me again at 8am, and by 12, they had broken my waters, so there was no going back now! Yes, I was really scared. They put a vent flow thing in for a drip which really didn’t hurt and then the anaesthetise suggested that I have an epidural so that they could keep my blood pressure down. Then later I was moved into another room, and then at 1pm I was in established labour.

They done the epidural which took three goes to get, one time they hit a nerve and the pain was like nothing I have ever felt. It was like someone took an ice cold saw and chopped my left leg off. It was excruciating and I screamed the whole ward down. John said he’s never heard me scream like that before – I’m not surprised – I’ve never needed to before!!!

The relief of pain was so good after the epidural. Eventually mum came back and after a while I was feeling really, really, REALLY cold and shivering like a complete nutter. I remember mum and John looking over me like in the movies and it was freaking me out. I asked someone to put socks on my feet. Apparently my BP was very very low and they had to turn off my epidural as I was turning blue and they had to give me adrenaline mum said. Eventually they put the epidural back on as the contractions were coming thick and fast, but I was in agony with them. I tried gas and air, it was absolutely disgusting, it made me feel faint and sick so I just threw the mask across the room.

The anaesthetists checked the thingy in my back and it had come away, so they had to re-do it. By now I was in so much pain and had to rely on my breathing until it had kicked in. Thankfully mum helped me through breathing through the pain. Eventually the epidural kicked back it and it was lovely when it did. Before I knew it I had to push. Baby had already had blood taken from him and had an electrode on his heartbeat was dipping and therefore in distress. After a lot of pushing to get him down the birth canal, they put my legs up in stirrups and ready to use a ventouse on bub. I had to have an episiotomy and therefore stitches at the end.  They said if I didn’t get the baby out I would have to have an emergency caesarean, so I pushed with all that I had. There was a mirror on the wall opposite me and I looked at myself in it for a split second, I said to myself how it felt so weird to be giving birth to a baby, and I felt the baby’s head, which was a weird sensation! But the cord was around the baby’s neck and the doctor had to cut it off. John was sad, because he wanted to be able to cut the cord. With a couple more pushes, the shoulders were out and with one last push, he came out!

Yes, a little boy called Liam. Born at 7.55pm on 17th February 1999. He was 5lb 15½oz. His Apgar scores were 8 & 10 which were very good.

I couldn’t hold him for ages as they had to re-suss him and stitch me up. When he first came out, I saw his bits and cried to John and said “oh look, we have a little boy!” and burst into tears. When I was first able to hold him, it was love at first sight.

Anyways, when everyone had gone, I was helped to have a wash, and got a little bit of sleep. I was worried that I wouldn’t hear Liam crying, but I did. I kept chatting to him, and dad came and saw me after he finished work at about midnight.

Me & My Boy

18-2-99

Well, my baby is 16 hours old and I’ve changed his nappy twice and changed his clothes. Given him his feeds and getting ready now for all the visitors.

This being a mum lark is HARD!! Especially when I really don’t know what I am doing. It is a daunting thing and I can’t relax because I’m in hospital.

John’s been here all day – he hasn’t really had a chance to be with Liam, i.e., feed him, or do his nappy etc, so it will be a surprise for him when Liam goes home!

Tonight when I fed him, he brought it all back up which freaked me out cos he was all contented in my arms and all of a sudden he chucked up and was crying. They really don’t help you in here at all – well, none of the midwives I’ve dealt with so far. And the auxiliaries are bitches as well. He’s asleep now so that’s okay and he seems like a contented little boy. He is SO cute it is unreal, and I just can’t get over the amount of love which I have for him. I look at him and I just melt.

Mum, Dad, Maria, Jo, Chris, Yiayia and Bapou all came to visit us this arvo. Jo well cried when she saw Liam and Maria was in awe. It was so lovely to see their faces. When Chris came in, he immediately put his arms out for a cuddle, but Liam is so tiny, I said no.

Had a cuddle with Liam after everyone had gone. Gave him a feed – he chucked it up and it spooked me, so I called for a midwife, but this bitch auxiliary came instead, and made me feel bad for “bothering her”.

In the evening, it was hoards of people for Liam, me and John, but that’s okay. Billy & Coran, Sharon and her dad, Nicola, Moira & Alan. It was all too much for me really and I started crying. I know I’ve got a case of the baby blues cos I do weep a bit. I don’t  think it’ll turn into post natal depression cos it is usually when I sit and tell Liam how much I love him that I start crying.

I was terrible after everyone had gone and the midwife too Liam to the front desk with them so that I could get some sleep. I did till about 4am and woke up with a start wondering where Liam had gone to.

19-2-99

I think personally, I have coped quite well on my own today. I fed and winded him fine, changed his nappy…then he decided to puke and poop at the same time, and the poop wasn’t even in his nappy!! I panicked a bit and went to buzz for help, but then said to myself that I’m a mum now and I can do this, so didn’t bother. I’ve been singing him to sleep and giving him cuddles and me and Liam have been getting on great.

The best bit of good news today is that I an GO HOME!!!!

However, the flat hasn’t been sorted out yet cos of situations at the pub – surprise, surprise, work gets in the way of our family life AGAIN. But I think mum is sorting something out.

The paediatrician checked little Liam out and said he is okay. So now I just have to sit and wait. I’m well excited that I can get to take Liam home today. It’s going to be such a big change, but I’m looking forward to it. Me, Daddy & Baby Liam, one happy little new family.

25-2-99

Hello diary. Liam is now just over a week old and he is as beautiful as ever. I’m very busy being a mum these days so pardon me if I don’t write for a while. I love my son ♥

Liam - 16th Birthday (4)

3-3-99

Hello diary. Well Liam is two weeks old today and it has flown by so quickly! He now weighs 6lb 2oz and is starting to fill out. I’m going to be giving him his first bath tomorrow when mum is over.

8-4-99

Took Liam to be weighed, he is now 9lb 8oz and he is adorable as ever. John is being really helpful now – feed and changing him. I feel more confident with being a mum, even though it is hard work and upsetting when he is non-stop crying. Going on a serious diet now, it is all too much for me.

Liam - 16th Birthday (2)

14-6-99

Liam is nearly 4 months old and has changed so much. He’s got so big and lovely it’s untrue. His eczema is clearing up and he can support his head well, tries sitting, rolling, crawling, chats away, smiles, holds toys and he gets to try solids for the first time in a few days!


And that is pretty much where my diary ended!

Today has been quite an emotional day, I’ve been looking through old photographs and scanned a few to include within this post. Liam has gone out to play football with his friends, and we’re enjoying a family dinner this evening. Our lives have changed so much over 16 years – for 4 years it was Liam, me and his dad; then it was just Liam and me for 2 years, before Steve, my husband and Liam’s step-dad came into our lives for the past 10 years. Some of the time it has been very hard, a lot of it has been full of happiness and laughter, but through it all, my constant has been my darling son. I couldn’t be more proud of my blue eyed boy ♥

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