I’m being driven back from Bristol to Brighton by my husband and, sat here in the back, watching over my son, I have tears running down my face.
I feel so lucky, so happy, so full because of where I am and all that I have.
I’ve been on the brink of tears so often since Jenson came into my life and that’s ok because they have mostly been happy tears.
Tears of gratitude for the NHS
As I wrote in a previous post, my experience of giving birth with the national health service was totally and utterly amazing. My midwife was so kind, supportive and I knew she had everything in hand.
At one point, towards the end of the labour, she asked me where I wanted to be (in what position) to give birth and I said ‘the position which will make me the most powerful…what is that?’
She replied back to me ‘you already have all the power you need inside you. So what feels right to you?’
Throughout the labour, she guided me to trust my instincts and showed me that I had everything I needed to get through the experience.
Gregg and I returned to hospital to give her and the staff a thank you present for all their support and luckily when we arrived, our midwife was on shift – I got to see her again and thank her personally. And when I saw her, I felt my eyes well up with tears of gratitude, as they are doing now, for all she had been to me.
It’s particularly sad to hear in recent days how the NHS is under such strain and, through conversations with friends who work in healthcare, to learn how under pressure staff members are. To hear that the stress is such that some (particularly those in training) are even turning to suicide as they feel unable to cope.
I don’t know what I can do about this but I do know that I owe so much to the medical professionals who looked after me so diligently and with such care and that I want to fight for the NHS to get more funding, more support and for its staff to get more respect for the amazing job they do.
Tears of gratitude for my family
My family have all been super heroes to me in the lead-up to and the week following Jenson’s birth. They have shown their care and love in every day actions that have taken the edge off the difficulties of being a new parent. Taking Jenson for an hour so I could have a much needed nap, cooking loads of delicious vegan meals, popping out to get essentials, bringing me chocolate, encouraging me to rest up even if it meant spending little time in my company, holding me when I cried, listening to what I needed from them…and the list could go on.
And seeing my nephew, Oscar, with Jenson (or as he calls him ‘Golden Jenson’) brought such warmth to my heart – I can’t wait until Jenson is toddling after his two cousins, trying to keep up with their antics and games.
As we left my family to travel back to Bristol this morning I held back my tears of gratitude, not wanting to make the goodbye more difficult than it already was. But I know my family read my posts and I am glad that they’ll know, through this post, how thankful I am for everything they’ve done for me.
Tears of gratitude for good health
I’ve got a wonderful group of new parent friends thanks to the NCT classes I attended last year. One of the little boys who was born on the same day as my Jenson had some serious heart conditions and this morning went into surgery which had a 10% chance of him dying.
I’ve just received a message from the parents saying that the operation went well and when I heard this news I cried with relief for him and his family.
It is so easy to take good health for granted but knowing how ill little Charlie was makes me realise how lucky I am to have a healthy little baby. And knowing how fiercely I love my little son, I feel relief for the parents who will, hopefully, be able to start life with him properly soon without fear for his life.
Tears of happiness for how full I feel
I can’t describe how I feel as anything other than ‘fullness’. Full of love, full of incredulity for how happy I am as a parent, full of the richness and wonder of life.
And this feeling of fullness is even more acute because I didn’t know how I would feel about becoming a parent, right up until the birth.
Gregg and I wanted children at some stage in life but we never had the feeling that we needed to have children to live a happy and fulfilled life. So when I found out I was pregnant, I was happy but also unsure about what this would mean for my life and the beautiful relationship I have with my husband.
And I had several twists and turns in pregnancy which took me back a little bit;
- learning that I was having a boy when I had hoped slightly for a girl,
- having the placenta situated on my stomach wall, which meant that I didn’t feel the baby move as often as you usually would in pregnancy (and so feeling a bit disconnected from the pregnancy experience),
- finding out we were expecting a baby a few months after I started in new job and not knowing how this would impact my career.
It feels wrong to share this with you – that anything other leaping for joy and happiness is unacceptable – but it’s the truth of how I experienced my pregnancy.
So I feel this fullness so greatly, because it is so unexpected. Such happiness, such fierce love for my son, such richness in my life.
So yes, I’m crying a lot, but they’re good tears. Tears I know will keep coming over the coming days, weeks and months. But I’m not going to hide them – I’m going to welcome them; let them pour because they remind me of all I have in life and just how lucky I am.