I began my pregnancy with a cannula in my hand, and it ended in the same way.
I didn’t want drugs for labour. Just gas and air, some splashing around in the birthing pool, and breathing my way through it. That was the plan.
But anyone who has given birth knows that plans don’t often play out as they should. I’d imagined giving birth in some zen-like state, surrounded by candles and low-level music.
Instead I was writhing on the toilet floor in my damp maternity swimsuit, begging for an epidural.
So there I was with a cannula in my hand yet again, administering fluids and antibiotics and God knows what else.
The first time I’d had one was nearly 10 months earlier. Because just as my pregnancy didn’t end in the Birthing Suite, it didn’t begin with lights, candles, music, Egyptian cotton sheets and the sun streaming through the window of some glamorous hotel either. Instead it began in an IVF clinic, following two weeks of being pumped full of fertility drugs.
As I waited to go through for the extraction, the nurses put a cannula in my hand. I had to try hard not to pass out just in case they told me I couldn’t go through with the procedure, that everything I’d gone through up until that point would have been gone to waste.
Sedative was administered straight into my veins, enough to knock me out altogether, so I woke to find it was all done. Eggs collected; ready for the embryologists to work their scientific magic and make my dream come true.
So nearly 10 months later, there I was again, a cannula in my hand. But this time I wasn’t just dreaming of you. You were about to become a reality.
A 10lb 3oz perfect bundle of reality.
And just like mummy, you had a cannula in your tiny hand.