The Maternity Ward: Mama’s Perspective

So how to begin? Labor started Saturday around 5pm. We were at Royatonic to try and bring relief to these back pains I was having all day long. Being in the water felt better, but I still wasn’t feeling 100%. We started joking around about water births and wondering if I could get a life-time pass to the spa if I had to deliver there. We decided to leave at 6pm in earnest as I experienced another symptom of pre-labor and I was worried I might have broken my water but didn’t know it because I had been in the pool.

We called our sage-femme, and decided to pack the car just in case I would have to be monitored at the hospital. My water actually broke on the bumpy road to the clinic, which was a bit exciting, to say the least!  We arrived around 8p, where the night sage-femme told us I was one centimeter dilated.  The next 10 hours was me fighting the urge to go for that epidural, and I’m glad France is a country where they won’t even ask you if you want it – if you’ve said you don’t want it you won’t get it unless you specifically ask for it.

I always imagined that when I would get to the delivery stage, I would be on the quiet side as I in general I don’t share with people when I’m in pain and in fact hate sharing I’m in pain. Nope, once I hit 6 centimeters, around 3am, there was no way I was going to be even remotely quiet – savage screaming was more like it! It turns out our little iBun had a bigger head than usual, so it was a bit of a difficult delivery – I really had to fight the urge to push or risk hurting myself delivering that big head of his too quickly.  It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I was so proud of myself for not giving into an epidural.

They put iBun immediately on my chest and asked Martin what we were going to name him. For a long time, well really up until that moment when the sage-femme asked us, we had no idea what iBun’s name would be. The nickname iBun is our play on me having a “bun in the oven” and the fact that between the two of us there are three macs (one of which has since bit the dust) and one iPad.

Martin looked at me and “Léon” just sort of popped out of my mouth. I hadn’t even really seen our little boy at that point –  just felt him as he nursed – so while on this massive love-high my only thought was “Léon”.

In the end, I had exactly the delivery I wanted, with a great team of sage-femmes and best of all, Martin.

Martin was great through it all, and in fact he has been so very humble in his reporting of his role, but I really couldn’t have done it without him. He was exactly what I needed when I needed it, and continues to take very good care of me and little iBun. I often find myself wondering, had our roles been reversed, could I have been as strong as he was to see someone you love be in so much pain and not be able to do anything about it. It touches my heart every time I think about that day and how lucky I am to have such a supportive and strong partner.

We stayed in the maternity ward for 6 nights, and Martin seemed to be a fountain of energy, taking care of bathing and changing the baby, running to admin office or to the grocery store whenever needed, calling midwives and other medical staff when we had a question, and even making time to have little “dates” with me, where we would eat breakfast in my bed together, or go for a walk around the ward while iBun was in the nursery, or one wild time, had coffee in the cafeteria.  Because I had his constant love and support, I was able to concentrate on breastfeeding and healing.  I have no doubt that I am doing so well in terms of recovery because of his tireless energy. It was only four days ago, ten days after me giving birth that he admitted to being exhausted and is taking a nap at my insistence.


More reporting to follow on our adventures upon returning home!!!