Did I mention I'm not having any more children?

Posted Tuesday 23rd October 2012   By Ericka Waller

Did I mention I’m not having any more children?

Labour alone would put me off. There are only so many times a woman can be in the worst agony of her life whilst her husband cheerfully plays on his iPhone or has a sleep, before it permanently upsets their matrimonial harmony.

Thing-two’s labour coincided with England’s first game of the World Cup. I’d asked the husband to write down the frequency of my contractions.

When they got too painful to talk through I tapped him with a pen to warn him one was brewing. He was so absorbed in the football however he tutted each time and said "What?”

As we were still on the ward for pregnant ladies with problems (sounds like a therapy group), or those who had just given birth and were recuperating, I tried to be very quiet.

Each time I had a contraction (or contraption as Jimmy called them, funny-fecker), I did heavy breathing and flapped my arms about, quietly. Then they ramped up a gear and I did heavy breathing, flapped my arms about and clutched my quilt cover, quietly.

Then England scored and he cheered and whooped and punched the air and chanted ‘IN-GER-LAND la la la, IN-GER-LAND la la la.”

I was just about to stab my pen in his neck when a midwife came to tell me I was ‘far enough along’ to go upstairs to labour ward ("Really?" he said "They don't look that painful"), where the TV did not work so he had to have a sleep instead.

And before that there was Thing-one’s birth. The first birth. The one where you realise how much it bloody hurts. The one where, after observing me moo in pain for six hours, my husband asked the doctor, if in his opinion, giving birth was more painful or less painful than snapping a cruciate ligament in your knee (which he did playing football and uses as his high water mark of pain threshold.)

In Thing-three's labour he thought himself such an expert he went home. He decided nothing was happening any time soon, so he might as well get some sleep. That was at 9.30 pm. I had her at 10.45pm. He had just got home with his takeaway kebab when I called him and screamed down the phone to come back.

And then after you’ve given birth you’ve got all that work to do to try and fit back in your clothes.

I joined British Military Fitness classes to try and get back into my skinny jeans. The first time I did it I thought I was going to die or wet myself.

Luckily only one of these things happened. My breast-pads fell out in front of everyone as I was doing my push ups. Trying to cover my embarrassment, I cracked a ‘Look at me, I'm Princess Leah’ joke and held them over my ears. Needless to say I was picked last when it came to team selections.

So then I tried swimming. I thought it could be a nice family activity we all did together, till the husband  said  “I’m not going swimming with you, you can't swim properly. You won't even get your hair wet."

I did not realise how well you could swim was defined by how wet your hair got. The husband says it's the biggest giveaway of a poor swimmer.

I wonder how well he'll swim since I bent all his fingers back again.