Saturday, 10 December 2011

Happy Birthday Emma

Thirty Three years ago in a very Welsh hospital in North Wales I walked the corridors ten days overdue from my expected delivery date. I would not give birth. There must be a way out. I knew deep down there was only one way out and I couldn't face that.  I would have to give birth. The next morning I was going to be induced. I went back to my bed at 9pm. If I was lucky I might die in the night. Please God.

I was woken at 6am and taken through all the necessary (in 1978) proceedures . . enema, shave, drip, pessaries, waters broken. I didn't say a word. I had nothing to say. The staff spoke Welsh. I didn't understand a word and couldn't care less. They offered me some gas and air. I had no idea why . . . I wasn't complaining. I didn't want it, I didn't like the mask. I lay on my side for hours . . . 18 hours. I wouldn't give birth. I was exhausted drifting in and out of sleep. Someone heard me groaning and asked me if I was pushing . . . I was. I didn't know I was. I just felt some pressure that needed moving. Twenty minutes later at a quarter past midnight they told me I had a beautiful daughter. 8lbs 14oz. I felt nothing. I said nothing.

Four days I lived with her on that ward. I watched happy fathers coming to visit their wives and babies. Happy siblings and Grandparents. My Dad came with sad blue eyes. Too sad to look at. Despite having got all the baby stuff ready early in the pregnancy, he thought it best that I give her up for adoption. Ok Dad. I'd hurt him enough already. He told me that God said this baby would make some couple very happy. Ok God. I'd hurt him enough already too.

One evening as I bottle fed her she opened her eyes and looked straight into mine. Deep dark blue understanding eyes. I felt something and looked away. They gave me some pills to stop the milk. They didn't work. It felt like I had two bricks stuck to my chest.

I took her to the nursery to change her nappy and she was covered in oily black/green stuff from the waist down.(meconium-totally normal when baby first empties bowels) I was scared. I thought I had done something wrong. My head was fucked. I held her under the tap!! Like you would a doll. I couldn't see how else to get this stuff off? She didn't cry I think she knew she was dealing with an amateur. Not for much longer. I can still smell the soap I used on her. My own soap. Lemon zest. No-one told me not to. I've never used it again.

Early one morning my Dad came to the ward. It wasn't visiting time. I saw a man behind him with a carrycot go into a side room. Ok . . . I got dressed and walked out to the car. It was freezing cold. Johnny Mathis was singing  "When a child is born" on the car radio . . . I said nothing. I felt nothing. It was freezing cold. I was frozen cold.


  1. You poor thing. You were so young - so much guilt heaped on you. Have you ever thought to look her up? Yes, Happy Birthday Emma. (I love that name)

  2. What an awful invasive procedure,thankfully induction is a mere swallowing of a pill these days...I can't imagine having to go thru that so young.I can't imagine putting my daughter thru that either.Well,i am trying to but my instinct would be to protect you both.Big hugs.xxxxxxxx

  3. What a traumatic experience for a 15 year old! All these years later, do you think it was the right thing to do for Emma? I admire you for having her, I had an abortion at 15 :(

    Isn't it amazing that so often the songs we hear relate to what we are going through at that exact moment?

    Sending you a hug today and a happy birthday to Emma.

  4. Happy birthday Emma - and what a thing for you to have gone through - we must be almost identical age (I'm 49) I couldn't have handled a pregnancy or a baby at that age - even if some of my actions with a certain girl called Jo around that time might have led you to thinking differently

  5. Jeannie, Yes I almost joined a site where they matched people up . . . but on reflection she could easily find me if she wanted. My surname is on her birth certifcate. Registered in N. Wales. The only one of that name in N Wales phone directory is my Dad. So I presume she hasn't tried. Sometimes I think it might be best that way. She could have a major disappointment. Then again she could be in the same boat as me. Who knows. Huge can of worms . . .

  6. Barbara.
    Probably was the best thing for everyone at the time. I was living in a "religious" commune and already bringing up my younger Brother (and Dad!) My Mum had offered for me to go to her and Husband for the day in the Midlands to get an abortion, then go back to my Dad. I thought I would be sruck down dead if I did such a thing! I already saw this as God's punishment for having sex and thought I could "right" it all by giving Emma to a couple who badly wanted a baby. I would have struggled to cope really. I have had abortions since . . . and survived ;-) Thanks for the hug x and can't wait to hear about Monday, Go for it!

  7. Annie,
    Yeah things were different back then. I look at my Son's friends at 15 and can hardly believe I was so young. I think my Dad had so many problems of his own at the time that he couldn't help me. And my mum, well . . .
    Moving on ;-) All's good now. I have more than enough kids to keep me going. Love n hugs to all x

  8. Furtheron,
    Yes 49 in January . . . which leaves me a year to reach my goals! how time flies.
    Yes, yet another area where the guy gets off lightly . . . He was doing A levels and from a very "good" family. His parents didn't want any disruptions. Mine dint give a fuck ;-)
    Listened to some of your "sounds" the other day and ended up with "I used to love her" (?) stuck in my head for hours. Very catchy. I might have the title slightly wrong. I'm back soon to hear the one that has been covered. That must feel great. Keep at it x

  9. God Bless You, for giving her up for adoption! As an adoptee myself, I have looked 4 my b.m. since my son was born in 1979! The baby doctor, can't think to spell it right now, he helped me petition the courts here in AZ. 4 my original b.c.! Well, I got it & learned allot from what my Mom & Dad ( adoptive parents ) told me. So, I've been looking & she b.m. will take the secret to her grave. Being a LOVE CHILD, I have names, ages ....... but at my age, I still wonder. I too have joined the different adoption sites. Nada... well, YOU did GREAT,YOU were YOUNG and did the right thing. Happy Birthday Emma! Now, I wonder when my birthday arises, does Shelia ( b.m. ) think of me? My baby bracelet had my b.f.'s name on it, Tyler. So, I am sure she will try to find you! Unless, nobody told her she was adopted! I was told when I was 6 yrs.old. Then, I have a brother, who is 2 &1/2 years younger than I.People try 2 hard 2 have a baby, and soon as I was walking, after 2 major surgeries ( back in 1955 ) EONS AGO for my birthday. I'll be 57 in February, neither parent thought I'd make it 2 age of 21!m Lost my Dad at age 59 & boy was I angry! My stepmonster told me he kept hitting her w/left arm. ( sign of heart attack ) & she tells me, " I thought he wanted sex"!! Give me a fucking break! Thanks for letting me vent & comment too. YOU ARE AWESOME & YOU DID THE RIGHT THING, NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS OR makes you feel !!! YOU Rock in my book, take care

  10. Hey that was some heavy shit, I'm glad times have changed because one of my daughters gave birth when she was 15. But hey,you could be a Grandmother and your boys may be uncles.

  11. Maureen,
    Yes, I wondered if Emma might look once she has had children of her own. As I said to Jeannie if Emma gets her BC which she would be entitled to at 18, whether she had been told or not, Then it would easy for her to trace me. Rare surname and my Dad is still in N. Wales.
    I would say Sheila could not help but think of you on your Birthday . . . No matter how many years have gone by. Definitely. She will probably relive the event every year as I do. Thats the first time I've told anyone else about those few days. I've said I had a daughter adopted but never gone through the details. I hope you find your Birth Mother. Sometimes I don't want it to happen. Other times I do. Thanks for your comment. You too take care.

  12. Karl,
    Heavy indeed! If my Daughter also had a daughter at 15 and then her daughter did too . . . I could be a Great-Grandmother!! Then I would be able to justify hitting the menopause!
    I think its more acceptable now for 15 yr old girls to be pregnant and keep the baby . . . Also much more support available. Although even with all that . . they are still only 15. I was socially retarded at 15 (possibly still am!) from living with "religious nut jobs".
    Baileys is on my shopping list for tomorrow ;-)

  13. Happy Birthday Emma.

    I'm sorry you went through this. I am sure you will make the right decision for yourself as far as looking for her.

    Sometimes the child wants the mother to look (my cousin is adopted and she refuses to look) and sometimes they're not told. (a friend didn't find out until her 50's then she found her bio mother a year before her real mother died. She was thrilled to have had that experience.

  14. I just read this....:o( you poor baby girl, but you really, truly are an amazing woman. So in touch with your humanness, your mistakes, your greatness, your filled with humility and realness. To be able to look back at this birth and express the sadness, the emptiness, so clearly, but then translate it to now when you can see that despite the pain, you know you did the best you could and thats enough. Such courage! Bless your heart.