I know I haven’t posted in a while, things have been hectic as we’ve been travelling around so much. Happily, we captured some wonderful images for Instagram, but the WiFi has been awful so I feel totally behind on my blog and my social media, too.
But anyway, I’m back bearing Great News: I’ve had the baby! I always love reading other people’s birth stories online and am so glad to be finally writing mine, it was fairly eventful!
Things kicked off while we were on our way to Bethlehem for the census but I actually just put it down to general aches and pains initially because I’d spent seven hours sat on a flipping donkey. Seriously, at 9 months pregnant I don’t know what Joseph was thinking, I could barely even hoist myself onto the damn thing due to my massive bump!
Anyway, I don’t want to moan about him as he has been amazing and stood by me through so much, but by the time we got to Bethlehem, I was in agony and absolutely desperate for a hot bath and a lie down. Only it turns out, we had nowhere to stay! How hard it would have been to book at Premier Inn before we left I don’t know. Surely it’s just common sense – especially at this time of year…
Eventually we found somewhere to stay after extensive Googling led us to a gem of an independent little joint, which put us up in a quirky studio with rustic shabby chic décor. It was even pet friendly so Donkey could stay too. Admittedly there were some issues with roaming animals and a quite frankly filthy floor, but I was so relieved to be stationery it didn’t seem worth complaining.
I soon realised labour was in full swing, and calmly screamed at Joseph to do something, anything. “What do you need?” He asked, panicking.
“Drugs!” I screamed, “Or divine intervention… But definitely drugs. Drugs first!”
Sadly, there were no drugs available and Joseph was (selfishly) unwilling to go foraging the streets in search of people peddling anything vaguely mind-altering.
So with zilch chance of either a calming water birth or a beautiful epidural, I went it alone. Thankfully everything went smoothly, and as I looked up at the dark sky where the stars seemed to shine just for us, I delivered our baby safely in to my arms.
We had been blessed with a son.
The animals made more noise than my darling baby, who we wrapped in a simple swaddle and held as he looked at us peacefully and contentedly without even crying.
We had talked about different names over the months but both had such opposing tastes and of the ones we agreed on, none seemed to suit him. Then I remembered a long-forgotten dream, and I knew.
“We shall call him Jesus” I said. And we did.
We settled baby Jesus in the makeshift crib, which was actually a trough for the animals who insisted on roaming around our room. Thanks to Joseph’s handy skills – so glad I found myself a carpenter – it was soon cleaned up though and transformed in to a soft space for our boy. We had to get firmer with the animals after a sheep tried to nibble on Jesus’ ear, relegating them to a corner of the room with some straw and a firm word. They had also photobombed all of our first family pictures, so the novelty of them as a quirky room feature was frankly wearing pretty thin.
Comfortable in his new bed, Jesus fell asleep and we lay down beside him more than ready for a rest. But just as we were nodding off there was a knock at the wooden door and three overexcited – and somewhat overdressed – men stood, their arms full of gifts. I actually thought I might be hallucinating with exhaustion, but it seemed they were real. They had clearly had a few too many ports at the local inn as they regaled us enthusiastically with tales of following a star to find us but what can you do – we were far too polite to turn them away.
Despite really not being in the mood for visitors so soon after giving birth, I must admit they were very kind and adorned baby Jesus with expensive gifts of myrrh, frankincense and gold. Nappies and sleep suits might have been more practical, but of course, we were very grateful.
After the drunk men left, with talk of ‘spreading the news’, we settled back down together, tired, but so very happy. Our first night together was a special kind of bliss. As strange as it sounds, a peace had settled upon us. So much was unknown and life had changed forever.
But we were a family now with a unique and precious little boy. We may not have a lot, and our story might not be the most interesting and unlikely to go viral, but to us, a miracle has occurred.
And something tells me everything will be OK.