The Day That I Was Born, According to my Mam.

Now that I’ve made my ebook “Who Cares? Life for an Irish Transgender Teen” free to the public (you can download the full thing here), I’ve decided to publish the chapters here on my website. Below is a chapter from this book which was published in April 2016.

The day you were born was one of the happiest days of my life. I wasn’t able to sleep the night before as I was having contractions. I left your Dad sleeping, got up and paced from the back door to the front door for a few hours and then they stopped. I eventually went to bed and slept for a few hours and when I woke up I was fine so I just presumed that they were Braxton Hicks! Your dad went to work and I brought your sister Emma up to school, she was in junior infants. Then I was very restless so I decided to go down to see your aunty Anne with your other sister Rachael.

The minute Anne opened the door she told me that I was in labour because she could see it in my eyes. I was still only having niggling pains. We put Rachael watching a Barney video and we had a cup of tea and a chat. Eventually the pains started to increase so I rang your dad and arranged to meet him back at the house. Anne came back with us as she was going to mind Emma and Rachael while I went into hospital (I didn’t want my Mam to know until you were born because I didn’t want her to be worried).  By the time we got back to the house the pains were coming quick and fast and I asked your dad to go up and get Emma from school as I didn’t want to go without saying goodbye to her. I remember leaning over the washing machine in the kitchen with Anne rubbing my back while we waited for Jay and Emma to come home.

Once she was safely home we headed in to Holles Street around two o’clock.  They checked me in and I was three centimetres dilated. I remember waiting with your dad in the waiting room for us to be checked in and saying a quick prayer to my dad to make the birth quick and give us a healthy baby (he answered both those prayers).  The hospital was very busy that day and because we were on our third baby they set me up with gas and air, (I didn’t have epidurals on any of my children) pulled a curtain round the bed and more or less left us to it for a few hours. They checked in on us every so often until I got to ten centimetres dilated. I kept walking around the bed to keep things going and because it was more comfortable than lying. I would take a hit of gas and air every time I walked around.

I had tried to explain to your dad what the gas and air felt like but he couldn’t really understand (it makes you feel quite stoned).  Anyway because we were on our own I told him to take a hit. He did and said that he didn’t really feel anything. Me being the expert at this stage said you’re not doing it right, focus on a point on the ceiling, put the mask over your face and take a deep breath. When he did that it was very funny. He said “oh wow, now I get it!” I then ran back around the bed and said ok that’s enough, give it back!” I reached ten centimetres in just over three hours after check in (which is very quick) and then it was down to business.

The midwife came and told me to push and you were born ten minutes later (the midwife made me sit up and look so I saw your head coming out which I didn’t see with the other two). You were ten pounds one ounce which is very big for a baby and you were so perfect and beautiful. You were very long and thin and bald with perfect skin and features. I fell in love with you straight away. Its so hard to describe the sensation when a baby is born and they place this living being up on to your stomach while it’s still attached to you. The skin to skin sensation of baby to mother is impossible to describe but so powerful in the bonding process.

Then you were handed over to your dad, who I needn’t tell you was also very happy and excited, while I delivered the placenta. We were brought to the ward after that and your dad wheeled me in a wheelchair while you were wheeled down in a cot and put beside my bed.  We were so excited. Gran and your aunty Olive managed to sneak their way in to see me very shortly after you were born and we were all on a high. As I said it was one of the best days of my life and as you can see not one that I could give a brief description of! Your dad brought the girls in the next day and they couldn’t wait to see you. Emma was only four and Rachael was nearly three. They ran in and jumped on my bed and we didn’t realise that brakes weren’t on it so they nearly sent me into the bed beside me which was occupied! That was very funny.  You were born on September 24th in three and a half hours. You were born at eleven minutes past six in the evening and I used to call you my tea time baby.  It really was such an amazing day

Audrey Beattie.


Read more Who Cares? here.


Buy Who Cares? here.

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Listen to an interview with my Mam about marital breakdown below:


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