The Princess Diaries: so many firsts

I'm not going to say I loved being pregnant. I probably wouldn't even go as far as saying I enjoyed it. But I did get something incredible out of it.

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Sofia gave me a lot of firsts: first pregnancy, first daughter, first grandchild for my parents, first overnight stay in hospital, and - because she is her mother's daughter and had no intention of coming into this world quietly - first major surgery.

After three hours of labour - which, by the way, was off the scale painful, I'm not even going to attempt to sugar-coat it - our little princess decided she couldn't be bothered anymore and wanted out NOW.

Cue twenty minutes of drama for everyone except me - I had had so much gas and air by this point I was practically floating towards the ceiling Mary Poppins style. But as soon as they laid me down on that table, my entire life changed in the blink of an eye.

Of course, it wasn't without a bit of last-minute drama as Stan - hubby and baby-daddy - almost missed the birth because the doctor forgot he was sitting outside waiting while they prepped me for surgery.

Luckily he made it just in time - Sofia was pulled out literally seconds after he was rushed into the room - and was able to hold my hand and tell me yes, that was our baby crying and not anyone else's (I just wanted to make sure).

The next couple of days were a bit of a blur: constant text messages and phone calls, flowers, gifts, visits from family and friends, Facebook announcements (naturally) so things didn't really become 'real' until Sofia was all strapped into her car seat and we were heading home.

That's when I realised I would never know what sleep felt like ever again. Or, at least, that's what I thought at the time.

Because Sofia was born in the wee small hours, her 'wide awake' time was generally between 11pm and 8am - which was just fantastic. For the first four or five days at home, Stan and I had approximately ten hours sleep between us. It was torture. But we got there in the end and by the time Sofia was around three months old she was sleeping through the night. Finally we felt human again.

I knew it wasn't going to be an easy road but every time I looked at her wee face - and the looks on my parents' faces whenever they saw her - the sleepless nights, the dirty nappies (we won't go into any more detail than that on the nappies), the end of our social life as we knew it, no longer mattered. She is the absolute focal point of our lives and I wouldn't change it for all the money in the world.

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