It was a Tuesday afternoon and the midwife had just told me to get my gown on and get on the bed.
I was 39 weeks pregnant and blissfully confused. I politely declined her offer. “Oh no thank you,” I said, “I’ll just go home now.” I went to leave.
She laughed in my face, “no dear, your waters have broken, you don’t go home. We’re inducing you” and that’s when my wall of denial collapsed and the panic of imminent labour hit me.
The contractions came on thick and fast. We watched The Block on TV. Well, Sarge watched while I timed my contractions. Every two minutes; I had an app.
By midnight, after huffing and puffing for more than eight hours, they stopped the drugs and told me to rest until morning.
Sarge went to lie down on his fold-out bed and fell asleep in minutes.
But my contractions didn’t stop. They started up again all by themselves, the cheeky little fuckers.
In what I can only assume was labour related insanity, I lay on that bed and had body-splitting contractions for five hours in complete silence… because I didn’t want to WAKE MY HUSBAND. You know, inconvenience him with the birth of his child and all. I want to be clear – this is a startling departure from who I am at my core. Suffering in silence is not a skill I’ve ever possessed. Such is the mystery of childbirth, hey?
At about 5am a midwife walked in. She was tall, African and loud. So loud. She took one look at my face – which I can only assume was NOT serene – and said, “let’s get you an epidural shall we?” I nodded silently, eyes bulging in pain.
She looked over at Sarge and clapped her hands three times, “wake up! I’m getting the doctor!” And then stormed out.
He jerked upright like he’d been shot.
I’ll love her until the day I die.
I got that blessed epidural and went straight to sleep. A magically deep and exhausted sleep.
I have no idea what went on for the next six hours but when they woke me, it was time to push.
It was only two or three bewildered pushes before my OB took my hand and put it on my baby’s head.
Now, I’d always imagined the business end of labour to be approx. 4 metres away from the top half of my body. I don’t know why. I’m fairly familiar with where my vagina is – and yet I was sure that in the midst of childbirth it would be far, far away. I hadn’t expected I could actually touch him.
And then she did something that will stay with me forever.She grabbed my hands and put them under his arms and told me to pull.
I pulled my tiny baby out of my own body and onto my stomach.
He was here. I was a Mum.
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