Thursday, 11 October 2012

Down to earth with a bump (18) - Labour of love (3)

Simon and I sat in a room on the labour ward for four whole hours before a doctor was available. We were left alone all that time. I have to say those four hours were the most horrendous of my entire pregnancy, for a woman somewhere close by screamed and yelled throughout, revealing her agony in the most distressing way. I didn’t like it and putting my fingers in my ears did not make it go away. My excitement dissipated and I was no longer calm. Instead I was completely terrified and my body reacted accordingly. My labour slowed until my contractions stopped altogether.

A doctor finally examined me and told me I was to be induced that night. We needed to get things going as our baby was in danger, having been in the womb with no water for so long. ‘I can’t be induced tonight, it’s so late and I’m already exhausted (scared shitless). I hardly slept at all last night and I need to go home. (Scared shitless). Please. Pleeeeeease,’ I begged. Defeated, the doc booked us in for an 8am slot. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

As adrenalin dipped, hunger surged and it dawned on us we hadn’t eaten for hours.
‘Let’s stop at the Thai restaurant.’
‘Do you think it’s still open?’
‘Probably.’

Thankfully it was and thankfully it was reasonably empty. Although a large group of Americans lingered, enjoying themselves, clearly toasted. Our drinks arrived as we studied the menu wondering what to eat, when suddenly I felt a contraction. What on earth was I thinking? How could I possibly eat a meal at gone ten at night, when I was being induced the next morning? More contractions kicked in. My emotions immediately did a u-turn and I lost my appetite instantaneously to be replaced with pain and panic. I whispered to Simon, ‘We have to go.’ He looked blankly at me. (If you can help it, never come between a hungry man and his meal, or if you do, don’t expect him to have fast brain output).
‘I’m having contractions again. I want to go home.’
‘Oh babe, but we're about to order.’
‘I can’t eat Simon, what am I thinking? Sorry hun, I have some pasta at home, can you cope with that instead.' A pain hit. 'I have to go.’ Poor sod tries the awkward waiter angle.
‘What do I say to the waiter?’
The waiter was nearing. I composed myself. ‘I’m ever so sorry. You see, I’m having a baby. We really need to leave.’ The waiter nodded and smiled and held out his arm to help me up. He was gracious and discreet which I was so thankful for. My bump was so overwhelmingly huge, I usually could feel the stares everywhere I went. 

Unfortunately, I was to become a spectacle yet, as one of the Americans tuned in to what was happening, and made his announcement at the top of his voice, ‘Oh my God, you’re having the baby. Hey, she’s having the baby. Everyone, the baby is coming, the baby is coming.’ Well, I didn’t know where to put myself. Simon steered me towards the door and away from the table of cherry-faced and very loud tourists, who clearly couldn’t quite believe the anecdote they would now be able to share back home. They whooped and wowed, clapping me as I went, with cheers of good luck and encouragement. Bewildered, we closed the door on the noise.

At home, I got in the bath and sunk down so the water was around my neck. My belly floated above. I closed my eyes so I couldn’t see it.