I should have been writing about something quite different, but I was reminded, by means of Facebook, about the birth of Ro. By the way, his girlfriend Dora has just received news of a new baby nephew, so congratulations to her and the happy parents. So maybe this is appropriate after all.
Ro was due in August, but in the early hours of 24th July, I woke feeling uncomfortable. This continued for the rest of the night. I didn’t get ‘false alarms’ so I reckoned that things were happening. It so happened that I was due a check-up with the gynaecologist that day, so I packed a bag, asked the Sage to drive me and arrived at the local hospital, and waited for my appointment. Waited, my left foot. I was left apologising to the Sage for giving up an entire morning. No idea what went wrong, but it was hours before I was called in. A few women had young children with them, they were in despair and the children inconsolable at being kept in a crowded waiting room. Anyway, eventually my name was called and I went in.
When Weeza was born, this chap had delivered her. Al was born at home under the care of the family doctor. This was lovely, but he’d retired. I asked my doctor if he did home deliveries, but he didn’t and I really liked him and didn’t want to change, so opted for the consultant I’d known ten years before (who didn’t remember me, but then he sees a lot of rear ends and I don’t suppose one stands out more than another).
I said to him, I was having labour pains and had had for eight hours. He didn’t reply, but said he’d have a look. A painful few minutes later, he said he’d see me in a fortnight. That still rankles, twenty-six and a half years later, that he didn’t actually address a word in answer to anything I said. I’ve favoured non-white/female/non-posh-voiced consultants ever since. (Any combination of)
I stalked out, we went home, I felt uncomfortable. At 3 o’clock, it moved up a gear, I phoned my mum who came straight over. I remember waving to Weeza and Al, standing looking anxious in the drive. We drove ten miles to the hospital. On the roundabout in Yarmouth, the car sounded as if there was a flat tyre. I was wriggling uncomfortably, the Sage was annoyingly calm. We discussed it and decided it was the road surface, which it was.
We got to the hospital and the Sage said that the dog needed to be fed (that was Simon, you don’t know him) and buggered off, leaving me feeling a bit … left.
Anyway, things progressed, I’ll get to the point eventually. I was assigned two lovely midwives and taken to a room and they popped in regularly, but basically I was left. Which was fine, I’m better on my own. Eventually, I said politely that I would like my husband to be phoned. They did so, but there was no answer. I started to feel a bit desperate, I really wanted my Sage with me. It was rush hour, they said he was probably stuck in traffic. Finally, we couldn’t wait, they started to help me on to a trolley to get me in to the delivery room. I was very uncomfortable.
The Sage arrived and put his arms round me. And as he put his arms around me, the pain vanished. I promise you, this is literally true. I felt all pain drain away – not vanishing in a moment, but steadily leaving me and draining away. And, although the contractions carried on happening, and I suppose it must have been quite a strong feeling, they never hurt again as they had.
I’d have made a good Scientologist mother, you know, I used to bear childbirth in silence. I cope better by focussing than letting it out. All the same, it was the Sage who brought me through that so easily. And I was quite looking forward to waving my new son at that rude obstetrician, but he didn’t appear again. No great loss, we didn’t need him.