Last time we spoke, I suggested the trials of labour and how I imagine alien births to be. Standard musings; I think I was about one small measure of red wine down when I wrote it and anyway, who doesn’t consider the physics of alien birth from time to time?
I remember going into labour like it was 2 years and 1 month ago. I was making the dinner, wheezing, and wondering where Ed was, as he’d ‘nipped to the pub’ and now it was two hours later. Within the layers of my subconscious, I registered a mild period pain. I cut carrots into batons and the subconscious bubble of information floated to the top of my mind and became an actual thought.
‘Oh, a period pain’ thought I. I am unfortunately that person who believes everything you tell her, who doesn’t pick up on social cues, and the person who thinks that early pregnancy pains are nothing more than extended stomach aches. It shouldn’t come as a shock that, following nine months of no periods due to the human I was cultivating, I registered the first pain of labour as a routine nudge from my monthly cycle.
Half an hour later Ed had turned up and another pain presented itself. This time though, I knew differently. I knew absolutely that it was an entirely dissimilar type of pain- that kind of pain that you might experience if you’ve eaten beans, cabbage, or sprouts, perhaps a bean cabbage and sprout stew, all washed down with pints of high fizz liquid. I whispered my predicament to Ed.
‘Ed’ I said. ‘I’ve got trapped… air’. Feeling inconvenienced, I ate my dinner and we went for a brisk walk, to try to remove the issue.
On the way back, having been unsuccessful in alleviating the airy cramps, a new thought occurred to me. I let it bounce around in the dark cavernous space of my mind for a while.
20 minutes later, I realised that the thought was still simering, and so I threw it out there.
‘Ed’ I said again. ‘Maybe this is the beginning of labour’.
As you can see, the two sentences were brief, yet they took me about 30 minutes to get out.
It took Ed a further 30 minutes to assess the sentences and their connotations before finally concluding in the negative. ‘No’, said Ed.
Confident in his measured assurance, we decided to go to bed and watch a film. Then something else rather inconvenient and embarrassing occurred. Ed put the film on while I worriedly Googled ‘early onset stress incontinence’.
I was 30 minutes into a terrifying self diagnosis when another, even more terrifying thought formed. Reality won. I got up to get my overnight bag together and my knees gave way. Yes, by this stage I was about 70 stone and my joints were wrecked anyway, but this was a different sort of collapse-t’was the collapse of the woman who just realised she was in labour.
‘Ed. I’m in labour’ I managed. Ed generously paused the DVD to consider this statement. I ran through the facts. Satisfied that this wasn’t standard female hysteria, Ed allowed me to call the labour ward, and off we went.
What happened between this point and the point when this picture was taken I will talk about on a later post, and if enough people suggest that they want me to. This is because if you’re a woman who has had a baby, you know that the only reference you are actually supposed to make to your birth experience is that it’s ‘quite painful’,‘over quickly’ and ‘so worth it in the end’- particularly this is, if you’re talking to another woman who is going to have a baby, or thinking about it.
It is, absolutely, so worth it in the end. It’s just that getting to the end, when you’re somewhere in the middle, can feel as far away as the look in Ed’s eyes after being given a basic instruction. And they say that as the months roll by, you quickly forget the about the abject pain that you went through in order to meet the brand new love of your life.
I don’t think that’s strictly true.
Thank you for reading my post!
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