My Bundle Of Joy: Part Ten

This is the tenth part of a fiction serial, in 730 words.

I have to confess that ringing my boss and hearing her reaction was very gratifying. She had obviously expected me to roll over and accept her terms, but when I said I would confirm my resignation by email, she appeared to be stumped for a reply. After another pointless attempt to get me to come in from midday to five, she said she would work out any oustanding annual leave, and contact the HR department about any pay that was due, and my pension entitlements.

I would like to add that she wished me well, and asked me to reconsider. But she didn’t.

I wasn’t going to count on much of a reference from her in the future.

Olly threw himself into making sure that I didn’t do anything remotely strenuous. Without even asking me, he employed a local company to send someone in to clean the house. Four hours on Mondays, and two hours on Friday afternoons. It was good to see him being in control for once, to be frank. He had long left almost everything to me, even the bills and paperwork.

The cleaner’s name was Rosa, and she was from Poland, like Mariusz next door. There was quite a large Polish community in the area, as we had soon discovered.

When she found out that I had quit my job, my mum seemed to see that as a signal that she could come over more often. Every time she arrived, she had bagfuls of things. Clothes for Leah, groceries that I didn’t need, as well as gadgets like a baby monitor and a thing that hung over the cot side to play lullabies. I didn’t mind those visits as much as I thought I would. Being at home all day had been fine at first, but only seeing Rosa for a few hours left me devoid of company until Olly got home. I had started to watch too much daytime telly, and stuff myself with unhealthy snacks.

Although I had never kept in touch with most of my friends from my teens, even those few I saw now and again didn’t fancy the drag out to the suburbs to visit. Most of them seemed to be waiting for the birth, when they could show up wth a suitable gift, cuddle the baby for a while, then think of a reason why they had to leave. Mum wanted to arrange a baby shower, but I told her not to bother.

There was every likelihood we would be the only ones there.

By the time I got to thirty-five weeks, Olly had built the cot from a flatpack, and my baby bag was packed and ready by the door. There was a stock of newborn nappies in the second bedroom, as well as a pile of baby clothes. Olly had become an expert shopper in just a couple of months, refusing to hear about me accompanying him, even when I told him that there was only so much rest a person could have.

I was wearing bigger bras, and a size larger shoes. And I was still peeing at an Olympic Gold Medal level.

Some occasional sharp pains had scared me enough to contact the midwife at Saint Mary’s. She rang me back and reassured me that everything was normal, and told me I would know the difference when I was in labour. I told her I couldn’t feel Leah moving around that much, and she glossed over that too. It seemed that whenever I had any doubts or fears, I ended up feeling like a panicky time-waster.

I avoided asking my mum anything, as she would launch into a monologue about how she had me and my brother as easy as shelling peas. I doubted that of course, and knew that she thought she was sparing me the worst in case it upset me.

Olly and I had a talk about not calling an ambulance when I thought I was in labour. I was scared they might take me to County General again, and though everyone had been lovely there, I wanted to stick with my first choice. He said I should ring him first, then ring a taxi. No point him commuting home to take me in the car, unless it happened while he was at home of course.

But when it happened, he wasn’t at home.

35 thoughts on “My Bundle Of Joy: Part Ten

    1. Most of the babies I delivered were the third or fourth babies. By that time, they start to come much faster than the first two, and the mums tend to be taken unawares It was almost unknown for any of us to deliver a first child, as the labour usually took so long. We only did a home or public delivery if we could see extensive ‘crowning’, or the baby’s hair. Even then, we usually went ahead only if the midwife was being collected to come to scene by another ambulance, or we were too far from a designated hospital. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. (1) “Olly threw himself into making sure that I didn’t do anything remotely strenuous.” For example, he threw himself into the laundry. That’s how he ended up swimming in maternity dresses with a pink brassiere draped over his head.
    (2) It was good to see Olly being in control for once, to be Frank. Because being unable to control one’s split personality can be quite annoying.
    (3) The Polish cleaner wanted to polish the furniture.
    (4) Rosa did everything humanly possible to clean the house, but admitted she wasn’t as efficient as Rosey the Robot.
    (5) “I had started to watch too much daytime telly, and stuff myself with unhealthy snacks.” How many packages of Twinkies and cans of Pringles can one eat while watching “General Hospital” without ending up there?
    (6) Bad citation: “Mum wanted to arrange a baby shower, but I told her not to bother. I’d just bathe Leah in the kitchen sink.”
    (7) “I was wearing bigger bras, and a size larger shoes. And I was still peeing at an Olympic Gold Medal level.” The Olympic Committee subsequently accused Angela of taking steroids, and eliminated her from the competition.
    (8) Bad citation: “I avoided asking my mum anything, as she would launch into a monologue about how she had me and my brother as easy as wearing mittens when shelling peanuts.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was called out twice in the middle of the night each time my daughter-in-law was in labour, in order to relieve them of the other 2 children. The journey always takes 40 minutes, and I’m sure my son thought he’d be performing midwife duties by the time I got there for the third labour!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I delivered a baby in the back of a taxi, on a very busy London street. I felt really sorry for the cab driver, as the back of his taxi was in such a mess. I doubt he could have worked for the rest of that day. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I delivered 14 babies in 22 years. Six of them were boys, and none were named after me. Though one Rasta lady in Notting Hill told me she would use my name as a middle name. No idea if she did though. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Actaully, delivering a baby is the worst thing you can do in that job, because it is a huge responsibility. When I knew I had no option but to do a home or public delivery, I was always terrified of making a mistake. I had them with cords around the neck, and one incident of a breech birth where i had to grope around and get the legs down. The relief when you got the baby out alive was overwhelming. But on most occasions, it was just a matter of catching it as it came sploshing out. As you know, they are incredibly slippery! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I’d rather not be down the business end. I remember trying to project my mind away to somewhere else. Marc was born in St. George’s Hospital in Tooting, which is a teaching hospital. I had about five medical students in there, doctors, midwives, Sam and Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all…

                Liked by 1 person

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