My Bundle Of Joy: Part Thirteen

This is the thirteenth part of a fiction serial, in 782 words.

People often use the expression ‘That was the longest day of my life’. I used to smile at that, and say that every day only has twenty-four hours in it. But by seven-thirty that evening, I knew what they meant.

Almost five hours had felt more like thirty-five. And the midwives were quick to let me know I could be in labour for another five hours, if not more. The pains came and went, and the gas stopped helping it. Olly looked as if he was going to fall asleep, jolted out of his dozing by the occasional scream from me. I told him to go out and get something to eat, walk around in the fresh air. But he was determined to stay.

And I had to get used to some new faces, once the night duty staff arrived. No longer red-cheeked Moira, or the girl with the surpised look on her face. It was now Tanya, a stunningly attractive young woman who looked more like she should be on the cover of a fashion magazine. The most unlikely midwife I had ever seen.

Tanya had a businesslike manner, and wasn’t about to take any nonsense from me. She was local too, and listening to her accent was like hearing myself talk. When she didn’t come to check on me, Elizabetta did. Short, dumpy, and Filipino, with a big smile and caring nature.

She told me she had three children. I told her I just wanted to have this one.

By eleven that night, I was starting to panic. How long could this take? Surely Leah should be out by now? The pains got so bad, I felt like I had a bowling ball stuck between my legs. I tried getting on all fours, and even got Olly to help me walk around and kneel by the side of the bed. Nothing seemed to help. Leah was happy where she was.

The noise of the screaming and grunting was getting on my nerves too. I was quite shocked when I realised it was me making it.

Olly was getting distressed to see me in such a state, and pressed the buzzer. Tanya listened to him rambling on about my intense pain, and then left the room. She came back with an Indian doctor who was wearing surgical scrubs, and she asked me if I wanted stronger pain relief introduced through an epidural needle in my back. I had been determined not to have that, but felt so exhausted, I just nodded.

When that was done, I couldn’t feel anything below my waist, and became worried I might not know when Leah finally came out. Then I actually went to sleep.

I had no idea how long I had been sleeping, when a strange noise woke me up. It was coming from one of the two monitors attached to me, and I didn’t like the sound of it. As if to confirm my suspicions, Tanya suddenly appeared, looking serious, but her make-up still perfect.

She ignored my panicky questions about what was wrong, then pressed the nurse call button. Olly still looked drowsy, but the urgency around me had made him recover his wits quickly. Elizabetta appeared, and exchanged a nod from the doorway with Tanya. Moments later, the Indian doctor came into the room, and had that same look on her face. I know I was asking all sorts of questions, but if anyone actually answered me, I don’t remember what they said.

The three of them began to rummage around between my legs like a team of mechanics trying to fix a car that wouldn’t start. I only heard bits of hushed conversations.
“Emergency section?”
“Not sure there’s a theatre free”.
“We could do it here”.
“Get the cord off her neck”.
“I’m going to try vacuum”.

With each snippet I heard, I fired a question back. But it was as if I wasn’t in the room.

Only the back of the doctor was visible as I saw her standing in the doorway talking to someone. Then a male doctor appeared, fully gowned up, and holding something that resembled a plumber’s plunger attached to a grease gun. He looked more like he had been disturbed whilst unblocking a toilet, than someone who should be in a Maternity Department delivery room. They all hunkered down between my legs again, and I heard a pumping sound of air, like when you pump up your tyres on a bike.

Moments later, Tanya stood up straight, holding a baby that was covered in gunk, and its skin a funny grey colour. Olly started crying, so I did too.

There she was, my little girl.

35 thoughts on “My Bundle Of Joy: Part Thirteen

  1. I haven’t been on for a few days so heading up through your blogs to see what happens next! Sounds like things are still a bit touch and go yet Pete. I don’t know what colour my son was as I ended up in theatre as there was still no sign of him and he was in distress. They figured I needed a c-section, but managed vacuum extraction thankfully. He wasn’t given to me until he was cleaned up and all was well. That bit in-between where he had been born and I couldn’t hear the expected cry was the longest. I kept asking was he ok and no one answered. the thoughts that went through my head until I finally heard him and then the relief. 18 years old now and an answer for everything 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting to me that you experienced a very similar situation to Angela in my story.
      Thanks for catching up, and for adding your own experience, Siobhain.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  2. (1) “That was the longest day of my life.” John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Red Buttons, Peter Lawford, Eddie Albert, Jeffrey Hunter, Stuart Whitman, Rod Steiger, Curd Jürgens, George Segal, Robert Wagner, and many others agree.
    (2) Bad citation: “It was now Tanya Roberts, a stunningly attractive young woman who looked more like she should be in a spy movie.”
    (3) Elizabetta was short, dumpy, and apt to fill a Pinot noir bottle with Lambanóg as a joke.
    (4) “I felt like I had a bowling ball stuck between my legs.” Angela has her mind in the gutter.
    (5) The Indian doctor was a fan of “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”
    (6) “The three of them began to rummage around between my legs.” They didn’t find a bowling ball, but they did find a crankshaft.
    (7) Bad citation: “Then a plumber appeared, holding a wet plunger in one hand, and a glass of what looked like Nestea in the other. But he hadn’t taken the Nestea plunge. Instead, he’d plunged the glass into the toilet he was trying to unblock.”
    (8) “Tanya stood up straight, holding a baby that was covered in Gunk.” Leah will grow up to be a mechanic who gets messy when using a degreaser on auto parts.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. But then Sam always says that early fatherhood is no picnic for the man either, as if his partner stays at home he then feels constant pressure to provide enough money to keep food on the table. He also has to go to work with next to no sleep. I guess it ain’t much fun for either party for the first few years.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Mine was rather purple, and so was I. 😁 I was lucky in the labour department–only three hours if labour (12 midnight till 3 am). Most of which was spent shuttling between hospitals. It was Holi and my own gynaecologist was on vacation, and so were the two gynaecologists in the city government hospital. One more gynae in the city had a record of more misses than hits lately, so we skipped her and travelled an hours to the nearest nursing

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another good chapter of tension, Pete. “Is there a plumber in the house?”

    Losing a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. I sure hope Leah is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah! Welcome. I hope her parents will not crumble too soon. I and my husband did on the first night with her when she pooped, peed and threw up and peed again in quick succession before we could clean her up even once.

      Liked by 2 people

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