I've been sitting here, drinking wine, eating a late supper which mostly is bread and fruit and reading blogs, when it occurred to me that midnight approaches and I've told you nothing about myself. Not today, that is.
I've been thinking about having a baby. Yes, mine...but not now, that'd be a bit icky. It'd be weird. No, about when Ro was born, which is nearly 24 years ago, when I was a youthful 30.
I'd been quietly in labour since about 2 am, so I didn't get much sleep, but it was all right until about 3 in the afternoon, when it changed gear and we rang the hospital half an hour's drive away, called my mum, who came to look after El and Al and drove off. I can still see their little faces gazing after me as we drove away; I wonder if they remember, and what they were thinking?
The roundabout just the other side of Yarmouth Harbour bridge had just been resurfaced, badly, and the car made a strange noise as we drove over it - we thought for a minute we'd got a flat tyre. I was writhing silently in the front seat and the Sage was calm and relaxed, damn him. We arrived and checked in.
"See you later" he said. "I'd better go home and feed the dog."
Okay, I had a bath and all that sort of stuff, and was put in a room on my own. Two midwives came and chatted a bit, but I was fine; done all this before, didn't do pain relief or anything as I really don't like not being in full control of my thoughts....I'd tried pethidine once and I hated it; didn't help and I couldn't concentrate.
Anyway, time went by and as long as I didn't lie on my back, I was fine. After a couple of hours, it changed gear again, so I rang the bell and they decided to take me to the delivery room. I asked if my husband was coming back - they'd rung home, but had no reply. I felt a bit upset, it was hurting and I wanted him.
I was just being helped - lifted, I think - I weighed 10 1/2 stone, several pounds more than in my previous pregnancies, so I was sorry for the nice midwives - onto a trolley when the Sage burst in and put his arms around me.
It didn't hurt any more. Honestly. I felt the pain drain away, and it never got to me again. Ro was born at 8.30 and the midwife said his weight was 3.25 kilograms. "What's that mean?" he said. "Just over 7 lbs," I said. "7 lbs, 2 oz" said the midwife, a few seconds later. Honestly, that was one of the best moments, doing that conversion minutes after giving birth.
A couple of years ago, I found some photos of El and Al, with me and the baby in hospital the next day. They looked so proud. I was all choked up.
Anyway, the point is that it really is mind over matter sometimes. I think this hypnobirthing stuff might work. And if they aren't sure if it'll be enough, then Phil needs to leave the hospital for a couple of hours, saying he'll not be long, get stuck in traffic and get back just in time.