And Baby makes three.
Thank goodness for Aunt Rose! She was the spinster sister of Dodie, William’s mother and William had always been her favourite nephew. She used to drive an
Off we went to Epsom hospital - William driving very carefully as I explained the baby no longer had that great cushion of water to protect it. At the hospital William was told to go home and that he could phone in the morning. I realise that mothers now want a ‘birthing partner’ to support them during the birth but it was unheard of then, and all I wanted was a nurse who knew what she was about; I had a job to do and I didn’t want any distractions.
I was put in a quite a pleasant room and told to get into bed. Then I was left alone and was aware that, from time to time, people looked through the glass panel on the door. Every time I got a contraction I could feel my face flushing with discomfort. This went on for some time with me stolidly deep breathing, and trying to relax in between. Eventually a nurse came in, examined me and was surprised to find I was fully dilated. She said she seen me lying peacefully (as she thought) on the bed and assumed I was a long way off giving birth. I was rushed down to the labour ward where a doctor had just delivered a baby and was ready to go home. Tough!
Throughout the birth he and the nurse were chatting, in a playful way to each other, except when they gave me instructions. Finally when my baby was born I was so exhausted that I sank back when I had meant to look at the baby emerging. My relief was short-lived when the doctor said I was torn and he would have to put some sutures in. There was just time to get a fleeting glimpse of my son and then he was whisked away.
‘We won’t bother with a local – she’ll be numb down there.’
I had been so proud of myself and now this arrogant clot of a doctor put me through what I can only describe as medieval torture and I screamed and sobbed. I have been wary of male doctors ever since and will always choose to have a woman if possible. The anger is still there although I no longer imagine attacking his nether regions with a large cutting needle to see if he was ‘numb down there’
At last I was back in the room with my son in a cot beside me. I took him in my arms and gazed at him. It was instant, deep, everlasting, unconditional love. He was long and skinny, pink and white with a silken down on his little head the colour of golden treacle toffee. We stared at each other. Such a serious little face with navy blue eyes. I expected they would change, and he did eventually have a deeper version of William’s eyes instead of my green ones. He clamped onto the breast to the manner born – no problems there.
When daylight came I looked out of the window and there below, on the forecourt, was William. His face lit up when he saw me and he waved violently so I could tell he knew the good news. The nurse told me in a disapproving manner, that he had phoned three or four times during the night. And why not? Now he had to wait for visiting time in the evening to see our son.
I went back to bed and my favourite occupation; staring at our # 1 son. This little scrap had changed my whole life and I was supposed after six months, to leave him in the care of somebody else? Not bloody likely!