Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The Lumpy has landed - Part 2, Channelling your inner cow

About 10 minutes from the end of the CD, I just couldn't lie still any more. And I suddenly had a very, very strong need to go to the toilet. I stumbled up and off the couch, and made my way upstairs to the bathroom. On the way, I shed my dressing gown, deciding that clothes were no longer tolerable or necessary. I got to the toilet, where, despite an increasingly strong urge, couldn't make myself poo. And then I noticed that there was blood. Quite a bit of blood, it seemed.

This was about the moment I finally admitted that this wasn't food poisoning. It was absolutely and definitely labour. And I was starting to feel a creeping, irresistible desire to start pushing.

With impeccable timing and the sixth sense for which I love him, Mr Badger had decided it was time to call the hospital. He told them that we'd been having contractions two minutes apart for over an hour. The midwife asked whether she could talk to me, but Mr B, hearing the continuing moos emerging from the bathroom, wasn't sure I'd be capable of that. I could just about hear him on the phone, and, between moos, kept trying to call to him. The blood. The blood seemed very important, and I wanted the hospital to know. Eventually he came upstairs, and I managed to relay the blood message. He in turn relayed this to the midwife, who assured him it was probably just a 'show' (and not an apocalyptic sign of impending disaster, as I naturally assumed), and then said that we should probably start making our way in.

I was now on the bathroom floor, completely naked.

"Right," said Mr Badger, managing to summon a calmness he probably wasn't feeling at all. "We have to get you dressed. What do you want to wear? A skirt?"

A skirt would be great, I agreed (moooooooooo!) And a bra, knickers, a top, shoes (mooo, mooo, MOOOOO!). Using the minute and a half or so I was now getting between contractions, we managed to get me at least reasonably dressed. At the same time as struggling into underthings, I called out instructions for packing the last few things into the hospital bag. I had vaguely thought about doing this the previous day, but seemed to have missed out on the traditional burst of nesting energy required to actually do this (just like I seemed to have missed out on the whole first stage of labour). Finally, Mr Badger went to put the bag (now actually containing some baby clothes and nappies) in the car, and I started my slow progress downstairs. Walking was still possible, but it was a slow, waddling, clumsy process, with many pauses to lean against walls and moo to myself. Out in the garden, mid-moo, I idly wandered if any of the neighbours could hear me, and were puzzling over what a distressed cow was doing in the middle of Temple Cowley.

In the car, I realized I couldn't - or, at least, didn't want to - sit down in the seat, so I braced myself up on my arms. And in this relaxed posture, I desperately tried to go to my 'special place' - the beach in the Maldives where we went on honeymoon (and then had a second honeymoon two years later, because, frankly, we're greedy, and love free cocktails just too much). I managed to go there for about 20 seconds, before the inner cow reasserted itself and required me to do some more mooing. And there ain't no cows in the Maldives, let me assure you.

Abut halfway to the hospital, Mr Badger realized that we had forgotten to bring my notes. These notes are like the talisman of pregnancy, filled with essential details, facts, secrets, and cryptic codes, without which you are not allowed access to any medical attention whatsoever. If we'd dared to turn up at hospital without these notes, they probably would have barricaded the doors and forced me to birth my baby in the gutter, probably pelting me with rotten fruit for good measure. Clearly, we had to go back and get them. But you try telling that to a lowing cow-woman, braced rigid in the passenger seat of an Audi, with a baby threatening to slither out at any minute. Since the only power of communication I had now was the moo, however, I couldn't really argue, so back home we went.

Mr Badger ran in to get the notes, leaving me to lick the windows and look doleful. Soon he was back, and we could start again. I remember this part of the journey only in patches - all the traffic lights (red), the taxi driver who wouldn't back down and forced his way onto our side of the road to get past, and the car park which had no spaces... and OMG, I'm gonna have this baby in the car now... eeeeeeeeeppp, moooooOOOOO!

Finally we found a space, which just happened to be about as far from the entrance as it was possible to be. I set off on the walk there, while Mr Badger got the bag from the car and followed. The CCTV footage from the next few minutes would be entertaining, I'm sure, as I stumbled from car to car, hung off any convenient signs and lampposts, and eventually braced myself on the fence just outside the entrance - you guessed it - mooing. A passing woman asked if she should get someone to bring us a wheelchair, which we politely declined (sitting being something of an issue), before gathering all our strength for the last burst to the lifts.

The Spires Unit is on the seventh - in other words, the top - floor. A lift arrived and we stumbled in, then started jabbing desperately at buttons. Before we could escape, however, several other people piled in, selecting all of the lower floors, then staring in vague horror at the woman daring to be in labour in a lift in a maternity ward. I turned my back on them, rested my forehead on the wall, and struggled to stifle the inner cow.

Fourth floor - DING! {moo} - fifth floor - DING! {moo} - sixth floor - DING! {moo} - seventh floor, ohthankgodatlast, MOOOO!

A midwife met us on the way in. I walked zombie-like towards her, sweat-glazed, and staring-eyed.

"I think you'd better come straight to the delivery room," she said. We agreed.


1 comment:

  1. What? Mr Badger did not drive straight up to the entrance to A&E Screaming 'My Wife is having a baby, she is in LABOUR PEOPLE, SOMEBODY HELP' then abandon his car as he carried you onto a gurney?! No?! Oh that's how it happens in the movies! Then I find myself wondering, what happens to the car?! Hmmm.