Friday, 5 June 2009
Hazy Shades of Winter: Grey
Good grief you lot are impatient! Unfortunately for you a very persistent velvet cord clad marsupial spends most of my waking hours trying to dig his way into my clothes to latch onto my boobs, before promptly falling asleep in a self satisfied milk drunk stupor. While this is great from his perspective it makes it hard to type.
Anyhow, story picks up again at the hospital. I found my way to the appropriate place and was shown to my cubicle and left with a couple of out of date Womens Weeklies. Settling in with Nicole Kidman's miracle baby news I was attended later by a nice but very by the book midwife. After checking my story (and my underpants) she agreed that my waters had broken and started explaining the procedure. Which is basically to put me on a monitor and make sure I don't have a rip roaring fever etc. All well and good but she was explaining in painfully simplistic language at a snail's pace and it started to get really irritating.
She hooked up the CTG monitor and then launched into what it was and how it worked. When I got to the point I couldn't take it any more I interjected something simple that usually clearly gets the message that I know what they're doing and please stop treating me like a 4 year old. However she didn't blink and continued to explain that what the monitor was measuring in such laborious but unfulfilling detail that I stared off into space.
As expected, the Possum's heart rate was good and steady, doing nothing in particular and I was having very irregular very very mild contractions about every 10 minutes or so that barely registered on the machine. After about half an hour of this, there was a shift change and I was assigned a new midwife. This one had a brief chat to me and immediately labelled me as the cheekiest patient in the unit and told me that I could take off the monitor as it was clearly pretty pointless. She then phoned up my much loved obstetrician to see what he wanted to do. "To see what *I* want to do" I corrected and she laughed.
It was now around 2ish in the afternoon and in the stretches with no one else with me I felt incredibly antsy. I wanted Bingley and I was afraid of getting up and moving without him here and missing the whole event. I felt odd and swirly and like I was consciously deciding not to go into labour which was so strange. I would feel the Possum kick and swish and it felt totally surreal to know he would be out so soon. One stretch I was left alone for 20 minutes or so and I felt so panicky I smsed Bingley at least 10 times and felt really tearful.
After a while, my new improved midwife came back and told me that my obstetrician had ordered them to find me a bed because he didn't want me giving birth on the South East Freeway trying to get back in time once labour kicked in. He also told them not to let me argue and to enjoy the free sandwiches that they kept offering me. I get the impression that it may have been conveyed that I can be quite stubborn as much of this was presented to me as a fait accompli. Not really having any other options at that point though, resistance was futile so agreed to be ushered up to my room.
If it had felt surreal before it was just bizarre now. I was in a room with sweeping views over the city focused on a white church in the mid distance. My room was as neat and well appointed as a hotel room (even scoring hotel numbering on the door) with his and hers oxygen and suction accessories instead of towelling white bathrobes. I was handed over to the ward midwives and sat on the edge of my bed, still in my dressed up dress, with my handbag on the floor, oversized Audrey Hepburn sunglasses on the side table just... waiting.
At this point any time I got up and walked around I would have a contraction. A realish one. And being as I had no idea where Bingley was (he'd stopped answering my sms) I wasn't game to move. Buffet dinner was announced and I picked the least unappetising dish on offer and declined a glass of wine (red or white?) taking y tray back to my room before picking at the bread roll and watching terrible afternoon tv.
I read everything in the room. From the "tell us what you think" form to the "how to breastfeed" pamphlet. Even the "check your baby's paternity" pamphlet. I was so cagey by the time that someone knocked on the door I could feel my heart rate treble. When it finally opened to reveal Bingley calmly wheeling a small cabin bag holding a RedBull I was completely out of my comfort zone. Seeing him almost made me burst into tears, both with relief and also with an irrational anger that he hadn't been here all the time (even though I had known where he had necessarily been).
It was dark then, my picture window ablaze with twinkling lights along the freeway, shops and houses. Bingley kept asking me if anything was happening as we watched TV in uneasy silence, knowing that both of us were thinking about what was going to happen At Any Minute. It was at least 5 hours now since my waters had officially broken and the suspense of just sitting there, of knowign what the eventual outcome would be but not knowing how the story would be written (other than it would be different to anything else we'd ever done before) was tying us both up in knots.