I’m in a fab group with some fab women and they’re swapping funny labour stories. I have five children and five absolute horror labour stories, so, not wanting to kill the mood, I thought I’d share my false labour story instead.
At eight months and two weeks pregnant on my first child, I was convinced I was in the agonising throes of labour (lol at younger me and my Braxton Hicks!)
So I walked down to the maternity hospital (the fact that I could walk there and stop for a super split on the way should have been my first sign!)
I marched into their A&E area and demanded they deliver my baby ASAP, as she was coming right now, ice pop still in hand. The very busy midwife asked me a few questions, and underwhelmed with my answers, told me to strip from the waist down behind the curtain, lie on the bed, and she’ll get to me when she gets to me. ‘Well’ I thought, as I flicked through my magazine, ‘if she’s not back before the baby gets here, I WILL sue her.’
Let me set the scene… there are maybe six beds in the A&E department, separated only by curtains and there’s very limited space between them. Outside the curtains, there is a row of seats. That’s where all the men were sitting and all those seats were occupied. All the beds happened to be occupied too. Some women had their curtains open, some, like me, had them drawn.
I was in the bed closest to the entrance. All around me I could hear women huffing and puffing, moaning and screaming. I thought to myself ‘drama queens, this labour business isn’t that bad.’
Next of all, I heard a woman burst into the room, SCREAMING for help, she said the babies head was coming out. She was absolutely hysterical. I thought to myself, ‘I hear ya sister, don’t expect the eye-rolling midwife to be in a hurry, I’ve been here half an hour now,’ as I filled in my Cosmo quiz of Are You Good in Bed.
The midwife finally graced me with her presence, but only to tell me she needed my bed, IMMEDIATELY. Horrified, I started to protest only to be rudely interrupted by the hysterical woman, who barged in behind her and, I kid you not, GRAB me by the arm and pull me out of the room. In the chaos, there was no time for me to grab my knickers or my €50 maternity leggings (lol, first time mammies, am I right?!)
There I stood, in all my naked-from-the-waist-down glory, in front of the six or so seated men, pretending not to look at my bare arse or completely in tact hoo-haa that was no where close to being in labour.
As the midwife called for help and grabbed all her baby catching equipment, that hysterical woman, from here on out to be known as the ABSOLUTE HERO, delivered her own baby all over my magazine, just as her frazzled partner ran into the room with a suitcase and car seat.
It was the most amazing scene. Even the midwife was blown away. Everyone clapped, well except me. My hands were busy attempting to cover up my naughty bits but failing miserably.
The absolute hero cried with joy and relief, her partner died of shock for a few minutes then apologised for missing it, apparently he couldn’t get the stupid car seat out. They sat together gazing down at this beautiful, amazing thing that just happened. I will never forget the look of pure awe and pride on both their faces.
It was such a wonderful moment, that was, of course, until I had to interrupt it. ‘Excuse me, I’m sorry but could I please just grab my knickers from underneath you?’
There are two morals to this story:
No.1 Women. Are. Amazing
No.2 First time mamas, if you’re flicking through mags and eating ice pops… it’s Braxton Hicks.