Saturday, June 29, 2013

Birth, reading and all the other things.

1. At 2.44am my face is buried in the sofa cushions and the midwife is telling me to 'blow out baby's birthday cake candles'. A stinging push, a gasp and a reedy newborn cry. Another easier push and...

1a. ...at 2.45am I am holding Bettany Genevieve Law.

1b. Discovering afterwards that Nick was brave enough and strong enough and kind enough to sit behind me with the midwife so he saw Bettany crowning.

2. "You were like three old crones reading the auguries in some entrails," says Nick. After I had delivered the placenta (my notes say 'maternal effort' was the method used) squatting over a blue plastic tray, the midwives talked through the examination with me.

3. The midwife pauses in her stitching. 'Can you actually feel me down here? Clare! Clare! Take a breath of fresh air!' I take the mouthpiece out and giggle. Good old gas and air.

4. I come down from my shower and the midwives have made up the sofa bed: 'We wanted to make it nice for you.'

5. The stream of wellwishers who put their heads round the door or wave at us through the window and the caring comments on our social networks.

6. My mother comes to look after us all and Alec announces firmly that he will be going home with her, so Nick and I get a night alone with Bettany.