#211: Be a labour buddy

This blog is a sham! I’ve been lying to you all week! My sister went into labour on Sunday – while I was still staying in her house.

Since it’s the official due date, and I’ve been given permission to tell the world, here’s how it all went down. I’ll pretend I’m writing this on Monday morning*.

I’ll be calling my sister Megan (since she’s roughly as attractive as Megan Gale) and my brother-in-law Jim (why not?)

It’s Monday morning (*see how smooth and realistic that was?) and my little sister is in labour. Yesterday (Sunday) we washed some second-hand soft toys and hung them out on the line, all damp and multicoloured. Then Megan and Jim and I played a game of Settlers. I was way ahead the entire game, and then Megan drew ahead and won. (I’ve played exactly three games of Settlers since arriving here – a game I’m so good at that some people refuse to play with me – and Megan has won all three. I think her baby-to-be is sneaking under the table and looking at my cards and/or brain.)

She went for a walk to a nearby friend’s house (who I’ll call Helen) and I continued reading a Cadfael book. When she came back she didn’t come into my room, so I just kept reading. Then, at about 12:30pm, she called me.

I went into her room and she and Jim were lying on the bed.

“I’m in labour,” she said. “I’ve been getting regular contractions since 4:00am, and now they’re growing more intense.”

I babbled. Then I flailed. Then I laughed, and babbled, and flailed some more. It was a day and a half until I flew back to Canberra. If all went well, I’d be able to meet him/her before I left.

We arranged an alternate lift to the airport, on the basis that Jim would be otherwise engaged (somewhat). My mum had already been contacted, so now that I knew, Megan called her to talk about it. I took this photo.

She is actually having a contraction at the time, but the weird face is because of the paparazzi, not labour.

Jim and I walked around in a daze, talking too fast, cleaning haphazardly, talking to Megan, fetching her drinks, timing contractions on his iphone, and saying, “Oh, this is so cool!” Megan joined in on the, “Oh, this is so cool!” parts.

I had weetbix sandwiches for lunch, and Megan had a bowl of fresh fruit and yoghurt. The wind blew some dried flowers off her wall and scattered them across the floor, so she hoovered her room.

I took another photo:

I actually took another photo of her, in which she charmingly stuck her finger up her nose, but I’ve decided not to reproduce that here.

They went for a walk, and I have absolutely no idea what I did (but I bet there was some staring into space – and also posting photos to my Mum so she could see for herself that Megan was perfectly fine).

When they came back, the contractions were stronger and closer together. Megan starting leaning on the swiss ball she’d borrowed for the purpose.

At around 5pm her contractions started to come about four minutes apart, and usually lasted around a minute. I cooked her an omelette, which she ate for dinner. She stopped talking during contractions. All our spirits were sky-high. The baby was coming! No more sleeps!

Megan and Jim started slowly heading to the car, timing actions for between contractions.

I really wanted to go and sit in the waiting room, but I knew that I’d probably just end up having panic attacks (and no way to get home) – and, more importantly, I knew Megan didn’t want me there.

The couple left, and so did Megan and Jim.

I paced, and cleaned, and watched the first few episodes of MASH on my laptop. It was the 6pm on the 10th of the 10th 2010, so my brother and I were hoping she’d have a super-short labour and get a cool birth date.

Midnight came and went. “She might still have made it,” I thought. “Because they wouldn’t SMS in the first instant after birth.”

1:00am came and went.

I gave up and went to sleep, expecting to be woken by the birth SMS sometime in the night (having forgotten that my Mum was in hospital labour for 36 hours).

At 4:00am the sharp sound of my SMS rang out again, making me gasp and sit bolt upright before remembering what was happening and grabbing for the phone.

“Any moment now” from Jim.

I didn’t bother going back to sleep, knowing that the pushing stage generally lasts less than an hour.

I ate, and watched MASH, and saw the sun rise. I cleaned the fish water and fed the fish and hens.

Hours passed. No word.

It’s been six hours since Megan began to push. I called the birthing centre but they refused to tell me anything.

It’s 10:00am, Megan’s been in labour for thirty hours, and I know something has gone wrong.

NB: If you’re a family member or friend and can’t stand the suspense, just call me or CJ or my mum or dad. Otherwise, I’ll tell all tomorrow.

Published by Felicity Banks Books

I write books (mainly adventure fantasy for kids and young adults), real-time twittertales, and a blog of Daily Awesomeness. @Louise_Curtis_ and http://twittertales.wordpress.com. My fantasy ebook is on sale at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/278981.

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