In blog 79, Jake and an intensely emotional Zani head for the hospital. The dilation process is well underway, but then Zani becomes quite impossible. Will Jake keep his cool?
Just then the buzzer goes. Vee stands beaming on our doorstep.
“I don’t want to come in. I just wanted to give you a posy from my garden and a hug to wish you well.”
We both burst into tears.
When Vee leaves I notice a small card dangling from the lavender posy that reads: I believe in you. Another sharp tugging hug.
“Jake, a hug!”
By now I am really uncomfortable. Lying down is no good, sitting doesn’t help, so I go for a walk around the garden. Jake unpacks his golf stuff from the boot of the car and is loading Brandon’s bag and my bag.
“Jake, can you believe we’re about to leave with a bump and return with a baby?”
I’m rambling on. “How do single moms do it? I have you and I have Vee. How do single moms do it?”
“Well, as Vee often says, if God can entrust a woman to have a baby, He must be confident that she is made of something very special that can endure the seemingly impossible.”
Another hug. They are now stronger, longer and closer together. We decide it’s time. Jake phones Miriam and I send Vee a message. Sky! I text her: We are on our way. The thought that Sky is about to let our friends know and ask them to light their candles has me in tears. It feels very special to be supported from a distance!
Thanks, Sky. And sorry, Sky. I’ll never judge a book by its cover again!
Miriam is waiting for us in our room at the birth clinic. The staff have put everything that we left in their care in our room, so the room feels more like home than a clinic. The curtains are drawn, the lights are dimmed, peaceful instrumental music is playing softly; our own duvet is on the bed and Vee’s posy goes into a glass of water. Miriam checks and announces that the cervix has thinned out nicely and has dilated 5 centimeters.
“Well done, Zani, you have just passed the halfway mark of the dilation process! Find your most comfortable position – on or off the ball, kneeling on the floor or over a chair, in or out of the water. Rest as often as you can, and move when you get the urge to. Listen to your body. Don’t talk. Listen. Talking turns your mommy brain off, listening to your body turns your mommy brain on. You need to sense Brandon because he is talking to you through his movements. Jake, your presence is important – just breathe slowly and deeply and Zani will follow. Brandon and her muscles need oxygen.
“I am here, but will give you some privacy while we wait for your body to adjust, the cervix to dilate further and for baby to descend. Call when you need me – I’m here for you. I’m outside knitting.”
Jake is his strong silent self, even when I am impossible – and impossible I am! As the hugs get closer, longer and stronger, one minute he is rubbing my back, and the next I’m chasing him off. “Go! Just go …” And then I cry because he isn’t there. I am vaguely aware that Miriam is explaining to him what is happening, so he stays calm and understands that my erratic and irrational behaviour is a good sign that we are progressing.
I drift in and out of awareness and lose track of time. It could be minutes, hours or days. No clue. At one point, when I come to, I can’t make sense of what I am seeing and blink, and then blink again to clear my vision. The duvet. Why am I staring down at the duvet? And then I realise I am on all fours on the bed.
Huh? When we watched the antenatal clips of birth positions and I saw a woman on all fours, I whispered so loudly that the entire class overheard. “What? Me standing on all fours like a cow? What kind of a person does that? What kind of a person allows that kind of thing to happen? It’s soooo undignified!” And yet here I am – controlled, cool and collected Zani on all fours, and in this moment it is the most natural thing in the world! Now that’s instinct ‘thinking’ for you!
Humbling. And it relieves the pain in my lower back too.