I call my Mum to let her know she has a grandchild. “When are you going to have the next one then” she jokes and I laugh.
“If it’s going to be as easy as that: I’ll have another one tomorrow!”
I am hopped up on Morphine and feel fantastic. Even vomiting into a cardboard cup while simultaneously hemorrhaging all over the sheets, feels good.
I look down at the red stain, spreading like poppy petals over the bed and wonder how it got there. I look at my husband’s pale face and can’t think what he looks so worried about.
Jimmy is upstairs getting checked out and having his first feed. This is to turn into a 10 day stay in Special Care but I don’t realise this yet. When they say they “Just need to check him over” I take it at face value. Just like I took it at face value when they “Just wanted to consult a doctor about this scan.
I expect to have to start caring for him any second and even begin to wonder how it looks: Me lying here on drugs, strangers caring for my baby on another floor. Social Services will surely be furious when they find out.
I reason that I have a valid excuse as long as my legs are paralysed. As soon as the spinal block wears off, I will get up and go “collect” by baby. I realise that this may present some difficulties in an unfamiliar building, off my head on drugs so I plan each step carefully in my mind.
I visualise myself walking through the corridors in my hospital gown, and then arriving at Special Care. I might look a bit disheveled so I’ll have to make a special effort to say the right thing:
“Thank you so much for watching him for me” I will say “I ‘ll take over from here”
This plan is reassuring enough to allow me to sleep for oh, 10 minutes at a time. 10 whole minutes until someone comes by to check my breathing or my blood loss and I cycle through the same thought process again.
At one point I am given a sponge bath of such touching gentleness I almost cry with gratitude. At another, I am given the most horrific dressing since primary school for attempting to get out of bed.
By this time I have seen the error of my “collecting the baby” plan and was only trying to get a notebook from my handbag and write a To-Do list for the following day. I almost, (but don’t), suggest to the nurse that she should be grateful for this small mercy.
Somebody asks me how I am and I say I’m fine but I miss my baby. I realise how true this is, as I’m saying it and I wonder at my reactions. How can I love someone so much when I’ve never met him? How can feel his absence so strongly before I’ve even known his presence?