The Blog

This Labour of Love

So there we were at the end of a journey and the beginning of a lifetime. These past nine months have been the longest, shortest, most confounding emotional roller coaster since... well, probably since the first time round...

- The continuing diary of an Accidental Mother - week 40.

So there we were at the end of a journey and the beginning of a lifetime. These past nine months have been the longest, shortest, most confounding emotional roller coaster since... well, probably since the first time round.

Nine months back I was a single mum hoping to re-root and relive my youth in Paris. A short summer romance with the Glam Rocker had ended abruptly though as time would testify, prematurely. Fast forward to the present and he was stood behind me dressed in surgery garb, his wild dark curls flattened beneath a green cap. He looked ridiculous. There was nothing rock and roll about this situation.

Stretched out on the operating table my body was awash with drugs though I remained conscious of what was happening.

"Oi Milk Lady."

"Milk Lady?"

"Yes, you, my soon-to-be 24/7 Milk Lady."

The Interloper was talking to me, (So many drugs!).

"What the hell do you think you're doing? I'm not ready yet."


"I was looking forward to pushing through."


"You know the Rip Tide Water Canal Ride; I've heard it's heady stuff. Good for flushing out the system."

Christ, I wondered if the NCT had infiltrated my very being.

"Look here's the situation, Interloper. I was induced because your father is about to jet off touring with Lady Gaga for eight months. It's more for his sake. He needs to bond with you, it's important. Plus she's said to be a right hussy and it would make me feel a lot more secure."

"I wouldn't worry Milk Lady, she wont have your breasts."

"True but she'll be surrounded by loads of beautiful people, lithe dancers..."

"Who won't have your breasts."

"True but it will be one temptation after another. It's such a non-family friendly environment - you know the saying, 'What goes on tour stays on tour - except for genital warts..."

"Milk Lady! Milk Lady! Have you not seen your breasts, they're magnificent!"

I could feel rummaging down below.

"What time is it?"

Midnight had yet to strike. We were still forty minutes from turning to another day. Bets had been taken on the prospective time of arrival. A tenner a go, most of the family had gone for it - even Boy Wonder's dad was in on it.

"How do you feel?"

"I feel sick. I feel kinda sick. I think I'm going to vomit."

An application of gel had been administered early in the morning to set things in motion. We had sat in a Hampstead café enjoying the weak summer rays, wondering how best to fill the time before our lives would irrevocably change.

"Are you ready for this?" I asked the Glam Rocker.

A slow walk round the Heath ensued. The nurses had warned us to stay close. Anything could happen but nothing much did. At four p.m. we returned to the ward and another administration of gel; double the quantity this time.

Still no change. We were thinking of catching a movie at the Everyman in Belsize Park, but opted for fish and chips in the pub across the road, and a large G&T. By this stage the initial waves of pain had begun and lapped at my sides; easy come, easy go.

We quit the pub and walked for a bit. The pains increasing in rapidity and intensity were white horses crashing on an inner shore. We made our way back to the hospital ward. I was four centimetres dilated, strapped to some sort of contraption, swaying with the rough seas, my pain not yet audible till twenty minutes later. By then I'd doubled in dilation and was being tossed willy nilly on an internal tempest.

There were no pink ribbons issuing from my mouth. This was a pain I could not control, the midwife wanted me to bear it: "Come on," she willed me, "You can do it."

Reader I am weak. A yellow-bellied, cowardly custard; a severe paper cut can stall me for days. I demanded an epidural.

The storm broke and water gushed out of me. Swift relief came with a needle in my back and a halt to the process. The dilation stopped short of ten centimetres. The Interloper was going nowhere.

To counter the epidural and hasten dilation more drugs were administered, a Ventuse birth was unsuccessfully attempted. Half an hour later I was strapped to a bed and in theatre.

"What time is it?"



A mess of limbs dangled before us.

"What is it?"

Surprised we didn't already know the surgeon announced: "It's a boy."

The Interloper revealed himself in his full glory and a second son was born. He was whisked away, cleaned and checked. The Glam Rocker followed suit and I was left.

"How do you feel?" They were stitching me up.

"Is he ok?"

"All good, ten fingers, ten toes."

"A healthy baby of 7lbs and 2 ounces."

Boy Wonder's dad won the bet, two hundred and fifty quid. An hour later I was moved to another ward and the Glam Rocker sent home to get some rest. I could barely move and every so often was topped up on pain relief. To my side was an unknown entity. I managed to cradle him in the crook of my arm. A bundle of perfection, I bent forward to plant kisses on his head.

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