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Three is a crowd: It is a boy!

(Continued from last week)

David and Diane have been married for years; then there is Julie, the young secretary whose axis collides with the couple’s in ways none of them saw coming.

JULIE

The next seventeen hours passed by in a haze of pain, panic and sheer terror. As my body ploughed on with the business of giving birth; I lost all control over it and that terrified me.

I couldn’t stop or even slow down the contractions that ripped through me with increasing intensity, nor could I stop myself from letting out long, primal, guttural screams, that no doubt reverberated through the entire labour ward.

I grasped onto David like he was my sole lifeline, and through it all, he stayed by my side, letting me squeeze his hands so hard it is a surprise I did not crush them. He rubbed my back, held me close as he whispered soothing encouragement when I was sure the pain was going to kill me and I clung to him sobbing, “I can’t do this,” over and over in surrender.

Thankfully, the delivery package David had paid for included my own private delivery room; so, the only witnesses to me falling apart were Doctor Kenneth, the mid-wife, David and Sandra.

Initially, it was awkward having both Doctor Kenneth and David in the room at the same time, especially with my private parts on full display most of the time, thanks to the hospital gown I had been made to change into, that was as good as useless when it came to covering up and protecting one’s modesty.

However, after a few hours, the pain became so intense that I no longer noticed or cared who was in the room as I drowned in the sheer agony of childbirth.

DAVID

Although I already had three children, I had not attended any of their births; of course I had taken Diane to the hospital and stayed with her until the baby was born, but I had never been in the delivery room with her while she actually gave birth.

Friends and family had advised against it, saying it would ruin our sex life if I saw it all, and since Diane preferred to have her mother with her, I had gratefully waited outside the delivery room, and not in it.

However, Julie did not have her mother with her; so, staying with her in the delivery room just seemed the natural thing to do. Besides, she had clung to me so tightly that even if I had wanted to wait outside, there was no escaping her steely grip.

Never in my life had I ever seen someone in so much pain, and never had I felt so totally helpless before. As the hours went by and her pain levels only seemed to increase, I began to worry that she might not actually make it, as in her pain, she somehow seemed smaller and more fragile than ever, and I could tell she was exhausted. I worried about just how much more she could take.

Although I was physically exhausted as well, emotionally I was so high-strung it was like I was on some sort of adrenaline rush. And as it approached four in the morning and Julie finally delivered our son with one last push, I could not believe that I had been awake for twenty-two hours and not even noticed it.

Only now when it was all over and Doctor Kenneth grudgingly congratulated me, did all the fatigue rush over me as my anxiety and nervousness was replaced by relief and delight.

While the midwife and nurses set about stitching and cleaning Julie up, I was captivated by my new son. At a whopping three kilos, it was a miracle Julie had actually managed to push him out; no newborn baby is ever good- looking, but he was strong and healthy.

And when he was handed to me, his eyes opened, he looked at me, and in that moment as our eyes met, I felt an overwhelming flow of love and pride; after all that had happened and all the waiting, my son was finally here, and I was in love.   

DIANE

When it got to seven that evening and David had not called or gotten back in touch as promised, I went from feeling anxious about his alleged plan to return, to being irritated at his constant, sudden switches.

One minute he was beating me up, the next he was returning with apologies and pastries, talking about moving back in, then he was running off with a promise to call, but not actually doing so; just what did he think he was playing at?

His unpredictability was exhausting and I was not ready to put up with it. It was not that I wanted him back; in my opinion, the only plus to him returning was that the children would have their father back.

That, and the fact that I could then say I had won and not lost my husband to a whore after all. But I wanted him to respect me enough not to play games with me, and that was exactly what he seemed to be doing.  

I tried calling him when it got to ten and there was still no word from him, but his phone was off; so, it was safe to assume he would not be returning that night after all – did that mean he had gone back to her? Where else would he be?

Had they made up from their fight? Maybe it had been her who had called him after all and not the office as I had earlier assumed. What did that mean for his plans to return to the house; were they still on, or had things changed once again?

These were the questions that ran through my mind as I went up to bed, and they plagued me late into the night. So many questions, so few answers.

margaretwamanga@yahoo.com

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