I could feel the contraction coming, like a roll of thunder, it rumbled and cracked to a crescendo, crashing pain through my body. All I could do was cling onto that pillow trying not to move and hoping to f@#$ that the anesthetist had a steady hand!
In my desperation for pain relief I had signed away my rights, my soul, my first born for an epidural, I didn’t care! I just wanted the drugs into me to stop the very big owie in my tummy!! (Did anyone actually read that form, by the way?? What does it say?!)
What followed was sweet, sweet relief. I was finally, in the words of Pink Floyd, comfortably numb. But now everything from my boobs down was totally dead, disconnected from my brain.
‘Move leg’. ‘No’.
‘I said MOVE!’. ‘No’.
And so on.
I felt like a ballistics dummy, my body was heavy, rubbery, dead weight. You could’ve hit it with a sledgehammer and the hammer would’ve bounced right off.
When it came to the big push, the midwives shouted encouragement at me, but there could have been a big brass band marching out of my undercarriage singing Louis Louis for all I could feel! My body was tossed about every which way to get the optimum position for my not-quite-fully-turned babba to make her grand exit. At one point I was actually handed my own leg which I dutifully took before realising what it was…
But then, out she popped – what followed on from the big brass band is unnecessary detail. Eventually, I was wheeled off to the ward and my wee girl was taken to the nursery for the night (I know, jammy me, eh? But it was very late at night, I couldn’t walk and the ward was very quiet for that time of year!).
So there I was, all exhausted, all numb, all dead weight. The long awaited, much hailed, famous tea and toast never made it past my lips due to the post-epidural nausea…disgusted didn’t even cover it! The only other lady on the six bed ward was an Olympic snorer – what were the odds??
And then came the final kick in the teeth.
About 2 am my stomach gave an undignified rumble. But the tea and toast ship had long since sailed. Then I spotted it. The Snickers bar my husband had left earlier. Oh sweet mother, I could taste that glorious chocolate swirling round my mouth, that nutty, caramelly goodness…
I leaned forward and reached out. But the table was too far. THE TABLE WAS TOO FAR! COME ON!! ARE YOU F@#$&*% KIDDING ME?? I tried to wriggle closer but ended up hanging precariously over the edge of the bed, my useless lumps of leg flesh pinning me to the mattress.
Kathy Bates may as well have been standing over me with a sledgehammer, so great was the misery! So bloody typical was my luck to be just fingers away from the most glorious bar on the planet with no way to reach it.
This was God’s way of punishing me for selling my soul for an epidural wasn’t it?? Damn it!
I wish I could give you a happy ending. Maybe in a Sliding Doors type scenario I reached that bar and I savoured every second of it and slept the sweet sleep of the just. Or maybe I just slumped back onto my pillow and cursed that bar and that damn lady for snoring her head off…