In sitting in a hospital bed, waiting to be induced. I haven’t seen a nurse in hours, I wonder if they’ve forgotten about me. My husband is asleep (and snoring) on the bench in the corner. I’m in the last room in the hall, so I can’t hear the nurses station, or any other women in labour; I haven’t heard any babies cry with their first breath in a while either.
I can’t sleep.
I know I should. I know the next day might be long. I know the next night likely won’t involve a lot of sleep. I know that the next few days and weeks are going to be full of adjustments. But I can’t get comfortable, and I’m suddenly nervous about the upcoming birth.
Funny, I’ve watched other women give birth so many times over the past few years, but now that it’s my turn, I’d like a hand to hold in the dark.
I wonder if I should wake up my husband.
I decide against it. He won’t get much sleep in the next few days either. He might as well get it while he can. Although I do wish he would stop snoring.
Quietly, I pull out my breast pump and switch it on. Maybe a little extra help now will make the rest of the process go smoother. The doctor said it was fine, so I might as well try.
It’s lonely sitting in the dark. The whoosh of my pump and my husbands snores the only sounds. It’s lonely, awake in he darkest part of the night, the time leading up to dawn. It’s lonely, sitting here, nervous and overwhelmed by how suddenly everything has happened. It has seemed a day of “hurry up and wait”. Hurry to get all these tests done. Wait for the results. Hurry, the diagnosis is pre-eclampsia. Wait, there are no beds. Hurry, we have space. Wait, they filled up again. Stop. Start. Stop. Start.
I don’t want to wake my husband up. It’s lonely. But there is something special about this loneliness. Even the babe in my womb is quiet, sleeping.
I imagine it’s the last moment I will feel lonely for a while.
Whoosh. Whoosh. He’s stopped snoring. The sky is getting lighter. It will be shift change soon. I imagine things will get started then. No more time for quiet. No more time to be lonely.
Time to meet my baby.