We'll have some steamed vegetables, too. Fridge open... oh, there's a punnet of blueberries that will go off if I don't do something with them. [uncomfortable... uncomfortable feeling... tummy dropping feeling... hmmm] Rinse blueberries for freezer. [uncomfortable feeling again...] Could be going into labour. Haven't a clue, really. Induction and an epidural for twins three years ago isn't exactly natural birth.
Blueberries safely in freezer. Chicken roasting nicely, vegetables too. [uncomfortable feeling AGAIN...]
This uncomfortable feeling thing is suddenly every ten minutes, then every eight. It might be a good idea to call the midwife, and hear her thoughts.
She thinks she'll come over after tea; it will probably be a few hours yet.
Less than forty-five minutes later, I am phoning her because now they're every three minutes.
By the time she arrives, I've finished the tea preparations and handed food and twin responsibilities over to Daddy and Nanny. I'm walking around in the lounge trying to figure out what to do with the birthing ball. Sit on it? The last thing on earth I want to do right now is SIT!
Birthing ball no longer important; it floats off into the fog of a few minutes ago. Midwife wants me to go upstairs. Everything is blurred; I am so thirsty; I drink lots of water and smell the good roast chicken. I want to eat roast chicken... but I have to do this first! All right, I'll have the baby first and then eat chicken. Yum... can't wait.
Midwife on the phone. Her daughter is cooking their Sabbath eve roast chickens and needs advice. Midwife wants to eat her kosher chicken at home. I want to eat my organic chicken downstairs. Have to get baby out first then we can both eat chicken.
Midwife calls student midwife. Come now or you'll miss the baby. She calls Daddy upstairs. Come now or you'll miss the baby.
Thanks to pleurisy in my lungs have to breathe through a lot of contractions instead of pushing. Takes around forty-five minutes to push this baby out. All that lovely roast chicken is being eaten by other people!
Congas suddenly go off downstairs as Righty feels a tribal urge to make some rhythm. Baby suddenly pops out - hello, I heard the drums... were those for me?
It's another boy. He has huge feet that fold upwards towards his knees. He is very floppy and relaxed. Chilled. Watching everyone and everything.
He meets his brothers. I have a hot bath. Midwives and Daddy and Nanny have cups of tea and biscuits. Lefty and Righty snitch lots of biscuits when no one is looking. [this is later the ONLY thing they remember about Mr J's birth day]
I remember the happy feeling of a soft, warm baby to cuddle, and some lingering sadness, too.
For the chicken was all gone. They had finished it off while I was upstairs giving birth.
That was five years ago today.
Mr J still has large feet, and relaxed limbs, so much so that sometimes, when they have let him down again, I wish the safety helmet that came with his birthday bicycle could just always stay on his head for my own peace of mind.
And Mr J is chilled, for the most part. He has his painful moments: struggling with indecision in Starbucks; feeling small and unwanted around two confident, able older brothers; suddenly realising that he has a baby sister instead of the dog he desperately would love to have.
But when others are kind and loving towards him, listening to him, investing time into him, he rewards them by shining with love so great and warm and all-encompassing that it's beautiful to see.