Jessica

Sarah had the shits all night. Apparently that’s a sign that the baby is due – but we didn’t know that. At about 6AM she got pains. So we calmly started timing them and writing them down in a notepad, like they tell you to. The pains were about 5 minutes apart, which is kind of near once they’ve just started, so we didn’t believe they were real contractions. Her waters hadn’t even broken.

She phoned the MLU and they told us to come in. She was stooped over crying, Alex was behind rubbing her back, saying sorry – because he’s that used to it being his fault. I told her we’ve got 5 minutes until the next one, so get as much shit together and I’m going in the shower.

So I went in the shower. I was just getting dry when I heard her yell my name at the top of her voice. Her waters had broken on the stairs, and Alex wouldn’t come down. And she was stuck. So I guided her down, dragged Alex down, and started throwing shit in carrier bags.

When your waters break the hospital like to see your sanitary towel and knickers, so we threw them in a bag for life. Alex was going to my Mom and Dad’s house, so I threw a bunch of his shit in a carrier bag. Then we rushed out into the car without taking either of them.

I dropped Alex off at my mom’s and jumped back in the car. Sarah was screaming about the urgency so I tried to make her laugh by giving way to people and telling her I was going to stop by the new house to pick up some letters. She phoned her mom, who was meeting us at the office, and told her she needed a wheelchair.

Arrival

All in all the trip only took about 20 minutes. Which is good for driving from Bloxwich to New Cross on a weekday morning. When we got there her mom was waiting with the wheelchair. I lifted her out of the car and put her in it, trying to ignore the mess her dripping womb had made of my front passenger seat. They headed up while I parked the car and got her bags.

When I got to the room she was just moving from the wheelchair to the bed. She was screaming. A lot. She told the nurses that the baby was coming, and to take her knickers off. They looked bemused, like wtf, and tried to calm her down. But she wasn’t exaggerating. When they took her knickers off the head was sticking out.

One of the nurses held the head in, while calming Sarah down and telling her not to push yet. Then she told her to push, and the head was out. Then she said to do it again, and the body was out. Jessica was born. We checked to make sure it was a girl, it was, phew.

7lbs 3, at 7:33am, May the 4th. All nice and memorable.

It’s a weird thing. We went though so much trouble with Alex’s birth. Sarah’s bleed, her operation, wiping her ass for 3 months. Jessica was born within an hour, and we were home by mid afternoon. It feels like we cheated, but I guess this is how straight forward most births are.

Alex

I’d told my Mom that Alex’s clothes were in a carrier bag in our house, and left her Sarah’s keys. What I failed to tell her was that there were two carrier bags, and one of them contained a dirty sanitary towel and a pair of Sarah’s soiled knickers.

Alex feels huge now. When I hug him it’s like hugging a man. When I change his nappy I feel like he’s too old to be wearing a nappy. It’s weird, something I’d never appreciated before. A month ago he was still baby to us, Jessica has normalized our frame of reference so that we can see him for what he is now.

He’s adapted to Jessica really well. He still thinks of her more as a pet than a person. When he wakes up he wants to go and have a look at her. He isn’t as jealous as I thought he’d be. When Sarah was breastfeeding he asked if he could have a go on the other tit.