Today, you will be mightily relieved to know, I am not going to wax lyrical about the daily delivery of dung in the dunny (which so many of us take for granted) or, indeed, the dreary delivery of pestilential post (from companies we would not wish to be seen dead in a ditch with) courtesy of Royal Mail’s scarlet-clad finest.
Nay, nay! I shall, on this grey and grim August day, be getting to the bottom of that special kind of delivery which involves the emptying of one’s womb in a southerly direction, oft accompanied by the kind of metallic implements that would not seem out of place in a farrier’s shop – and which, as a ghastly side-effect, often causes a temporary stoppage of the first type of delivery mentioned in this dastardly diatribe!
So there I was – as are so many women, and a smattering of men – metaphorically chained to the low-slung bed by contractions which felt as if a carthorse had mistaken my uterus for a field and was ploughing the bejeezus out of it. To say that I writhed in pain would be to miss out on the opportunity to use imagery involving wild stallions, equine limbs, ropes and dismemberment.
Gas and air is all very well if you want to sound like Pinky and Perky overcome by hysterical mirth (I didn’t!); Pethedine has its place, I am sure, but plunged into the thigh of a labouring woman, its use is more emetic than pain-reducing – and I found myself renewing my acquaintance with the Lucozade I’d quaffed an hour previously whilst still being in agony!
I was extremely tempted by the thought of stronger medication – and would, indeed, have gone for total anaesthesia, or a blow to the head, when the pain was at its worst, especially when the midwife, hacked off by my failure to break my own waters, produced what looked like a crochet hook designed for an elephant!
Just the sight of the bloody thing caused an immediate Nile-like inundation – and my labour quickened (euphemism for ‘became infinitely more agonising’) thereafter.
A jolly hour or so later – during which I felt as if I had extruded every single internal organ other than the baby! – a midwife announced that delivery was near at hand. So, in my view, was death! My own! I actually thought, at that point in proceedings (in so far as I was actually thinking, whilst trying to push what felt like theQE2 out of my posterial regions!), that I would almost certainly turn inside out and/or explode if I had to bear down any more firmly than I was already…
Bracing myself, puce of face and running most unattractively with sweat, I gave this delivery lark some serious welly – and, far from birthing my own liver (a very real fear, let me tell you!), found myself, minutes later, with a dark-haired male wean, wrapped in white and yelling vigorously, plonked upon my tummy. It was my little son, my very own precious delivery!
The Old Wives’ Tales insist that labouring women forget the pain. We don’t, not really. But our beloved children make it not just bearable in the retelling but – if you are a bawdy old bag like I am – positively funny!
Concerning the cushion that accompanied me to the privy for the next three weeks or so, I shall say no more: any woman who has delivered a child, will know whereof I speak; anyone who has not will not wish to know, take it from me!
Best delivery of my life, the Lad was!
I shall spare you both the delivery of the afterbirth and the featured image bit: there is a photo of me and Son taken immediately post-delivery, but the sheer humiliation factor stops me from doing that to my now-adult offspring!