A night of swaying without progress.
Admitted at four, I was now at four and exhausted.
I remembered the room next door.
The midwife then had no patience for two hours of pushing. And when she and my husband disappeared too soon with our baby, to register his birth, I was left alone at the gates of motherhood—bleeding, sweating and crying for a glass of water, and everything else.
A letter of complaint to the hospital, a formal apology; I'd felt the birth trauma was behind me. But my body held on; I couldn't sway away the fear.
Shifts changed and Debbie entered the room. “Try and sleep,” she suggested.
Was sleeping allowed?
I closed my eyes and the contractions dissipated. My body led me to a safe place.
Three hours later, the deep aching returned. I woke up ready to labor and to meet our baby girl.