Or ‘Early Promise Unfulfilled’
So picture the scene. Me, with the seat of the huge estate car necessarily pushed right back, struggling to reach the pedals, hurtling down the A1 at speeds that would have made my eyes water were they not already doing so, actually hoping to see the police in my rear view mirror. (Of course I didn’t – many’s the time since that I’ve marvelled at their ability to materialise from nowhere when you really could do without them, and yet, when I would have loved a bit of blues and twos ….) As I pulled over (fractionally) and slowed down (fractionally) for the really big contractions I flashed my lights and apologised to one and all, and wondered with amazement at what point this idiot plan had seemed to make sense. Who in their right minds would have done what we did, when we did? And WHY did we? Lovely safe, familiar Shepherds Bush, a midwife I’d known for years, good old Queen Charlottes – what on earth had we done?
And then I got lost. So many hospitals, so many sliproads, so many cross drivers, so many contractions – at one point I distinctly remember pulling over completely and turning off the engine. Clearly I was about to give birth on my own, in my car, in a litter strewn bus stop, but I was absolutely NOT going to crash while I did it. Looking up through scrunched eyes I think I probably wept as I saw that I had miraculously, accidentally, stopped in front of MY hospital. I moved the car to the door, abandoned it across several spaces, and staggered up to the labour ward.