Even though one of us is, as always, late


Never, ever, have I been so happy to abandon myself to the care of total strangers.  Completely unperturbed by the sight of a heaving mound of flesh falling through their doors within minutes they had me in a clean, quiet, stationary room, Eeyore on the phone, paperwork done, cup of ice chips by the bed, monitor on, the lot.  No, they said to my beloved, it’ll be a while yet: start getting ready to leave but no panic.  An hour later they were telling him to shift, run, get the next train or miss the arrival of his newborn.

Reader, he did.  Miss the arrival of his newborn, that is.  Remember: this was the summer of 2003, when it was so hot the rails buckled.  He sat in a siding looking at the hospital, locked into his carriage, sweating gently in the un-airconditioned heat, while I laboured to deliver his child.  (Never let it be said, but it was the best thing that could have happened.  The birth of our first had put him off me for about three years, and I bit him while producing our second – and at least this time round I could get on with it without worrying that he would faint, or whinge because I was selfishly squeezing his hand a bit too tight and causing him some discomfort.)  As it was, the first words No3 heard his father utter were ‘Bugger me!’ when he walked in and realised I wasn’t just sitting at a funny angle for fun, and that part of the lump that was his wife was also his new child, now on the outside.



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