One of the first thoughts of a rest day in Burgos was being able to share another story of Bree, maybe even two depending on how I felt emotionally. I knew then, I was making the right decision for me.
So, here we go…
Christmas in Sydney is hot. Like, disgustingly hot. Being pregnant at this time is actually quite similar to what it was like walking the Camino in those early days. You’re carrying around all this additional weight on your front instead of the back, your feet are swollen and tired, the heat makes you feel even worse and you’re not sleeping. Add to that needing to pee every 10 seconds instead of anytime you see a bush that is going to provide ample coverage and you have the idea.
To be thinking you have another month to go of this is EXACTLY what it is like thinking you still have 10kms to go before you reach your destination in that soul sucking heat – mind numbing.
What makes it worse is the unknown, exactly like what the kms say and what the real distance is. So many people were saying to me that firstborns usually come late. Late?! Who wants to hear that when you’re feeling like a bloated roast pork?
Anyway, Bree was due January 13, 1996. After Christmas, I lay around like a beached whale because it was hot and extremely humid.
It was the kind of heat that eventually has a summer storm to finally break it, which happened on Saturday evening on December 30.
At 10pm, I was ready to attempt sleep and went to the toilet… and couldn’t stop. My waters had broken.
After what felt like half an hour (probably a few minutes), I was able to walk out and make the announcement that I needed to go to the hospital.
When I arrived, I had a nurse settle me into what felt like a pre labour area because my contractions hadn’t started and I would be hours away (her words). It was 12:30am, December 31.
She also said that they were always busy when it rained, some weird superstition that the rain causes women’s waters to break. 😐 There were four other women who had arrived well before me, so the nurse’s attention was with them.
That was until I started hitting the button to get their attention. What they had failed to listen to was, I had a family history of ridiculously short labours. They finally came running when in the throes of a contraction, the buzzer remained permanently pressed down. I had suddenly jumped the queue.
People used to say to me that a short labour must be so much better. Uhhh. No.
Instead of a build up and breaks between contractions, you’re already starting at the 100kms mark and before one contraction is finishing, you are experiencing the next one over the top.
Finally, at 2:24am, Bree arrived. I went into shock, so the nurses were attending to me while Bree’s father cut the cord. That was until he stepped out of the room to get some fresh air… and promptly passed out.
All the nurses went running, leaving me completely alone. Ummm hello? I’m the one who has just given birth here? It was a classic movie moment!
He was carted off to emergency and kept for four hours on concussion watch, leaving me alone and terrified of this alien being. I had no idea what I was doing.
I don’t think I have ever felt so completely useless as I did that first day.
In the evening, I actually had tickets to go see Phantom of the Opera. When I rang them to find out about getting a refund due to just giving birth, their response was I would have to go in to the Box Office with the tickets. Did they miss the part about giving birth?
To this day, I have never seen Phantom of the Opera.