It’s probably a bit unusual to share this part of my birth story so long after the event, but I often think about it.
After I had given birth to Audrey, I looked up at the call panel, lights madly flashing (Drs go to whichever room number flashes up when help is required), feeling darn satisfied that my birth was over. As I lay there basking in the glow of newborn Audrey, I could hear crying and just assumed a woman was having a hard time.
Brendan went out to the cafeteria and on his return said he noticed an older lady slumped on the floor, head in hands, crying. On pressing my midwife, she said the woman in the room next to me was told, at 40 weeks pregnant, her unborn baby had no heartbeat. To make the situation even worse, she would still have to give birth.
My midwife insisted I forget it, push it out of my mind, that it was my day and to enjoy my new baby.
When we finally left the delivery suite, me in a wheelchair and Brendan pushing Audrey next to me, I smiled at a lady approaching us. As she passed I noticed how miserable she looked then realised it was the lady I had heard crying in the corridor – the pregnant woman’s mother.
I actually felt bad for smiling at her. Brendan noticed her looking at Audrey. I felt bad for that too.
As each month has passed I can’t help but think of what this woman is still going through, knowing she should have a 3-4-5 month old too. But instead, all she will have is an empty baby room.
I don’t think I will ever forget this.