Okay, so there were A LOT of amazing stories and experiences that I wanted to put into the Mammy Diaries, but unfortunately, in order to make it so that people could afford to buy it AND still pay their rent/make their mortgage repayments, there was quite a bit I had to leave out. HOWEVER... (Drumroll please...) I have a bit of news.
I have a new website. It's not 100% finished yet (although it is online and it is working thanks to my lovely husband who doesn't mind at all having me leaning over his shoulder going, "hmmmm.... no, not like that, more like, you know... no, not that either... Could we try it in a different colour maybe?") but we're working on it, and we welcome suggestions (well, I do anyway, not sure how keen my husband is to have the virtual folk joining me in the backseat web designing party.)
One of the things that thrills me about this, is that it means I now have an outlet for all those stories that will, thanks to the joys of technology, no longer go untold.
For the moment though, until we sort out the kinks and build a nice little base of viewers, I'm going to be sharing some of those stories here. The first one, tonight, takes place in a little city called Cork and gives ample reason why pregnant women are to be listened to at all costs...
Taking the long Way...
For weeks I had been preparing a list of what I needed for the hospital. I researched websites, read books, everything. I finally packed the labour ward bag and the main bag at around 32 weeks. I bought duplicates of the toiletries and other everyday essentials so I wouldn't have to open the bag again. I then asked my husband to put together a little bag of what he might need and add it to whichever bag was appropriate. Much to my annoyance, he didnt bother doing this.
I strapped a teddy bear to the car seat and asked him to practice opening and closing it because it's a bit tricky and I said he needed to be sure so that there would be no hassle on the way home. Of course he didnt do this either.
Finally, I asked him to plan our route to the hospital. He laughed at me and said, “do you think I don't know where CUH is?”
We live in Douglas where my husband was raised and I said that it might be late at night and it could be very stressful so could he do a trial run or at least think about it. I asked him to visualise the route he would take and consider things like rush hour, road works, traffic lights, lane changes and other delays so he could drive on autopilot when the time came. He has a tendency to do silly things like take wrong turns when driving so I was particularly worried about this.
I was very calm at the time of labour and was on the phone to the hospital for a few hours on and off, so all was fine when we went to drive to the hospital. It was 3:00am. There are two entrances to our estate and one has a series of speed bumps so my hubbie said we'll take the other exit to avoid these. I didn't take much more notice as I was still timing contractions and in pain. About five mins later I asked him where we were.
He had turned out of the estate which was his usual route to work and then just switched off - we were half way to the city centre.
I said to turn around and he replied that at this stage it was the same either way. I didn't get mad because I didn't have the energy and I knew he was more likely to do something stupid. To make a long story short, we drove through the city centre at 3am on Fri 28th December, a huge boozy night on the tow. We had to drive through swarms of drunks trying to flag us down thinking we were cabs.
My genius husband then decided that the lights at Dennehys cross took ages, but he knew a back road through some estate so he turned in there but the road was dug up and we went over a series of huge bumps and ended up getting caught in two other traffic lights. I was in too much pain to speak!
When we arrived at the hospital, he dropped me at the main door in I went. I was feeling a little better so he went to park the car. He didn't know that there was a car park underground and went all the way to the main car park about a 5 minute walk away. Had he done a trial run he would have known this.
I sat alone for 20 mins getting contractions on and off, it was hell! No nurse came out to me as there had been an emergency. Some poor girl had arrived by ambulance and all I could hear was scream after scream. It was awful as I was already terrified enough. Paramedics were running all around the place and she had a group of people with her, all really upset. She gave birth there & then in the emergency room. I think it was ok cos I heard the baby and saw the smiles but I'll never forget listening to her. I hated my husband so much for not being there for me, I was shaking with fear.
Eventually he arrived. I was furious and asked where the hell he had been?!?!? He said the car park was ages away and he couldn't carry all three bags so he had to "rejig things around.”
Basically he had never packed the stuff I asked into either of my bags. Instead, at the last minute he'd thrown a pile of his stuff into a third bag. As he couldn't carry all three at the same time, he had stood in the car park and re-organisd all the stuff I had packed weeks earlier to avoid this very situation arising.
I'm still so angry at him now remembering it. I never said a word until a few weeks later. I still have no sense of humour about it and I often wonder if this will come up in marriage counseling in years to come! Talk about letting me down, what really makes me mad is that I anticipated it coming and flagged it to him but he just ignored me.
Oh, and on the way home from hospital he had trouble with the car seat...