My phone rings before I have managed to get out of bed. It is Jay.
“Hi love, how are you?”
“I’m okay. They said that they are going to transfer me to the medihotel today. I said that if they can transfer me there, can’t they just let me go home, but they said no because if I deliver early, and they said I will deliver early, there will be no-one to resuscitate the baby. I guess I get that.”
It is hard for her. She is 19 and having to remain on bedrest for what may end up being weeks. Not likely, but it could be that long. It is boring for her and I worry about her frame of mind.
“It is good news that they are moving you love. It means that the imminent danger is over and we may even get a couple more weeks yet. This means you will be closer to 30 weeks which is brilliant!”
I know she doesn’t see it that way, such is the “I want it now” teenage mind. “Yeah, I guess. What time are you coming over?”
“I’m just getting ready and I will be over soon, okay.”
I hop into the shower. A dull headache is brewing but I choose to ignore it. JC and I have our breakfast. He wants plain bread only – easy to eat, doesn’t have to stop what he is doing. I refuse. He has to have something on it – vegemite or peanut butter. He chooses vegemite. I break my own rule and allow him to eat it on the settee. I’m too tired to fight so don’t even start it. He says “Yay!”
I make JC lunch, left over sausages, baked potato and vegetables. I cover the plate, place it next to the microwave and tell him that his lunch is there, to put it in the microwave for 2 minutes for lunch. “Okay, Mum,” he says.
I make my way to the hospital. My headache is getting worse, but I ignore it. I have decided I am old way to before my time. I have a plethora of illnesses that someone my age shouldn’t have – hypothyroidism, meniere’s disease, spinal stenosis, gastric problems, not to mention depression, alcoholism, extreme fatigue all the time and obesity. Oh no, this just has to change. I need to be here for my grandchild and for my children.
I arrive at the ward and Jay is all ready and waiting to be transferred. She has packed her things into bags (of which there are way too many) and is eager to move. We are told that she will not be moved until after 2pm, so we head downstairs for a coffee and pie.
“I am a little scared of giving birth, Mum.”
“I know love. But it will be okay. Hopefully with them moving you to the Medihotel that means that they don’t expect it any time soon.”
We haven’t spoken about what happens after the baby arrives. I guess there isn’t much point until he makes his appearance and we know what his chances are. The not-knowing just looms over all of us like a black cloud. I think that we will all be relieved when he arrives so we know what we are dealing with. It is difficult because we don’t want to wish his early arrival, but want to know what it is we will have to cope with. Catch 22.
We make our way up to the ward and Jay eats her lunch. We pile up her belongings are taken over to the medihotel ward. It is a 10 bed unit on the same floor. It is for people who are at too much risk to go home, but aren’t sick enough for ward care. Jay fits the profile perfectly.
We are greeted by the ward clark who shows Jay to her room. She has her own room with bed, tv and ensuite. It is really nice. “All meals are to be taken in the dining room. You help yourself to breakfast and lunch and dinner is brought up from the kitchen. Please put your dishes into the dishwasher when you are done.” So this is a self-help, self-care ward. Fair enough.
We return to Jay’s room. “This is really nice, Jay. Finally, you will be getting some decent sleep.”
“But I am going to be lonely.” I sigh. Her frame of mind is really starting to worry me.
“I know love, but between Em, Tee, Dee and me you will have plenty of visitors to keep you entertained. Make the most of the rest love. When Baby C comes there will be no rest, you know.” Jay looks very tired. “How about a cup of tea.”
“Rooibos tea?” It is Jay’s favourite, a taste from our old South African days.
“Of course,” I smile. I grab two tea bags and head to the kitchen.
“Here we go. One rooibos tea for you and one for me too.” Jay smiles.
My headache is steadily getting worse and is that a sore throat I feel? I decide it is time for me to go home. “You are really settled here, love, so I am going to head home.”
“Get some rest, Jay. Sleep.”
“I don’t like to sleep during the day.” She is really fed up.
“Okay. Well, do what you feel is right for you angel. I will see you tomorrow.”
We kiss goodbye and I make my way home. My head is now thumping, my throat is sore and I am aching all over. Oh please, do not let me be coming down with something.
I get home and take some headache tabs and lie down. The house is a mess and I cannot muster the energy to do anything about it. I phone Dee. “Can you bring pizza home for dinner, I just can’t cook.”
“Order it online, love, I’m going to be a little late home.”
I order it online. JC is thrilled. Dee gets home and I take another couple of tabs and head off to bed. My head is thumping and feels like it is too heavy for my neck. I lay as still as I can because moving my head hurts like hell. Eventually I drift off into a quite deep sleep.
At 11pm, Dee makes it to bed. He wakes me, despite trying to be as quiet as he can. “How are you?” he whispers.
“My head still hurts, but not as bad. I’m going to stay at home tomorrow and rest.”
“Good idea. Oh, by the way, the electricity guy is coming tomorrow at 8am.”
“Fuck, Dee, really? On the one day I decide to stay at home?” I calm down. It’s not his fault. “Sorry, okay, no problem.” And with that I fall back to sleep.
My dreams are fitful. I dream of my mom. I can never hear her voice. It is the one thing I miss about her the most. Her voice. It was the first thing that the lung cancer took from her and it is the one thing I miss the most. I long to hear her say “It’s okay, love, it will be all okay.” I guess a girl never ceases to need her mom, even when she’s passed to the other side.