Friday, June 01, 2007
The Story Of His Life
We had a general electricity failure this Sunday. I’d rented a sanding machine to clean up the wooden floor in the bedroom, but after a day of working the bloody thing created a short circuit and blew up the mains. So more than half of the house was without electricity.
Excellent moment for having a baby!
On Tuesday we returned the machine in the early morning (and got an ample refund). Mrs Bart was feeling fine, although she’d felt the baby moving most of the night. We both went to work, I took the train to Brussels and my personal lawyer went to the court of justice to plead a couple of cases. It was when she returned to the car that her water broke.
Meanwhile, I’d just explained to a colleague that the baby wasn’t normally due before the 16th of June, but that the baby-doctor wanted to get him out earlier because he was already such a big boy. Just fifteen minutes later the phone rang: Mrs. Bart was at home with the midwife and she was in labour (Mrs. Bart, not the midwife). Being the professional that I am, I remained utterly calm. I quickly put my coat on inside-out, yanked the door out of its hinges, ran over three colleagues in the hall and jumped into the elevator shaft without waiting for the damn thing. Rush hour was over, so there was barely any damage in the accidents that I caused while careening over the busy roads and lanes in a straight line to the train station. There I found a train driver willing to change his destination after just a bit of strangulation and skip the stations in between Brussels and Antwerp. The taxi-driver drove really slow, so I helped him by slamming my foot on the pedal.
On arrival, Mrs Bart was doing fine. So much so, that she quickly put out the laundry and filled the washing machine before we had to go to the hospital. There was a small discussion between the midwife and the doctor in the hospital about whether she really was in labour, or that it was just a practice run. Oh, those medical professionals, what fun we had waiting there, grinding our teeth! But then we got the green light from the gynaecologist. Mrs. Bart got an intravenous drip with a labour-inducing medicine because the contractions still were a bit weak. Her optimism about her not feeling any pain in the beginning quickly faded when the contractions started in earnest. For hours we were puffing in unison, while she pinched my arm to pulp. After seven hours of pain, she’d have enough. The contractions were following one after the other, without any time to rest between. The nurses had put her in a warm bath to help ease the pain, but it stimulated rather than subdued the pain. Too much is too much, so she got an epidural anaesthetic that started to sooth away the awful pain in a matter of minutes.
At half past one in the night she was ready to give birth. The nurses moved her to the delivery room. She did a wonderful job and at 2 o’clock precisely, little Wolf was finally born.