By SHELLY MURDOCH
I lay here as Dan impatiently paces back and forth in front of the bedroom window, stopping only to peer anxiously through the blinds, out of the window and down our dark street.
I lay here waiting, for what seems like much longer than 15 fearful minutes. I lay here in shock, wishing this was just another one of my weird pregnancy nightmares, hoping to wake up to normality.
I lay here with no movement inside my belly. I lay here in a pool of my own blood, the sheets soaked to the extent I question the quantity remaining inside my body. I lay here too petrified to move and too afraid to say out loud what I am thinking.
I lay here. I lay here assuming our baby is gone.
I lay here as some of the fear is replaced by relief as the ambulance lights flicker through our bedroom window. I lay here and hope that Lara isn’t woken by the commotion. I hope that she is spared this sight and I am spared the many questions that would inevitably follow. Even if she did wake I have no explanation for her. I lay here with many questions of my own.
I lay here on a trolley as I’m wheeled from our home. I see my mum running up the driveway, she is trying to comprehend what is happening. I lay here and for the first time I cry as I try to speak, saying it out loud is just as hard as I imagined. I lay here and hug my mum who also starts to cry. I lay here in the early hours of the morning in my own world of turmoil as the rest of the street sleeps.
I lay here freezing, shivering, as the ambulance officer takes my blood pressure yet again. I lay here and for the first time I feel my belly contract into a tight ball, my body has just caught up to the fact something is not right. I lay here relieved the trip to the hospital is a short one.
I lay here covered in blankets as we rush through the emergency department doors and into the care of a waiting midwife. My entire body is shaking and never before have I been so cold.
I lay here as Kris, the midwife, folds back the blankets and manoeuvres her doppler around my belly, searching for the sound of life. I lay here in the midst of any pregnant woman’s worst fear.
I lay here. I lay here and listen to the precious sound of my baby’s beating heart. Tears flow down my cheeks, never before has a sound provoked such emotion. My baby is alive. I lay here so relieved yet still so scared.
I lay here yelling for Dan, who hasn’t followed me past the entrance of emergency. Where is my husband? I lay here scanning the room, previously oblivious to the number of people circulating around me. Dan rushes into the room, swearing about fucking paperwork. I lay here squeezing his hand, he too looks terrified.
I lay here and sob as Kris explains that for now our baby is okay but will need to be born immediately and transferred to Adelaide. My brain is in overdrive, 32 weeks gestation, what does this mean? I lay here uneducated about prematurity and terrified by what is about to take place, uncertain what the future will hold for our baby.