Dear Diary #19

It’s the start of a new month and boy, am I embracing it head on and arms out! Returned to the gym this morning and tackled the running machine again. Still a bit nervous on it, but once I’d got the rhyme and the beat of my music right I went for a full twenty minute fast walk. Felt really pleased with that and unlike last time, I didn’t get myself down about the person a few places over from me who was actually going at a full run.

Swimming afterwards was like Heaven. Though I hope the water is warmer up there! When I got home I actually felt more creative and sat down to try and do some writing before husband and baby appeared. I got maybe five hundred words done and finished off the chapter I was stuck on last night. Small steps!

Breakfast was a mad rush then it was just me and B. She’s starting to get a fat face and I swear she’s still forever hungry. Tomorrow, is weigh in day for the both of us. I tried to find out what she should be at for four months, but of course there’s so many factors to fit in there and the average is just an average.

I’m doing really great sticking to the day schedule though, but I’m not sure how much longer I can go without my mid-morning and afternoon TV. I miss Netflix’s too, though hubby and I did finally finish watching Dexter at the weekend. The escape from technology is so hard. I hinted that we need to become nomads a few days ago because I can’t see it being possible any other way.

Hubby won’t have it though. He muttered something about going camping. But with B in tow would I really want to do that? I’m still having a slight problem exposing her to the outside world. I know that sounds really bad, but I’ve not been out with her on my own still. I keep saying I’ll go to the park or the shops or to a friend’s with her, but always at the back of my head there’s this little voice that sounds off.

What if something happens to her or me? What if she catches something or is bitten by an animal? It’s safer inside.

I know that’s insane. Who doesn’t want to show off their first baby? But still…I hope these thoughts got away soon. I saw this thing in my baby pack about post-traumatic stress and how your mental health can be affected by a birth. Perhaps that’s what is and nothing more. I don’t really want to talk about it though, because what if it’s not and I am actually going crazy? I can’t think about it. But seriously, if it doesn’t go away, I’m going to have to do something.

I don’t want to be a bad or dangerous mum. The other day I kept thinking about that poor woman who jumped off a cliff with her hours old baby. She had lots of issues all her life, the news report had said and they didn’t understand why she’s been able to walk out of hospital alone like that. That’s an extreme really though.

Maybe, what I need to do is speak to hubby. I know he’ll tell me it’ll all be fine, but to be honest that’s all I want to hear and my own body back again! B is now crying, so I’d better go and see to her. Then it’s bedtime. Though it feels like I’ve done nothing all day, I’m so tired.

Baby

Trying to act normal, Casey walked into the arcade and weaved passed the gaming machines to the toilets. Pushing open the paper thin door, she walked in and turned back to check for a lock. There wasn’t one. Gritting her teeth and not allowing herself to double over in pain, she went to the last cubical. Locking the door behind her, she dropped her bag before stripping off her shoes, leggings, skirt and underwear.

Sitting down on the toilet, Casey double over and wrapped her arms around her stomach. Pain shot through her and she noted that the contractions had multiplied and got stronger. Districting herself, Casey thought about the best ways to do this and as her mind began to form a list, she recalled a news story she had read online; Baby Found In Toilet U-bend –Japan. It had been a baby boy, if she recalled correctly and they had had to cut him out with a chainsaw.

I can’t let that happened, she thought and eased herself up. Liquid suddenly rushed down her legs, she tried to look, believing she had only wet herself, but a wave of pain rushed through her and she had to sit back down. Wrapping her arms around herself in a hug and rocking, Casey guessed her waters had broken. She tried to remember what she had read about this stage on the pregnancy websites, but nothing came to her.

Taking a deep breath and holding it, she tried not to cry or make a sound. She didn’t want to be caught and though the arcade had looked pretty empty, she couldn’t trust that no one would come in here. Letting go of the breath, Casey tried to relax and found the wave of pain dying down. She took in another breath and smelt the seaside, alongside lemon bathroom cleaner. Keeping up the breathing and starting to count, as she remembered from the internet, she wished she was somewhere else right now.

Even as she started thinking about that, she realised that for the last two months her mind had all ready been made up about coming back here. It had started here, hadn’t it? Casey glanced around, trying to remember back nine months whilst managing the pain. There was graffiti on the walls and door, though she couldn’t focus on the letters and numbers, it looked like typical stuff to her. Pulling her head up, she focused on the words at her eye line; Benny is a pedo, she read and the one below it, Fancy a good time? Call me and then a half scratched out phone number.

Casey turned away and shut her eyes as the pain swelled in her lower stomach and she felt like she was going to explode. She had the urge to press down, but wasn’t sure if she actually should do. That thought was overridden and she found herself squeezing down. Gasping for breath, her hands hit the cubical walls and tried to find something to hold on to. Realising there was nothing, she pushed against the walls instead and let out a loud moan.

She regretted that straight away, but had no choice as the pushing urge came again. Praying no one could hear her, Casey let it all out and screamed loudly. Fighting for breath afterwards, she relaxed and felt a little bit better. The pain was still bashing against her like stormy sea waves on a lighthouse. Standing up, she squatted on the floor in front of the toilet and reached for her bag.

Unzipping it, she pulled out a beach towel and with some difficult placed it underneath her. It was at that moment, she noticed the blood covering her inner thighs. Is that normal? God I hope it is, she prayed. Remembering to breathe, she tried to think what else she needed to do, but once her again her mind was blank. Her body had become fully centred on the birth.

Casey had no idea of the time passing, just that the pain seemed unbearable and utterly consuming. When the urge to push came, she went with it and tried not to think about the sticky wetness covering her skin and the towel.

She didn’t even feel the head sliding out of her. One minute the towel was empty the next, it was full of baby. Hearing the gasping crying, she looked down and saw that she wasn’t alone. Tears blurred her vison and she quickly wiped them away on the back of her hand. Looking down, she saw him covered in blood and his face screwed up in crying. She wrapped the towel around him and tried to rub him down with it, but there wasn’t enough room.

Slowly and carefully standing up, she lowered herself onto the toilet and then picked him up. He was heavy then she thought he was going to be. Pressing him to her bare chest, she tried to quieten him. His crying seemed louder than her moaning had been, she could risk being caught more than ever now.

‘I’m sorry,’ Casey whispered to him, ‘I didn’t know what to do. I can’t keep you.’

His crying seemed to soften and she took the edge of the towel and rubbed it across his head and a face.

‘You came from here,’ she said with a glance around, ‘well, it happened here. Or in the next toilet. I can’t remember. I was drunk and it was raining. I was with my friends and we meet some boys on the beach. It was late but the arcade was still open. Nothing was meant to happen….’

She looked down at him and touched his tiny hand.

‘I can’t stay,’ she muttered.

Casey walked out of the arcade pulling down her skirt and with her bag slung over one shoulder. Behind her, she thought she heard him crying. The urge to turn back and pick him up again tugged at her. She almost did it, but upon turning her head away, she saw her bus coming down the road. Walking over as fast as she could, she felt like she was leaving a part of herself behind. Standing at the bus stop, she hugged herself and tried not to think about it anymore. The bus pulled up, she got on and found a seat at the back. Staring out of window, she watched the rain falling into the sea.