How to have a baby at home

ACT 1: HOW TO PREPARE

[Emma, rolling over in bed on the morning of May 14, 2015] “I think I’m having contractions”

[Dan, calmly freaking out] “You think you are? You’re not sure? This could all just be a dream, we’re all brains in vats, it’s impossible for us to know anything with absolute certainty so in gesture of epistemic humility you’re unwilling to say definitively? I need more to go on… Are we having a baby today?”

[Emma] “Possibly, the contractions are really irregular, it could be today. They could stop again. It might not be for another week.”

[Dan] “Have you been timing them?”

[Emma] “Yeah, 7, 10, 5. It’s pretty hard to tell.”

[Dan] “Ok, I’m taking Nat to school.”

[1 hour later, in the kitchen, Emma is having a contraction…]

[Dan] “Ok, that seemed like the real deal… you weren’t able to talk through it. They seem to be close to 5 minutes to me… I think I better go pick up the baby capsule.”

[Leaves, drives to a baby capsule hire place operating out of the garage of a mum in Eastwood. Tells her wife is in labour. She laughs familiarly. Apparently, it’s pretty common for the husband to be making a last minute dash for the baby carrier.]

[Back home, it’s mid-morning]

[Dan] “Any progress?”

[Emma] “I don’t think so, about the same. Still very irregular.”

[Dan] “Ok, bottom line… Am I preaching on Sunday?”

[Emma] “Maybe.”

[Dan] “I might just go for a walk and grab a coffee, do some work on my sermon.”

[Exeunt to cafe up the street and Acts 8:26-40]

ACT 2: HAVING A BABY AT HOME

[Dan, working at family table having wisely opted for take-away coffee. Phone rings] “Hello.”

[Emma, calling from bedroom] “Can you come home, I think it’s coming…”

[Dan] I’m just at the other end of the corridor. I can hear you.

[Emma] “Well, COME DOWN HERE THEN.”

[Dan runs down corridor]

[Dan] “Should I call the mid-wife and let her know we’re coming in…?”

[Emma] “Not yet, I think it could still be hours. I’m going to jump in the shower.”

[Dan] “I’ll call your mum and get her to pick up Nat from school.”

[Exeunt Emma to shower, things progress rather quickly… We rejoin the action with Dan madly trying to phone the mid-wife using Emma’s phone. First call goes through to answering machine. Dan makes inarticulate sounds of anger and frustration… Second call also goes through to answering machine. Dan raises serious questions about the legitimacy of mid-wifery as a profession. Phone battery dies. Meanwhile Emma is labouring in the bathroom. Dan is hunting around for phone charger. Plugs in and hooks up phone. Now waiting for phone to restart. Waiting… Waiting… Trying to make Emma comfortable.]

[Dan, in bathroom, coming to grips with reality] “We’re going to do this here…”

[Phone rings in corridor… Dan leaves bathroom to answer]

[Mid-wife] “Hello, it’s the mid-wife on duty at the Ryde Hospital Birth Centre…”

[Dan] “My wife is having a baby right now!!!”

[Emma, from off-stage] “There’s a head [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]”

[Dan, throwing phone down corridor and running to Emma in bathroom] “There can’t be a head.”

There is a head. 

[The next few moments are quite messy but the end result is Dan holding a slippery little girl. She is breathing. Dan, Emma, and Evangeline all somewhat entangled in a very tight space between the toilet and bathtub. Dan rather wishes he hadn’t thrown the phone down the corridor… After some tricky manoeuvring, the mid-wife, who is still on the other end of the phone call, is appraised of the situation and an ambulance is called. It takes 20 minutes. Dan calls the reception of Robert Menzies College to let them know that an ambulance is coming so they can raise the boom gate at the entrance to the carpark.]

[Dan] “Hi, just letting you know than an ambulance is on its way to pick up Emma and the baby.”

[Exeunt all with Much Rejoicing]

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Evangeline Mairead Anderson becomes (as far as is known) the first person born at Robert Menzies College, and probably one of the few people born on campus at Macquarie University. Emma Anderson is universally acknowledged to be the Ultimate Boss of giving birth. Dan Anderson goes on to have a second career as a mid-(husband)wife.

 

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