It was a Saturday morning, I was at work and oh boy, I did not feel well. I had stomach pains, I was sweating on and off, I had weak legs, I was constipated. Great. Just what I needed when I had to get through an 8-hour shift.
My Mum had gone to Bundaberg to visit my Uncle. I don’t know why, I mean, she’d never really done that before. Not on her own, we’d always go as a family, or at least my Dad would go too.
At around 7 o’clock that night, after being unwell all day, I told my Dad “Dad, I feel really sick, I have a really terrible stomach ache, and I can’t go to the toilet.” As most Dads would do, he rang my Mum. They were both worried, because I never complained of being sick. My Mum sent my Dad to the chemist for some laxatives and he gave me some Panadol, and I went to bed.
Unbeknownst to me, my Mum was actually in Bundaberg because she was actually trying to get advice from my Uncle and Aunt who both worked in a hospital as to what might me wrong with me. Did I have a stomach tumour? Now complaining that I was so sick, she started to panic.
The next morning was quite a blur to me. I had barely been out of bed, I was in so much pain.
At some point, I had had the conscious of mind to really assess my situation. I was pregnant and I was having this baby.
Who do I tell first? My Dad who’s up the hallway and can help, or my Mum who’s in Bundaberg and can’t help. Ok, I tell Dad, but then he’ll tell mum and she will panic. She needed to hear it from me.
I called my Mum, and while that phone rang was the longest, quietest moment of my life.
“I’m so sorry Mum.”
“For what, what’s wrong.”
“I’m sorry, I’m just so sorry. I don’t want you to hate me.”
She already knew at this point, it hit her as hard as it hit me, I didn’t really have to say it.
My Dad walked into my room right now too. He saw me keeled over in pain on the phone to my Mum, and he left the room again straight away.
“I could never hate you, it wouldn’t matter what you did, I would never ever hate you, I love you.”
“I’m having a baby.”
“ok, it’s ok honey but you need to go and get Dad for me.”
“No, I mean, I’m having the baby right now.”
“I know honey, I need you to go and get Dad now.”
I walked out to my Dad and handed him the phone, where Mum promptly instructed him to call an Ambulance. “I’ve already called one.” He said, “well what did you tell them?” she asked, “Her bloody appendix has burst, I can tell by the way she was keeled over!” He quickly called them back after my Mum informed him, my appendix is fine and I was actually in labour.
I went back to bed and waited for the ambulance, when it arrived, my Dad carried me down stairs because I wasn’t having anyone else near me, I was panicking now. “I’ll be right behind you baby, I promise,” he told me, and that helped.
There I was laying in the back of an ambulance, in the throes of labour, staring out the back window where the only thing I could see was my Dad’s face, following so close behind that you’d have thought he was in the ambulance with me.
For Part 4 of this story, pick up Gladstone News Issue 77 from August 17th and to submit your own progressive story email us at firstname.lastname@example.org