Sitting here tonight, listening to (and loving) the new Black Keys album, my head feels more than a little messed up. Let’s recap the last 3 and a bit days, shall we?
Work (potentially one of the worst work days ever), car trip, ferry ride to Luna Park, Modest Mouse at the Big Top (AWESOME BTW), home to the boys house with intention of sleep that didn’t really pan out, phone call at 2 in the AM, mad race to the hospital, helped deliver a baby, drove straight to work from the hospital mid morning, another truly CRAPTASTIC day at work, takeaway and TV (and not the Baseball gig, which I was okay with at the time given the level of wrecked I was feeling, but since reading this review regret missing more than a bit), SLEEP blissful sleep (including falling asleep and drooling on the boy in front of said TV) a play, visit to the hospital, dinner at Forbes & Burton, SLEEP, North Carolina VS Kansas.
And then home.
Wait, what? A baby you say? YES, that’s right. It seems to me, when trying to get my head around it, that Hellen has been pregnant forever. I know it’s only been (a little less then) 9 months, but in my head it has felt like a really long time. And then before we knew it it was all up on us. And it WASN’T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN while Tony was in Townsville. But the little dude IS the son of his mother and as a result had to be as contrary has he possibly could be.
When I said to her last week at the baby shower that I was concerned about her being on her own that one night her Mum couldn’t stay, and that she was to CALL ME if she needed ANYTHING, most of me truly hoped she wouldn’t need to make that call. Because he was supposed to wait until Mum and Dad were in the same state. Deakin had other plans.
I got the call, like I said, just after 2. I broke land speed records between Potts Point and Sydenham and we got to the hospital at some time that I can’t remember because most of it is a real blur. Thereafter came a lot of hours of sitting in a room listening to his heartbeat over a monitor that she had strapped to her belly. It was really hypnotic, and in a way really comforting, to hear his little heartbeat filling the room. A steady stream of doctors and nurses and midwives kept us both awake, and before we knew it we were in the operating theatre. Because the contrary little bugger was breach and wouldn’t turn.
And it was AMAZING. They say that to witness the birth of a child, even one that isn’t your own, will change your life. And I’m here to testify to that truth. It didn’t make me maternal, or clucky, or anything else that other women have told me. I’m not sure I’m that kind of girl. What it DID do was completely change the way I see life and our general place in the world. To see a little person take his first breaths in the world, and open his eyes and focus on his mother for the first time, was the most humbling experience. And to see my best friend achieve what she did, without the support of the most important person in the world to her, and be so strong about it, was truly phenomenal. She is amazing. All women are amazing. Fact.
A few things really stand out to me about the night. The conversation Hell and I had in the early hours of the morning before the birth, for one. We’re both really busy, and both in relationships, and because of the pregnancy have had less chance to catch up over drinks like we used to. It felt a little like borrowed time in a way – it was so good to just sit and talk and catch up with her, but part of me knew that the second we went into that operating room the whole world would change, and it was unlikely I would get her to myself again. At least for a very long time.
Secondly, it was the way the whole night panned out with some sort of crazy karmic foreseeness. For mid week gigs I’ll rarely stay with the boy. I usually hike back out to Windsor, liking to get the drive out of the way and an extra hour’s sleep in the morning. So I was in the city where normally I wouldn’t have been. Secondly, I texted Hellen from the gig. I never do this, but it was Modest Mouse and the last time I saw them I was with her. So I texted her saying I was thinking of her and hoped she was okay. She texted me back telling me to float on enough for her as well and that she’d see me soon. Hah. And because I’d sent that text she was pretty sure I’d still be in the city, so felt okay making the call. Also, I have never before parked right outside the boy’s house. I usually, if I’m parking near his place, drive up to the Cross and park at the parking station there because parking in Potts Point is diabolical to say the least. But on Thursday night I fluked a park barely 20 metres from his front door, so when I got the call the car was right there. I don’t really believe in fate and what not, but there’s a general feeling that the universe was looking after things that night.
I think something like this kinda shifts everything a little off centre. It’s not just the gravity of the experience – it kinda moves everything around it, too. Work feels different, and home feels different. And the future feels different too. Everything has a different energy about it – I guess it’s all energy and life force and vibrations and what have you, and you need to just move with it lest you’re mown over by it.
It was hard, going into work on Friday morning, concentrating on clients, paper work, and the somewhat petty concerns of what is going on there right now. It all seems mighty trivial, and on some level I really hope that I don’t lose that feeling. The feeling that there is a greater sense of things and that really, in the grand scheme of everything, most stuff doesn’t matter.
So this week I am going to concentrate on the Good Things. Like the new Black Keys album. And thoughts of my birthday on Thursday, and of the boy (because he is just plain wonderful and I don’t care if I’m gushing again because he is), and Bowie, and a day off on Friday, and the future in general really. Because from this point in my life I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And it’s a pretty great feeling.