Not physically- your dad is there, worrying, supporting, caring, loving.
Rubbing my back.
But I’m so alone, more alone than ever before. Alone in this body.
And frightened. Frightened with an intensity not felt before.
You’re early! It can’t be time. You’ll so go overdue! He’ll be at least two weeks late!
If I’d have known it was you about to arrive in the world
I’d have been excited, overwhelmed, desperate to hold you
But I didn’t know you yet, so I was just scared.
Terrified in fact. Waves of terror rushing over me with every surge of contraction forcing you down.
Writhing on the living room carpet,
Crying in the bath
Alone, alone, alone in the pain and fear
Overwhelming every fibre of my being
Car, hospital, people everywhere
Your dad there through everything, speaking for me when I no longer could
But so alone
Bleeding, bleeding, searing pain
No doctor so no drugs. Anger.
Feeling every agonising shift you made edging further down inside me
Then you emerge
My beautiful, beautiful boy
On a beautiful Brighton summers day
Bloody, swollen and battered- you looked just like I felt
Black eyes looking wide eyed at me through the blood
No pain now- just calm
Elation- no more fear
Just a dad holding a bloodied baby in a lilac shawl
Staring in shock at those big black eyes
And me watching them both, in wonder
No longer alone.