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The pain was unbearable. It was like a white shot of pain that pierced through my heart. It was quite unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

“Heart…” I moaned as I clutched my heart.

“Bye, Lizzie,” he said as he kissed our daughter good-bye, “Daddy’s going for an interview.”

“In view…In view…” Lizzie chanted as she waved good bye to her Daddy.

“…PAIN…” I screamed as I collapsed in a heap.

“Bye honey,” said my husband as he looked for his car keys.

“Don’t…. you…you… care…oowwww…. That yo.. your wife is having an heart attack?”

“You are not having an heart attack,” said my darling husband as he set about packing his laptop into his briefcase.

“How do you know?” I moaned as I lay on the floor.

“You’re 34, female, no family history, you don’t smoke, you don’t drink, you don’t have diabetes, cholesterol or diabetes, you walk 6 hours a week, you’re not overweight and you don’t have a heart issue. Call me when Ethan’s back. Love ya,” and with that, that evil husband kissed the top of my head as I clutched my heart.

What was wrong with this man? His wife was having a near heart attack and he was still thinking about this interview.

“You’re the one with no heart!” I moaned as the door slammed shut. The pain was still there and I started panicking even more. My mind went in a tizzy — my son, my daughter, my children, where were they? Were they safe? Who would take care of them if I was not here?

Oh dear god, I haven’t even done my will yet. My children were going to be fed take-aways and fast food for the rest of their lives, have no clean underwear or worse, they’ll think Cream or Rolling Stones were the bomb!

With that realisation, I willed the pain to go away. They cannot be raised by a man who did not care about CLEAN underwear.

As quickly as the pain came, it went away suddenly. I heaved a sigh of relief and I pushed it aside, thinking it might be heart burn or gastric or something like that. Maybe that came from eating fridge cold left over pizza for breakfast.

“Mummy, I’m hungry,” my daughter piped up.

“Okay, Lizzie, I’ll get you something to eat,”

“Muffin please, mummy,” said my daughter as she danced her way to the television.

“Okay,” I said as I glanced at the clock 9.05 and automatically pulled out two plastic plates, two mugs of milk and two muffins.

Then it hit me again — that blinding pain as I gripped Ethan’s blue plate.

Breathe in, breathe out. Slow breath. Then it just went away as quickly.

Throughout the day, the pain came and went. When I opened my pantry and saw M&Ms which was Ethan’s favourite, I had a contraction. When I saw Cocoa-Pops, Ethan’s cereal, I had another. Then one more when I saw the Choc Chill, Ethan’s milk,then another when I spotted the chocolate cake, Ethan’s favourite.

I was fed up and decided to start cleaning. I was that desperate.

When I sucked up Ethan’s Lego piece, I had another contraction. Then when I put away the laundry and saw his Bob the Builder T-shirt which used to be his favourite but now never used it anymore (because it was babyish), I had a major contraction. I even had to sit on the floor of his room and had a good cry.

“Honey, I’m having these weird pains, like every ten minutes, then it every eight minutes, then six, and now it’s four minutes…ooowwww…there’s one coming….” I sobbed on the phone to my husband after his interview.

“This egg sandwich is chomp chomp chomp…quite nice…..”

“You’re NOT listening!” I cried.

“No, YOU’RE not listening! I didn’t get the job today,” he said quietly.

“Yes you said that. But you have another later? And quite a few lined up the next few days right?”


“So YOU listen to me now!”

“Mmmm, what did you put in the eggs today?”

“I’m going to put some pain in you when you get home…” I sobbed more.

“Whassadd? It’s funny, sounds like you were in labour or something. You’re not pregnant, are you?” my husband joked.

How dare he joke!?

“Hello, Megs-babes, come on, it’s nothing. Can’t be labour ,right? You’re too old to be pregnant anyway. We have a kid that’s in Primary School now! I’ll see you later when I get back and Ethan can tell us all about his first day at school. Love you,” he hung up laughing at his own twisted rotten humour.

Then as the contraction hit me, I realized that I was in labour, despite what my husband said. I was having a labour of the heart. I was having liberation contractions.

*Liberation Labour Contractions — the periodic tightening and relaxing of the heart, the most important muscle in the woman’s body, in preparation of the birth of a tween — that of growing independence.

Contractions peaked at 1020am, morning tea when I thought about if he had anyone to sit with, and at 1245pm during lunch, when I worried if he had anyone to play and then after lunch at 130pm, when I wondered if he needed the toilet. Then after that, it started becoming unbearable, I could hardly breathe. I thought I’d do what I did when I was in labour. I tried the hypnosis, the breathing, the massage, and the hot bath but hey, if it didn’t work for the physical labour, why should it work now?

If you think labour contractions are hard, try having a labour of the heart. A heart contraction is a million times harder than a physical contraction. With every contraction, your heart squeezes and your chest feels tight, like you can’t breathe. Tears will fall because your heart just aches so much. What makes it worse is the mental pain that comes along with it.

As the pain gripped me again, I had a sudden realisation that I had not attended any class, done any exercises, read any books or go on the internet, nobody ever said that there would be a second labour? Why wasn’t it in the Mother Handbook that was given out to every mother to be in the World by the WHO – World Happiest Opinions.

I saw his drink bottle sitting forlornly  on the kitchen bench and a massive contraction hit me. I sent my child on the FIRST day of school without his drink bottle?

The child might be ready to pop but I was so not ready for this birth.



© ELT 2015. All rights reserved



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