A year ago today I was woken by a phone call to say my sister had gone into labour. I was in Nottingham at the time, and a fair distance from the hospital, but I wasn’t worried – after all, labour takes a long time. So I got up, had a shower and some breakfast, and headed down the…hell, I don’t know, I just followed the satnav to Warwick Hospital.
An hour and a half later I pulled into the car park and tried to find the maternity ward. It was a bizarre experience. I kept wandering around deserted hospital corridors, following signs that kept leading to locked doors, then deciding I must have made a mistake and looping the whole thing. I somehow did this for twenty-five minutes, before finally heading over to the main building and asking at main reception. They sent me right back, but said I should use the intercoms, if and when I found any. I was moving fairly quickly, but wasn’t too anxious – there was still plenty of time.
I finally talked a nurse into buzzing me into the maternity ward, and took a seat in the waiting area. I’d figured my Dad and I would be sitting around for quite a while, so I had books, food and general entertainments to last at least the morning.
At which point Dad appeared, said “It’s all kicking off in there. Jane invited you in, but the midwife said no. Back in a bit…” and vanished. Fifteen minutes later, I met my niece.
I am the only person in my family who can happily believe it’s been a year. Happy birthday Aimee.