Alison Leach: Labour of love

Posted on April 12, 2012


It was a sunny day in April with blue skies dominating the skyline. I was 13 days past our baby’s due date and I had been induced but there were no signs of the baby appearing.

The midwife sent the interpreter home and the plan was to induce me for a second time the following day. We took advantage of our ‘Deaf Card’ so my Deaf husband could stay with me overnight.

Soon I felt achy, and wrote down that I was feeling discomfort. The midwife informed me that I was only one centimetre dilated and that I had a 10-15 hours wait.

Suddenly, within a space of few minutes, I was literally sprinting around the room in Roadrunner style.

My husband asked for help a number of times but each time the midwife maintained that I was still in pre-labour; convincing me that I was experiencing the very early stages.

After her latest departure from the room, I felt the urge to squat and begged for help.

My husband called for assistance once again and the midwife came in rolling her eyes as if to say ‘that deaf and dumb girl again!’

All of a sudden, unbeknownst to me, she saw that I was actually giving birth; there was a sudden wave of activity.

The midwife shouted for a colleague whilst ordering me onto the bed. I kept protesting that I wasn’t giving birth and my husband relayed the information.

My husband, although dazed, managed to interpret for me and to tell me in reply that I was certainly giving birth.

I refused to believe him, thinking he had misunderstood.

Grabbing a napkin and a dodgy biro, I tried to communicate with the midwife. She wrote down ‘you are giving birth!’ which got the message across! From then on, we used the napkin as a basis for communication.

Our child was on her way. I begged for some pain relief; I would have settled for gas at the very least but it was too late as quickly, our daughter was born!

Even though it was April, snow fell as if to celebrate our daughter’s entry into the world.

Looking back I am glad that I did use the ‘Deaf Card’ as I would not have coped without my husband (he would have missed the birth altogether if he had gone home!) and the interpreter had been told to go home (perhaps to save money).

The experience was very dramatic and traumatic for the three of us, and although there was a happy ending, the outcome could have easily been different.

Alison is thirtysomething. She was born and bred near the south coast and currently resides in the west midlands. Her daughter Daysi is now nearly 4 years old.

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