Oliver Driver salutes all mummies
Oliver Driver recently welcomed his little girl to the world, leaving him deeply moved by the process of birth and the women who go through it.
To all the women who have given birth, from all the partners who supported them.
We are in awe of you.
Well, I guess we always were, but now – after that – we are struck dumb, astounded, speechless, tear-filled, proud, happy, stunned and …
In awe of you.
When those contractions started at 3am, at lunch, at Grandma’s house, in the car, on the beach, at that movie, party, west coast walk and you turned to us and grasped our hands and laughed or screamed or cried. Looked at us with such fear, wonder, joy, uncertainty, love and said … is this it? Oh God, I think it’s starting. It’s just more Braxton Hicks. We have to go. This is it! Ow, ow, ow, oh, oh, oh. This is it, it’s it!
We made a nest of towels, you sat outside, found comfort in the shower, we lit candles, rushed to the hospital, it was so quick, went on forever. Your family all around you, just you and me alone, all of us together, so scared, so happy. This was our first, our second, third, fourth, knew nothing, knew it all by now. I was petrified, calm this time, rubbed your back, TOO HARD, TOO SOFT, sat and held your hand and hated how much hurt you had to go through. Wished I could take the pain, cried with you, laughed, counted minutes, called the midwife, made toast, watched old episodes of Friends, meditated with you, lavender, lavender, lavender.
Time to go, here it comes, regular now, so painful now, you’ve had enough, I’m scared, excited, the midwife’s arrived, we get in the car, the ambulance arrives, calm please, panic now, we know what to do, what do we do? Deep breaths, sirens wail, foot to the floor, weaving through traffic, hold her hand, smiles, screams, baby's coming, BABY'S COMING! Arrive at Birthcare, at the hospital, so glad we get to stay at home, four centimetres! You’re doing so well, keep it up, seven centimetres! So close, action stations, everyone get ready. One centimetre, that’s all, that’s it, we can’t keep doing this.
Everything is going as we hoped, as we feared, as we dreaded in secret. Drug free, drugs now, cup of tea? Pethidine, gas, epidural, IV.
It’s going so well, it’s all gone wrong, you laughed, you cried, you broke. I was so full of joy, of fear, of terror, us in the bath, the lounge, our bed, the operating room, just us, so many people, family, strangers, warm and sunny, cold and sterile.
She, he, they are coming now. There’s a problem, here they come, we need to intervene, I can see the head, midwife, doctor, surgeon, so wonderful, so terrible, push, don’t push, cold metal, suction, hot towels, warm hands, salty tears, too much blood. Eyes wide, hold my hand, look at me, look at me, through all of this just look at me, we can do this, we will do this, together, look at me as everything happens that needs to happen. Blood drip, slice, rip, slip, pull, scoop, catch, look at me.
A boy! A girl! Both!
Here, at last, so fast, so hard, so long, so scary, so unexpected, so to plan, so utterly chaotic, so calm, so beautiful, so terrifying,
so, so, so, so...
So many ways, all leading to the same, first breath of air, first cry, first look, first meeting of us all, family.
You grew our baby and then you brought her into the world, fast or slow, at home or at hospital, simple or complicated, three hours or thirty, you did that.
Oliver Driver mostly directs television, film and theatre but he also owns a bar, two dogs and a motorcycle. He has made many things in his life but this was his first attempt at making a child. He is pretty excited about it
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 34 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW