The Other Side of the World: little beats

Thursday, June 22, 2006

little beats

my birthday morning and I am woken up by my midwife singing in her heavy Dutch accent and bearing a tray with tea, dutch chocolate toast and tiny wrapped presents. Way off the prescribed curriculum I'm sure, but a perfect addition, nonetheless, to a plethora of birthday-breakfast-in-bed memories from the last 23 years. to be honest, I feel as though I have landed unexpectedly in an surreal idyllic retreat - the large beautiful house perched on a tall green hill with snow-capped mountains, waving toi tois and woolly sheep bounding around the horizon. The agenda of the past week can be sumarized as: sleep, palpating pregnant bellies, and consuming vast quantities of hollandaise sauce. even the drive up was only traumatizing for the 8km through the steep, winding gorge in an absolute downpour of rain (thanks New Zealand for that opportunity. . . ). But as the realization that I was alive sunk in at the other end, the breathing/swallowing/muscle-relaxing eventually kicked in and I merrily zipped the next two hours East in the lovely Gertrude (on loan). still no babies born, although the first one is due today (and seven more in the next three weeks!) and I am quietly sending it reminders that being earthside on this particular day is a wonderful thing. . . yesterday, the midwife urged me towards an enormously swollen belly and I placed my hands gently-deep into its tense, quivering bulge, cradling the round hardness of the head, the firm curve of the back and the soft knobs of feet and knees that glided beneath the layers of flesh and fluid. I found the right place for the doppler and for the first time, I brought to open air the steady, determined flick of a heartbeat. Little beats, that for a moment, seemed to overwhelm everything else in the whole wide world.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fast approaching your mid-20's I see. Well, enjoy your youth while you can, cause I gotta say many interesting things happen in your 23rd year...I'll just leave it at that. You'll find out soon enough.

I'll attempt to refrain from antagonizing you on your birthday, that's the best gift I could come up with. I'm sure you'll realize, how much of a sacrifice it is for me to do that :). So I wish you all the best on your birthday as you happily enjoy your days in New Zealand. So Happy 23rd Birthday, Miss Mianh.

- Karen

11:36 PM  
Anonymous me said...

Happy Birthday!!
I don't know what day it is with the time change.. (how quickly my subtract 4 method is forgotten).
Hope you have a great day :)
Love lots,
PS there is mail incoming..

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Darling!
I hope its marvellous :)
- Sarah

8:26 AM  
Blogger ladyelms said...

That's wonderful, Mianh. Happy birthday. :)And best wishes for your first birth.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Kt said...

Happy birthday Mianh!

11:10 AM  
Anonymous daddy said...

You have a very nice teacher Mianh. I start to guess that you may be in love with that country side, mountain view, fresh air and wholesome humanity..and of course the baby delivery things... Your diary may one day be part of an interesting reading collection.
Take care (and have a safe policy)


9:13 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

oi! send me an email sometime.. unless you're still writing examinations :P
phenergin! :P
And tell me about your birthday and how it feels to be so damn old.
Any grey hairs yet?

10:06 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

did you ever figure out my phone number too?!

10:07 PM  
Blogger Sage Femme said...

so lucky, new zealand. do they want some american midwives there? *sigh* - I just need to escape the US. :)


5:39 PM  
Blogger Sage Femme said...

oh, and Happy Birthday! :) (forgot that part)

5:39 PM  

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