Page 3 Confession – Ultimate!

I have toyed quite long enough, dear reader, with your patience. In fact your tolerance of my verbosity is to be commended. Or indicates, perhaps, – and I mean no offense with this observation – that you are idling whilst at work, or have a dearth of more productive tasks with which to occupy your time…


Page 3 is just a few small moments away…in fact, it may assist if you think burlesque… think tease…imagine these words as the flimsiest of garments…think narrative as a peeling of the layers between you and I

Of course, it is also only courtesy on my part to warn, again, of impending graphic and biological content...

You find yourself, now, in my old 5th floor bedroom. Dawn has not yet broken. The night remains dark. I am awakened by a distinctive and growing, cramping, pain. My body has decided that 42 weeks is quite long enough, thank you very much, in which to bake the baby. Certain that the process will take a couple of hours at least I creep (alright, alright, I haul my huge lumbering frame) from the marital bed. I gently rouse the snoring R, telling him that I believe we have lift off – and that he might want to get us a coffee, call Mamie n Papa, rouse the wee ones ready for departure, warn his resident padre that the show had begun and then phone the midwives. Whereupon I puff to the bathroom, to run a warm, deep bath…mentally preparing for the intensification of pain ahead…beginning to wish I had cut Rs bullocks off pre-June 2002…

I recall swaying and blowing whilst grasping the bathroom basin. Mildly disturbed by the force of the cramp, I hastened my descent into the bath. I sat in the water. Rocked by another cramping pain, deep within, I shifted position. Ohhh by jeeeezzussss, a tidal wave of pain gripped me. I shouted on R to hurry the f* up, to help me out of the f*n bath.

I struggled to stand and was caught, slam!, mid-exit by a tsunami of a contraction.

This was fast. This was going too fast.

I pulled on the night tent I had discarded and waddled to the stairs. I heard my mother and father coming in on the 3rd floor and shouted to them. We met on the 4th floor – me gripping the middle window sill and swaying and puffing like a demented wild-eyed coo.

My mother went into hyper-house-proud hyper drive. Screaming at my father to get that plastic floor covering. Screaming at me Don’t you DARE give birth on this carpet! Dont you DARE give birth HERE! And then hauling me across the floor, delivering me just 5 feet away, to stand atop the plastic and beside the gas n air…

My father was kneeling behind. Laying out the last of the plastic cover. I recall looking to the stair well and seeing two wee faces watching intently. I recall a bursting POP and Dad shouting Ooooohhhhh my god, its here… The shuddering relief of pressure as something large simply dropped from between my legs, in a veritable flume of fluid. My father screaming. Him trying to catch the slippery thing and it sliding and slapping to the floor. My mother crying out Oh look! Oh my God! It’s another lovely big boy. And my Fathers rejoinder It’s a gey queer boy Mary! It’s a lovely big lassie! And all the time, me thinking Oh bloody hell, my faither has seen ma “bits”…


R missed the whole 4 minutes as he was still on the phone to the midwives. Baby arrived to be caught by her grandfather. Watched on by her grandmother and her eldest brother and sister. Heard by her Papa Ralph.

By the time that Anne, the senior midwife had arrived, Mamie had clamped the cord, the placenta was delivered, Mamie had taken my BP, baby was on the breast and we were all drinking tea.

Papa Jaime (my father) was sitting silent, shell-shocked, traumatised by events.

I had endured a 34 minute labour…

Addendum

I do take my duty to be honest and truthful to you my dear reader…

And so, to Page 3…

Just four days after the birth, and whilst we were all assembled gazing at the babe, there came a knock at the door…

It was a journalist. With a photographer. He was independent, though representing the local Gazette. They had received a call from a midwife. Was I YS, the mother of five, whose father, in her own home, had delivered her new baby? Would I consent to an interview? Some pictures? It was such a “good news” story…

There are times in your life when you should simply shut the door and walk away…or when you should check credentials…or when you should simply pause for thought. Sadly, it is my experience. that we seldom recognise those times when they appear.


We did the interview. We did the photoshoot. All nine of us. R, Rs resident father, my Mother and Father, rebel eldest, the lad, baby giant, the tricky-one, new baby and me. And then we forgot all about it – bar the occasional I wonder when – or if -we will see those photos.

The following week, mid nappy change, mid shout-at-middle-child, mid re-dawning of realisation that babies are hard work, the telephone rang. Rebel eldest. In hysterics. Laughing. Crying. Shouting so loud down the phone that I couldn’t hear her words.

Eventually I made out – you are on Page 3 of the Sun. You and Ana are on Page 3 of the Sun. You are feeding Ana on Page 3 of the Sun. Mum! I am mortified! Everyone at school has seen the picture! You are an idiot Mum! I am soooo embarrassed by you Mum!

Yes, dear, patient and by now, sorely disappointed reader, I was indeed on Page 3 of the Sun.

Baby and I. Sans nudie wummin. Me nursing her. Under the banner headline Grrrr-eight to see you…

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

PS Forgive me my friend. Just smile. And now, tell me, would you have read this story if I had entitled it “The Birth Story of Baby Number 5”….

Advertisements

Confessions of a Page 3 STUNNAH (cont)

Revealed of course, slowly. With dignity. And at the appropriate moment…

Impatience increasing? Agitation with my inability to simply cut to the chase growing?

Ahhh, console yourself dear reader, for gratification delayed is also (according to that oracle – my Mother) Good for the Soul…and I promise to get there…eventually.

On hearing he was to be a father yet again, R adopted the time-honoured method of dealing with a reality you do not want to hear and which flies contrary to all those vehement protestations you have made i.e. that four children was quite enough for him – there would not be another baby in his house – he would be getting a vasectomy as soon as possible and she (for he meant me, dear reader) would have to find another man if she wanted another baby.

Yes, that’s right, my increasingly irritated and impatient page 3 seeking reader. He decided to ignore it.

Fully aware that he was ignoring it I flaunted the consequences of my fecundity at every opportunity. Ohhhh the heartburn. The prodded awake requests for gaviscon at 3am. The muscle aches that required massage. For long, long periods of time. The inability to carry large bags of shopping (some men really are saps for this pregnancy and female weakness lark…). The mood swings… The haemorrhoids…

Time passed. Christmas came and went. 2003 dawned without personal enjoyment of the Hogmanay beer-goggles. Until, reaching the 7th month of gestation and a day off work, and with narry a baby product purchased, I deduced that R appeared to have omitted to inform his work colleagues of his impending fatherhood such was the extent of his denial.

Puzzled. In fact thoroughly irritated by his ability to ignore impending birth, I did what any good woman will do. I decided to out him and thus offered to pick him up from work.

He insisted that I not put myself out. I insisted that it would be a pleasure to save him the unpleasant train journey. He said he would need to work a little later. I said I would spend a pleasant hour or so with those colleagues of his that I knew and loved. He said there was a terrible stomach bug doing the rounds.

Ah reader. I did it. I went early to the school. I waddled to the reception, brandishing my belly in the blackest, snuggest, lycra form-fitting dress in my wardrobe. I smiled a wide hello at the office staff with whom I had had at least telephone contact with over the past 11 years. 

What followed was my own peculiar lesson in cognitive dissonance. Until then a phrase I understood in terms only of my non-pregnant cigarette habit and an ability to banish tobacco-induced cancer from my own personal health neuroses.

Yes, I anticipated a little surprise. Perhaps minor confusion of the type – is she just carrying a lot of fat in an unfortunate place or is she pregnant? Minor and only momentary of course.

I waddled into the office. I was greeted by silence. One mouth sagged open. The oldest hand emerged to stutter Oh Yvonne… and then sputtered into silence again. Then stammered a bit. How did…? when did…? how did…? how…?… are you…?…

A young face, an office newbie smiled, oblivious, when’re yi due?

Someone recovered manners and I was given a seat. Someone said they’d tell R I was there.

And so passed 20 minutes whilst I waited for R to deliver me, cursing the day I decided to out him. I gabbled a bit. Laughed too loud.

And discovered that there is a brain freeze which accompanies expectation being met in such an expectation-defying manner…

As I explicitly patted my big tum they tacitly fixed their gaze on my face. As I groaned about my sore back they decided to get on with their work.

One woman – the oldest secretarial hand – tutted. It was a tut. A real obvious big TUT.

And then the sound of laughter. Of someone fit to piss themselves. Of my husband slapping doors and walls choking fit to expire. Of him opening his mouth to speak and nothing but his snorted saliva spraying my face. He was apoplectic. He was convulsed. They thought…. Hhhahahahahaaaa…. hahahahahahhahahaha….SHE thought (he was pointing at the woman who’d gone to fetch him)…..hahahahahhhahahahaaahahahah….THEY thought…..

I am not an ungenerous woman my reader. The carrot has always had more appeal to me than the stick… Ahhh, you deserve some explanation. Some light to be shed.

Picture the scene then. R in his office. The secretary approaches. Awkwardly. Apologetically. As though embarrassed.

What’s up Liz? says R. Is something wrong?

Ah. Mr S… says she… It’s your wife. She’s here. In the school. In the office.

Tell her I’ll be right there…says he…

Silence.

Tell her I’m just finishing this last paper.

Silence. A stare.

Is there something else Liz?

A cough. An audible gulp.

Oh Mr S. Are you alright? We didnae know. Are you alright wi…dramatic pause… that?

Alright? With what? says R. Increasingly bemused.

Well, the new ... audible swallow… the new… pause… the new… baby.

Eh? says the slow-witted R. Eh?

Aye. Says she. Whit wi you havin a vasectomy and aw that….

May this be a lesson to you all. When issuing vehement denials and statements of intent – beware. For some people may take you at your word. May even believe that you are capable of following through on stated intention…

Ahhh, yessss… Page 3? I hear you ask. 

Well that comes next. 
Sure as Summer follows Spring and rabbits breed like, well, rabbits…

Confession – I was a Sun newspaper Page 3 STUNNAH.

I was a Sun newspaper Page 3 stunnah.

There. I’ve said it.

Clearly, I have no shame. Though I do believe that I can justify this sudden and shocking revelation on the basis that my mother has always said Confession Is Good for the Soul.

Ahhhh the memories…(of course, the wags amongst you – those this side of the pond who understand the significance of page 3 – will be saying that should more properly be the mammaries…).

I know, I know, you want an explanation. Maybe even the nitty gritty details…? 

Ahhhh, confession may be good for my soul but digression is not so good for you, dear reader, not when there are vital details awaited. In fact, I can feel your irritation with my prevarication…

So….

The story’s true beginning is sometime in June 2002. Perhaps it was the 13th of June, my birth date, a potential day of excess and rejoicing (at least for me) – though for the record I do accept that the precise date will forever be a matter for joint bemusement.

…WARNING. And before I proceed any further I feel that I must warn the sensitive males amongst my readership. The following contains scenes of a graphic and biological nature. WARNING…

As expected, July followed June, and as usual we decamped en masse and en famille to anywhere but Scotland. In fact it was to an 8 berth caravan in deepest, darkest, slate-mining, miserable Wales – but that doesn’t really matter.

One day, in the middle of that holiday – the holiday that Robert saw, in the raw, my Mothers full moon derriere – the holiday that I forgot to pack any clothes for myself – the holiday that middle boy managed the fantastical feat of pissing a four foot high parabola of wee, hitting his sister who was sitting in the third row of the big car and all whilst I was tanking along the motorway at 90 mph… Yes, it was in the middle of that holiday, whilst miserably chugging through the miserable Welsh countryside in a miserably slow steam train on the way to the utterly damnable and miserable Blaenau Ffestiniog slate mine, that I turned to my husband and said If I didn’t know any better I would think that I were pregnant and that he responded, saying Don’t be so bloody stupid. How could you possibly be pregnant.

Thus are our moments of idle abandon casually forgotten. And so it is that the baby of this house is ostensibly my immaculate conception. Or – speaking somewhat less sacrilegiously – a product perhaps of coital amnesia. The consequence of me, or he, or both actually managing that miraculous feat of procreation whilst deeply asleep.

Fast forward to the pharmacy isle of good ole Tesco’s, sometime in late July 2002 and the purchase of a home-testing kit. Thence to the 3 minute wait for the single blue line to confirm that I was suffering phantom pregnancy symptoms. And to the final twin blue lines screaming loud and clear – Pregnant. Pregnant. Pregnant.

I remember Rs face as he peered at the stick.

Eh? Whits this? What? Youve got it wrong. This is faulty. Do another test.

Silence.

How the f*** did that happen?

To which I, disgusted, not-so-calmly responded (shouted really) – well, if you don’t know after 4 wains, you’ll never bloody know.

And if you have read this far, dear reader, you are bemused. Nay, I have conned you. Where are the sordid details of page 3-dom you are pursuing…

Dinnae fash. I’m coming to that. Bear with me. All will be revealed…
(to be continued…)