She stepped into the pool and the water rippled out, making ever increasing circles until it reached the sides. Every movement was now a struggle as she puffed and panted her way into a sitting position. She is encouraged to move around, to make things easier for herself.
She didn’t want things to be easy, none of it has been so why should the last act. She knew what she had let herself in for and it was her principles and strict upbringing that had led her to this hospital ward, this birthing pool and this birth.
Hours later it was over, the baby was delivered, weighed, dressed and suckled. Healthy thank goodness, she now had a son. She had cleaned herself up and was on the post-natal ward, due to her special circumstances she had been put in a side room although she longed to be part of the ward, outside there was activity, people to talk to and a tiny bit of normality. Soon the new parents of baby Turner would come and she would go home, back to her disappointed parents and resume her non-descript life in the village. She would be obedient and do as she was bid, but even so, from now on, she would always be that girl.
Her parents had tried to cover for her, she was going away for a few months travelling as part of her studies, but of course at such a tender age and with little reason to travel when studying English, psychology and philosophy most people had guessed the real reason for her absence.
She watched smiling faces come and go throughout the first hour of visiting time. She had phoned her own parents but their response had been one of relief that it was all over rather than joy, the other phone call has resulted in more enthusiasm. Just then the door opened and the people she had met twice before arrived beaming, their arms laden with gifts for their new charge and even some flowers for Anne, the name she had chosen to call herself.
‘Where is he?’ Anne indicated the peaceful baby in the transparent plastic cot, not daring to look at him directly, worried that the love she had thought she wouldn’t feel would overwhelm her, stop her from going through with the decisions that she had been so certain about six months ago. They rushed over, instantly they were cooing, stroking his face and the little squeaks he made as he awoke tugged at the heart strings of all in the room.
For two painful weeks Anne had to stay with the new parents, to feed the infant and recover, she had agreed to this to allow herself to return home as she had left, no sign of the pregnancy or baby. Now she was nearing the end of her time here and she was both reluctant and eager to live. She picked up George Lucas Miller, not the name she would have chosen, he looked more like a Noah to her, and gave him one last feed, one last kiss and entrusted in the care of his Mother a letter. Maybe they’d just throw it in the bin but at least she could tell him her side of the story, explain, as best as she could why she had to give him to someone else. Maybe he’d never read it but maybe, just maybe he would, she would have to wait.
As the doorbell rang Anne fought her way past the twins to the door, a strangely familiar face stood before her and yet she couldn’t quite place him.
‘Mum’ three voices yelled together.
4 days ago