The sky is so bright this morning. At this time it’s normally peak rush hour but the roads are nearly empty. I put on “I’m still standing” by Elton John and intermittently pray and sing. I drive into the multi-storey carpark and toy with the idea of driving to the top. I imagine myself surveying the city and praying. I see my future self communing with God. I have second thoughts and stop at the nearest available place. I want to have time to buy some decaffeinated coffee before work.
There is an intersex baby on the unit. We talk amongst ourselves about whether the baby’s face looks female or male. Opinions differ. The father states that his intuition tells him that the child is female.
I study the baby’s face, the child, as yet without a name has a slightly broad nasal bridge and thin lips, in profile there is a touch of the feminine about them. The parents have a list of 30 unisex names.
I attend trial of forceps delivery in theatre. Something about the atmosphere in the hospital is oppressive. The air feels close. Two plump women stand near the double doors chatting, wearing raspberry coloured scrubs. A black woman stands near a whiteboard, occasionally writing things on it with her thick pen.
Drops of diluted looking blood fall onto the otherwise clean theatre floor. I stare at them. I noticed my blue, partially translucent gloves. I study the fine creases on my fingers. I sit in between a small and a medium size.
The father gently touches his partner’s forehead. I have a slight dull ache in my lower back. I gently press my fist into the small of my back. The obstetrician cuts the mothers flesh at the edge of her vulva.
The midwife tells the mother about her sister. She didn’t like her name. It was the same as a character from a book. At the age of seven she changed her name. The obstetrician, with thick black framed glasses and creases under her eyes explains to the junior doctor about easing the baby out.
Strained fingers in sterile gloves stretch over the baby’s skull. Soon she’s out and on the mother’s abdomen. The mother laughs with joy. My eyes feel tired.
I have an 11 am slot for mask testing. My slot is at the same time as the Eucharist at church. The senior nurse has been doing this all morning and is bored. I try and fix the mask tightly. My hair is greasy and unbrushed. I am unembarrassed. I put one band high up on my head, above my small bun. I fail the test; I can taste the sweet gas in my throat.
“You need to practise putting the mask on at home”, she tells me. I suggest that I need to wash my hair. She smiles thinly.
At lunchtime I go to buy a jacket potato. I’ve been thinking about getting a tuna and cheese jacket potato for about 6 months but I always get cheese and beans. I feel oppressed by the choice. In the end I can’t do it. I get beans again.
I hold a small baby. I can feel the pulsation of her heart against my palm. She keeps looking past me. I wonder whether she cannot see well. She purses her lips and blows bubbles. I rest my hand on her head and pray for her.
Later I sit at the computer. My hands are sweaty. Everything now feels like waiting. I imagine myself doing something life affirming tomorrow. I see myself striding through a remote and verdant field. I imagine myself crafting the model of a recumbent woman. I will probably do none of these things.