Another challenge from Trifecta, this time using the word ‘juggle’ with the definition ‘to handle or deal with several things at one time so as to satisfy competing requirements’. See how other people did at http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com.
My baby kicks. The clock ticks. Mum is still dead. The baby hammers my ribs, as the pain of losing Mum hammers my heart. Or it could just be heartburn, I don’t know. I’m too tired to think. My bump is draining me, or is it the grief?
I pack my hospital bag whilst I’m on the phone with the funeral arrangers. There isn’t long to go now. Nappies? Check. Coffin? Oak. With a brass plaque on. Babygro? White. With bunnies on. Flowers? It had to be lilies, her favourite. When I was a little girl, there was always a vase of lilies in the house, filling the air with their beautiful scent.
My ankles are swollen, and my eyes are puffy from crying. My back aches.
I’d known the end was coming for Mum for a while. Longer than I’d known the baby was coming, even. But I’d never imagined having to juggle preparing for the birth of my baby with preparing to bury my Mum.
In the night, the pains come. I hadn’t been asleep, I’d been too full of tears for Mum. Then my waters broke. Water, water, everywhere. And the worst pain I’ve ever felt. Worse than the grief, even. The pains get stronger, and I realise there’s not going to be time for me to get to the hospital. I try to draw some strength from Mum; she went through much worse than this towards the end.
And then the pains finally stop. There’s a rush of life, and there she is, finally in my arms. My daughter, Lily.