Daniel I. Russell is the author of Entertaining Demons, Samhane, Retard, Come Into Darkness, Critique, The Collector Book 1: Mana Leak, Mother's Boys and the huge collection Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem. Daniel is a HWA active member and represented by the Tobias Literary Agency, NYC. Daniel has also been the vice-president of the Australian Horror Writers' Association, special guest editor of Midnight Echo, associate and technical editor for Necrotic Tissue, and Shadow Awards judge.
And now over to Daniel I Russell for the weather. ...
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009Baby? Do you want to come out? Yeah, but, no, but, yeah, but, no, but...
Thank you, some of you, for the messages and wall posts requesting an update on this week's events. Rather then reply to you all individually and therefore avoid the indignity of the old copy 'n' paste routine, thought it would be prudent to post this to summarise the whole thing. I may ramble, but here goes.
We awoke on Monday morning at 7am with Sherie having contractions. This isn't anything new as she'd been suffering with them on and off for about a week and half. These were coming every five minutes or so. No Funky Werepig for me that morning! We went to the hospital and had her checked out. Our doctor performed a test that states if Sherie would go into full blown labour in the next 24 hours. Was a bit disheartening to see our doctor and a nurse going through the instructions like it was a a wardrobe from Ikea. I'm just glad they read the English page and the not the Swedish. Anyway, the test came back positive. We were having a baby.
Or were we?
I did the mad panic around to grab prepacked suitcases and to fill the car up. Sherie stayed in a hospital bed. Lazy. With a few seconds to tell Greg Hall, Scott McCoy et al in the party pen that we were in labour, it was back to the hospital and await the flying doctor.
As Sherie was flown up to Perth, I drove the three and a half hour journey, getting nicely tanned forearms along the barren Perth-Bunbury Highway. I found Sherie in the Foetal Assessment unit, and the fun began.
Sherie's doctor in Perth was a friendly Indian bloke with a lazy eye. In fact, he had two lazy eyes and looked a bit like something from a 1930's Universal horror movie. His assistant was a medical student, or Doug, as I shall refer to him (and any Scrubs fans might know where I'm going with this). He had to take a blood sample. Jesus. He held the needle to his face. I then noticed he had a squint and a nervous twitch. A BAD nervous twitch. This wasn't going to be good. In went the needle... Blood was spurting everywhere, and this young doctor, forever the professional, responded with 'GODDAMMIT!'. The bed looked like Tina's death scene in Nightmare on Elm Street, and Sherie's arm was butchered.
Next, and with the contractions increasing in power, Sherie went into the birthing suite, which was quite nice with a TV, ensuite and view of Subiaco stadium. We spent the night watching Two and a Half Men and Big Bang Theory. The most fun part was listening to the almost medieval torture screams echoing down the corridor. I, of course (and I was quite bored at this point. The contractions weren't doing much more) passed the time by poking a little fun at the other women. For example, asking Sherie to go in the birthing suite next door and politely say Sssssssh! More professionalism ensured with the midwife student chuckling at the 'that woman made a noise like a camp guy at a surprise party' comments. Oh, the fun we had.
At 11pm, the guards changed and we had a new midwife in the room. Hardcore midwife. This woman should sell used cars, or if she got a TV gig, the Shamwow. She could sell anything...including morphine. Sherie, bless her, had been having regular, strong contractions. I know because I was monitoring the...the...okay, I don't know what it was called, but I could read the graphs onscreen. She did little more then groan every so often. So proud of her. She's tougher then I could ever be. Anyway, the midwife was concerned that after 12 hours in labour (she woke up at 7am having contractions, remember) that she needed a rest for the big push. Morphine would take the edge off, and let her have a few hour's sleep. The midwife went on and on and on...and I think we only eventually said yes to shut her up! The morphine did indeed take the edge off, but morphine can also bring a mum out of labour, which we think was the hospital's ulterior motive. By the next morning, things had died down completely. 30 hours in labour and no baby.
Which is good in a way because the baby was only at 35 weeks gestation. While this was the furthest Sherie had ever gone, a few more weeks in the oven wouldn't go amiss, especially as our baby is quite small.
They wouldn't let her go home, and we spent the following week at the hospital. This is always costly (remember when Sherie was up there for 2 weeks back at 23 weeks?). We needed meals (I needed meals) and things got quite boring. You have to rent TVs to watch. We walked regularly into Subiaco just for something to do. I had my current read with me (eventually got around to reading King's Duma Key) and that occupied me during the nights at my uncle-in-law's city centre apartment. So many red Honda Getz going underneath the balcony. Stuart Lister should live in Perth. We also found a decent bookstore. Books are very expensive over here, which is why I tend to buy them in the uk and have them shipped over! However, the Leisure Horror books were reasonable and I managed to snag novels by Douglas Clegg, Sarah Pinborough, Graham Masterson and Nate Kenyon. Sherie even got way into the Masterson!
We were finally allowed to go home after a largely dull week of Swooping Magpie warnings (pic to follow), hospital food experimentation and my crumbling sanity (I have now seriously had enough of seeing pregnant women. No joke. A parade of them walked past me on the last day while we waited for the decision to let us go home. I then had to move the car and went to leave the hospital. The lift doors opened, and there were 8 of them inside. I think I'm developing a phobia!).
And here we are. It was a nerve shredding and tiring week, but we're back. Bub still in the oven...and now we can have the baby here as we're past 36 weeks! Yay! 36 and 2 actually. According to some in the know, this means bub is no longer classed as a prem baby. But the question is, will baby be born on Halloween?
Nothing much to report on the writing side. The current novel is still sitting at 60k and nothing has been added to it as I've been away from home. I did manage to sell another poem at pro rates, and that was to Fear and Trembling with my poem, Stitches. I'm very surprised with the acceptance actually as I don't really feel like a poet. Anyway, that makes three pro sales now. Maybe there's something in it? It was written for Sherie over a year ago, and she loves it. Now it will be out for the world to see.
I think that's all I have right now. Hopefully have a more interesting week this week. Baby can come at any moment! See you at the weekend...possibly.