EARLIER this week, I think I was in the same queue in the supermarket as the midwife who delivered Sonny Jim.
She had paid and was gathering up her bags as I wheeled my trolley with toddler aboard into line, so I only caught a glimpse. But it looked like her.
And it was the strangest thing.
For a moment, I was about to rush up to her. To show her how lovely the little boy who she guided into the world was growing up to be. To tell her all about him. To get him to give her one of his high-fives and waving hands.
And then I realised that she would probably have absolutely no idea who we were.
She must have delivered dozens of babies.
And my little boy’s arrival into the world was happily uneventful. There was no real drama. She delivered him just as her shift was ending. He was healthy. His daddy and me were delirious with joy. There is no reason for us to have stuck in her mind.
We were just another day at work for her.
But she is a huge, unforgettable, part of our family’s story.
I’ve met her just once. But for the biggest, scariest, most amazing, most wonderful 12 hours of my life she was there, helping.
She held my hand. She rubbed my back. She brought me sick bowls. She listened to my gas and air induced ramblings. I clung to her as I climbed naked out of the birth pool, that my baby just wouldn’t be born in – despite hours of trying. She knew what my body could do better than me. Knew that, despite my adamant protests that I couldn’t do it anymore, that I could.
She’s probably seen more of me than any other person in the world. She caught my darling boy as he left my body and passed him to me.
And yet, we’re strangers. And though I didn’t say it in Tesco, thank you Larissa.