“4cm. Epidural in place”
Shortly afterwards, another,
“7cm. Head engaged!”
I feel rather unclean, as though I’ve been privy to something I shouldn’t. I mean, we’re close, but we’re not that close. Not gynaelogically close. Think about it; you call your husband and they answer (loudly), “I’M ON THE TRAIN”. What pops into your head? You can picture it, can’t you? As soon as he answers the phone you have a mental image of him wedged between two suits, trying to open the Evening Standard.
Then there are those who inform you they’re “on the loo” or “in the bath” when you call or text. You might try not to imagine your best friend naked in the bath, but once that seed has been sown, its impossible to avoid it taking root.
Do I want to know that my friend is 7cm dilated? If I’m honest, not really. I have her due date circled in my diary, a unisex stork card duly waiting in my kitchen drawer, already stamped and addressed. I’m happy to wait for the announcement card decreeing name and birth weight.