It’s just a few weeks after Christmas when our third daughter is born. As usual, I’m certain I’m not in labour. Eugenio is just as determined to take me to the hospital. His swift departure after the nurses agree it’s my time is not a surprise, although it still annoys me. It’s a very quick labour and there’s more pain than I remember. I start to whimper as an unexpected cramp in my left leg holds me captive in a swirl of twitching and aching muscles.
“You’ll be alright. It’s all going to be fine. Just part of the natural birthing process,” the soothing voice of a nurse reassures me.
But, as a leg cramp coincides with another labour surge, I’m not even able to answer. Thankfully, before long, my little girl with a tuft of light brown hair is placed in my arms.
“We’ll name her Dirce after my mamma, hmm?” Eugenio requests, after asking if I’m okay. In his hand is a bunch of brightly coloured flowers.
“Va bene,” I agree. “But, her other names will be Michela and Giuseppina, after my aunt and my mamma.”
My doctor for several years, Luciano Lavermicocca calls in after two days to check up on me. I assume that he’ll declare I’m fit to go home after the normal three-day period.
“No! Rimarrete qui per cinque giorni. No! You’ll stay here for five days. I know Eugenio, and even you are just as bad. You’ll be back at work almost as soon as you walk out of this hospital. So, you can stay in here a little bit longer.”
I open my mouth to argue and then think better of it. Why not?
What he says is true. At least this way I can rest and leave Eugenio with the two girls at home. Children are still not allowed into the hospital with newborn babies. Anyway, it’s nice to have a bit of pampering by the nurses.
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