The Birth…Flash Fiction

Walking into the hospital with my suitcase packed, I had no idea this would be my greatest goodbye.

Rather, all I could think about was the birth and welcoming our tiny son into the world. After feeling him moving around like an exuberant butterfly, I’d finally see his face and hold him in my arms.

No longer a work in progress, he’d become real.

With such anticipation and a love I’d never known before, I didn’t notice the door slam shut behind me. That the woman who walked in, wasn’t the same woman walking out.

That Mummy was born.

13th September, 2016.

This has been a Flash Fiction Challenge from Charli over at  Carrot Ranch

August 31, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a goodbye. It can be the last polka until next time; a farewell without end; a quick see ya later. How does the goodbye  inform the story. What is the tone, the character’s mood, the twist? Go where the prompt leads.


On Father’s Day, my cousin gave birth to her first born, a son, in the same hospital where I gave birth to our son 12 years ago. I had no idea at the time how  becoming a parent would change our lives in so many ways and how it would extend me in ways I never thought possibly but also take me away  from people and activities that meant so much to me…a world I never thought I’d leave behind. After all that initial excitement where I couldn’t keep my eyes off him, parenthood was also a struggle.


This was taken at my grandfather’s 90th Birthday Party. My grandfather was a Reverend and wore his suit a lot. So, it seemed only fitting for Mister to come formal.

As with so many things in life, there is that fusion of joy and struggle, hellos and goodbyes…the yins and yangs. I personally  feel it’s important to acknowledge both sides of the coin and not to deny their existence or how these contradictory forces interplay with each other throughout life’s journey. This is particularly true of parenthood where the positives are emphasised in glamourised commercials while the struggles can be very private.

So, often when you hear a parent open up about these struggles, there’s someone else in exactly the same boat and that relief of no longer feeling alone.

xx Rowena

zorro8 months.jpg

For all my dog loving friends, here he is with our first Border Collie, Zorro.  He was a fantastic dog!

11 thoughts on “The Birth…Flash Fiction

  1. Rowena Post author

    You should’ve seen us all at our first meeting at mothers’ group. We did this list of gains and losses after the baby and the losses were a mile long. The thing that I resented most was how Geoff could just walk out the door. It’s something we take for granted but obviously someone has to stay with the kids. Things with us also took on a rather desperate turn after my daughter’s birth triggered the auto-immune disease and it was only diagnosed when she was 18 months old and my muscles had well and truly wasted away. Thankfully, that person seems like someone else now. I’m so much better!

  2. Charli Mills

    All I can say is that parenting changes you. It’s hard to tell expectant parents how much that means. Ah, but the idea that the birth is a goodbye. That’s a good observation. A different woman leaves the hospital.

  3. Pingback: Goodbye « Carrot Ranch Communications

  4. Norah

    Great flash, a snapshot of reflection. Yes, motherhood does change us. I agree with you about seeing a father walk out the door, while we mothers are chained to the child (well used to be), particularly if breastfeeding. I wasn’t ready for some of the adjustments. I don’t think anyone is. It seemed I had left Norah Colvin behind and was no more than “Robert’s Mum”, as that was how I was referred to at playgroups etc. I was happy to be his mum, of course, but I also wanted to be me!

  5. Rowena Post author

    It’s interesting to read you shared those feelings, despite your love of early childhood and I find that very comforting. I sometimes felt like I wasn’t quite getting it, although my sister-in-law who is great with young kids said that I’d probably be great with teens and I do feel I’ll do better there. I can at least remember what it was like to be a teenager and do a better job of empathising. That said, I had a tricky day today where my son left his folder at home and rang in tears wanting me to drop it to school and I was too sick to drive and knew I wasn’t safe. Later in the day, the school rang and said he needed to be picked up and again I wasn’t well enough. Fortunately a friend brought him home and I’m so grateful. He fell asleep before dinner and seems pretty under the weather.
    I also like how you wanted to be his Mum and yourself and I understand how that can be a tension, particularly before kids start school. My kids still keep me busy and I’m involved in their lives but there is a breather.

  6. Rowena Post author

    Thanks Charli and thanks for the prompt that awakened that realisation.
    I hope all goes well with your move. Lots of love to you!
    xx Rowena

  7. Norah

    I’m sorry to hear that your son wasn’t well today, and that you weren’t either. It is a dilemma and it tears our hearts. Thank goodness for good friends. What would we do without them. I think our children will always keep us busy. I do love it, but it does require putting your own (other) interests to the side for a while. I always made my children my first and most important interest.
    Take care of yourselves. I hope you are all well soon. 🙂

  8. Rowena Post author

    Thanks so much, Norah.
    Putting your interests aside, includes during the climax of TV shows…grr! I get hooked into watching the Batchelor and talking through the announcement. This is the second guy whose chosen the single Mum…an interesting choice.

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