Her first child was born when she turned 33.She met her husband six years before and she had given up on hope of ever finding someone to marry or even think that someone would look at her in a romantic way.
Her life was very simple and exact.Work in the embroidery factory with her only unmarried sister Conceicao,and then home where she lived still with her parents.
On Sundays there was obviously the outgoing to church.And then she met him,by accident.
They started to see each other in public as soon as he made is intentions known to her family and wherever they go,her sister was there as a chaperon.Portuguese families have a way to be superprotecting in these ways.
But with time and always talking to each other they became a couple and when he propose she accepted and in less than a year they where married.
But the children wouldn`t come until five years into the marriage.
As the pains grew stronger Fatima came out of her memories.Her shallow breaths where starting to follow the patern of the incoming pains and soon she knew she would have to leave or risk having this child at home.
She had done that with the first two,but as the island resources in health grew better and clinics where built.It became frown upon to have ones child at home with only a midwife to attend to the birth,besides she like the atmosphere at the hospital and being away from her five children for one night wasn`t bad either !
"Mother."Her face was pale and her eyes showned how hard the pains of labour where getting.
Her mother having been throught the same process 14 times didn`t stop to ask silly questions,she asked the eldest girl Rosa to start sending the children to their bath and she then shouted for her son-in-law that at the time was in the back of the house doing something or the other at his workshop."Luis."
The name was called loud and it had an urgency in itself.
"Yes,mother."Although she wasn`t, out of reference and respect that was how he adressed her,but there was no love lost between the two.But both loved the pregnant woman in front of them,and for her alone they tried to be civil to each other,if sometimes they couldn`t well....Life had a way to work as they fought and forgave each other.
"You need to take her to hospital."
"Now ? "
They had been through this process five times and for him it never got any easier.
"Should i get a shower first ?I am all sweaty from being in the workshop." As his look of distress connected with hers,he knew he had asked the wrong question.As if his discomfort could be compared to that of her daughters that at this very momment was busy trying to breath and control her screams of pain due to the actions of this man.
"No,I just should take her to hospital." He collected her small suitcase and held out is hand for her to grab.They made their way to hospital in less than 10 minutes but the pains where groing stronger,he knew he was getting a bruised hand by tomorrow.
At the admition desk in the genral entrance was the usual caos that night brings every day.He gave her name stated th emergency and a chair was rolled out to her and from there on he lost track og her and what was happening.
Father`s weren`t allowed into the birth room and by the time her sister arrived he was in quite a state.She stop for a few seconds to try and reasure him,but her mind was alredy on what was happening behind the white doors.With a path in his shoulder she walked in and was ungolfed in the world of women giving birth.
Screams where heard,maybe hers maybe not,but the strenght of them made him pace faster.
He wasn`t a man that usually prayed although he had married in a church(her mothers doing),he seldom went into these days.His wife was 41 and this was their six child,no more he though,no more putting her through all this.
And his hands where crossed and he prayed.And mainly he waited.