They were playing Michael Jackson when we went in, not, perhaps, as auspicious as I might have liked but when someone is holding the door open for you at 5:30 in the morning I think it’s a bit impolite to ask them to change the radio station. The moment was perhaps made a little better by the fact that my wife had just cracked her first, and last, mid-labour joke, remarking to the receptionist, as we were walking at a snail’s pace into the hospital stopping every few steps as B went into agony and doubled over, “Can you guess why we’re here?” I can’t even blame the gas and air as we hadn’t got that far yet. It wouldn’t have been so bad but as we made our incredibly slow way through winding corridors which stretched out like tunnels in the ‘Railway Children’, B kept telling me that I needed to make sure that her joke got into the blog
Hope you enjoyed it. Please make requests for further guest blogs by B in the comments. She’s said if we get to 100 she’ll think about it.
The atmosphere was different this time. With N it had been the middle of the night, (literally, we got to the hospital at 11:30) this time it was still dark, but everything seemed a bit more awake. We had also already been through this once before, so I was feeling just a bit more confident, although that didn’t stop me from getting completely lost on the way through to the labour ward. In the end though that same sense of complete and utter uselessness, which had washed over me last time, came rushing back and I took up my position forced to mouth fairly pointless platitudes as B suffered tremendous pain. It was probably better that though than the jokes which kept forcing themselves into my head at inexplicable and inappropriate moments.
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
The radio had moved on to Avicii. I was, however in no real danger of falling asleep despite the early morning awakening. It had been all action in our house at 4:00am. We had had at least one false alarm with labour already, which had caused much merriment, and a little puzzlement, at work when, having emailed to say I was having a baby it turned out actually I may have exaggerated so when Belinda woke me up to tell me that this was really it a small part of me wondered whether the broken sleep was really necessary. Turns out my instincts in this regard were as off as usual and suddenly I found myself waking my mum with an abrupt and frankly pretty panicked phone call. This time there was a much clearer sense of urgency. With N contractions had started in the evening around 8 and we hadn’t left for the hospital for another 3 hours. Now, however, as my brain slowly caught up with the situation, barely twenty minutes after waking up, we were already moving things into the car and getting ready to go. All the time trying as hard as we could not to wake up N, who would have exploded with excitement. Eventually we were ready to go, just getting into the car as mum drove up to look after N. So, just over an hour after I had been woken up, a little bit longer since B had started feeling something I was driving my wife to the hospital.
This was a big moment for me. I’d never driven with a woman quite so close to having a baby before. With N I still hadn’t learn to drive and so we had had to get a lift into the hospital, now I was solely responsible for transporting my wife, who was giving off the distinct impression that she could have a baby at any moment. It didn’t help that to say my grasp of the directions was tenuous would be to give it rather more credit than it deserves. So we got to the situation where I was trying to snatch brief directional information from B between contractions, trying to time arrival at key junctions with some fairly erratic gaps in pain. It’s a good job there was very little out on the roads as I had to change lanes more times than is perhaps advisory. The hospital was, as you will already have deduced if you have been reading very carefully, safely reached, although the directional issues were far from over.
Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my number,
So call me Maybe!
The radio had moved on again, now offering, in the dulcet tones of Carly Rae Jepson, naming advice on behalf of the child that I had not yet met, and quite why the small, not yet born, child had a mobile number was something I didn’t want to investigate right at that moment, especially as it was about this point that we were on the move, whisked from the examination room into the ward proper and a delivery suite. Here we met Carol, our midwife, who was, at around 6:30 coming up to the final hour and a half of her shift and definitely not expecting to meet our new child either. In fact some of her first words to us were that she would be with us for the first part of the labour but would have to pass us to another midwife as the shifts changed. Little did she know our child had:
a) very good hearing,
b) A highly developed level of comprehension for an unborn child
c) A love for a good challenge
d) A lot of determination
Just four of the many ways in which he is totally different from me, which bodes well.
Anyway, the little man wasn’t standing for that and so, with a certain amount of drama, which caused 583 (all numbers approximate) midwives and a doctor to converge on our room within half a second (timings also not to be trusted entirely), our second child, and first son, was born at 7:50 am on 22nd October, just in time to greet Carol at the end of her shift.
Thanks to all the wonderful staff at the hospital who dealt admirably, as you would expect, with a pregnant woman, and even more admirably with her inappropriately comedic husband, and didn’t even comment on the fact that it is definitely possible that I broke the bed in my attempts to get B more comfortable after the little chap was born, sorry about that.
Tune in next time for further exciting adventures where such questions as:
“Why is he so enthralled with the wall”
“Is the ceiling really that absorbing?”
“Why do his parents call him Voratio?”