When I suggested broadcasting my wife’s labour on Facebook Live, I assumed she’d share my opinion that this was staying in touch with current trends.
I thought she’d love it.
Sadly though for those of you who stayed up on Monday night in anticipation, the idea was unequivocally vetoed and this blog post will have to be the next best thing!
After Sophie’s timing of delivery – two weeks early – we’d expected this baby (aka Little J) to follow suit.
When we reached six days overdue and had experienced a whole bunch of false starts, we’d started to doubt it was coming at all.
Indeed on Monday night, Halloween no less, my wife went to bed apologising for the fact it hadn’t arrived yet.
Three hours later and she was waking me up with a “I think this is it” look in her eyes. Game on.
A quick call to her mum sorted out childcare arrangements for Sophie, although fair play for charging over from Liverpool at 3am!
A bath, some 8 out of 10 Cats Countdown comedy and a shower for me – I’d played footy the night before! – and we were ready to go into hospital.
My wife was in significant discomfort, regular debilitating contractions making the car ride in pretty difficult.
Still we made it to triage and eventually got seen. Much to my wife’s frustration though the midwife told her she wasn’t “in active labour” and advised going home.
After a bit of protest, she let us keep the triage bed but told us to go for a walk for at least an hour.
In my wife’s words “the worst hour of my life!”
We tramped round the outside of the hospital and then through the darkened corridors. At 5.30am it was deathly quiet but 2 members of staff did offer her a wheelchair to get her back to a maternity.
Don’t know what gave her pain away to them…maybe it was the incredible internalising of pain, the fact we were walking at quarter speed or that we had to keep stopping and leaning to cope with the intensity of the contractions!
After a tumultuous walk, we got back and she wanted pain relief. Our midwife was busy and left us despite me saying we needed help.
It wasn’t until my agonised wife broke her self imposed silence to say, ” I think I need to push…” that they realised what was going on.
Pain relief so far? Some paracetamol and two reluctant codeine tablets. Amazing.
A quick check – “oh you’re 8cm….we’d better get you onto the birthing centre”. After that, everything happened really fast. My amazing wife staggered round the corner to the birthing room, one end of a corridor to the next, refusing a wheelchair or much assistance. Our new lovely midwife Caroline, who’d only come arrived for her shift right on 7am, was in awe of her determination.
They started running the birthing pool but it was too late. Full-on delivery was happening. While I wisecracked, “Listen to the sound of the bath running to relax you,” my wife was working incredibly hard and Caroline was calling for back-up.
Inside half an hour, a beautiful baby boy was presented to us – I even announced his gender. (Those of you familiar with this blog may know that I failed miserably with that one responsibility last time!) He cuddled into his remarkable mummy who laughed in the face of “You dilate 1cm every hour” predictions to achieve non-active labour to delivered baby in under two hours. Wow.
And so, the little man has arrived, changing us from a family of three to a family of four literally overnight. Bye Bye Little J. Hello Harry. It’s great to meet you.