Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Sarah and I were having a baby. We were very excited. We decided not to find out what we were having. I mean it was a baby, obviously, but you know what I mean.
We were expecting to be induced on Monday the 11th of February and we planned to spend the weekend before relaxing ahead, we went out for a meal for my brother-in-law's birthday and afterwards Sarah couldn't feel the baby move, so we went to hospital to get checked out.
They were both fine, and we relaxed, but while she was on the monitor the baby's heart rate went from an apparently normal between 130 and 150 beats per minute to a more worrying jumping from 112 to 200 and back again instead. It calmed down a bit so they said we could go home. We did and went to bed about midnight.
At half two in the AM, Sarah woke me and said she thought her waters had broken, I leaped out of bed, turned the light on and pulled back the cover to reveal blood everywhere. I called an ambulance and we went in. After assuming the worst, when we got to the hospital we discovered that the baby's heartbeat was fine, Sarah was in labour and the blood appeared to be coming from the placenta. After such a big bleed they recommended a C-section and so instead of days of waiting for an induction to kick in, there was a baby in my arms 45 minutes later.
The surgeons and his team were amazing, but I can't give them all the credit. I cut the umbilical cord. While they finished working on Sarah, I held him in an ante room and found myself singing to him. What do you sing when you've forgotten all the nursery rhymes you ever knew?
Apparently, it's 'Joyriders'.
With Sarah out of surgery, we were a trio. We were parents. We decided not to share the news for a while and just sat and stared at him and at each other. I'm not sure who, but one of us turned to the other and said "What now?"
Being rushed in by the ambulance meant we didn't have any of the things we packed for the notoriously long induction. When my father-in-law brought them in we had games we no longer had time to play and books we no longer had time to read. We had impressively overprepared for one outcome and were woefully underprepared for another.
Between Sarah's blood loss and the baby's weight loss, we spent a week in hospital and got a bit institutionalised, but we got into a routine. Things came together and we worked out how to be less terrified.
I meant to post all this in February, but things have been manic since and so our son is now an astonishing seven months old. He's fantastic and has now paddled in the sea, begun weaning onto solid food and added the Only Fools And Horses theme tune to his favourite songs.