I probably won’t endear myself to any female readers, especially mothers, but here is my account of my sons birth.
I awoke about 8.30am alone in the bed. I checked the en suite, no one there. Off downstairs I went. I found Mrs OMG in the kitchen not looking too healthy.
“Are You OK?” I asked.
“Not really, I’ve been up for hours!”
“Why didn’t you wake me?” I asked.
“I tried! You told me to take a painkiller!”
I’m a bit slow at reading people, but even I could tell she wasn’t best pleased. “Shall I ring Shannondoc? (The out of hours Dr”
“Go on its probably just a kidney infection.”
My army cadet training kicked in. (Army cadets is like boy scouts, but run by the army) I got the boys in the car, the bag for the hospital and grabbed my mobile to ring The Outlaw ( mother in law) Herself was shaving her legs! Yes guys that is what a pregnant woman thinks about if there’s a chance she’s in labour. The Dr and midwives are going to be looking at my hairy legs!
Shannondoc confirmed. It was not a kidney infection, but labour!
Off to The Outlaws. The girlfriend wanted a cup of tea! Thankfully her mother told her to go.
Off we went to Ballinasloe. Forty minutes down back roads. Not a problem I was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Kalos. In bright orange. It was like a sardine can on wheels and probably weighed as much. I forget to mention that this was the coldest day of the year so far. There was frost an inch thick on the ground, and as you’d expect from a sardine tin, suspension not the best and the roads were bumpy, full of potholes and like glass.
No expert, being my first. But I could tell the winces from herself were not at my driving for once, but contractions.
I could tell they were five minutes apart, and knew we still had 25 minutes to go. I started to get worried now! Visions of the baby arriving on the backseats of my new car flashed before me! I couldn’t go any faster it was only a 1.4!
We arrived at Shannonbridge, only for the lights to turn red on the single lane bridge just as a big contraction hit.
Oh no! I thought. Thankfully the baby didn’t arrive and we made it to the hospital. I dropped Mrs OMG at the doors, and said “You go up. I’ll park the car and check you in.”
She wasn’t too keen on this idea. Probably due to the builders working at the doorway and her red and black cowprint fleece pyjamas.
Out she got and waddled off to maternity. I parked up, checked her in and went up to maternity.
She was on her own on the bed. Before I could speak the midwife came in and said “We’ll check you out and see what’s happening.” I sat down and started to read the paper. As we still hasn’t decided on names I looked at the horse racing to see if any of them had nice names. I got a bit distracted and started looking at the form and wondering if I’d have time to go to bookies. “You can stand beside your partner!” A stern voice said.
I put down the paper and went to her side.
“What’s happening?” I asked.
“I’m seven and a half centimetres dilated and they are going to break my backwaters.” She said.
“Oh right. What’s that mean?” I asked with the innocence of a first time father.
“Baby is coming now!” she said
My preparation kicked in. I urged her to do her breathing. (I know this from movies) Baby was facing wrong way, which involved turning him. I don’t know how this was accomplished but kt wasn’t a pain free experience. I know, as she nearly broke my knuckles squeezing my hand, and kicked the midwife in face at one point.
This accomplished, the process of delivering the baby began in earnest. I did what a man is supposed to do in these situations. Offered encouragement and kept telling her to take the gas. For some reason she didn’t see this as helping and cursed at me. “Hormones!” I said to myself!
The midwife then announced “one more push” Good news I thought. Mrs OMG didn’t agree “You said that last time!!” She said.
Push over, the midwife asked if she wanted to feel the baby’s head as it was out. “No” was the abrupt response. Curiosity got the better me and I took a peak. Here is where it started to go a bit wrong.
Just after this Mrs OMG took a seizure. One minute there were three of us in the tiny delivery room. Then suddenly, like Ninjas, 20 more appeared. (Maybe an exaggeration but a few more than there were.) Suction pumps were mentioned. The consultant was there. I was like a schoolboy on the first day of school. Bewildered, terrified, lost all at once. Mrs OMG came round. The consultant advised them all that she was able to deliver baby normally. Someone, I’m not sure who, said. “He’s going to faint. Get him a seat!”
Next thing I know there’s a stool under me. The heat in the room has rocketed and I’ve a glass of water in my hand. Well the minute I sat down I felt queasy, the room was spinning.
“I need some air.” I said. I didn’t know why, but they gave me a cardboard tray. Fairly soon I knew. As I got sick into it. Before I knew it I was in the hallway and being pointed to the bathroom.
I’m sure I was only in there for seconds. When I got back to the room only Mrs OMG was in there, with an empty cot. “Where’s the baby?” I asked in panic
“In the cot.” She replied.
The speech was slurred and the pupils dilated. They’d given her Valium. Seconds later a nurse came in with a baby in her arms.
“Here’s your son.” She said and put him in the cot. A few minutes later she came back with a bottle and told me I could give him his bottle. Due to being high as a kite on the Valium it wasn’t safe for Mrs OMG to hold him
I gingerly took my son in my arms and gave him his bottle. At that moment I knew what real love was. One for this new little helpless child, looking at me and wanting me to hold and feed and care for. Two for herself who had given me this perfect little gift.
To this day she says I missed his birth. I maintain I was there, I did see his head coming out after all!