At 20:10 on Monday 18th April 2016 my life changed forever; our little girl was born. Here I give you my version of our birth story and raise a glass to being a Dad.
Easy like Sunday mornin’.
It all began at just after 5 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday. Lorna woke me up to say that she felt like something was starting to happen.
By now LT was 6 days overdue and I got an immediate burst of adrenalin as everything I had taken in during our NCT classes came flooding back to me, my mind started racing with what we needed to do to prepare but on the outside I was super calm. I just kept thinking to myself ‘stay calm for Lorna, stay strong for Lorna, you can do this’.
It was decided that Lorna was definitely having contractions but we decided to listen to the advice that we had received and just get on with a normal day so we had a pretty standard Sunday morning and later on decided to go for a walk on the beach as we thought that the movement on the pebbles may have started things moving along a bit quicker.
It was a glorious day for a walk.
I am putting it down to the fact that my mind was still racing with thoughts about being prepared to rush into the hospital but I somehow managed to leave the house without any keys.
This posed a bit of a problem as I had one pregnant contracting wife outside the house and our hospital bags, hospital notes and everything else that we needed inside the house. We decided to just go for a walk anyway and worry about it when we got back.
As I write this now that decision in itself sounds bizarre; maybe we both had baby brain but we were adamant that a nice stroll on the beach was more important than having entry to our own house.
We pottered down to the pebbles at the bottom of the beach and stood there looking out to sea and I remember this being such a surreal moment; I think we both just stood there thinking ‘this is the last time we will ever stand on this beach as a family of two’.
The Waters Broke.
We drove back home and I prepared myself to go through the rigmarole of getting into our house without keys.
I won’t go into the detail on how we got into the house but it involved me having to find one of our cats!
Lorna stepped away from the car and her waters immediately broke. I took one look at Lorna standing there peering down at the floor and the pool of water and then looked up to see one of our cats meandering about.
I ran over to Walter the cat, grabbed him and after some panic filled wrangling I finally managed to get us into the house!
For the next few hours not a lot happened. The contractions slowed right down and we just spent the day at home.
The Spaghetti Incident.
It got to dinner time (that’s 6 p.m. if you come from the Midlands, or anywhere North) and we decided to make something pretty bland. I can’t remember exactly what we ate but it was some sort of pasta based thing so we will go with Spaghetti.
A friend of ours told us that she was sick just the once during her pregnancy as it is a way of the body getting rid of everything inside and I suppose to make room for what was about to happen.
I remember thinking to myself that I needed to prepare for that to happen and sure enough not long after we ate Lorna started to feel a bit queasy.
Unfortunately though Lorna kept being sick, and sick, and sick again.
This was the first time during the experience that I really had to grit my teeth and just concentrate on comforting Lorna. It was awful watching her be so ill with the contractions, as if the pain was not enough to contend with.
Luckily for both of us, Lorna’s sister had agreed to be a birthing partner so she came over to help as by this point the contractions were coming thick and fast.
A Rocky Road.
It got to about 10 o’clock at night and we decided to go to the hospital.
We have a road near our house that contains the most pot-holes and cracks known to man, I remember slowing right down so we were just about crawling over the bumps in the road whilst Lorna was in the back of the car.
I could have won an award for careful driving on that journey but we got to the hospital in one piece and that was all that mattered.
We were met with a lovely mid-wife that examined Lorna and explained that we probably should have stayed at home as the dilation was not enough to take her to the maternity ward.
After 17 hours of contractions and 3 hours of vomiting that was probably not the best news that Lorna had ever received.
We had no choice but to pace the corridors of the hospital for what felt like hours on end.
I think it was about midnight when we made our way up to the ward and Lorna was settled into a birthing suite.
Lost in Time.
The next few hours all turn into a bit of a blur and there is not a lot that I can tell you other than everything that we had in our birth plan went straight out of the window.
When I look back on it now I cannot actually understand how much time we spent in that birthing suite and what was going on while we were in there.
Lorna progressed through the various stages of active labour and with that tried every form of pain relief under the sun. By the time it got to Monday morning I think you could have jump started a HGV truck with the power that we had running through her TENS machine but we just did anything and everything to keep her as comfortable as possible.
I would love to be able to describe what those hours were like to any soon to be or aspiring father that might be going through it soon but honestly, I can’t. It must be something to do with the emotions and the adrenaline that you run off that blocks your memory out; who knows?
Also I don’t like to think too much about this part of the labour as it upsets me to think of Lorna being in that much pain; maybe it is selective memory?
It got to 5 p.m. on the Monday and despite spending 36 hours in labour unfortunately little LT was nice and happy inside and simply was not prepared to make an appearance.
We had an amazing midwife and when I say amazing I mean she was the most supportive, kind and caring professional we could have wished for. She did an unbelievably good job of caring for Lorna and keeping us all calm.
They explained to us that if Lorna did not reach the full dilation within the next 2 hours we would be taken to theatre for the baby to be born by C-section.
I cannot explain the relief that I felt when I heard that news. That may sound odd as a C-section is major surgery and is not without its risks but by that point I just wanted it all to be over for Lorna and for our baby to arrive.
It got to 7 p.m. and they took Lorna around to theatre to prepare for the operation.
45 Minutes Later.
Luckily we had gone to a really good NCT session on what happens at a C-section birth so I felt prepared.
I sat at the top end of the operating table holding Lorna’s hand. They did a role call in theatre and that is when it struck me how many people were in the room; 16 including Lorna and I. Despite the amount of people though the room had a calm air to it and I think we both just felt ready.
Within what seemed like minutes there she was, little LT being held up in front of me so that I could tell Lorna the sex of our baby.
I can remember that very second like it was yesterday; the feeling of seeing our little girl for the first time was unreal.
Within minutes I was standing in a restroom next door to the theatre, holding LT in my arms on own whilst the nurses attended to Lorna.
I was still running on pure adrenalin at this point and somehow managed to change LT’s nappy twice in the first 30 minutes.
LT when she was just a few minutes old.
We had some lovely time together on the ward and despite being severely exhausted we both felt on cloud nine.
It got to 1 a.m. and we decided that it was sensible that I go home to get some sleep ready for the next day.
I remember driving home feeling elated, on top of the world and so happy that I don’t think I can describe the feeling.
I got home and decided to pour a whisky that I had been saving up especially to wet the babies head.
I can still recall the sweet taste and the burn of that whisky now, sitting in the armchair that used to belong to my Dad, my head full of proud and happy thoughts thinking ‘Here’s to being a Dad’.
What was your birth experience like as a Dad? I would love to hear from you so please drop your comments below.
Until next time….
Be excellent to each other.
Post by Daddy.