Welcome to the latest instalment in my Birth Stories feature. Today we have the birth of Roo, shared from his Dad’s perspective. Thanks to Alex from Random Geeky Dad for sharing this story
When I discovered that Kate ran a feature based around childbirth stories, I though “well I’m a bloke but I’ll give it a go. A man talking about babies, fancy that!” And even though the majority of this story will be less about contractions and stirrups and more about topics like the scarcity of coffee vending machines and how I couldn’t find the ward room’s TV remote for 36 hours, hopefully it’s a story
that’ll give at least one person a laugh (that one person probably won’t be my missus. If you’re reading this Paige, sorry sweetie!)
The birthing story of ‘baby Roo’, her first child but my fourth, should probably start at the beginning. No not the very beginning, that would be rude and uninteresting, but the day the waters broke. Affectionately known by me as ‘the day we thought Paige wet herself but it turns out that her waters broke’. There had been some leakage ‘down there’, and we were unsure of exactly what was going on. She called the Triage team at the local hospital, and they advised her to ‘put a pad in and see what happens’. Of course, when you plan for things like these to happen they seldom do, so after a dry pad was removed, we thought nothing of it.
Five days later, after a routine appointment, Paige was told that her urine had protein in it, as well as almost every symptom of pre-eclampsia, so was booked in for an ultrasound the next day, a
Friday. Lo and behold, the scan discovered that her womb was as dry as a bone, so she was told to head straight to the antenatal ward at hospital to be induced. After a text from her to me saying “Pack your
things, we’re off to hospital, I’ll pick you up on the way” I frantically ran round the house like an episode of ‘Finders Keepers’ (or ‘Bargain Hunt’ on Red Bull for those of you that don’t remember Neil Buchanan’s non-artistic adventures on ITV in the 1990’s) packing the key essentials: phone charger, clean socks, and tablet so I could binge watch Netflix in between labour screams.
We arrived at the hospital at 4pm on the Friday, and the induction was commenced at 10.30pm. In this 6 and a half hours I discovered three things. Hospital chairs are stupidly uncomfortable, spoons in the ward
kitchens are like gold dust, and phone charging leads will not reach from the socket to the bed, no matter how much you reposition the furniture when the nurses aren’t looking.
The induction didn’t do a huge amount, she had strong contractions all day Saturday but made very little progress. At 6pm Sunday evening Paige was given the hormone drip, and opted for an epidural at the same time, and we sat there thinking that in a few hours time things would really start happening. Or so we thought. Because two hours later a midwife came in wondering why there was a puddle on the floor under Paige’s bed. Turns out the drip hadn’t been plugged into her cannula properly and had just leaked everywhere instead. Eventually everything was set up properly and she experienced strong contractions by 10pm. She felt ready to push at 3am, and with the help of forceps baby Roo was born 4:47am Monday May 4th (Star Wars Day!)
The birth wasn’t without its problems though. He’d become distressed during the labour, swallowing meconium and getting his umbilical cord around his neck. Within half an hour of him being born, he was rushed
up to the NICU unit for test and a chest X-Ray (Paige didn’t even get to have a proper cuddle with him before he was whisked away) It was all very surreal for both of us, going from a room with a couple of midwives, to a room with a whole birthing team, to a whole birthing team running around trying to deal with a poorly newborn baby, then suddenly everyone leaving the room with Paige being sewn up by a midwife and me standing there completely unsure as to what exactly was wrong.
He was in NICU for 3 days, as although his chest X-Rays showed nothing wrong, he picked up an infection and his blood sugar failed to stabilise. Paige first met him when he was 7 hours old, and hasn’t let go since (unless she’s passing him to me when his nappy smells!) Eight months later and he’s crawling all over the floor leaving a trail of drool behind him like a slug, blissfully unaware that in another 6 months he’ll be meeting his baby brother or sister for the first time!
I loved reading this post – it’s always interesting to hear things from another point of view! I also really identified with it – my own May 4th ‘Star Wars’ baby was born in 2013 and also spent time in NICU. Congratulations to Alex and Paige on the imminent arrival of Roo’s baby brother or sister too!