Some weeks back on the 8th of March was Women’s Appreciation Day. In all honesty, I completely missed it but it was a day to celebrate the lives and importance of women, the progress made to advance equality for women and to assess the challenges that still remain.
I do appreciate my Missus. She’s easily the best thing that’s ever happened to me (yep, even better than new Star Wars, the return of the Original Nike Air Max 1 shape, Calpol syringes and Pot Noodle). She gives me drive to get out of bed in the morning. And yes, dealing with her can be like stepping on lego barefooted sometimes but I couldn’t imagine life without her. Most importantly, she’s strong enough to put up with my bullshit (and there’s a lot of bullshit).
So this week, I’ve decided to write about the birth of our youngest as promised in a previous post.
*NB – I actually wrote this post a week back but with so much going on what with fundraising to being diagnosed with gout, I haven’t been in the right frame of mind to proof read before posting.
Baking The Bun In The Oven
The actual pregnancy was awesome. It wasn’t perfect but it was definitely awesome. We spent our days mooching around London enjoying and getting lost in each other’s company. Each day together felt like a date and every day felt like summer. Nine months went quickly and slowly at the same time. I’ll never forget it.
We had elected for a planned C-section as scans had shown that we had a dual lobe placenta (maybe we were supposed to have twins? Maybe Benjamin was just a fatty and needed two placentas? God knows..). A C-section would help to ensure that the doctors get in there and properly remove both lobes properly. No leftovers. No remaining chunks. Nice.
On the 3rd of October 2014, we checked into UCLH in Euston at 8am. We were seen by a doctor who told us that even though we had elected for a planned C-section, it wasn’t too late to have a vagi-birth. He could induce us, we’d be ready to go within 24 hours and they’d still be able to suck out both placentas.
Unsure of what to do, we waited for the Missus’ sister to arrive who had come to support us in case we needed anything. I’ll take this opportunity to give her a shout for belated National Women’s Day too as she’s been super-supportive of our relationship, our children, her parents, all the while steadily climbing the ladder of her career. Thanks Sis!
Anyway, we posed our dilemma to her and she suggested that we go along with what we had planned.. after all, we had waited all this time for it.. might as well see it through.
And so we did.
First, we were to see our anaesthetist. Lovely guy, a bit awkward but his approach quickly gained our trust. It took him three attempts to pop the epidural into the Missus’ spine. Once she was nice and numb, we were moved into the operating theatre.
From then, everything happened in a flash.
The Missus lay on the bed with a screen suspended above her abdomen so that we wouldn’t see the party that was about to happen down there. The idea was that the baby would be yanked out, the screen dropped then baby given to us. I was sat on a stool by her head. Shitting myself. Trying not to show that I was shitting myself. Coz she was clearly shitting herself too. I ramble and make lots of funny/unfunny jokes when I’m nervous. Suffice to say, I couldn’t shut up. I sat there trying to comfort her and for the most part I think it worked.
We were chatting amongst ourselves as the procedure went on. Suddenly, everyone seemed to drop what they were doing and very swiftly head towards the operation. I feel her being pushed up the bed towards me. Machinery around us begins to beep. I watched her face – she looks like she’s starting to pass out. I keep talking to her, asking her how she’s feeling, trying to keep her conscious. She mutters that she’s feeling faint. Unsure of what to do, I repeat it out a loud for the anaesthetist to hear. He rushes over and says in a voice that’s calm with a hint of shitting himself that he is going to raise her blood pressure to get her back to consciousness.
Like a magician, he casts his spell and lo and behold, she’s coherent again.
I smell burning. “Can you smell cooking?!”
The Missus rolls her eyes at me and smiles faintly.
To our left, we see a white bundle of towel carried over to and laid in an incubator. The bundle begins to rocks slowly then suddenly, a foot pokes out and wiggles around a bit.
I look at the missus and give her a kiss on the forehead. She tells me to go and check on him. I walk over and examine the little bugger. His eyes are barely open but he’s ok. Beautiful and ok. Not long after, the midwife brings the baby over to meet his mother. He looks his mother straight in the eye. She gives him a kiss on the head. He’s finally here. Our son.
How It Really Went Down
Later, the doctor to explained to us what happened. “At incision, we cut through three, finger sized arteries that we didn’t expect to be there. In 11 seconds, you lost two litres of blood (TWO LITRES! THAT’S A LARGE EVIAN BOTTLE!!!). We had to remove the baby as quickly as we could and cauterise the arteries before you lost too much blood” (like two litres wasn’t enough, and about that cooking smell..). Wow.
This was the doctor that told us that we could have elected for a vagi-birth. I’m pretty certain that he told us that because it was Friday and he couldn’t be bothered to perform the procedure that day. However, I’m glad that we did stick to the plan. And I’m glad that it was he who performed it. He and his team saved my Missus despite trying to indirectly fob us off. I can’t help but think that if we opted for a vagi-birth, knowing our luck, we probably would have ended up having an emergency C-sec anyway. And if they were this prepared and things still went belly up, who knows how an emergency procedure would have gone. All I know is that there isn’t a hope in hell that I would have been able to cope without my Missus.
And so to you my Darling, Happy Belated Women’s Appreciation Day.
Emil – The Uncool Dad