Ladies and gents grab a coffee, tonight we have Alan Herbert, from one of my favourite blogs sharing his wives birth story, well his side of her birth story, not sure how technically he missed his first child’s birth (sorry Alan, I agree with your wife). Alan is a stepdad to two boys and father to a son and daughter. He was abandoned and adopted as a child and spent most of his the years finding a place to fit in. Now as a Dad he’s just trying to pee on his own.
That Time I Missed Half My First Child’s Birth
It was nearly eight years ago, 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, sitting at the table 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 the out of hours Doctor?”
“Go on its probably just a kidney infection.”
My army cadet (boy scouts but in khaki and with guns) training kicked in. 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.
The out of hours Doctor 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 my Chevrolet Kalos. In bright orange. A sardine can on wheels and probably weighed as much. It was the coldest, frostiest 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 Mrs OMG 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! We arrived at Shannonbridge, only for the lights to turn red on the single lane bridge just as a big contraction hit.
Oh shit! I thought. I can’t deliver a baby! 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 and her red and black cow print fleece pyjamas.
Out she got and waddled off to maternity. I parked up, checked her in and went up to join her.
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 haven’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.
“She is 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) Buddy was facing the wrong way, which involved turning him. I don’t know how this was accomplished but it wasn’t a pain-free experience. I know, as she nearly broke my knuckles squeezing my hand, and kicked the midwife in the 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.
Pushover, 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 little 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 buddy vaginally. 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 puked into it. Before I knew it I was in the hallway and being pointed to the bathroom. A quick chat on the big white telephone, a rinse with water and I was good to go again. On the way back to the delivery room I passed a nurse holding a blue baby, like a little smurf, just missing the hat.
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.
Her speech was slurred and the pupils dilated. They’d given her Valium. Seconds later a nurse came in with the blue baby in her arms. Poor Buddy had shot out so quick he’d gone into shock, I think I was too. A few minutes under the heat lamp and he was good to go.
“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 Mrs OMG who had gone through so much to give me this perfect little gift. To this day she says I missed my first child’s birth, I maintain I was there, I did see his head coming out after all.
Find Alan blogging away at www.omgitsagirl.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
There are a whole collection of birth stories on the blog if you would like to read more. Birth stories go live every Sunday at 9pm. If you would like to feature your birth story email at firstname.lastname@example.org but please bare with me I got a heap load in the past few weeks and have yet to get back to some of you, sorry.