As I half jokingly signed off my final e-mail of the day “got to go as my wife is in labour” I wasn’t really expecting to be in the car four hours later on our way to the hospital.
Having waited 9 months and 12 days for the moment to come, I still felt disappointingly unprepared for the big event. Maybe there’s just no amount of preparation you can do that gets you ready for the birth of a child. Thankfully I had anticipated my brain freeze and remembered to check my list of ‘must haves’ and hurriedly got all the essentials packed into the car before setting off.
We arrived at the hospital in an impressive five minutes (2am traffic is great!) and spent longer trying to get into the car park than we did driving there; it turned out the extra parking by the night entrance had been changed to staff only despite what the hospital website had told me.
Ten minutes later we were in the delivery room having been “helped” on our way by a kindly drunk man (A&E still has interesting characters in the countryside). Another thirty minutes after that and suddenly the midwife was presenting our baby to us as I proudly announced “It’s a girl!”. I’d been a bit nervous about that part in case I failed to get the gender right but happily the midwife nodded in agreement confirming my diagnosis.
Looking back now, those few hours flew past impossibly quickly and after all the waiting, suddenly our brand new baby daughter was here with us in what felt like minutes (my wife may have a slightly different view!).
Baby came out crying and didn’t stop for the first four hours of her life even prompting the midwife to comment that she “had a good set of lungs on her”, but that cry was something to cherish (for the time being at least) as it meant we had brought a new life into the world.
The rest of the morning is a bit of a blur.
There was time for some tea and toast before I had to head home to take care of normal life and fill the grandparents in on all the news. A quick power nap and back to the hospital to see how my incredible wife and new daughter were getting on.
Happily things had settled down and there were even some peaceful moments.