Adam Bird

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Thursday, 21 December 2006

A Life Changing Experience

Caution: This blog entry may contain sentences of a sentimental nature.

I am sat here now writing this after what has been the longest, most emotional and most rewarding few days of my life.

We were due for inducement at Darent Valley hospital on Wednesday evening at 6:00pm, so I had planned my leave off work to start on the Wednesday and to use the day to do some shopping for Christmas and some pre labour relaxation.

However, over the weekend and on the Monday morning Stephanie had been feeling sporadic contractions, so I decided to bring my leave a day earlier in case she went into labour and I was able to assist her in getting into hospital ASAP.

Despite my initial concerns Tuesday went without incident and I was able to get a few things out of the way paving way for a relaxing Wednesday before going in to get things kick started. Baby Bird had other plans.

I was woken up in the early hours of Wednesday morning by the bedside light being switched on and in my half asleep state I could see Steph breathing sharply and holding her bump.

She said that she had been up for an hour, since 3am, and she had been having sharp contractions every five minutes for the past 60. Yahoo! I shot out of bed, ran into the bathroom, washed my face, styled my hair, brushed my teeth and came back 10 seconds later and started to get dressed.

Steph looked at me and said "what are you doing?", "Getting you to hospital" I replied. "But you need to phone the hospital and I need a bath, and I want a cup of coffee, and maybe some toast."

I was quite shocked! I thought this was it, straight up the hospital, straight into the delivery room, a quick puff on some air, a few painful squeezes and out Baby Bird popped!

As it turned out, I was so far from reality it's scary!

Steph had her bath, and I made her some coffee whilst she soaked, all the time panicking that Baby Bird was going to make an appearance in our tub and I was going to have to deliver him/her whilst receiving instructions from a paramedic on the other end of the phone.

When we arrived finally at Darent Valley hospital at 5.15am and were made to wait whilst the delivery suite was prepared - they had been having a busy night with 8 women in 8 rooms all in labour.

Five minutes after us another lady arrived who was seen before us as her waters had already broken and she was a rightful priority.

5.30am on Wednesday 20th December we arrived in the delivery suite, Steph had been up for two and a half hours, I had been up for an hour and a half.

Steph was examined had some samples and tests done and settled down on the bed and so we waited.

Almost 12 hours later we were still in the room, and Baby Bird had still to make an appearance. In fact the crack in the eggs shell was only 3cm dilated, and still a long way to go!

The doctors then made the decision to manually break the waters themselves, give Steph an epidural and feed her with a drip solution to increase contractions and contraction intensity.

After so long it seemed like we were finally getting started!

With Steph in some pain with her contractions, she was starting to suffer, and I was starting to worry.

When I go to the doctors I get nervous when they look at me. When they talk I start to sweat, when they get out any kind of instrument I threaten to feint, so seeing Steph in pain and seeing things being done to bring her relief that bought the nervous feelings in me to the boil.

With the waters by now having been broken and the contractions starting to become more intense Steph started to suffer a lot more.

The doctors started to prepare for the Epidural, the anaesthetist was starting to scrub down and prepare for what appeared to be major brain surgery. I started to think bad thoughts.

Half way through the procedure, with Steph sat up hunched forward, pillows on her lap, me holding her watching the beads of cold sweat pouring off her head I decided it was time to stand up and be counted.

If she could sit and have this done, into her spine, without even a hint of displeasure then I can put my queasiness to one side and start being there for her. I must have done this subconsciously as it wasn't until later when I started analysing the events that I realised this change in me had taken place.

Once she had finally been made comfortable and another inspection discovered she was 5cm dilated we were advised to wait.

Which we did.

Until it was discovered that her epidural had not been as successful as they thought and she was still in some pain.

The procedure was done again, with the anaesthetist back with his trolley of bits and bobs, Steph was made comfortable again and we were told to wait again.

Which we did.

This must have been around midnight, as I thought to myself I must get some sleep, which Steph was doing now as she was in epidural heaven.

Despite my efforts to make a bed I couldn't make three hard chairs very comfortable. The women next doors was in labour and I could hear her screaming in such pain and agony that I felt like crying myself!

I had a wander about the room, found the TV and was excited to find that it had Internet and Radio, so I went and bought a card, signed into Blogger and left a blog, which I am sure I will be embarrassingly reminded of at some point in the future!

Realised again that I needed sleep and couldn't so gave up.

After my 4,00th Suduku puzzle of the evening and my eyes feeling as though they weighed 4stone Steph started to grumble.

After so many hours and so much pain, two epidurals, pain killer injections and what not it was now time.

To say my respect for Steph is infinite after today’s events would be an understatement, and up until the time she started pushing I was verging on a very respectful place.

After going through what she had gone through up until then to even think about a push was for me a major achievement, but to go on for another two hours, pushing so forcefully that I thought all the blood vessels in her head were going to burst is something that no matter what I do in life will never hold up to what she did.

I have missed out the pushing and the arrival of the baby into the world as it something that is indescribable in words, or at least in words found in my vocabulary. What I will say is that as a man watching his child come into the world, make sure that you do watch, every last bit. It is something I will never ever forget.

And so, at 7.10 or there about we were given a baby boy, a son that completed us, a child that we had watched grow inside Steph's stomach for 9 and half months and on impact caused such feelings inside both of us that I guess only parents can describe.

After 29 hours Baby Bird had finally completed his journey.

Steph had been through the wars, and her ordeal was not quite over as the doctor came along to repair some of her battle wounds, but once that was over we could both hold our son.

For nine months we had an unborn baby whom had affectionately been labelled "Baby Bird", a baby whom had arrived with a small scare as he was whisked straight away from us. He was put in the incubator directly behind me and despite my best efforts not to look he was given a little help to start breathing and given some extra TLC. A baby whom we had decided was to be named Oliver George Bird, a baby whom looks like a Wenham, like Joshua (Steph’s nephew) did when he was a born.

We are both still quite emotional about the last few days and these powerful feelings that ignited on impact as soon as Oliver came into the world will take some time to sink in.

We are looking forward to Christmas as a complete family and can now finally finish our Christmas cards as we have Oliver’s name to add instead of Baby Bird!

Finally a HUGE thank you to everyone who has sent us well wishes we have really been overwhelmed!

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