Monday, Dec 06th 2021

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Baby coming ready or not

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The alarm went off at 5am and we both groaned as we had been trying to delude ourselves that we would be able to go back to sleep after waking at about an hour earlier. It was cold, raining and it was baby day.

We stumbled around the house, trying hard not to wake up Kid X and Grandma M, we were a bit more successful with not waking Kid X up. Grandma M was up  as she knew it was baby day and probably was as nervous and excited as we were.

We had to get to the hospital by 6.30 and somehow we left the house later than we should have. It’s amazing how much traffic there is in Melbourne at 6am on a Tuesday. We did make it there on time, but my driving and our nerves made me feel sick and Wife A even sicker.

As we walked into day surgery a weird bitter sweet sensation came over me. After 38 weeks and 6 days, we were not going to give birth naturally and we were going to have a Caesar. The plan had been to have a natural birth this time and we would keep the Caesar date just in case. The Caesar date always seemed so far away, all of this pregnancy always seemed a long way off where we were. This pregnancy had crept up on both of us, I guess that happens when you have a developing toddler.

Wife A checked in and we were asked to take a seat.  It was a special section of day surgery dedicated to Caesars, and there was another couple in there looking as anxious as us. I wonder if they were feeling like us, a little deflated because we were having a Caesar not natural birth.

It felt like the deli at the local supermarket, I expected to hear “number 34, number 34”.

We were 3rd and last on the list for that morning. The bad part of sitting third was you still had to be in there early and you just had more time to stew about what lay ahead. After about an hour we were called in to the theatre midwives office. The midwife was far to perky for this hour of the morning and it felt like we were at a hotel. After a short discussion about what was going to happen and awkward small talk (for that hour of the morning) we were directed to put on our scrubs. Wife A looked like a cross between a smurf and a tea lady from east enders.

I looked just as bad and to make matters worse I had to go up to the maternity ward, drop of wife A’s bags and return with a cot. I had not figured out that outside of theatre you didn’t need to wear your hair net or shoe covers. I felt like a dickhead (especially when there were some concealed grins in ward) and when I got back I thought about how often the nurses must laugh at how stupid us expectant dads are. You can imagine the conversation at the lunch room “how gullible are those dads they would do anything we tell them”.   

After another couple of hours waiting and lots of last minute discussion about middle names we were called in. Wife A was marched down the hall, I just followed along like a puppy. I was directed to a small waiting area and advised I would be called in when the surgeons were ready to get the baby out. If this wasn’t weird enough, the TV in the waiting area had a 10 minute add for a super sucking vacuum. It was truly astonishing how one vacuum could pick up 10 billiard balls at once.

This was waiting area 2 and the wait was another 40 minutes. It was too long to be on my own, the stress had come and gone and I was more concerned about why it was taking so long. Eventually I was called in. The theatre looked like the hospital theatre from the Muppets  and I expected to see Ralph the dog performing the operation.  Instead, there was about 20 people in the theatre.

All I could see of Wife A was her head, I made sure I didn’t see the rest of her as I get squeamish watching RPA, so I think I would have fainted seeing her large intestine. There are limits to what a partner should see and internal organs are something for doctors only.

 Then it was down to business, there were some funny noises, a lot of beeping and the noise of a few people just watching from the sidelines (not sure who they were or why they were there, I hope they were supposed to be).  Within about 5 minutes we were being told to have our camera ready, then there was a cry and over the top of the sheet we saw our baby. As we didn’t want to know the sex throughout the pregnancy we were asked “do you see what it is?” Then our sons parts were waved around and we had to do a double take, but yes it was a boy and what a boy it is. Although I have been told since that all babies have big genitals but I don’t think that they would be that big.

From here it was a bit of a blur, except I do recall cutting the cord and blood squirting all over me. I didn’t care and this couldn’t take the smile from my face.

Although we were a little disappointed to not have a natural birth the result is the same and the connection and joy you feel is not diminished by the method of delivery. 

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