So here it is, the second and final installment of the birth story of my beautiful son. (In case you missed it, here’s the first.) By telling it over two weeks it kind of feels like it’s the last book in the Harry Potter series which was split over two films. (Spoiler alert: The good guys win!)
Sorry, I digress.
Let’s start with a recap, my partner ran two weeks late and was admitted to be induced, and on the second day she went from 2 cm dilated to fully dilated in 2 hours on 2 paracetamol (acetaminophen in the U.S.), which is quite terrifying. Clearly not a woman to be messed with, and I left off last week with us being whisked into delivery.
I’ll continue by saying that at this point in the adventure I felt like I may not be able to handle what was coming. I did a little research, and I found that I wasn’t alone. A lot of men faint or throw up due to the blood or the panic, and secretly I have worried in the weeks leading to the big day if I would keel over when I’m really needed. It turns out I didn’t need to worry. Although for a few seconds I did. But less about me.
In delivery things were moving fast, so fast in fact that when my partner asked for an epidural to take away her pain, they refused saying that by the time it started to work he would be here. Then she began to feel the urge to push. It was 2:15 p.m.
By the time 5:30 p.m. came and she had been actively pushing through every contraction to no avail, a doctor was called in, and people began to exchange concerned glances with one another. His heart rate was beginning to show signs of distress, and my poor partner was so exhausted she was really struggling to effectively push.
The doctor examined her to discover our little boy was stuck as he was looking towards her hip. Her pushing had done nothing to get him down the birth canal.
A consent form was brought in; we were going to theater.
There were no worries this time if I could handle what was to come. I’ve never felt so in control of my emotions in my life, and as we pushed through to a room to see surgical implements and doctors scrubbing up, my only thoughts were on keeping my beautiful partner feeling calm. I couldn’t imagine how she was feeling.
They gave her a spinal, and as it began to take hold a consultant was called into the room. Once it was fully working they covered her with a screen and tried to turn him manually. I couldn’t see what was going on, but I could see the effort the doctor was using to try to move him. Although this point is a bit of a blur of worry and feeling helpless, I do clearly remember the midwife looking at my little boys heart rate and telling the doctor she wasn’t happy with it. After a brief silence a head popped over the screen to us. It was the doctor.
“We are going to have to do a caesarean.”
There was no turning back. I was half expecting them to say this before we went into theater, and my poor partner just wanted him in the world and safe. All I could do at this point was talk to her and tell her it would be done soon and he will be here. Sure enough no more than five minutes after they began to operate the doctor called over, “Are you ready to meet your son?”
It felt like every molecule in the room held their breath in anticipation, and the world slowed to see what was coming.
And then I heard him.
And then I saw him.
I could spend the rest of my life combing through every word in the English language to try to express how that moment felt, and yet no words could do it justice. I just felt a wave of something I’ve never felt before. It took my breath away. It filled a gap I didn’t know existed and every bad decision or mistake or regret I have ever made or felt in my years on earth were justified because every single one of them brought me to him—and him to me.
Baby Ben was born at 7:32 p.m. weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces. Both baby and mum are doing fine and are more perfect than I could have ever imagined.