To Ben,It’s been a strange three weeks since you were born son. From an extraordinary night when you arrived to the quiet mornings when you kip on my chest whilst i’m watching BBC breakfast it’s been an extraordinary time which I will hardly forget. On the 3rd of July – exactly a year since your Grandad passed away – your mom and I went for a walk in south park on a glorious evening. I took a video so you can see how we were enjoying our last moments looking forward to your arrival (and still not sure whether you would have been born a girl or a boy). On the way back your mom discovered she needed the loo quite urgently. Let’s just say I have never seen a pregnant woman move so fast. The night you decided to arrive started off with a lovely lunch that afternoon at your Nana’s house of burgers. Mom however started to feel some twinges as we left and by the time we were home and watching some TV they had started to speed up. I decided to try and track the times the contractions were arriving on a spreadsheet but that swiftly failed and instead decided to try and fix a friend’s laptop. By the time your mom’s waters broke later things were getting quite exciting (I nearly wiped out down the stairs – Mom told me to slow down). Getting in to the car to go to the hospital we had one of those weird moments which only happen on nights like this. A lady pulled up in a car blocking us in our driveway and loudly demanded directions to some street. After twice having to patiently explain to her that we were actually on our way to the hospital and that we did not know where this street was she drove off. Strange … We were in the hospital by about 11 and in the pool I think by about half 1 in the morning. The staff at the hospital from the very moment we arrived were fantastic (Jane, Caroline and Sarah) and made sure that that we were looked after so well. I made sure I recorded your heartbeat on my phone – and even texted it to your aunt – im such a geek. Im not going to say much about Mom’s labour – I think that will be something she can choose to tell you. From my side though it was the most insane, weirdest and most beautiful night of my life. I spent about 3 hours in the pool behind your Mom encouraging her and massaging her back. Your arrival came a little bit quicker than I think everyone expected. Mom was pushing and at some point soon after the midwife felt your head you suddenly popped the rest of your head out into the water. You looked absolutely calm and quite ghostly pale in the light from the pool. One more shove and out you came and you were passed through mom’s legs to be held in her arms. You came out quite grey actually which was a bit of a surprise but after a midwife rubbed your chest and you let out your first yell your colour soon came along. I cut your cord, apologising as I did so, and I came out of the pool first so that I could hold you whilst the midwives saw to Mom. I hadn’t brought a spare change of clothes with me so I had to quickly strip off and cover myself in a sheet before I sat down in a chair and you were passed to me. I became absolutely besotted with you in this first few minutes. Everything from your matted hair to your fresh features to your tiny hands and feet, the nails strangely clear and slightly pointed. I was impressed with the size of your gentleman’s and how big and strong you felt. We got you dressed in a gro which didn’t fit you so well and I phoned your Gran and your Aunt Jen as well as most of Naomi’s family. Your Gran was so happy I had to tell her to slow down so I could tell her the details of your birth. Aunt Jen was also overjoyed to hear the news. I missed not being able to phone your Grandad but I know he was there smiling from ear to ear. He would have been so gentle with you. The rest of that day remains a bit of a blur. I know that after I went shopping for a few bits I went home to get some breakfast. All the way in the car I kept on saying to myself ‘I have a son!’. When I spoke to your Gran on Skype I (how can i say this) ‘got a bit emotional’ when describing how the midwives at put you in my arms. It’s hard to say what I was thinking that evening as I sat down to have a pizza and a beer and watch a bit of Top Gear – mostly due to the fact that I was exhausted (although not as knackered as your mom) – but what a day it was. It was the most fantastic time for welcoming you into our lives and I look forward to everything which is to come, nappies, first steps and words, kicking a rugby ball in the garden (no footballs and you will be supporting the springboks until you can make your own mind up) and all the fun (and understandably tough times) to come. love your dad ps: at this point – 3 weeks after you were born you are currently lying next to me on the couch having a little fidget in your sleep – mom is out getting some stuff for supper as Grandpa and his friend Sue are coming round. Life is good.
Its been an absolutely hectic, insane, beautiful few days since Benjamin arrived in our lives. Im intending to write a blog about the night of his birth – just to try and sort out all the events of the evening as well as do it just in a way which is entirely appropriate.