Thursday, August 24, 2006

In light of my previous posting, I'm tempted to limit this post to just the facts: Eleanor Annie Griffiths was born on Saturday 19 August 2006 at 10.35pm weighing 8lb and 1oz. But facts are dull, lets get to the juicy bits!

At 9.45pm we were still at home recording the time between contractions. I still have the piece of paper here:
  • 9.35 - 45 secs
  • 9.38 - 45 secs
  • 9.41 - 45 secs
  • 9.43 - 50 secs
  • 9.45 - 40 secs
at this point Trish and I finally persuaded Tina to phone the hospital. She hadn't wanted to bother them yet because she didn't think the contractions were long enough. We'd only asked her friend Trish to come round half an hour earlier just on the off chance that things really did kick off overnight. Anyway whilst she was on the phone to them she had an almighty contraction that made her gasp "I think I want to come in now please!". I was still pretty relaxed at this point - it took hours for Mattie to arrive - and I thought Trish was panicking slightly when she insisted "you need to go straight there" (maybe she thought I was going to stop for a beer on the way?). But Trish was right to be concerned!

We got to the hospital at 10.10pm and as we entered the labour ward Tina's waters broke. Some poor bloke who was holding the door open got splattered as Tina shouted "I WANT TO PUSH!" . I left her propped against the door with the bloke still there holding the door and dashed in looking for someone to come help. They grabbed a wheelchair and wheeled her into the delivery room with Tina moaning "my shoe, I've lost my shoe...".

The delivery itself was so different from Mattie's. This time there was just one (very calm, very capable) midwife armed with nothing more than a stethoscope. When she said at twenty past that the baby would be here in a few more pushes I remember thinking "yeah, right". Matthew took hours and hours to arrive, but true to her word at 10.35 there was Eleanor slithering out and the midwife - Rolf Harris style - asking "can you tell what it is yet?".

Once again Tina had no pain killers, just her Tens machine set on the minimum setting. She's a toughie, my wife.

By about 10.45 Eleanor had been cleaned up, deposited in my lap and the midwife had disappeared! We just sat there dazed, the three of us. Tina was still in some pain and utterly exhausted and I was just apprehensive because the baby was gurning like mad and making strange noises and I didn't know if it was normal and just wanted someone to come and take over. With Mattie we had half the maternity ward there with various midwives and Doctor Hurd ("assisting, not intervening") and a trainee and various machines that go bleep. When the midwife had finished stitching up Tina and finally took the baby off my lap we discovered that she'd given me a special gift to help with the bonding process - a nice layer of sticky black treacly poo all over my jeans!

Eleanor is beautiful though, with a full head of black hair (Mattie was bald). 55 cm long which the midwife said was "average", but she seems quite long and Tina is sure that she fills more of some of the baby clothes than Matthew did.

By 1am we were on the ward and the baby was asleep. Tina just looked lovely then, finally relaxed and smiling and in soft focus. I kissed her good night, went home and had a beer!


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