This is the conclusion to my story : 5.29am.
Part three : Conclusion
I put the kettle on, a very British gesture, and thought back to the events of the night while I dialled my Mum’s number.
I checked my watch. almost 3am.
“Hi Mum, sorry to wake you.”
“I can’t sleep, I’m just dozing on the sofa.”
“I’ve come home from work and her contractions are every few minutes.”
Before she had time to reply I added, “I’ve called my Mother-in-Law and she’s on her way.”
“OK Love, it’s probably for the best. Let me know how it goes.”
I poured boiling water over the tea-bag with my free hand then stirred while I made a second call to the Maternity, to let them know we were on our way.
I took the tea into the living room and saw the signs of pain but she didn’t make a sound and just gave me a weak smile.
“Baby’s coming,” she said between gritted teeth.
Before the tea had cooled there was a bang at the door.
I scooped up the bag we had prepared, and covered my wife’s shoulders with a cardigan. The three of us went downstairs to the car.
We sped through the Geneva streets between contractions. I was anxious to get there as quickly as possible but baby had other ideas and we were forced to brake and swerve for each bump and obstacle in the road.
I was becoming more and more edgy but my Mother-in-Law was concentrated on driving and my wife was occupied with labour.
The journey was too long but seemed over too rapidly.
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to cope.
When we arrived at the maternity, my wife and I were escorted to an awaiting delivery room.
It was near 4am.
My wife was examined by a midwife and what happened next was more like a videocassette on fast forward. Flashes of images, snatches of voices and hurried instructions.
“She’s almost fully dilated.”
“No time to prepare the tummy.”
“Too late for pain relief.”
“No, it’s out of the question to start an Epidural, baby is almost here.”
“Sit down here.”
“Use a cold damp cloth or Spray refreshing droplets.”
I tried to find my wife’s hand to hold, but it was obscured by drapes, and had small tubes that provided drop by drop fluids.
“Stop pushing and just pant.”
“Is it a boy or a girl love?”
“A big push now.”
We both replied,”We didn’t want to know. We wanted the surprise.”
The midwife smiled at the Obstetrician, who had just taken his place, and then at us.
“Well you’re going to find out in just a minute or two. Baby’s head is out and he’s almost ready to say Hello.”
“One last big push.”
“It’s a little girl.”
I looked at my new baby girl and then at the beaming, tired smile of my wife and Mother.
We both mouthed in unison.
The umbilical cord was clamped and I was handed some scissors.
“Do you want to cut the chord?”
There was nothing else I wanted to do more in that instant.
The images of cutting that cord will never leave me as long as I live.
One of the happiest moments I have ever lived.
We were both crying with joy.
It was 5.29am.
Childbirth is one of life’s magical moments and we are extremely lucky to have two wonderful children. Jennifer, and David, born a little over three years later.
He also has his own story to tell.
Each and every pregnancy is different but each child is cherished for who they are.