This is what I had typed up last Sunday when trying to start a new blog entry: “Yep, we’re still waiting. Official due-date is Monday, but then (as we keep hearing like a broken record*), first babies are always late.”
Well guess what, we’re not waiting any more! We’re home from the hospital with Ollie. What once was an abstract concept that related to something in mum’s tummy, is now a living, breathing, 9lb 4oz, bouncing baby boy.
The adrenaline started pumping 10am Monday when (then) mum-to-be called me to say that the midwife had sent her into the hospital with high blood pressure. It’s really hard to describe now how we felt then. When you have no idea what is going to happen when, and how, it is difficult to feel apprehensive.
Things progressed through Monday, Monday night, Tuesday morning, Tuesday afternoon, and into Tuesday night. 20 hours of labour no less. The little guy was not coming, so the doctors called for an emergency caesarean.
The operating theatre was a total mindhell. Machinery everywhere, about 10 people (as opposed to me, mum-to-be and the midwife in the delivery room), and a whole lot of hustle and bustle. If you haven’t been through one, a caesarean is a hell of a vigorous process. Lots of heaving and shoving by the surgeon, and the odd cracking noise and splatter when the membranes were physically ruptured.
After all that, we ended up with an externalised Ollie. I have to say, that although I had no idea what to expect, he turned out exactly as I had expected. Possibly this is because all babies look the same?
I’m desperately clutching at straws to find words to describe how things have changed (both physically and emotionally) in the days since Ollie appeared. We’re at home now, and he’s snug as a bug in his room, and it seems totally normal. Which in itself is totally bizarre.
It’s hard not to just talk about baby stats (weight, length), poos, breastfeeding, the noises and faces he makes, and other immediate issues. I want to stay away from that, because it’s just life now. I’m more interested in exploring the more metaphysical aspects of being a new dad. Like the fact that it feels so damn normal to be changing nappies, pulling stupid faces, and squishing mum’s nipples into Ollie’s mouth, when 7 days ago I hadn’t even considered such things.
*Broken record. Now there’s a turn of phrase that is going to sound a lot more abstract to Ollie than it is to me. I’m gonna have to find an old turntable and a stratched record so he can hear that classic 1-second loop of broken vinyl.