January 06, 2013

The Story of How Henry Came Into the World

About 8 months ago I found out I was going to be a dad. It was unquestionably the most monumental moment of my life. A point where everything changed; my goals, ambitions and perspective were all up-ended in an instant.

And now 8 months later we have just welcomed into the world a very healthy, happy and content baby boy. Baby Henry that is. What a name; straight out of the history books! Just think: Henry Hudson, the man who sailed up the Hudson River and a founding father of Manhattan and the New York area. And then there's Henry Ford, an iconic man who revolutionised the production process and brought the car to the masses.

Our baby Henry came into the world 25 minutes short of 5pm on Saturday 5 January 2012, after a crazy 48 hours of pre-labour/labour. We came into the maternity system on Thursday 3 January at exactly 5 in the afternoon. At this stage Leanne had gone 10 days over her due date. So she went in and they gave her some pill that is supposed to bring on labour. The pill went in at 9 on the evening of January 3 but by 9am Jan 4 next nothing much had changed. 

They tried the pill thing again. But it didn't work. So on the Friday evening of January 4 they brought her up to the delivery suite and started giving her some hormone that is supposed to really kick things on. The night previous of January 3 I was sent home. Well not on the Friday night of labour. I was in it for the long haul by now! And of course Leanne was always there; she is the protagonist in all this!

The night between Friday and Saturday wasn't great. Leanne was uncomfortable. She sucked on gas and air. Got stabbed with needles for that drug that makes ladies not feel their nether parts. And then autism boy (me) didn't have a bed. So neither of us slept. By the morning of Saturday 5 January Leanne's lady parts had opened a little - 7cm to be precise. So things looked to be turning in our favour.

However as the afternoon passed things slowed. Leanne got more uncomfortable, but never complained of course. The mid wife started talking about a caesarean but the doc suggested more of that hormone. It didn't change things. Then at 3 in the afternoon the consultant came in. Checked the bump, saw things hadn't changed. And also found little Henry had now changed position. He was now in the breach position or something like that (ask Leanne).

And so then it was announced after nearly 48 hours of labouring that things could go on no longer. Little baby Henry wasn't for coming out. But if he wasn't going to come out we were going to have to go in and fetch him out. So caesarean it was then.

By now things were flying forward. Leanne was whisked up to the surgery room by 3.25pm and I was left to tidy things up and collect my thoughts. I was brought into the operation room at sometime after 4pm. Leanne was very cool and collected. The nursing staff were wonderful and the surgeon people were consummate professionals.

How fortunate we were to be in the hands off such conscientious specialists. Things continued to move quickly. The only thing holding things up was that Henry was still putting up a fight. He was still in a funny position so they cut Leanne open, stuck their hands into her belly and fished for Henry. They reorientated him and managed to get his head out.

But even though his head was out he was that big that he got stuck for a while. He has big shoulders like his dad you see! After a bit of a struggle and some expelled nerves for Leanne and I they whipped Henry out. He kind'a made a baby noise but didn't cry or anything. The main thing I do remember though and probably the most memorable aspect of the delivery is what the anaesthetist said: wow he's massive! Lol! 

The midwife whisked him over to the cradle thing and washed him up. I had a peek round but wanted to wait and enjoy first seeing the wee lad with Leanne. Before I knew it he was in my arms. What a feeling! The most craziest experience of my life is what I say. Then Leanne took him and plastered Henry with love and kisses.

By now the surgeons were stitching Leanne back together. So Leanne and I enjoyed some time together with Henry. Glorious it was.

Then they weighed him and after led Henry and I into the recovery suite. Here I had Henry on my own for about ten minutes. This was just unbelievable. Just me and him. It gave me ten minutes to let things sink in. All I could think was that Leanne had, over 9.5 months, cooked little Henry up in her belly. Her and I came together and Leanne knitted a baby together in her womb. And now seeing him was unreal.

Then Leanne came into the recovery suite and sweeped the now swaddled Henry into her arms. By now we were both wrecked but happy to just enjoy the moment. Me being me I had to do something. So I went for a walk. Ended up in McDonalds. Started writing a blog. Finished writing a blog. And so here we are now. Hope you enjoyed the story of how Henry came into the world.

Best wishes,

Brian John Spencer

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