Being a Dad

Picture of our second baby's scan

So just for those of you who don't yet know, my fiance and I are expecting our second baby due in late November. Last week we went to have the first scan and the pictures that came out were really good. This scan seemed almost as detailed as the last scan we had for Emma. It's all quite amazing really when you realise that our baby is only 8cm long at this stage. He or she has everything's in place, just needs to get bigger now. View the scan pictures on Flickr.

As for names if it's a Boy we're undecided between Sean or Ben (personally I favour Sean as Sean Colville has more of a ring to it, probably due to it's similarity to the female singer Shawn Colvin ). If it's a girl then we're both agreed on Molly.

The thing I've found the hardest about being a parent is striking the right balance between working and spending time with your family. We all need to remember that you'll never get a second chance to see your children grow up so don't waste that precious family time.

To celebrate I thought I'd recall something I wrote after Emma was born on August 27th 2003:

The Father's Perspective

The Contractions

At 4.00am the contractions started and we both knew that this was different from the 'practice' contractions Sandra had experienced a week earlier. I awoke fairly dazed knowing that this would be the day that we would finally get to see our daughter. Getting through that day was very hard, I know that Sandra was the one that suffered physically and as much emotional pain, but no-one should underestimate the strain on us Dads in this situation. Seeing the one you love go through so much hardship, and suffering was really tough. I really did think that day that if there had of been any way I could have suffered the pain of childbirth for Sandra then I would have done. (I know at this point all the mums out there are disbelieving! But I would honestly have done that rather than see Sandra suffer.)

Gas and Air

Sandra was really finding the pain of the contractions to be too much. Gas and air was not working for her at all. So the decision was made to give Sandra an epidural. This was a difficult moment - for those of you that don't know, the epidural is where a tube is inserted into the patient's back so that painkillers can be injected straight into the spine with instant affect. The downside is that if you move while the procedure to set up the epidural takes place you can be in trouble. So imagine us there in the room; Sandra is being given the Epidural and she is grabbing the collars of my shirt so hard I nearly can't breath, I am trying to pin her down so that she can't move because I am afraid that she will end up be paralyzed if the insertion of the tube goes wrong.

Thankfully the anaesthetist did his job very skillfully and Sandra was soon on her way to a pain free childbirth - or so we thought!

The Ventouse Delivery?

Because Sandra was getting tired the decision was made to try and speed things up by using a drip now that the epidural was in and working. Virtually as soon as the drip was in place Emma's heart rate plummeted, so the drip was taken off. After a second examination it was decided that Sandra was dilated 10cm and so she should be able to push the baby out. This was not working so the doctor's recommendation was that being that Sandra was dilated by 10cm they would use the Ventouse cup to assist in natural delivery. This was to happen in theatre in case there was a problem. Unfortunately as soon as we were in there they discovered that Sandra was in fact only 9cm dilated. This meant that they would have to do a Caesarean.


The original plan was to do the caesarean under the epidural, but as Sandra could feel the tugging they decide to go for a general anaesthsetic. The worst thing about this was that I was thrown out of theatre. This was the hardest thing I have ever experienced. Not knowing what was going on and having to leave Sandra behind was really testing. I was trying to hold back the tears when the Midwife came in and said here's your daughter. This moment really took the edge off being upset, of course I was still worried about Sandra, but knowing Emma was here was a good feeling. She was everything I imagined her to be; the way she looked, she definitely had her mums nose and hair!

Everything's OK

After 15mins wait Sandra came out and was already coming to, although she was naturally drowsy. The first words Sandra said were: "Is she ok?". I held Emma up so Sandra could see her and to prove that everything was more than ok, we were finally parents after a nine month wait. That night we were up on the ward and we started on the road to being able to bring Emma home.

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