So where to start with Little Man. I suppose from birth would be the best and most obvious of places. After all, Little Man’s beginning was quite a dramatic time for us all. So, from the beginning it is then.

To put things into perspective, I should mention that Little Man is our second child. Little Man is little brother to his big sister, Fidget. So (and as we already have the most beautiful daughter), when we found out we were expecting a boy, we were over the moon; the one of each scenario was something we were quite comfortable with. However, the road to our second child had been a little rocky, to say the least. Our apprehension throughout the pregnancy centred on the fact that we had lost two babies whilst trying for our second child. But that is a story for another time. Suffice it to say for now that we had no idea miscarriages were as common as we have since learned. I guess, as with many things, you don’t truly understand until you experience them for yourselves.

Little Man Newborn

Nevertheless, the third pregnancy after Fidget went to plan; although at this point Fidget & Little Man’s mum could throw in a few lines about how different it was from our first in many, many ways. Something we were reminded about regularly and for numerous reasons: if your first pregnancy was easy, the second one won’t be; boys are harder to birth than girls. it was one old wives’ tale after another! In fact, if I had a penny for every time I have heard people say no two pregnancies are the same I’d definitely be in a position to upgrade my car, my house … London! But in this instance, where the birth and the first few weeks were concerned, it was oh so true. And oh so very different.

Anyway, throughout the pregnancy it was life as usual in our little home. Christmas 2014 came and went and we entered the New Year in quiet expectation. By late January we had reached Little Man’s due date and that’s when things became very different indeed. Little Man’s start to life wasn’t quite the wonderful experience we’d had with Fidget’s birth. Don’t get me wrong, the whole experience was full of wonder, but it was also a birth that suddenly became fraught with complications. Little Man’s arrival and the following few weeks were far from anything we were expecting or had experienced with his big sister, Fidget. In hindsight, her arrival was everything you could wish a birth to be.

Little Man’s birth started out fine. When mum’s waters broke I called on my sister and she came out in the dead of night to look after Fidget. All was well and we headed off to Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in good spirits, chatting all the way. It was about 2.30 in the morning, so the roads were pretty clear – an extremely rare thing for London. This was January 2015 and as we drove along the Embankment towards the Houses of Parliament we saw for ourselves what Coca-Cola had done to the London Eye: the lights on the London landmark had changed from blue to red. We rued that change.

We reached the hospital in good spirits and parked. Luckily it was a short walk to the maternity suite, because it was there that the contractions started in earnest. Everything became quite frenetic quite quickly. We were taken to a birthing suite with nice mood lighting, bean bags and other comfortable-looking paraphernalia. The suite was so laidback the only thing missing was the whale song playing in the background. However, this didn’t last long. Little Man just didn’t want to come and with his heartrate plummeting the situation changed rapidly.

LittleMan-settling-in

We were rushed out of the relative peace and calm of the lowlight birthing suite down long bright corridors and into surgery whilst struggling into a mask and scrubs. Mum was soon plugged into all manner of machines and devices with such speed that I can only describe it from my layman’s and somewhat dazed point of view as organised chaos. The speed and professionalism of the medical personnel was absolutely amazing. I sat by mum’s side and held her hand and the anaesthetist gave me a reassuring nod. It was then that we were introduced to the ventouse suction cap and Little Man was literally dragged into our world. But the need was there and the result was a beautiful baby boy. He soon recovered from the ordeal, but it was not like our first experience when I couldn’t wait to hold our new born. My thoughts were with mum and everything she had just gone through.

Mum was shattered, obviously, and I was worried for her, but the staff reassured us that all was well and whilst the surgeon stitched I moved away for a second and cut the umbilical cord. The whole situation was a stressful time to say the least. I felt quite guilty because my thoughts were for mum and for a while mum alone. But once presented with a clean and lively Little Man I sat by mum’s side and we looked at him together. I remember thinking that if this is it, if this is our spot of bad luck, if this is the only curve ball we are thrown, then we’re fine. We would go home and introduce Little Man to his big sister, Fidget, and all would be good. Little did we know that the next three weeks would be the longest three weeks of our lives and that some of that time would be spent at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

I’ll be visiting that memory with you shortly …