“I’ve got an actual brother from another Mother”
Some pregnancies can be uneventful and I suppose normal, as in the woman just gets bigger by the day and may have the odd craving for strange combinations of food. Others can be traumatic and even life threatening, to both the unborn and the mother. Apart from the “un-normal” daily injections into the abdomen, for the first 3 months my wife was carrying on with daily life as she had done before. The plan was that she would give up working about a month before the due date, so that would have been early April. This plan was, and excuse the phrase, ill conceived, as we were to discover a few weeks before Christmas.
First it was the dizzy spells when standing then they were happening when sitting and even lying down. So on the doctors advice work was given up with about five and a half months to go. The cause wasn’t low or high blood pressure but a lack of iron. The baby drains the mother of nutrients while growing in the womb and my wife was never a big eater so even though the baby was “doing well” there was not enough left for my wife. So supplements were the order of the day, we had so many pills and strange mixtures of liquids in the kitchen it was like Holland & Barretts had merged with Boots the Chemist!
Now I mentioned before about the tendency for the women in my wife’s family insisting on being present at anything medical involving one of their own. This apparently included child birth. I wasn’t that keen on this tradition especially as neither her sister or Mother understood English so I didn’t think that being present at the birth would be any help to anyone as my wife wouldn’t be in any fit state to translate and I wasn’t going use the services of the internet to explain what was going on especially as Bing translated a Turkish post on Facebook to “God bless giving out blowjobs I hope”….now I wouldn’t want to risk saying that to my Mother-in-law! It was a good thing that Turkey was not part of the EU as any visitors require an invitation letter and a return ticket before a visa would be issued. I was in charge of both of these requirements so no prizes for guessing the outcome.
Even with all the supplements my wife was taking, her iron levels were worryingly low still, so much so the doctors decided to give her an iron infusion, which was not, as I first imagined, a procedure which made her have some sort of super human traits. We were warned of the possible side effects of this which included muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, strange taste in the mouth, diarrhea, constipation, headache, cough, back pain, joint pain, dizziness, or swelling of the arms/legs may occur….so no difference to pregnancy really or the morning after a heavy night on the Guinness!
The risks to the baby not to have this infusion outweighed the possible side effects so this was done in late February and I must admit that after the iron infusion I was disappointed that fridge magnets didn’t stick to her.
The rest of the pregnancy passed fairly uneventfully and she was bruise free (as no more daily injections) and had very few dizzy spells, in fact she was “blooming”
Because of my wife’s young 40 plus age it was decided to induce her if the little one decided he didn’t want to meet anyone on the due date. The reason for this is the older the woman the quicker the placenta degenerates after the a full term pregnancy. We went into hospital on the 1st of May (day before due date) and it was decided that it would be best for a natural birth, even though my wife had asked for a caesarean, and the first stage of inducement was introduced. Nothing happened, not a drop of water broke, so the following day it was tried again but still he seemed to be happy to stay where he was. In the next not so few hours we had said goodbye and hello to the same midwives and I had found the quickest route to a smoking area. The pain management my wife had chosen (basically she had the whole pick n mix) didn’t seem to live up to its billing of managing pain but the gas & air took the edge off of my bad wind.
Saturday the 3rd May 2014, my late brother John’s birthday, and still his namesake to be was refusing to make an appearance but soon he wasn’t going to have a choice. It was early afternoon by now and I had just returned from another bout of fresh air to keep me awake (ok another ciggie break) and my wife was missing! I was ushered into a small room and told to dress appropriately. The last time I had this type of outfit on was when trying to get into a private party at the nurses residence at a local hospital.
I entered the delivery suite, all scrubbed up and not sure what I was suppose to do. It was a scene of calm chaos, my wife was in good hands I thought, at least 6 pairs of them. Wires from machines seemed to be everywhere and I was tempted to ask where the machine that goes “ping” was but decided best not to. The next 45 minutes were surreal, a mixture of me telling my wife to push like she was having a poo to seeing three and sometimes four doctors and midwifes pulling together like a game from “Its a Knockout” and I wondered if I should have played my joker.
Then at 12 minutes past four on the 3rd of May 2014 our very own 21st Century Boy came into the world. All my worries and concerns about becoming a father again in my mid fifties evaporated on the first sight of him, and holding this tiny life in my arms for the first time took me back to the birth of my two older children over twenty years before and the joy that they have brought me.
The miracle of childbirth is pretty easy for the father, and as I said in my first blog, I was really pleased I was present at my sons birth as I wasn’t there for his conception. IVF is something that has helped many couples achieve their dream of having a child but they are still a small percentage of those who go down the IVF route. Many couples try multiple times and are destined not to have a baby and I cannot imagine the heartbreak and disappointment that this must bring. We were extraordinarily lucky as the odds were very much against us but Jon Emir is a testament to the skill of doctors and scientists in the field of IVF and I was also pleased to note straight away that he didn’t bear any resemblance to the Turkish doctor and had the Huntley chin and earlobes! It would be a few months before Jon would go over to Turkey and be one of the few people alive to actually meet his maker.
My number one son told the world via social media “I’ve got an actual brother from another Mother” and the world had a new Jon Huntley born on the same day as his late Uncle John…….it was meant to be I suppose.
For your viewing pleasure this week a picture I took at a far right political demo many years ago with caption added by me (with letraset for those who remember)