Heather and Owain are fed and fast asleep after a busy day of diaper changes and nursing mishaps so I've taken the opportunity to publish all of the photos from yesterday.
So far, I haven't got around to describing the birth - been a bit busy, you see. Well, compared to the rest of the week's trials and tribulations, the actual birth went fairly smoothly. At around four or five, the decision was made to start the big push. There was a break when the nurse found that the head was caught on a bit of the cervix. After sitting upright for half and hour, this righted itself and Heather made steady progress until some time after six.
The epidural was starting to wear off by the time the head was visible on its own. (The head, by the way, was the colour of reddish-brown meat with lots of white patches and reminded me of corned beef!) Heather had long since given up all hope of seeing a baby and just wanted an end to her misery. So in a sense, it was the fact that she didn't want to try any more that kept her pushing relentlessly. By the time the doctor was paged, she was ready to finish the job and was incredibly frustrated that she had to stop and wait.
Then the room was a buzz with people dressed in green; the stirrups came up and half the bed fell away to reveal a huge trough for catching all manner of fluids and other matter. (Still reading?) At this point Heather was screaming louder than she had all week.
The head turned out to be about twice as long as it was wide, so it just seemed to keep coming. As it got free the doctor quickly removed the umbilical chord from around the neck whilst twisting the head around 90 degrees which was when I could make out the features. In no time, the whole body was there in his hands which was when it finally sank in that Heather wasn't kidding; she really had been pregnant all year.
The chord was cut and the baby was whisked away to the other side of the room to be poked and prodded this way and that. That's when he let out his first cry and we just fell to pieces. I don't remember many details as things were still happening so quickly and nothing felt real. I remember he was given a minute or two of oxygen as a precaution because of his deathly pale complexion.
He was handed back to Heather to hold briefly and but not for long enough to feed before he was taken away again for more tests and treatment including an injection of vitamin K which made him cry so loud that Heather was inconsolable until she had him back in her arms.
The room slowly started to empty of staff and activity and we realised that we both had the sensation that we were in a completely different place. Around about that time I started taking lots of pictures.