Here’s the main reason:
The new boy
Ernest appeared on 22 oct at 9:50 in the morning. He was good enough to turn up at a reasonable hour, by caesarean section just like George but unlike George, I wasn’t actually allowed in to watch.
Lisa was in labour for a good few hours and had just reached the point of asking for an epidural (at one point, a midwife came in wanting to take the gas-and-air – assuming that Lisa had already had an epidural because she wasn’t making enough of a fuss) when it became obvious that Ernest’s heart rate was slowing. The decision to go for a caesarean was pretty much instant (after Lisa – high on gas and air – had to sign the release papers) and I just had time to don my surgical clothes and let Lisa know I was there in the operating theatre, when they suddenly realised things weren’t going well, and I was whisked out to wait for the results.
The problem was that Ernest’s heart rate wasn’t returning to normal, so instead of the normal epidural, they decided to go for the quick option – a general anaesthetic. And presumably a general is a lot less gentle than an epidural and they don’t want husbands cluttering up the place while they delve around looking for the baby.
In any case, it was a good couple of hours before Lisa had recovered enough for me to tell her she had a baby boy (I wouldn’t say anything until she was properly conscious because I knew she’d forget!).
Anyway, Ernest is here and making his presence felt. He’s learned to cry pretty loud and practices often. He’s also fairly good at eating and sleeping. He’s started off with a good nighttime routine, giving Lisa a few hours between feeds to get some rest. Although the last couple of days haven’t been great, we’re pretty convinced it’s a battle we can win, and he will eventually get into a good sleeping pattern.
Midwives talk a lot of crap. Throughout the entire process of having a baby, there seems to be a ban on anyone in the medical profession using the word “pain”. Childbirth is described as causing “discomfort” - whatever that means. Occasionally there’s “extreme discomfort” mentioned, but that apparently is rare. It’s usually just bog standard discomfort.
When we dropped in on my grandmother, Grace a few weeks before Ernest was born, she mentioned her experience of midwives.
When she went in to have my dad, she was a little naïve herself. She asked the midwife if she was going to cut her open to get the baby out.
“no” she was told. “it comes out the same way it went in”
“Oh” said my grandmother. “Won’t that hurt?”
The midwife looked at her. “oh, God, yes” she said.