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Flashback: February 2020

I remember waking up on the morning of 20th of February 2020 thinking that everything was perfectly normal and, as it was my 30th birthday pretty damn awesome!

Chloe and I were pregnant, I had presents to open and later that night we were going for a family meal to celebrate me officially getting old.

Me on the morning of my 30th birthday.

The day seemed to be zooming along in the blink of an eye but in and out of the usual excitement that surrounds birthdays I could tell that something wasn’t right with my wife.

If there is one thing to know about Chloe, it’s that she is hard as nails. That is not an understatement, the woman has the pain tolerance of a wild boar. I could have skewered her with a spear and she would still have charged down and killed Robert Baratheon.

It turns out that her pain tolerance was the only reason she made it to my birthday meal, most normal people would have been in hospital at least the day before, but she was determined to make it to my party.

To be completely honest I don’t remember much of the party after we arrived, everything happened rather quickly.

Chloe almost passed out on the way in to the venue and as we sat together in one of the side rooms her situation deteriorated very quickly, but being the amazing woman that she is she asked her mam to give her a lift home so she could rest and she asked me to stay and enjoy the party.

The problem being I couldn’t enjoy it without her.

Fast forward one hour and after blankly shovelling down my pizza, receiving my presents and then getting the phone call from Chloe’s mam that she had gotten worse, I was in the back of an ambulance being blue lighted to Durham Hospital.

Chloe getting some rest in the small periods that her pain meds were at their peak.

The next few hours were some of the worst I have ever experienced, there is no way to describe the feeling of complete helplessness I had while I watched the most important person in my life in constant agonising pain.

We waited hours, being moved from room to room until eventually Chloe was given a shot of morphine and wheeled into a private little cave at the end of the worlds longest corridor.

Watching her finally get some rest was bliss, the last time I stayed awake all night just staring at my wife was the first time we went to Amsterdam. Chloe had a nasty flu on the DFDS seaways voyage across the ocean and in her fevered state she asked me to stay awake and make sure she didn’t die. So I did.

I did the same thing again, only this time she hadn’t asked. She didn’t need to.

Me, alone in the cave. My phone was dwindling to around 10% at this point.

I stayed with her all through the next day, not that anyone could have stopped me. It was then that we learned that it was suspected pancreatitis and that she was so ill that she might not survive it.

I felt like my whole world was crumbling around me, people offered help where they could but I chose a different coping mechanism.

I slept on the couch for the first few days, the dog didn’t leave my side.

I was at the hospital every minute that I was allowed, the first few days were bad, Chloe couldn’t really talk and needed her pain meds constantly 24/7. Even that didn’t take away the pain. She was water only for ten days.

I can’t imaging being water only for ten minutes.

The house was eerily quiet, I tried to keep busy when I wasn’t at the hospital by keeping up with work. Stupid fucking idea. I couldn’t think about anything but Chloe so in the end I gave up even trying to keep up, they would survive just fine without me.

I had a takeaway pretty much every night, more out of laziness and feeling sorry for myself than anything else (sorry Jo).

You could be forgiven for forgetting that throughout all of this Chloe was indeed still pregnant with Arthur, for some reason I never had even the slightest fear that he wouldn’t be perfectly fine.

I know Chloe better than anyone on Earth and I knew that she would get better and that the little man would be fine, safe inside of her.

One of the 300 scan photos that the lovely sonographer in the hospital let us take away with us.

That was confirmed when Chloe was finally well enough to have a scan while she was still in hospital, little man was perfectly fine just as I knew he would be.

But he was quiet. In all of our other scans he had been wild, a little like he is now. I could tell that Chloe was disheartened but seeing that little heartbeat still flickering away. In that moment, it was enough to keep us going. The sonographer was very reassuring and all we could do was trust her.

Chloe was in hospital for a few days after the scan was taken, but she was in much better spirits once she had seen the scan and, as the pancreatitis had started to subside her pain was becoming far more manageable.

Once Chloe was allowed to eat again, the gourmet cooking began.

Before I knew it the day had come when I was awaiting the phone call that would announce Chloe could be collected, it came. I was at the ward within the blink of an eye and after a lot of waiting around, she finally got discharged.

I would like to say that as we walked to the corridor that led to freedom from the hospital there was a fanfare of trumpets and dancing. There wasn’t. Just me with my arm around my wife, and it was perfect.

Believe it or not, I have finally finished the tale of the last two weeks of February 2020. The worst two weeks of my life.

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He or She, what will it Bee?

Should we find out the sex of our baby?

This has to be one of the hardest questions that a couple are faced with when they reach that magical point in their pregnancy that the wizards can see whether the baby has a burger or a hot dog, the old crowd will often say you should wait until the baby is born to find out what you are having.

While i’m sure the ‘surprise’ of finding out at the last possible moment is nice, there is nothing quite like the feeling of being truly prepared that can come from finding out as early as possible.

Photo by David Pisnoy on Unsplash

My wife and I made the decision early that we wanted to know as soon as possible what we were having, both to help us with the preparations that are necessary when having your first baby and also because we are both extremely impatient.

With that in mind, we made our reservation at the same private scanning clinic that we used for our ten week scan, and the colossal six day wait began.

The night before the scan we couldn’t sleep and the morning of we made sure we had booked the earliest possible appointment, patiently waiting was neither of our strong suits.

The building itself is quite inconspicuous, but once inside you realise how much care goes into the design of a place such as this. The staff are all lovely and they make you feel very at ease with the whole situation, a quick form filled in, and the final wait begins.

Photo courtesy of Window to the Womb

We are called into the room and before you know it my wife has been jellied (she didn’t even flinch) and the scan has begun.

These things always start with the slightly uncomfortable wait to see the heartbeat. That is the part of the scan that always seems to take the longest, but once you see it, you are instantly lifted onto cloud nine.

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

It is at this point that my face starts to ache from smiling, and I love it.

Down through the head, all looking good, chest perfect, it was at this moment that we finally got to hear the heartbeat for the first time, and it was magical then on to the stomach, lovely and the starting of a tidy little digestive system.

Woah!

I saw it the second the scan moved down, I learned after that my wife had seen it too but the sonographer continued scanning and taking pictures a bit longer until she finally confirmed it.

We were having a boy!

Not that there was ever any doubting it.

Back in the waiting room my faceache reached it’s peak but my smile showed no signs of leaving, we sat at the computer to select our photos.

My wife at the photo computer.
The little ones heartbeat bear.

We then had a quick browse of the bears (we had decided to get a heartbeat bear so that we could listen to it whenever we wanted) of which my wife had already made her decision, she had spotted the little blue bear before we even knew we were having a boy.

Before we knew it, we were back in the car, and we knew we were having a baby boy, an actual baby boy.

Since this very moment we have been discussing names, throwing around the classics and the crazies and having a good time doing it.

The day after the scan we threw a small gender reveal party for our close family, we had the cannons ready and had decorated the house in a super cute bee theme.

My nerves were non existent (unlike when we did our pregnancy reveal) and when the canons went off and the blue sparkles flew out we couldn’t hear anything for my mother in laws screams of joy.

I now spend my days on Google, searching for the most wild and wonderful baby names you could imagine and I am feeling even more excited than I was before and a little bit more prepared.