My son, Haydn phoned on the house phone (unreliable HTC/Virgin & Blackberry/Orange connections which work when they feel like it). He asked me to go to his house and get Tammy (his girlfriend). Tammy is pregnant and had a bit of a scare at the weekend when she started bleeding. She's a month away from her due-date so we're all on tenterhooks at the moment of course.
I pulled up outside their house (scraped my wheel on the kerb too, damn it!) and went inside to fetch her. She was taking her overnight bag just in case and off we went to hospital.
Tammy was doing ok, the pains weren't too bad but it was a bit hairy on the way there, avoiding as many potholes as I could (and there are A LOT) so that she'd be a bit more comfy. My car, I forgot to mention, is a little sports car, low to the ground, so it's difficult for a pregnant lady to get in (and out) of and it 'feels' the bumps more.
We had to queue to get into the car park (a great system that is!) and my anxiety was rising, but I hoped that it didn't show.
We chatted about waters breaking, Tammy didn't think hers had, I told her that she'd know when they did.
Up in the maternity ward, we were told to wait. We waited for more than an hour and Tammy was doing brilliantly. She was calm and patient. She was keeping track of her contractions and telling me how close they were (2 every 5 mins is close, right?) They'd slow down a little and she'd let me know that too.
Finally, Jane, the Mid-wife came and fetched Tammy. We went into the assessment room where Tammy was hooked up to a monitoring machine.
After a while, Tammy said: "Oh, my waters just went." and they had!
Then it started to kick up a gear. Tammy was getting more uncomfortable, but she didn't complain, not once! Her back was hurting, so I rubbed it and tried to comfort her as best I could.
The Mid-wife came in and wanted Tammy to walk down the corridor to the birthing room. That was not going to happen. She couldn't even sit in a wheelchair, the contractions were only increasing in intensity.
After wheeling the whole bed down to the birthing room, things started to settle.
The new Mid-wife asked what the result of the examination was - there hadn't been time to have an examination and she realised that if Tammy wanted to push, then that was ok because she was ready.
Tammy wanted Haydn with her but he was on his way back from London and was trying his very best to get to her on time.
It really was touch-and-go. We wanted Haydn there but the baby wanted to be there too!
Finally, Tammy couldn't hold back any more and she began to push. She was so very brave and still never complained.
At around 5:30 on the evening of April 19th, Mia Rose Gent made her appearance in this big, scary world. I was asked if I wanted to cut the cord and Tammy nodded her head wearily, she was exhausted. Mia was introduced to her mummy and a few minutes later, Haydn got there. He'd missed all the action but was in time to make Tammy feel a lot better just by being there with her.
Mia, I must say, is the most adorable, beautiful little baby girl. She gave us a little bit of worry being so early, but she's strong and determined, like her mum.
Not only will Tammy make a wonderful, caring mother, I think this experience will have strengthened our friendship too. I love Tammy to bits anyway but going through this together has made me really appreciate her strength and willpower and I have a new and higher respect for the beautiful young woman that has taken hold of my son and turned him from a kid into a man, Mia's dad.
Well done Tammy, very good job!
Yesterday our lives changed. Today the lives of my family will never be the same because our family has grown by one. Though she's the smallest one in the family, and the newest, she has altered everything. She has brought two families together and joined them in an unbreakable blood bond.
Mia Rose is amazing. She's done all of that before she is 24 hours old, what is she going to achieve in her lifetime?