On the 9th December 2018 we welcomed the final piece of our family jigsaw puzzle.
He arrived in style, the healing birth that I’ve been after since my two boys hurtled into the world dramatically, via an elective c-section at Sidra Medicine here in Doha.
Sneaking out of the house at 6am, kissing the older boys goodbye without them realising we were off to meet the baby.
Admitted at 6:30am and being monitored before everyone came in to see me. To reassure me. To introduce themselves and tell me the role that they would be playing in theatre that morning. From the anaesthetist who, before arriving in Qatar, had worked in the same hospital that I was born in the UK, to my doctor who had seen me throughout pregnancy and would be performing the surgery.
All very calm and peaceful, but my anxiety was rising as the moment I would be taken to theatre drew ever closer.
Surgical stockings on. Gown on.
The moment of truth as I walked down the corridor to be prepped for surgery. Leaving my husband behind to get into his scrubs, Sidra Medicine is the only hospital in Doha that allows someone in theatre with you, a non-negotiable in my case, my anxiety levels would not have coped without him there. It was one of the main reasons why we picked to deliver at Sidra Medicine, coupled with the fact that the mental health team is based there.
Hopping on the table, hunched over a pillow, spinal administered. The midwife holding my hands, whispering words of encouragement. I barely feel a thing, probably helped by my lovely anaesthetist administering local anaesthetic prior to the spinal. Everything is talked through with me, I know exactly what is happening, when and why.
Lying back on the bed, tilted to the left. Monitors beeping all around me, catheter in. I’m ready. Time to get this show on the road. Time to get my husband in.
I’m covered up. Cleaned up. Prepped. Legs numb, belly numb.
My husband arrives, walks in, holds my hand. Sits by my head and grips tightly as he whispers words of encouragement.
It’s time. Time to meet our baby. It’s a surreal feeling. Knowing that so soon he’ll be here, praying he will be healthy, that he will be ok despite being born early.
The final check is done – making sure I can’t feel anything by applying a surgical glove filled with ice to me. My shoulder, it’s cold. My legs, nothing. Inching its way up my body there is no feeling until it reaches my chest.
Silence in the room. Time ticking, no idea what time it is.
Slicing. Opening. People walking round.
Words floating over the sheet. Times being marked on the whiteboard.
Pulling, pushing, lifting.
That wonderful sound. The cry. And he really went for it, letting us know that he had arrived, in style, early, but healthy.
No need for NICU, no need for anything but us. Daddy got to cut the cord for the first time and as with the others had the first cuddle. Bringing him over to me to introduce us.
Skin to skin, breastfeeding, snuggled up. Perfection.
A healthy baby boy, born at 37+4 weeks pregnant due to previous birth complications and a worry that I would go into labour and start contracting.
Born at the very respectable weight of 5lbs15oz (or 2.695kg if you prefer) at 8:52am on 9th December 2018.
The perfect early Christmas present.
Totally in love. Totally in awe.
Our family jigsaw puzzle is now complete.