Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Tired but happy...

I arrived home late last night from my flying visit to London... my sister went into labour last Friday morning, just after I had dropped my daughter off at school.

She sounded quite quiet and nervous on the phone, and said that she thought things were beginning to happen. I told her I would call back once I had driven home and see if she was still having contractions. She was, but infrequently... the problem I had was that British Airways were going on strike the next day, so if I didn't go then, the chances of me getting a flight were incredibly slim.

 As she was overdue by a couple of days, I decided to take the risk and get on a flight that afternoon (thanks airmiles!). My husband was working from home luckily, so he was able to look after the children and pick my daughter up from school later that day. I meanwhile had about 30 minutes before I had to leave the house to pack a few things, and print off tickets etc. and find my passport! I hate flying at the best of times, but I was too busy worrying about whether my sister was OK, would she still be in labour, and whether or not she would have had the baby before I had to return to DK, or even whether she would have had the baby while I was in the air!

With all this going round in my head, I didn't take too much notice of the flight! My dad picked me up at Heathrow,it was lovely to see him, but it felt very strange to be back in the UK after a few months! It was lovely to be able to understand everyone around me, and the London accent was actually really nice to hear again after such a long time.

A slight wrong turn on the M25 had me panicking about whether I was really going to see this baby arrive, but we got back to find my sister still in the early stages with infrequent contractions but coping grandly!

Later on, after making a bowl of pasta for her, and forcing my brother in law to have fish and chips for tea - in order to satisfy my English food cravings, her contractions began to get stronger and more regular.  We called it a night at around midnight as we all wanted to try and get some rest before the big event!

The following morning at 5.00am Lucie woke me to tell me that she thought it was about time we went in to the hospital, as her contractions were now two minutes apart. The poor thing did so well, one major contraction in the carpark outside their flat had us laughing as we looked like two drunk people helping each other stagger home after a heavy night out! A swift drive a few minutes up the road and we were at the hospital. She was examined and we had another fairly quick (contractions allowing!) trip up the corridor to the natural birthing suite.... These are rarely available in our extremely over-stretched maternity units in the UK, but luck was on our side and the birthing pool was filled straight away.

The first midwife went off duty only to be replaced by a midwife from Yorkshire, who coincidentally had worked for many years at the same hospital where my youngest sister was born! Another accent that was to prove comforting in less than 24 hours! I am sure that having this familiar accent (half of my family are from Yorkshire) gave me some strength and certainly helped my sister through it. It was a very strange and emotional time helping my little sister prepare to give birth and trying to be strong and supportive, whilst knowing exactly how excruitiating it is. It was an amazing experience though, and a real real priviledge to be there with them at such a special time!

Freddie arrived at 9.45 am, a beautiful healthy baby boy weighing in at a very respectable 9lb 4.oz! After taking lots of photos of the star attraction, I left the three of them in peace to get to know each other, whilst I hopped on a (double-decker!)bus and shot back to meet my dad and show him the photos of his new grandson, then on to meet my mum and youngest sister (parents are divorced) for a very quick lunch. This all before my important trip to the hairdressers! I had kind of expected to be at the hospital all day, so when the baby arrived quite early in the morning I thought I would try and make the most of it and managed to get a cancellation! It saved me a few bob compared to what it would have cost me in Denmark, I have to say though that I could have come out with the most ridiculous style and I wouldn't have noticed, I was exhausted at that point!

That evening I took my mum out for dinner with my youngest sister and then went back to my sister's flat and collapsed into bed. I managed to do some shopping the next day and stocked up on marmite and hot cross buns to take back, then went to welcome the new Mummy, Daddy and Baby back home after their overnight stay in hospital.

Monday morning I managed to see a couple of local friends for a very brief coffee, before it was time to get packed up and get to Gatwick. It was sad that I couldn't stay for longer, but I missed my children and my husband of course, and he had various important meetings that meant he needed to be at work. Thanks to BA, all other flights were crazily full, but I managed to get on a Cimber flight leaving that evening. Gatwick had just been evacuated due to a fire alarm on my arrival, which meant that the queue for security was unbelievable, so the time I got through, it meant I had to go straight to the gate. This was probably quite good, as it meant less time for me to stress about getting on a plane....

So here we are, I am tired, but incredibly happy, I can't believe how lucky I was to get there, and the timing of everything was just perfect. I wouldn't have missed it for the world... Big hugs to my baby sister, I am so incredibly proud of you, you were amazing - I knew you would be - as the midwife confirmed, hypochondriac's always are! Big hugs to my Brother in Law, you were so cool, calm and collected throughout, and you were a huge support to Luce. You are already great parents, and Freddie is a lucky boy.

Last but not least, a huge big cuddle to baby, you are beautiful, and your cousins and Uncle can't wait to meet you in a few weeks time! xxxx

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