So you've done the classes, you've read the books... you've talked to and listened to all the people around you offering their advice. You think you are prepared. But are you really? Are you really prepared for the birth of your child three weeks ahead of schedule when suddenly one morning at 2 AM your wife shouts from across the house, "Honey, I think my water broke." A fairly sound sleeper usually, those six words woke me up with a start and made me jump out of bed right away. "Are you sure?" was my extremely intelligent answer at the time. "Are you sure you are not just peeing?", I followed up, sounding even more intelligent. Well, after having gone through all the lessons and training and everything, those are two questions I shouldn't have been asking. After all, we had been told by all our instructors, "You will know when your water breaks... it is time! Call the hospital and let them know you're on your way in". And yet, here I was wanting confirmation.
Not to panic. I got things in order; I asked my wife to call the hospital while I changed and got things ready to go. "Stay calm, stay calm", I kept telling myself. I had to make sure there was no panic around the house and we made it to the hospital smoothly, with no incident. It was 2 AM and getting to the hospital was another worry - "are there enough cabs around? Will they have issues taking a pregnant woman on board? Will they turn us away? How would we get to the hospital if that was the case...?" So many thoughts run through your head in that one instance... "Is the baby ok? Is my wife going to be ok? Is the baby going to be popping out in the cab?"... the questions range from the very sane to the absolutely bizarre!
This may sound like a bit of an advert, but I have never been more thankful for technology and for that greatest of inventions, Uber. Login to phone, open app, punch in address and cab to be there in one minute... Voila! How easy can it get... More importantly, do it while attending to wife in labour... really easy! What's even better is the fact that the Uber drivers are actually polite and considerate given the circumstances. The horror stories we had heard about cab drivers in London declining to drive pregnant women did not manifest themselves in this instance. If anything, the Uber drivers were more than happy to do it... and we were happy that they were happy. Thankfully the 'tremendous' British customer service that is prevalent all across the UK hasn't made its way into Uber... maybe all firms should ask customers to award stars to their employees... Yay Uber!
Off to the hospital then, and that was the first of our trips (thankfully there was only one other a few hours later). The midwife gets my wife into a room, sets her up and begins examining her. "Yes, your water has broken." I just roll my eyes... we already knew that! "Congratulations! Your baby will be coming soon"... Ok, captain obvious. We knew that too. When is it going to be here? Tell us the important stuff... "Everything is normal. The baby is fine and you are looking in good health", she confirms. OK, now we are getting to the important stuff. And then she delivers the ultimate blow... "But since your contractions haven't started and you're feeling no pain, I would say you can go home and get some rest... It could be a long day tomorrow." Noooooo!!!! Don't send us home again, I am thinking. It means we have to take another cab, and then another back... In one night alone we were going to make Uber a lot of money.
"Get some rest. Try and get some sleep. It is going to be a long day tomorrow", said the midwife as we were leaving the hospital. Sleep! How can you expect us to sleep now! This is the single biggest day in our lives; a milestone; we will be giving birth soon... how can we sleep... are we to suppress all of our thrills, excitement and emotions and pretend like nothing is happening? Are we to go home, just close our eyes and go to bed as though nothing happened and nothing is going to happen? Fat chance of that happening! And so we got home in anticipation of what was to come... we tried to sleep... no luck... pottered around the house to take our mind off things; did some useless errands... cooked breakfast... and just waited... and waited...
"When will those darn contractions arrive?", my wife wondered... and she didn't have to wonder long. Because by 11 am that morning they had come in full force and it was time to head off to the hospital for round 2...
From that moment on, nothing would be the same... For what happened next, you will have to tune in to Daddy Diaries 8!