Thursday, May 11, 2006

Twist in my priorities

Thursday 4.00pm - Emma and I arrive at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford for her scheduled induction.
4.45pm - With the delivery suite heaving nothing is happening. The midwife comes in to explain she will begin the process as soon as the delivery suite is clear.
6.00pm - Midwife explains that the delivery suite is still busy. We should go for a walk and come back at 8pm. We go an buy some chocolate from the nearby garage and watch some football in the park opposite the hospital.
8.00pm - Back at the hospital maternity suite is still busy. Shift changes, new midwife tells us she doesn't think anything will happen tonight.
9.30 - I go home.
Friday 5.00am - Emma sends a text to say that they are starting the induction. There's not likely to be any action for another six hours.
8.45am - I arrive, Emma asleep, nothing happening.
8.45am-6.00pm - A continuous cycle of blood pressure tests, monitoring the baby's heart and telling us that the delivery suite is still busy.
6.00pm - Finally the delivery suite is ready, we pack all our stuff and head down.
6.45 - Midwife applies second dose of gel to get some progress. Emma immediately starts to feel uncomfortable.
6.45-1.00am Saturday: During the next six hours discomfort increases, we walk up and down the corridor, slowly. Eventually Emma can only lie on the bed breathing slowly to 'ride' the contractions.
1.00am - Midwife attempts to break Emma's waters, she can't so she calls in the doctor, he's more brutal and 'thinks' he's done it.
2.00am Emma is permanently laid out on her side strapped to a heart monitor. Midwife suggests that it may be wise to introduce an epidural.
3.00am - Anaesthetist arrives to apply the epidural and the pain begins to subside. A drip is put in Emma's hand; this is designed to increase the contractions to progress the labour.
3.00am-5.00am - Emma continues to have contractions, continues to lie on the bed.
5.30am - Baby's heartbeat begins to drop, two more midwives appear. Emma takes a puff of Ventolin; an inhaler often used by hayfever and asthma sufferers. The baby's heartbeat starts to steady. The dose being administered by the drip is reduced and a heart monitor is attached to the top of the babies head so they can get an accurate reading.
5.40am - Doctor appears and suggests that a caesarian section may be the only option. As the baby's heartbeat is steady, there's no hurry, so we wait.
7.30am - Emma is exhausted, we decide to go for the caesarian. There's one other woman in the queue (they've done 5 c-sections during that shift alone). A new shift is on in about an hour. We'll wait.
8.30am - After phoning home I come back in the delivery suite. The baby's heart beat has dropped and then falls off the chart. More midwives appear, and doctors. They decide to open a second operating theatre rather than wait. The wires and tubes are unplugged and Emma is wheeled out the door. I'm on my own packing our bags and waiting for a porter.
9.00am - A midwife appears, baby is OK, she begins packing up the room.
9.30am - The porter arrives and escorts me into the theatre, Emma is waiting, happy and relaxed. everyone introduces themselves. They are friendly and chatty. Joking about how it's like Holby City. The anaesthetist turns the blips on the heart monitoring machine, to make it 'sound more authentic'.
9.47am - After a few tugs and shunts Amelia Winifred, Millie, is born... the team shout 'IT'S A BOY!.. no, hang on... IT'S A GIRL!".
10.00am - Emma is sewn up, photos are taken and everyone is brilliant. I'm escorted back to the delivery room to take the bags to the Observation Ward where Emma and Millie will stay for the next day or so.
10.15am - Emma is back, looking great and beyond happy. Millie is quiet and contented trying to have a feed. She's not doing too badly for a half-hour old baby.
10.15am-12.30pm Text messages are sent, phone calls are made, Emma's mum and my mum arrive then they have to go because Emma can't have visitors. Emma suggests I go to the football.
12.45pm - Emma's sister texts wanting to visit. After lots of umming and erring we decided to ask her to bring my season ticket so i can go to the game.
2.00pm - Emma's sister arrives and I go to the football.
3.05pm - I arrive just after kick-off on the way I hit something and take my wing mirror off. I might be tired. Oxford need to win to stay in the football league, Leyton Orient, their opponents, need to win to go up. It's a sell out and the atmosphere like a bear pit. There are people sitting on the fence at the open end of the ground and people standing in the aisles of the stand.
3.07pm - Orient are fluid and quick, Oxford huff and puff. After a swift exchange of passes Lee Steele, former Oxford striker, hits the post for Orient. Steele is brilliant throughout; it's clear he'll have a say in the outcome of the day one way or another.
3.14pm - Against the run of play Eric Saban, Oxford striker, scuffs a shot into the corner, 1-0, Oxford are staying up.
3.17pm - Orient attack, a cross from the right to the back post is headed back towards goal. Oxford's goalie can't keep the ball from going over the line. 1-1, Oxford are going down.
4.03pm - Orient striker, Gary Alexander, chips in for 1-2, now Oxford really are going down.
4.05pm - Oxford scramble an equaliser, 2-2, another and we'll be staying up.
4.40pm - Chris Wilmott lashes out waiting for a free and is sent off.
4.50pm - With both teams appearing to play with 5 up front, Lee Steele, a menace throughout the game slots home Orient's third. The Orient bench streak onto the pitch. Their 4,000 fans go ballistic.
4.52pm - Final whistle; Oxford 2 Leyton Orient 3; Oxford are relegated to the Conference and Orient are promoted. I walk out of the ground, I'm not interested in watching the Orient celebrations. Certainly not interested in the lap of honour some Oxford fans think their players deserve.
5.00pm - Nobby phones and rants about the referee and linesman. Some of it I agree with, some I don't. At the end of the day, crap football probably deserves crap refereeing.
5.00pm-5.40pm - Drive home. Listening to the radio the commentators are saying that fans need time to 'collect their thoughts' and 'reflect on what's happened'. It's like someone has died. Given my day, this is all a bit bemusing. Nobby comes on the phone-in repeating his views about the referee. He's cut off moments before he gives a shout out to Millie so they can interview the Oxford manager.
5.45pm - Get home. Watch telly. Have bath. Watch more telly.
8.00pm - Phone for a curry, not sure I really want it, but I should eat. It'll be 25 minutes. Catch opening scene of Friends, fall asleep.
8.40pm - Wake up, realise that I'm fifteen minutes late for collecting my curry. Go and get it. Eat it. Watch some of Match of the Day. Fall asleep. Wake up as Match of the Day finishes. Go to bed.


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