I delivered a baby!
Not just any baby, she’s mine of course, I was expecting that. I just wasn’t expecting to deliver her myself!
To say Jades labour was quick is an under-statement. I know she goes into beast mode when she’s in labour from when we had our now 2 and a half year old, Sienna. But this was next level, I’ve seen her take longer making every-day simple decisions…
It all started at around 8am on Friday 10th January. Jade was now 11 days overdue, and booked to see the midwife at 9am for a stretch and sweep, something she was praying she didn’t have to do. Be careful what you wish for!
By 830am we knew the visit wouldn’t be required, Jade had just started having her first contractions and in repeat fashion to first time, they were very intense from the word go. I started to log them, and from the very first one they were lasting around a minute and coming thick and fast every 3 minutes. This happened first time around as well, so it wasn’t so much of a surprise, but I called the labour line at around 930am anyway just to check in. They advised that Jade knew her body best, so if we felt like it was necessary we could head to hospital.
Jades Mum had called around to look after Sienna and offer general support (to which she does constantly and for which we owe her an eternity of gratification!), so we decided I would get ready and we would head in. No rush though I thought as I brushed my teeth casually, how wrong I was…
The usually calm Jade was now snapping at me to hurry up, and seeing as this was out of character for Jade in general I upped the urgency, grabbed the already packed hospital bags and then between rests for the frequent contractions, got Jade into the backseat of my car.
It was now around 1015am. I knew immediately when we set off in the car that this was different to last time. Jade goes into a super focused mode whilst in labour, and her communication is limited due to the intensity of her contractions, but she was even less communicative than expected, and her groans of pain sounded suspiciously similar to pushes.
To no-one’s surprise, because of the urgency and the requirement to get to Basingstoke hospital ASAP, everyone, and I mean everyone, was driving at snail’s pace. Its universal law that if you are in a rush, no one else is. If I needed to waste some time however and delay my arrival, I’m certain the roads would have been clear. So as I battled my way through slow moving lorries and delivery vans doing 3 point turns on a main road, with Jade huffing and puffing in the backseat, I started to feel the impending dread that actually, I might be called into action at some stage of this journey. But no one really believes that do they? Whilst I thought it, an over-riding voice chimed in and re-assured me “don’t worry mate, these things only happen in the movies”.
I knew the over-riding voice was wrong just a few short minutes later. Jade’s noises could no longer be confused for just pain anymore, it was the distinct sound of a lady in the final stages of labour that filled the car now. Jade shouted to me that baby was coming, refusing to believe it I calmly told her not to worry, we needed to get to Basingstoke. But her next words told me all I needed to know, “she’s coming out, you need to check she’s safe”. The word ‘safe’ resonated with me so strongly it was the one thing that kicked me into action. I don’t know why, but when I think back (and when I do its in slow motion), but that was the keyword that made me stop.
In my mind the next part is like a James Bond film, I calmly hit the hazard lights, pulled up the handbrake, and skidded to a perfect halt at the side of the road. I then threw open my door, sprinted to the back passenger door and flung it open. In reality, I’m sure what actually happened was I skidded across the road in an uncontrolled movement and then stumbled my way to the back of the car. But hey, I’m the hero of this story so let’s stick with the first interpretation…
The next scene was the one that will stay with me forever, it was sur-real, and whilst I’m sure this story will become glorified in the re-telling over the years, and I’ll no doubt forget the fear I felt on the day, right now it’s still very raw and thinking back makes me very emotional.
Jade still had on her leggings. My first action was to rip these away from her. And then to my horror, I was confronted with my daughter’s head, with the umbilical cord around her neck. She was blue, she wasn’t moving, and I had no idea how long she had been out for, and how tight that umbilical cord was. My overwhelming feelings now when I think back were that I was completely on my own, I had to act, and I think that was the most scary part. Whatever happened next was completely in my hands.
I prised my finger in behind the umbilical cord, and it had enough give to get it out and away from around her neck, then I took her in my hands, and I’m guessing, as the next bit is a bit hazy, with a push from Jade, the rest of her body came out and I laid her onto the seat.
I don’t know how long the next part lasted, it seemed like an eternity, in reality it was probably all of 10 seconds, but in those 10 seconds I could have lived my life out a second time over. She made no sound, I couldn’t see or feel any breathing and she was stock still. And then finally, after the eternal 10 seconds, she started to cry. The relief that washed over me was unlike anything you can imagine, it was the joy of life blasted through me at 100 miles per hour. She was OK, she was fine, in-fact she was (and still is) perfect.
Knowing we probably needed some help now, I next flagged down a passing van, who immediately stopped. The man who stopped, who I later found out is called John, was a true hero. I wont repeat his first words on seeing me, with my hands covered in blood, and then the scene that confronted him in the backseat, but safe to say I’m sure that’s not what John was expecting on a Friday morning! John wasted no time in calling an ambulance, and then he stuck with me until they arrived, holding the phone next to me as I was given instructions by the ambulance control, baby and Mum were still entwined pretty closely at this stage, so they spoke us through getting the two of them further apart so we could put baby on Jades belly. Thank you John, I owe you a pint mate.
After wrapping up baby and Jade, I reluctantly shut them in the back of the car to keep them warm. Now I had nothing to focus on was probably when it hit me the most, I had an overwhelming urge to cry, but I held it together and settled for pacing the length of my car whilst talking to ambulance control!
Ambulance control commented several times on how calm I sounded throughout, but underneath I certainly didn’t feel calm! I’m proud of myself however, Birth is a natural thing, the most natural thing, and unless there are medical complications there’s no reason to think it should go wrong, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to be the one to have to deliver my baby, and I’m glad I was able to count on myself when it was most needed.
Ambulance control asked me how Jade and baby were doing now, I turned to look at them through the car window, and what I saw next shocked me, I thought the worst of it was over, but no…. Jade was taking a selfie….
All was definitely well, and calm had been restored!
Welcome to the world Aria Rose Gina Sim.
I just want to take a second to reflect on how amazing Jade was throughout this experience. This story is from my perspective so I’m the central figure, but really its Jades story. To stay as calm as she did, and to give birth in the back of a cramped car like she did, is nothing short of incredible. Jade is a special woman anyway, I know this and its why I married her, but everyday she gives me something new to be in awe of her of. Jade, and all mothers in general should be celebrated, because they are a wonderous specimen to behold!
And there we have it, my first post. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to subscribe below for future posts and follow me on instagram and other social media – dadwhodelivers