Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Early Days

Having arrived a littleImage early, and having inherited my delicate features, Grace was a touch on the light side. Having weighed in at 6lb 6oz, the first week or two saw little Grace shrink to a littler still, feather-lite 6lb. Now, apparently babies are apt to lose some of their birth weight…up to 10% is just about acceptable…and Grace was at around 8% so no need to panic.  Apart from midwives and health visitors popping round every two or three days with their sets of scales, checking as each and every ounce was being put back on.  Or not.  It did get a bit stressful, but we could see she was happy, healthy and progressing in her own way, at her own pace.  Something I think we will keep returning to over the next, many, years. 



Those early weeks were….if memory serves well….pretty uneventful. Grace slept. She fed. She slept. She fed. She slept. She fed.  There wasn’t much crying through the day and night. There was the odd early morning pacing around in the dark, downstairs with Grace on my shoulder thinking sleep…and morning would never come. But both always did. Most of the time however, my abiding recollection was of a good natured, calm, easy going baby.

And by and large, she still, absolutely is.

First Birthtime


I guess having left fatherhood quite late in the day, and not having been around many babies for any length of time, I was perhaps understandably worried that it was not something I was going to take to. By the end of that first month (by the end of the first day really), it was clear that I needn’t have worried. I already couldn’t imagine a life where I didn’t have this tiny bundle of joy in my arms, dependent on me and the most important thing in my life.


Enter Grace

Grace being weighed on scales showing 2.985kg

Less than 10 minutes old, Grace takes enthusiastically to the scales

Not far off my 45th birthday…precisely one month off to be precise…you could say I was somewhat of a latecomer to this… very early in he morning, full of adrenaline, empty of sleep, I was feeling every one of those years.

To be fair, it was a pretty straightforward birth…which I am allowed to say as my wife, Nicole, is not currently aware of this blog. After an afternoon of Nicole’s steadily increasing contractions, and my steadily increasing palpitations, we decided we couldn’t hold on any longer (we?!) and set off on the short journey of epic proportions along the thankfully deserted A508, arriving at Northampton General at around 9pm. After a bit of sitting in the pool, a fair amount of shouting, copious volumes of gas and air (I could get nowhere near!), and biblical quantities of blood, Grace was amongst us.

It’s impossible to describe the sense of elation, shock, wonder, fear, love that are all haring around your body at this time, competing for your brain’s attention, whilst your brain is struggling to get by on the merest of sleep fumes, having been on red alert since those fateful and premature words 14 hours earlier “I think my waters have broken”. 

New born Grace lying on Nicole seconds after birth

Literally seconds after popping out into the world, Grace gets a hat…and a cuddle

Premature, in as much as Grace’s arrival took us slightly by surprise, being just under three weeks early. Anyone who knows Nicole however, will know that we were ready to hit the ground running anyway. Bags were packed, routes planned, camera batteries charged. Yes we were ready. Well, as ready as you can be for something that you are completely and utterly unready for – yet at the same time more ready than we’d ever been for anything else.

A freshly scrubbed Grace goes to the ward

Grace scrubs up well, and is swaddled as she goes down to the general ward about 8 hours after birth.

Anyway, for those interested in such things, Grace Emilia Walker came into this world at 1.40am, Thursday September 19th 2013, weighing 2.985kg or 6lb 6oz in old money….which being rather mature myself, is the only money I really know.