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”.
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.
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.