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Weeks 36 to 2 weeks old

Wow, where have the last 8 weeks gone?

We got to 36 weeks and felt that baby was imminent but every tummy murmur and every thigh quiver proved to be nothing more than Lena's natural body reaction. Meanwhile, people all around us were having babies ahead of their due date.

The 24 August, our due date was seemingly hanging around our necks with the weight of an anvil. Lena was becoming uncomfortable and I was trying to be as supportive as possible to little or no avail.

We completed our NCT classes and now have four other couples we call friends. We've been out for dinner with them on a few occasions and now the ladies meet weekly. It's great. One by one they started delivering and we went from being third in line to deliver to almost being last.

On 26 August we went in for a consultant appointment, two days post our due date. I don't know why but I had a feeling that something was going to happen. We spoke to the Registrar and she could see that Lena was finding it tough.

From the point at which she recommended Lena be induced the next few days happened in a blur. We went to St Catherine's Ward for Lena's induction, her waters broke about ten minutes later, we were transferred to delivery suite and then Lena's contractions got much stronger.

She was amazing at how she dealt with them. I know I'd have struggled but she was so incredibly brave and strong. Meanwhile I was busying myself around to try and justify my existence in what largely felt like a World for women only. It was sometime the next morning where things weren't progressing quickly and we were rushed in for an emergency C section.

All the while, everything seemed so surreal. I got changed in the male changing room next to the surgeon. I had to put my theatre clothes on. We had a chat like we were old mates about to embark on something commonplace, mundane, everyday. He was keeping me calm but my head knew that soon my son would be born.

I had no idea how long a C section took. I was totally naive. In essence, it took ten minutes or so to set everything up and then another ten or 15 mins before they pulled baby Max Akihiro Sommer out.

He was massive. 4.49kilos. Poor Lena. No wonder she had back ache in the latter stages of pregnancy.

I remember welling up when Max was handed to me. I cuddled him and told him how special he was. How long we had wanted him. How it had been a four year journey for us to get to this stage. Lena was groggy but held him after me. Before we knew it, we were back in a ward thrust into this new life of ours. A life where we were no longer the most important performers in our particular play.

Max was born at 10.59am on 27 August 2015. It's a new date for me that used to be innocuous but now it's the most important date in my life.

About two hours later it was obvious not all was well with Max. He was shivery and unsettled. The Drs moved him to Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and he remained there for four days trying to increase his blood sugar level. It happens with big babies apparently. We visited him as often as we could. Lena was still recovering from surgery and I had so many priorities at the same time.

We remained in the hospital for another two days after Max was discharged from SCBU until finally on 1st September we brought Max home to meet his new house and three very excited dogs.

Since then we've been establishing a routine, trying to get to grips with learning how to be parents.

It's amazing really, every time I feel a little down because of lack of sleep or a certain level of unpreparedness for this baptism of fire we now face, I look at Max and he does something new, a smile, eyes opening, a sound. At those moments I realise how incredibly lucky we are and how much I love him.

It gives me a renewed vigour and I can't wait to see what the rest of our lives are like now we've got Max.....


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