And then came Fred.

Forgive me, it’s been three months since my last blog post, and I really don’t know where to start?!

On September 18th, amidst the chaos of this annus horribilis, our son was born. Freddie. All 9lb 13oz of him arrived in a whirlwind of sweat, blood and tears… and sick and lucozade and amniotic fluid. It was a 36-hour whirlwind in fact, so determined was our little boy to milk his grand entrance. And now with all my new found wisdom, let me tell you what I did not know before:- there’s no anti-natal course, no friendly advice, no book, no language in this world that could have prepared me for those 36 hours and all those that have followed since.

It all kicked off with a text to Saint Luke; ‘Any chance you could leave work early? I ‘might’ be in labour. Scared face emoji. Dancing girls emoji’. Eight hours and an uncomfortable Uber ride later, there is no emoji that can capture the moment my waters broke and I threw up concurrently. Nobody warned me that ‘breathing through the pain’ is as useless as the ‘sushi’ emoji and I’m certain there’s no ‘contractions’ emoji because your phone would spontaneously combust the moment it was used.

Big Ben loomed over the hospital, with long hands teasing us with minutes that lasted a lifetime and hours that skipped in a blink to sunrise. The next day came and passed in a haze of drugs I refused and drugs that I welcomed and midwives sent from heaven from the beginning to the end of their shifts. Kayne West was there too, crooning ‘now that that don’t kill me, Can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, Cause I can’t wait much longer.’ As it happens, our baby couldn’t wait much longer either; his little heart raced faster sounding an alarm that sent twelve people into action. Luke joined the same chorus donned in scrubs, shouting at me to PUSH, and YOU CAN DO IT, and then finally, IT’S A BOY. But I’m afraid I can’t tell you what happened immediately after that… it’s all a bit of a blur. No, no words of advice could have prepared me for that.

I woke up petrified. In the dark of the night I didn’t know where my baby was. And then I saw that he’d been tucked safely in my arms with St Luke close beside. We did it, my boys, we did it. My heart has never felt so full.

Three days later the three of us ventured home, Freddie in an ill-fitting hat and car seat we didn’t know how to assemble. It felt bizarre to see the busy world tick on around us after what we’d been through and so we hurried back inside to slow down time a little longer. Cocooned in our home we spent hazy days and nights on the sofa, watching Freddie sleep and feed, feed and sleep. He roused rarely, to peer through foggy eyes as Saint Luke and I peered down at him marvelling at his every breath and very being; we quietly soaked up every minuscule moment.

Everyone prepared me for ‘day three’ when ‘your milk comes in’ and your hormones explode in a fountain of tears – except my tears never came – probably because I didn’t want to blink incase I missed a bit. There were no tears, or fears, or angst, or panic in the ranks – just a bubble of bliss. Long days of discovery tiptoed into weeks, into months and now here we are, three months has passed and we’re running again. Except now there’s Fred and absolutely everything feels different.

Our whole world has been altered by a boy we don’t really know yet – I’ve got parmesan in my fridge that’s been in our lives longer than him. Maybe baby you’re the next Bowie? Or one day you’ll be the president of the United States? Perhaps you’ll be as clever as Lucy Booth, or as funny as Manuel from Faulty Towers? 2016 has taught us that anything can happen Freddie, and nobody can ever really prepare for the unknown ahead (not even Scouts). One thing I know for sure is that the three of us will have one hell of an adventure, and I can’t wait.