I hope you had a great Christmas and Boxing Day? I certainly did - the best ever!
I stayed up late faffing around with my new gadgets until, around 1am, my wife came down and told me, with absolute certainty, that the baby was on his way. If there's one thing I've learnt from my wife during the other two births it is that she knows exactly what is happening to her body and when the time has come.
Now, we'd decided to have the baby at home to guarantee a pool birth. Our first, Emily, had been born in the pool at Frimley Park Hospital and Melissa had a better experience, even though there were complications, than with the next, far more straight forward, birth of Edward on "dry land" as it were.
This meant I had rather more to do than I had in the previous births: Filling the pool; maintaining the water temperature; preparing the dining room for the birth; blowing up the a bed etc. The list goes on... Actually, it doesn't go on much more, to be honest. And of course, the most important duty was to support Melissa who, many would argue, had the harder job on the night. On balance, I think the many were right ;o)
The midwives that delivered the baby were brilliant but the real star was Melissa. How women cope with the psychological and physical challenges of child birth, I'll never know. But she did, splendidly. Even apologising for taking "too long" or being too "loud". Obviously, I graciously accepted her apologies and told her to learn from her mistakes. She was, in fact, remarkable restrained. I would have been swearing and thrashing about like a mad man if I had to do what she had to do. I have to say, I was in awe of her and very proud, not to say more than a little relieved, when everything was over!
Thomas emerged anatomically correct with all requisite limbs, eyes, ears, genital equipment etc. And what's more he started breast feeding almost straight away, which is always good. I splendid boy and no mistake
My other two children had been evacuated to the grandparents for the night so missed out on their morning present opening. But they really enjoyed their time with Grandma and Grandad and eventually came back home after Melissa and I had had a sleep to meet their new brother and, probably more importantly for them, open up some more presents! My brother was also over from London with his fiancée so we had a full house. This was more family than I've had around me for a long time and it was great.
So, all in all, a very special Boxing day for me. I really must get my head down now but here's a clip of my Mum with Emily saying hello to Thomas with a kiss awww...