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  • Gareth Ellis

Our family is complete!

At 8.11am yesterday my life became complete as our baby made their arrival – just two days early.

After a comparatively short labour, nine hours compared to 54, suddenly we had our baby and our little family was complete.

Jess felt the first pangs of labour at 11pm on Monday (the 11th) but decided not to wake me until she couldn’t wait anymore, around 5am.

So we did the usual, we timed the contractions and they were just under 10 minutes apart, we had ages, or so we thought. So we put the TV on and tried to wait until Rupert was awake so we could get him ready and take him to my Dad’s. Watching Fred, Gino and Gordon on a road trip seemed to kill some time, and help Jess work through the pain. As the time ticked over to 6.30am Jess’ contractions had shortened to around 4-5 minutes apart – suddenly it was go time.

I did my best to stay calm but under the surface I was panicking. I wanted to be there for Jess, but I needed to also get Rupert’s last minute bits packed, give him his milk and then get in the car.

By 7.15am Jess was on the phone to the family, and although they may have been 120 miles away she had her Mum, Dad and sister by her side to help her through while I drove to Newport and back.

I got back around 7.45am and things had certainly ramped up, I cleared a path for the birthing pool, inflated it and started to fill it. Within five minutes the midwife was downstairs checking on the pool’s progress, it was less than a quarter full.

She turned to me and said: “I don’t think we’re going to make it to the pool.” Within seconds of that Jess had made it down the stairs and made it two steps into the front room before she told us she couldn’t move any further – she was stood holding on to one of our chairs from the dining room.

Fast forward another 5 minutes, 8.05am and I could see the top of baby’s head, another 5 and all of a sudden the midwife was ready to catch baby.

She turned to Jess and said: “Are you ready to bring him up and through your legs and bring him up to your chest?” (This was the first time we’d had any indication of what the baby was.)

“Him?” I asked.

“Oh. I actually haven’t checked.” The midwife replied, before spinning baby round to in fact reveal that we had a baby girl!

As she said those words I lost it, I bawled my eyes out as I held Jess close and with a sense of disbelief, realising that we had the baby girl we’d hoped for.

Don’t get me wrong there would have been nothing wrong with a boy, but Jess and I always pictured a little girl, and of course, we wanted one of each.

My head was spinning and I couldn’t quite compute that not only was she here but that she was a she. I was so in awe of my beautiful wife, she had given birth to our second child and did so without any intervention and no pain relief – not even gas and air (there wasn’t time to set it up, baby arrived too quickly.)  Jess is an amazing woman who I’ve always held in the highest esteem, but she has given us two incredible children – and for that I will forever be in her debt.

So welcome to the world Emilia Ginnie Lorraine Ellis – you’re named after Jess’ late, much-loved, Great Aunt Ginnie (pronounced Guinea) and my Mum Lorraine – who passed away in July and was a source of love and inspiration for our families. We will do everything we can to teach you how to grow and be a strong, independent, incredible woman, just like so many women in our families and just like your Mummy.

Speaking of Mummy – just like when we had Rupert – this blog wouldn’t be complete without a word from the lady herself. Over to you Jess:

Blimey, Emilia took me by surprise. There I was thinking… my first labour was over two nights, I’ve got so much time and so many plans for my beautiful water birth. Emilia had other ideas. We’d done a hypnobirthing course with Rupert, and I had been revising it in the few weeks before Emilia arrived, so I knew that my birth preferences were just preferences, but I didn’t think that I would end up giving birth so quickly in the way that I did. But actually, it was such a beautiful birth, I was able to move in the way I needed to, and my body took over and gave me my beautiful girl.

Having a home birth was magical. I was lucky in that my Midwife was on call at the time my waters broke so I had a familiar face to deliver my baby, and she was amazing. You would normally have two midwives to deliver the baby, but she had to go solo as the second midwife didn’t get there in time. An hour (or two, I kind of lost track of time!) after Emilia was delivered, I was being fed Nutella on toast and tea by Gareth, while watching Good Morning Britain. The midwives left once Emi had fed for a while, and I was comfy on my own sofa with my home comforts.

So that’s it, our family is whole. I’m not sad to think that I won’t be going through labour again, as it is so fresh in my mind, but I know that you tend to forget the bad bits. That being said, I really do feel like we are now a complete unit and I’m looking forward to watching my two beautiful children grow and form a close bond.

Enough writing, I’m going for more newborn snuggles!

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