Wednesday 4 April, I’d been on call just short of two weeks when Helen got in touch to let me know she’d seen the midwife earlier that day for an extra check up. All was absolutely fine and the midwife was confident it wouldn’t be long until baby made an appearance. I doubled checked my bags were all ready and kept my phone glued to me, ready for THE call.
Fast forward to the following Friday and baby still hadn’t arrived. We had been in regular contact over the week with signs of things progressing but nothing enough to raise the alarm. Following another midwives appointment that day, Helen was experiencing regular tightenings and things looked promising. As Helen has a history of quick labours, I made the decision to head up to Bristol for the evening, I’d rather be close by just in case. I checked in with Helen just after 22:00 and she was heading to bed to get some rest so I decided to book into a hotel for the night and do the same.
Come the morning there hadn’t been much change, Helen was heading to her pregnancy yoga and I kept myself occupied in Bristol. I was terrified to head back home just in case things changed! I made the call to my Grandad to explain that I may not be able to make his 80th birthday celebrations that evening and that I’d make it up to him at a later date.
After chatting with Helen at around 17:00 and now with no signs of anything happening, the decision was made that I would head back. So I whizzed home down the M5 and spruced myself up as quickly as possible before making it into Yeovil for the party at 19:30.
Things remained quiet until the Tuesday when my phone started ringing at around 13:30, it was Helen, her waters had broken. As I was jumping into the car less than 10 minutes later, I had a text message to say that the contractions were definitely coming, this was going to be a close one!
I arrived at the hospital and parked the car, desperately trying to get the money into the ticket machine as fast as I could, dropping coins all over the floor. I took a second to catch my breath and compose myself before heading to the labour ward.
I went straight to the nurses station and introduced myself, I had made it before Helen and Nev so I sat in the waiting area and took a few test shots, checking my camera settings were correct. A few minutes later, at approx 14:50, they came through the double doors and were lead to their room.
The bags were put in the corner and Helen headed over to lean on the bed for support, with Nev by her side. He didn’t leave her side again until baby had been born, making constant contact with either a gentle touch or holding Helen’s hand. The love and connection between them was so beautiful to watch, with Nev offering all of his support as his wife worked through each contraction.
In no time at all Helen was ready to push, with guidance from the amazing midwives and a few strong contractions, a beautiful baby girl was born at exactly 15:30. Just 40 minutes after arriving at the hospital! The expression on their faces said it all, they were utterly overwhelmed by love and relief.
Whilst waiting for the placenta to be delivered, Helen enjoyed some skin to skin, both her and Nev soaking up every detail as they admired their daughter. Once the cord had been clamped and cut, Nev enjoyed a cuddle while Helen was made more comfortable. Baby E was then checked over and weighed before being dressed and swaddled in a blanket ready for more cuddles.
It was then my time to leave and allow them to get to know their newest addition. They also had a tray plentiful with tea and toast to enjoy!
I’d just like to say a huge thank you to both Helen and Nev for allowing me to share their story, and also to the midwives for giving me consent to share images in which they are present.
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