Mother and bundles of joy doing well – not so sure about the father
“YOU stay here, you can build that cot base,” shouted Victoria as she left for hospital, offering a hopeful suggestion for a way to occupy myself.
It was a routine blood pressure check until I got a text which said, “they want to keep me in, blood pressure too high, can you bring my bag?”.
My first thought was ‘they’re coming’ and my second was ‘I’m defrosting salmon fillets’. Safest option was the fridge for salmon fillets, bag of crisps for the drive down and to hide the unopened cot base box.
A 15-minute drive later and I arrived at the hospital in time for them to be transferring Victoria to a delivery suite.
The name gave us a clue but the midwife said they were waiting for a consultant.
To my untrained eye there seemed to be a lot of frantic action involving medication, people and syringes. Victoria’s blood pressure was 195/120 and according to the protocol sheet the nurse was hiding from me, this was deemed a ‘hypertensive crisis’.
The consultant offered calm in the storm by explaining he’d seen much higher blood pressures and they would bring it down. Although it’s nice to be number one, there was consolation in the fact Victoria’s blood pressure was not the highest ever.
The pressure started to drop enough for the consultant to say one of the twin’s heart beats showed they weren’t happy and they were going to perform an emergency caesarean section.
I announced in a slightly shrill voice “better bring those machines over here doc because she’s not the only one having a hypertensive crisis”.
Nobody laughed and I was asked to leave while they prepared Victoria for surgery.
It gave me enough time to send the message “Victoria doing fine, however she is going in for an emergency caesarean to remove twins as blood pressure critical” to her mum. I felt “Victoria doing fine” was true yet somehow not that reassuring.
When I was invited back into the room, there were 12 people milling around, midwives, obstetrician, surgical assistant, pediatrician, nurses and a teenage boy who looked to be on work experience. And then the surgeon whipped a crying baby out, in my haste to see, I stood up and fell over the heart rate monitor machine. The midwife shouted, “could you sit down please sir”. And then a second crying baby to which I shouted “brilliant, they’re both alive”. It was now 9.30pm and my life had changed forever in minutes. All that remained was for me to pat Victoria on the head and say “you did well and the salmon’s in the fridge”.
DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR FIRST-TIME DAD
Welcome to the world