Mother and bun­dles of joy do­ing well – not so sure about the father

Coventry Telegraph - - FAMILY MATTERS - RICHARD IRVINE

“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

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