Conversations with my wife on the birth of our grandson

Our second daughter gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy yesterday.

On the way to the airport tonight to collect our first born daughter and her husband, my wife said that there had been a number of things that none of us would have chosen if we could have had the ideal birth for our daughter:

  • Our daughter’s waters broke at home before the contractions commenced properly
  • The baby turned quite late in the pregnancy to make the birth posterior
  • She was therefore in great pain for quite a few hours. Labour became slow and difficult.
  • She did need to have an epidural – something she had hoped to avoid
  • The baby had the cord around his neck
  • This stressed the baby and meant that he had meconium
  • The baby had to have suction applied quite quickly to assist the birth
  • The meconium had to be vacuumed out of his digestive and respiratory tracts as soon as he was born.

And yet, last night, none of this mattered because both mum and baby were great.

There were good reasons why the above complications did not ultimately matter:

  • Our daughter and her husband had an excellent doctor who made great choices at key moments
  • The hospital procedures were well established and worked very well
  • People have invested in the hospital, providing great equipment
  • Training has meant staff are confident in the use of equipment
  • The midwives were really supportive
  • Our daughter was calm and confident
  • Her husband was his usual very supportive self
  • Even though they are both university students, they invested in their own health and took responsibility for it
  • All of our families supported her with prayer and love
  • Our daughter keeps herself really healthy and well.

Susan and I could not be more grateful that all of the second list occurred, because it meant that the items on the first list – some of them life-threatening under other circumstances- were just challenges to be met and overcome.

People who care change the world. Physical, social and educational infrastructure matters. In a really good hospital there will be emergencies every single day. The infrastructure won’t limit the number of problems, but it will help to achieve good outcomes.

Thank you Prince of Wales Private Hospital. Thank you Dr John Grey, Dr Harris, Dr Chilton and midwives Lauren, Matalene and Claire.




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