On One Born Every Minute, the joy of childbirth often appears a seamless procession to fairytale family joy.
But just a couple of hours after being abruptly awoken at 6.30am on November 3, 2017, baby Albie’s journey into the world via caesarean section seemed more of a bleary-eyed viewing of a gruesome horror film.
We’d been expecting Albie’s arrival ever since a consultant sat us down 28 weeks through my partner Hanna’s pregnancy to tell us her placenta was appalling at being a placenta and our little one was not able to grow quickly enough.
To cut a roller coaster journey short, the cheeky monkey kept us guessing for a further eight hellish weeks before doctors got bored of his games and decided to get him out…after all Hanna had been attending hospital every two days for monitoring since that consultant scared the living daylights out of us and they were probably fed up with her!
Finally meeting our son was a relief but my elation quickly turned to panic when Hanna began spewing everywhere – a side effect of the concoction of drugs mums on the table are given.
Being the more unsure of the two of us, I’d rather hoped the baby would be plonked onto Mummy’s chest and she would take the lead. I was secretly armed with a tip from my golfing partner not to change the first nappy due to its notorious messiness. I hadn’t passed this on to Hanna in case she declined the privilege.
Instead, Hanna’s impression of our horrific brush with campylobacter soon after we first met, meant that tip was as much use as a chocolate teapot. It was all on me.
We’ll pass on the details of the first nappy – only to say its challenge was amplified by the spewing of Albie’s first wee all over Daddy.
It was a sign of things to come, as Albie now suffers from pretty impressive reflux.
The previous week, attending numerous council meetings as political journalist for a group of local newspapers in Sussex, seemed a far easier lifestyle!
Six months later, we are loving every minute of parenthood. I’d considered starting this blog soon after Albie was born – but as I’ve now started a new job as content editor at the Worthing Herald series, in Sussex, it seemed a great time to tell the wider world our story.
Headline Spews, in the context, seemed the perfect title. I hope you enjoy following our journey.
Update: We later learned Albie’s reflux was largely down to suspected cows’ milk protein allergy. As a result, we have to avoid any dairy, soya and egg. He will be tested officially at some point, while we will have to build him onto the no-goes gradually under a special ‘ladder’ system.
Albie was formula fed from birth and we took several months to get him on the right milk. He settled on a prescription one called Neocate until age one, when he switched to Oatly oat milk, or similar brands.