After the traumatic and awful labour Emily had with Poppy and losing her we didn’t want to go through the same with Reuben. So we agreed with the hospital to let Emily have a c-section as early as possible. We had it booked in for 37 and a half weeks. 9th November.
I wrote about our pregnancy after loss journey here. It all built up to this. The week before Reuben’s now birthday we went in for steroid injections to help his lungs and then we just had to wait.
Getting to that day seemed to take forever. The night before it still felt unreal. It didn’t feel like we would see our rainbow. We still didn’t feel like we were going to be able to bring him home.
It was a crazy early start. We had to be at the hospital by 7am. Different hospital to Poppy to try and help ease our worry and anxiety. As Emily was having major surgery she couldn’t eat and I don’t really eat either. It was so nerve wracking and stressful.
We arrived outside the labour ward and waited in a tiny waiting room with another 2 sets of expectant parents having their section too. We had no idea what time we’d be called in. That wait was unbearable. After all that had happened with Poppy we just wanted to go in and meet Reuben.
We were called through to another waiting room with a tv and sofas. Then we had to sit and wait to be called into the room next door where Emily would be prepped for surgery. Parents expecting twins went first and we just waited.
It was such an anxious time. Then a Doctor came and told us we’d possibly be seen after lunch but after reading our notes about Poppy they decided to fit us in beforehand. We went into the next room and Emily got ready and I got given my scrubs to put on. The wait still felt like forever. It still didn’t feel real at all. We couldn’t imagine meeting Reuben within the next few hours. Let alone be able to take him home.
Then though the waiting was over and we got wheeled down to theatre. Emily had her last checks and injections. I sat and waited, nervously. It felt strange being with Emily after not being allowed in when Poppy was born. We were both so scared the same thing was about to happen.
We went into theatre at 1:15ish and the next 15 minutes felt like a lifetime. The nurses were amazing and explained everything to us to try and make us feel at ease. It was getting close to 13:37 when the section started. I joked with Emily that Roo would be born at 37 minutes past just like Poppy was.
At 13:38 Reuben Oliver Charles was born via c-section, with Ed Sheeran Perfect playing in the background. That moment waiting to hear him cry was heart stopping. Fears of a year ago filled my heart and mind. Hearing his first cry filled my heart with utter joy. He was here and he was safe.
I got to cut the cord something of course I’d never got to do with Poppy. Then because Emily was still being looked after I got to hold him first. It was such an amazing feeling. Heartbreakingly bittersweet that we didn’t have Poppy here with us too.
Now here’s the embarrassing part of Reuben’s birth. Daddy almost passed out. I’d not eaten much and the operating theatre was so warm with all those lights and well I had to give Reuben to a nurse while another whisked me outside. After a cup of tea and some toast I was ok and back with Emily and Roo.
We got taken back to recovery and Emily and I took turns holding Roo. Taking pictures, smiling and overwhelmed with joy. Amazed that Reuben was here safe and healthy. We moved to the labour ward and family came to visit and have cuddles. Then after last Daddy cuddles we decided I’d go home and rest so I could do the day shift with our son, Poppy’s little brother.
I cried tears of joy on the way home. Fireworks were being set off and Cat Stevens Father and Son came on in the car. A fitting song and I felt the fireworks a sign from Poppy.
Emily and Reuben had to stay in hospital for 4 nights. It was a tough few days for us. We had our own room which was great. It was also a joyful and amazing time. It was incredible that we could cuddle Reuben, dress him and change his nappy. Things we’d never been able to do with Poppy.
It was hard not being allowed home. Reuben had jaundice. He was under the lights for a few days but handled it like a champ. Then he lost more of his birth weight than they liked. It felt like we were never going to be able to bring him home. It was like a year ago. Stress and worry.
Then at midnight on 13th November Emily rang me and said they could come home in the morning. Well we broke out at 6am. It was the most amazing feeling in the world. We got to walk out of the hospital with our baby boy. It hurt so much that we couldn’t walk out with our baby girl. But we know she was looking over her baby brother.
The nurses and midwives were amazing and so understanding with us and made those difficult few days being stuck in hospital better. Driving home with Reuben in the car was incredible. A year ago we’d driven home in utter heartbreak and shock at what had just happened with Poppy. Now we were being our rainbow baby home.
Happy First Birthday Reuben