Categories
Preganancy

Twenty hours to parenting…

So Natalie returns from a long term at work ready for a half term rest, a week before the Munchkin or Munchkiness is due to arrive. We didn’t know what we were due to have as we wanted the surprise.

Whilst I’m still at work, Natalie has a week to prepare, pack the hospital essentials and get mentally prepared for pregnancy.

We returned from work to a normal Friday night (well, a normal Friday night with a wife pregnant at full term, that is) and we went to bed like any other weekend.

Saturday morning arrived. Natalie woke with some uncomfort, but then again when was pregnancy comfy…? We migrated downstairs, had brekky and relaxed on the sofa. The relatively NEW sofa I must add.

I look to Natalie ‘Being a new sofa, do you reckon we should grab a towel just incase’. ‘Nah, I’m sure nothing with happen today. We resume whatever Netflix series we were engrossed in at the time.

30 minutes later Natalie looks to me. It’s 10 am on the first day of half term. ‘Oh no!’….It’s too late to get a towel now as the sofa gets the full effect of her waters breaking. ‘This can’t start today! It’s too soon!’.

Let the madness begin. A quite coffee turns into a tirade of panic packing quickly deciding and gathering the last few bits for the birth bag.

10:15. Natalie moves to the bathroom. From what we had seen on TV, waters breaking looked like you’d spilt water down yourself or, at worst, wet yourself. This looked more like the Niagara Falls for a full hour.

At the same time Natalie rings the hospital. We get told this could be the start of a two day process and we should call back when the contractions begin.

11:15 The waters stop and the contractions begin. We ring. ‘Call back when they are 5 minutes apart’.

11:30 The contractions are 5 apart. ‘We understand you want to leave now but relax and call back when the contractions are 2 minutes apart.

11:39 Natalie can no longer speak because of the contractions. I ring but they insist to speak to her. She wants to push and just about gets that across. Get in the car NOW!!

12:00 We leave. Usually the commute to the hospital would take 25 minutes maximum. Not today. Today they are cutting some bushes so there are traffic lights. Today it takes 45 minutes.

12:45 We arrive at the hospital and begin a slow walk up to the sauna that is the delivery suite. We wait then get taken to the triage ward. The nurse gets Natalie on the bed and then the phone rings and she pops off.

Natalie asks me to take a look. I can already see Munchkin’s little head popping out. The nurse is still on the phone. I jump out of the curtain and begin the ‘I really need you to see this’ dance until she responds.

The nurse follows me back in. The alarms go off. One push, the head is out, push two. You’ve had a boy!

13:22. On the first day of half term, one week early, Munchkin arrives. In the triage ward. To two totally shocked and mentally unprepared new parents.And that, was the fastest morning of my life.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin.

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Categories
Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental Leave (the reason I started to blog)

Shared parental leave is the government initiative to give the Mother’s partner an opportunity to share the Maternity leave entitlement. It can begin when you opt to end maternity leave and then the remaining leave can be shared between both parents.

For us, we decided that the wifey Natalie would take the first 6 months and I would take the final 3. This meant we would get the same pay entitlements as shared parental pay is equal to statutory maternity pay, which is what Natalie would be receiving in these three months. It also meant Natalie returned to work at an ideal time for her career.

In September 2019 I began SPL and my three months of leave. It’s fair to say it was a rocky start. We were fully breast feeding our Munchkin for the first 6 months. So 6 months began a switch to bottle feeding, the start of weaning and a change from Mummy to Daddy. This was A LOT OF CHANGE and the resulting Munchkin bottle hunger strike was a fair response. But we made it through…

Regarding SPL, the whole process can be a tad confusing and, as per anything like this, there is a lot of forms to complete. It’s also a new-ish process so naturally that comes with unknowns.

If you have any questions feel free to ask me and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin