Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

I’ve not wrote a blog for a long time now. It’s for a good reason as well. Unlike most I, we, had a wonderful 2020. The global pandemic has put a halt on normal life for most people. But for us, the waiting for a second child was over.

The beginning of 2020 was almost identical to 2019. We were going to be moving to a new house again. Thankfully this time it wasn’t a different country. I was also going to be having some medical treatment. This time instead of physio it was going to be injections. They didn’t work so not improvement on that front just yet, but I digress. To give the injections the best opportunity to work we decided that we would give it one more chance to get pregnant again. We hadn’t managed it since our second miscarriage, and to be honest we were almost coming to terms with the fact that it might not happen. With my back injury we only really had small windows of opportunity to try and make it work as it really put a strain on trying to… well… you know. Trying not to go into too much detail but the motion in the ocean wasn’t as fluid as it once was. So, when I was having better days we made the most of it. It had been 7 months since the last miscarriage had happened, and there was a small chance of my back getting better, so I wasn’t even expecting the news when Becky told me. The test was as clear as day. Two lines for all to see. After previous experiences I was trying my best not to get too excited. Throw into the mix a house move and the start of lockdown 1.0, it was best to be cautious.

As pregnancies go it wasn’t exactly as expected. Due to the pandemic appointments were few and far between. We didn’t get to see or have a proper discussion with a midwife for throughout the entire pregnancy. When it came to scans Becky had to go in on her own while I was in the car park with Ed. This was mainly because we could only afford for Ed to go into nursery for the free 15 hours he’s entitled to. Obviously, it would’ve been more if Becky was working. But with the house move, global pandemic, and pregnancy, it was near on impossible for Becky to get a job. Throw into the fact that you need a mortgage to pay for any sort of childcare down south. Looking forward to the day we either move back north, or Ed goes to school. Who knew kids were so expensive! Anyway, from the little information we were able to get out of our appointments, we were relatively happy because we were at a hospital where, unlike our first pregnancy, there wasn’t a language barrier. When it got to 4 weeks before due date that is when everything went into hyper mode. On 30th September our dog, Suki, would not leave Becky alone. Wherever she went, the dog went with her. This seemed very strange. Becky was still looking after the horse at this time. On this day she said she had a sudden need to start squatting but thought nothing of it. It wasn’t until 5:30am on 1st October we knew why these things were happening. I was woken up with Becky shouting from the bathroom “CHRIS! CHRIS!”, I replied extremely dazed, “What?!, “I think my waters have broken?!”. Oh! To say that we weren’t expecting that was an understatement. It was exactly 1 month before due date and I was definitely not prepared. We had been told not to expect what you see on TV and films. It is not a sudden gush of liquid; in fact we should barely notice it. Obviously, they were very wrong on this occasion! It was everywhere! I went for the standard old man need to pee as soon as I woke up. I almost slipped straight into the bath with how wet it was in there! Thankfully, I didn’t throw my back out or we would have been in a very difficult situation. Becky rang through to the hospital and I rang my mum. We were going to have her travel down and be a part of our social bubble just before the due date. As she always does my mum got straight into ‘Grandma mode’ and planned to get on the first train down. In the meantime, I grabbed the hospital bags, which were were packed because Becky was obviously more prepared than I was, and started throwing everything in the car. The hospital told Becky not to rush as it probably wouldn’t be anytime soon until baby would appear. So off we trundled to hospital. Ed still half asleep and having no idea what was happening in the back. My head was going between being a little calm thinking it will be a while till baby makes an appearance, to absolutely freaking out thinking I might have to deliver on the way! Thankfully, that didn’t happen. We dropped Becky off at the hospital and left her to it as nobody else was allowed in until the last minute, as per covid restrictions. It felt strange just leaving her to it, but we had to go. Next job was to go home and wait for the call from my mum to pick her up. Thinking about it now it would’ve made sense staying in Oxford and waiting, rather than travel all the way home to travel back in. Everything is better in hindsight eh? I was just clock watching. Every second seemed to last an eternity. Thankfully in real time it wasn’t too long till I bundled a still half-asleep Ed back into the car and off to the train station to pick up my mum. As we were arriving back home, I got a call from Becky, “You need to come NOW!!!”. Shit! really?! So, I threw my mum into the house with Ed and shot back off to the hospital. I’m so glad there wasn’t any police on the road as I must admit I was going a little fast. Parked up and got up to the ward as fast as I could. It’s a good job it didn’t take me long to park because as I got there, I had to put down the bags and watch our son arrive about 90 seconds later! George Oliver Platts. Born 1st October 2020. As I got to hold him it was like the pain and agony of the last couple of years disappeared. No more thinking about what if something goes wrong. What if the worse happens and we lose another one? Getting to hold him made the demons go away. Nothing could stop me enjoying every second I had in there with him and Becky. I didn’t have to say anything to Becky to know that she was feeling the same way. The anguish of the last two pregnancies was all worth it to meet George. The only sad moment was when I had to leave sooner than I would have liked due to covid. But even that didn’t make me sad. The second child we had waited so long to meet had arrived. Nothing will ever spoil that.

It’s taken me this long to write about this joyous occasion is because we as a family have been enjoying every moment. Edward is just the most amazing big brother. Always wanting to help out and try and get George playing with him. The way they interact with each other just fills the room with happiness. Where there was once a darkness there is now light and joy. The child that comes after miscarriage and baby loss is called a rainbow child, so it’s only fitting that the song I have chosen for this moment is Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I tried looking for other songs so not to be a cliché, but the lyrics fit the moment perfectly. It’s also the song I hum to George to rock him to sleep. Where troubles melt like lemon drops, high above the chimney tops that’s where you will find me. The joy that one little boy has brought to our home cannot be measured. Once lockdown has been lifted, we cannot wait for everyone else to meet him and enjoy the happiness that he brings with him. There is nothing but love in my heart…and a pain in my back. Even that will be fixed soon hopefully so I’ll keep watching the bluebird’s fly.

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