And he’s here!!!!

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Well, it’s been a while.

Over a month since my last blog in fact. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to, I have. It’s purely down to the fact that I haven’t had time. That’s because, on the 15th October, my son was born, and it’s been non stop ever since.

Max Stanley Arnold was born by emergency C-Section, on the 15th October at 7.20am weighing 6lb 7oz. Very healthy and fighting fit, even with everything that had happened in the 8 months prior. It wasn’t an easy labour for my wife, in fact, she never went in to labour. Instead, she had to deal with a 42 hour(ish) induction process. Max quite clearly wasn’t ready to come out, and I don’t blame him. It’s gone very cold outside now, and very dark, very early. After around 38 hours, 8 of which Kylie had her waters broken, she had only gone 1cm. 3 attempts to get a working epidural in, and then all of a sudden, Max’s heart rate kept dropping, so it was a quick trip to theatre and in 5 minutes, out he came!

He cried as soon as he came out, which then set my wife off, and everyone was rushing around making sure everything was OK. Which is was, and i also managed to go and cut some of his cord seen as I wasn’t able to do it properly. Now, because of everything that had happened over the past 40 hours, this moment came very quickly and it didn’t sink in for me for a few hours. I even forgot about the whole naming thing, even after 8 months of trying to agree on a name, it had completely slipped my mind. If it wasn’t for Kylie saying

“Is Max OK then?”

I would have forgotten about it completely. I had just become a dad though, so my mind was a little elsewhere. We then had 3 days in hospital to recover and to get to grips with Max. Fortunately (yes, fortunately) I was made redundant 4 weeks before, so I had all the time to spend with them both in hospital, and it was a good thing I did. I don’t know how single mums manage straight after a cesarean. Kylie was in so much pain and couldn’t move, I had to do all the feeds and changes. Seriously, massive respect to the mums that do it. I got thrown in at the deep end, and I got covered in wee and pooh in the first 24 hours. Seeing that first nappy is not a pleasant sight, and trying to clean it up with cotton wool balls is laughable.

All of the hospital staff were completely amazing, by far the best in the NHS that I have had the pleasure of meeting. Extremely helpful, weren’t pushy at all, and very friendly. They really did make the whole thing a lot easier. UHNS Staffordshire, I salute you.

So then we come home and the real test begins. Our lives changed rapidly, and we found ourselves on a 3 hour clock. We haven’t had to wake him for his feeds, he does that himself, and he most definitely knows how to let us know he’s hungry. Feed him, change him, sleep, repeat… Maybe get something done in between the sleep phase. Again, we have been incredibly lucky with our friends and family, cooking us meals, doing our cleaning even letting us grab a few hours kip in the afternoon. Truly brilliant people!

So now it’s four weeks on, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Max is one month old on Saturday. Where the hell has the last month gone. It’s been the longest quickest month of my life, if that makes any sense at all. I’ve been awake for more than Ive been asleep, and its flown by. He’s already starting to hold his head up, in fact he was doing that on day 2!!! He is now over 8lbs, and finishing 6oz bottles. The best Ive seen him though, was definitely tonight. Gave him his bath, took him upstairs and dried him, then played with him on his change mat. What did he do? Smiled and started to coo is what!!! He has the most amazing smile ever, and his coos are definitely better than the other sound he makes most of the day.

It is by far the single most incredible thing that has ever happened to me, and I’m sure my wife would agree. It’s also the hardest thing that I have ever had to do, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. He is incredible to watch and now he is starting to stay awake and interact with us makes it even better.

What I have learned though, is this. Everybody gives you advice, everybody tells you what to do and everyone tells you what they did with their children. However, every child is different, no two are the same. Do what you want to do and do what you need to do to get things done (primarily sleep). Listen to their advice, try it if you want to and if it doesn’t work do something else. That’s what I have found, and thats the only piece of advice I will give any first time parent. More importantly though enjoy it, as they don’t stay little for long.

But wait, theres more! You also know that we were both made redundant 4 weeks before he was born. Like I said earlier, I was fortunate to be so. Firstly, it was because I could spend all the time I needed to with Kylie and Max (not the characters from Coronation Street). Secondly, it was because two days after Max was born, I got my first job offer, the next day I got another 2!!! In fact, every interview I went to, offered me a position with themselves giving me a choice. Well, let me just say, the job that I am now doing, is amazing. I now work for an incredible company, doing a job (that once I get to grips with) will be challenging and worthwhile, and it also means that my wife doesn’t have to rush back to work. Winner!

So that’s been my month, I’ll leave you all with some photos of my ridiculously gorgeous son!!

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