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I wrote (well, copied) Rollo's birthtale from an email I had written to some friends in a quiet moment the week after he arrived. Reading it back it brought back so many memories, many of which I had forgotten.

I didn’t do the same for Laurie, so when trying to write his birthtale I needed help from Charlotte with some of the details (and some specifics!). It’s pretty short too. But I was definitely there. Sorry Laurie!

Charlotte really struggled with sleep in the weeks leading up to Laurie’s birth - I think the physical and mental demands of being heavily pregnant along with a lively two year old began to take hold, and there was very much a sense in the last few weeks of pregnancy that this couldn't happen soon enough. The Friday before Charlotte couldn’t sleep and was getting very anxious so we went to Kings hospital where she stayed the night and got some rest, (thank goodness for drugs). The weekend was then quiet, but Charlotte was obviously uncomfortable and exhausted. By Monday night the insomnia was back and she woke me at 1am to say she had called an Uber and was going to Kings ‘to have this baby’. I was instructed to go back to sleep and she would call in the morning. Charlotte's mental state was fragile to say the least but she was convinced that she just needed to not be pregnant anymore, get some sleep and everything would be ok. The first few days, weeks and months with a newborn are not usually associated with sleep but by now she was going full nights without any due to panic attacks which would start as soon as she lay down. So anything was going to be an improvement.

I got a callI at 7am to say the induction process has started, Charlotte had no trouble convincing the midwives and doctors at the hospital that this was the right thing and a pessary had been given. I was to take Rollo to my folks in Croydon and then join her. There was no rush, it could be hours or even days.

I dropped off Rollo and stopped for a cup of tea but was called by Sooz (who was with Charlotte at Kings) to put it down and get a bl***y move on. I drove back feeling excited if a little apprehensive - Rollo’s birth was amazing but tiring and long.

I eventually arrived at KCH at about 10.30am and then spent half an hour driving around the car park trying to find somewhere to park. Eventually I made it into the hospital and the maternity ward and found Charlotte and Sooz.

When I arrived Charlotte was in quite a lot of pain with contractions. She was attempting to bounce on the birthing ball but was quite het up which slightly concerned me after the last few weeks she was mentally shattered - I was concerned that if we entered another long labour she would find it tough. It was reassuring being in the hospital, but equally it did feel less personal - more that we were part of this big spinning wheel.

About 30 mins after I arrived Charlotte very vocally announced that the baby was coming NOW- the midwives seemed a bit less concerned but eventually were convinced that Charlotte knew what she was talking about. We went to one of the birth suites - Charlotte on her knees on a wheelchair telling everyone that the baby was coming. The birth room pool had just started to be filled when we got into the room - which was very calm and comfortable - but there was no chance that this baby was waiting for that pool to fill! It all seems like it happened in a flash - within minutes Charlotte was on all fours, me at her head, the midwife at the business end. Baby Laurie was on his way for sure. In what felt like no time at all a beautiful (and big) boy was in Charlotte's arms and crying enthusiastically. He was fine, the labour had been straightforward and uncomplicated, and suddenly we were four.

Sooz seemed the most shocked - I don't think she had planned to see the birth - but it had all happened so fast there had never been an appropriate time to leave! But it was lovely to have her with us and she took some great pictures! We had a cuddle and although exhausted I think Charlotte was elated by such a straight-forward natural birth.

Do you know, I can't remember much more of that day! I must have left to pick Rollo up sometime in the afternoon, and I brought him back home where we spent a quiet evening preparing for the arrival of his brother. The next day we went back to the hospital where we were very excited to properly meet Laurie - I don't remember us driving home, nor do I remember getting home - but I do remember having a really nice paternity leave, just spending time at home together and preparing for our new lives together.

It's now three years later and a whole host of stuff, good and bad, has happened since that day but Laurie has always been a pleasure. Love you Laurie-Lou x

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