Robert James Clark

Robert James Clark

Click for bigger pic
We discovered on the 16th March 1999, that we were pregnant---this we announced to a stunned Home Group at a Home Group camp on the 20th March---our 11th Anniversary. Most people had given up on us :-)

Our first scan at 6 weeks revealed a ``single viable foetus''---a glorious blob on the screen, our second scan at 12 weeks, saw all sorts of things, complete with a bit of a hand waving about, all fingers visible. Ah Neerly Dahd. ``Bonding'' for me happened then.

Our third scan at 20 weeks (on my 35th birthday) revealed full spinal development(sans bifida), ribs, limbs etc, a working gastro/kidney system, and all were most chuffed. There was a preliminary feeling that it was going to be Robert James, and not Mellissa Joy, but they wouldn't commit themselves.

We discovered the 3D scan at the Park Lane, on trial demo (ie free), and actually saw his facial features. Several 2D cuts, mega DSP, with a live update mode at about 1 second between computations, absolutely wonderful---and he came out looking exactly like that!!!. I think you will agree that one of the pics definitely establishes a set of external gonads :-)

Later we sneaked another freebie, and got a better look at those chubby cheeks and minute chin.

Les developed a spot of glucose intolerance, so we monitored for over a week, keeping more-or-less OK, but then we shot a 12.1! after a cortizone shot to mature Robert's lungs as the Gynae had opined that we take him to 38 weeks and yank him out. Admission time!!!! completely messing up all my little plans around lecturing etc. After stabilizing via insulin at about 4.5, we were ready for the big day!

Scheduled for 08h30, with my arrival at 07h00, it seemed to be the longest one-and-a-half hours of my life. Naturally, 08h30 came and went...they must be operating on Vineyard Time. Eventually the bell tolled for us, and the Long Walk to the Theatre occurred.

The spinal was done with only two minor grimaces, and dancing on the ceiling was very shortly out of the question. The draping began, Les must have been covered by 10 sheets or more, with very well defined areas of control. The head belonged to the Anaethetist, the Belly to the Gynae and assistant, and the Paed did the pics---HE had nothing to do until charlie arrived!

No I didn't pass out, but I was as nervous as hell. Quick prayers are my speciality :-)

A little slice, complete with the usual accourtrements of buckets-and-spades (I'm a layman :-), and a bloody hefty tugging (I couldn't believe my eyes---here were two grown adults, hands inside my dearest's internals, TUGGING, nay, HAULING, with all their weight on the in opposite directions to tear open a gap!) Soon thereafter, the amniotic fluid was being suctioned, and a single forceps was used to ``shoehorn'' his head out. This did not occur without the help of the Anaethetist; I could hardly believe the pushing he did on madam's bump, officially crossing the line of the barrier tent! Much altercation between Gynae and Anaethetist as to whether pushing was **really** occurring :-)

Gunk was cleared out of his mouth etc by suction, and the rest of his rather purple being was brought forth from his cosy home, which he clearly did not want to leave.

My emotions, were, to say the least, at a fever pitch, but being British, I managed :-) :-) (Only bloody just too). It took a minute or so before Robert had discovered that he was not as comfortable as he was accustomed to, and he let all and sundry know all about it. This occured at about 09h15. I had strongly resolved to record the time of his arrival, but I think that I had other things on my mind at the time....

Because of the sugar levels and Madam's medications, we were fully expecting a stay in neo-natal ICU, or at least the incubator (Glucose tends to retard lung maturation), but he had a 1 min APGAR of 9 and a full 10 APGAR at 5 minutes!!!! This is an answer to prayer as the last two weeks have been a tad dodgy. (OK, I'm British, they were very dodgy:-)

He was duly examined by the Paed, who seemed to wave him about in the air one-handedly in a rather willy-nilly fashion; Madam informs me that this is part of the APGAR test; not being medical, I nearly hit him, but I wasn't scrubbed. Robert was given the occasional dose of Oxygen, and went from blue to red to blue to red, but after a few lusty lung exercises (aka crying) he stayed red of his own accord.

He was then swaddled (how the hell do they move in that cocoon) and placed on the Anaethetist's portion of Madam. The other portion of Madam was being gaily sutured after collecting the placenta (a mean sight). This continued for a good half hour, with anecdotes ranging from Rugby to whatever, occasionally addressed across the ``screen'' into the Anaethetists' territory, aka Madam's head.

After the Paed had pronounced all well (aka buggered off) we were left with Robert on Madam, being stitched. After a while, the midwives took charge of Robert and went to the nursery. I stayed with madam as she was cleaned and all the gunk cleared off her.

Les was in recovery for a while, before being wheeled back to the ward, where I then participated (aka watched) Robert's first bath. This was thoroughly enjoyed, judging from the dB's produced.

After all this, an attempt was made at latching, but we discovered that Robert takes after his father in that daytime is not particularly a wakeful time; and nightime: its boogie time!!!

Only after this did I feel able to do the email/phone notification thing.

Some of the Digital camera pics:
Click for bigger picAll swaddled up, with a beady eye.
Click for bigger picWith Flash
Click for bigger picMadam fresh out of the theatre. (Still in a theatre gown)
Click for bigger picSettling in...
Click for bigger picDitto...
Click for bigger picSniffing the air?
Click for bigger picOh put that bloody camera away!
Click for bigger picNap Attack
Click for bigger picEnd of the first day!
Click for bigger picA somewhat blurred Good night shot.
Click for bigger picNext morning, Madam was walking around merrily, we've just got back to bed here. Note the Independant in the background. I *STILL* haven't read it :-)
Click for bigger picWho are you then?
Click for bigger picMadam staring off into Nappy Universe?
The second day brought a series of firsts, my first nappy change---that green gunk looks bloody awful!, Robert's first injection---he was NOT impressed, the first real feeding attempt---he seems to have cottoned-on to the art of sucking for 4 sucks, and dropping off to sleep...sigh!

This file last updated: Mon Jan 29 19:15:05 SAST 2001