Thursday, June 20, 2024

Looking Back…

There’s a lot to look back on when you are a parent – carefree holidays, dinners out, trips to the cinema and boozy nights out to name but a few. But this post will be looking at a bit closer to home – at when our little one was a teeny tiny baby.

The day that we initially went to hospital wasn’t particularly smooth to be fair, in no small part because we I had managed to lock ourselves out of our house!

Our lovely shiny blue front door was still quite new at the time and it had numerous security features to prevent break ins – not really what you want when you’ve left the keys in the lock inside the door and need to break into your own house! So as Sarah was timing contractions in the driveway I was tarting around with a coat hanger and bits of bent copper pipe trying to fish the keys out of the lock so I could grab them through the letter box!

Strangely locking yourself out of your house and breaking back in was not covered as part of the birthing journey on our NCT classes. Clearly an oversight on their part.

I guess when they make a Hollywood blockbuster out of our story in years to come (when I have become famous through this blog and its 2 followers) they will cast Mila Kunis as Sarah and she would give birth in the driveway assisted by Brad Pitt, whilst I heroicly break down our front door with an axe to get to our hospital bag. But in reality it wasn’t quite that thrilling and Joshua was still a good few hours away from making his appearance!

I won’t go into the ‘magical’ details of Joshua’s birth, because Spielberg will probably want exclusive rights, but I do remember thinking 3 things immediately as Joshua entered the world.

1. Bollocks!! We had both decided not to find out the sex of the baby in advance, but had both pretty much decided it was going to be a girl. So the first thing I noticed was that our little girl had testicles, which I had read was quite unusual for a girl.

2. Massive hands!! Once I’d realised that our girl with testicles was actually more likely a boy, I then noticed how big and purple his hands were! Bizarre things raced through my head like whether he would now grow up to be a goalkeeper and how I was worried that he might get bullied at school because of his massive hands! Spoiler alert – by day 2 they were a perfectly normal size!!

3. What the hell do I do with this baby?! No matter how many books you read and how many NCT classes you go to, when there is a real life, actual baby handed to you, shit gets real pretty quickly!!


Two hours later at 3am I drove home, built a pram (in the dark as there was a power cut!), had a stiff drink, a couple of hours kip and back to hospital! Nothing was ever quite the same since…

When we were finally given the all clear to escape depart from maximum security prison the Royal Berkshire Hospital, our exit was mildly delayed by my complete inability to operate the car seat. First off I couldn’t get the bastard thing out of the car, having to resort to a YouTube video to find the right technique.

Then, having finally dragged it into the ward we couldn’t work out how to adjust the pissy straps – they were so loose that they had the protective qualities of a chocolate fire guard. But after one further trawl through YouTube we nailed it and headed home! By the time we finally arrived home, Sarah’s dad had already been waiting for us in the driveway for about 3 hours.


So my advice to new dads would be to practice using the car seat before taking it to the hospital like a muppet. And of course to always allow an extra few hours to be discharged from hospital, given that 1 nurse will generally be responsible for discharging the entire hospital single-handedly. And not to lock yourselves out of the house. And to expect testicles and large purple hands. I should write a book…

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24 thoughts on “Looking Back…

  • Haha this is brilliant! I don’t think I have read your blog before but I will definitely try and come back, this really made me laugh. Locking yourself out must have been so stressful. We had the same worries over the car seat, now that is something they really could cover in the classes eh?! And we didn’t get discharged until about 9pm because we had to wait for doctors and all sorts, so ridiculous. My hopeful ‘I won’t be here for dinner’ to the lady who asked what I wanted to eat that evening at 8am was misjudged… #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Thanks for the lovely comment! We were prisoners for 3 days in there so were so desperate to leave at the end that we could have done without messing up the seat and waiting to be discharged hours after we were told we could go in a few minutes!! All part of the magical birthing journey I guess ?? Thanks for reading!

  • What a story to tell your son about the day he was born! I remember thinking, “Now what?” after my daughter was born. We had 9 months to prepare ourselves to be parents, read the books, take the classes…but nothing can really prepare you for when that new baby is placed in your arms! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Absolutely. Apart from thinking ‘please don’t cry or wee on me’ it was hard to know exactly what I was supposed to do with him at first! Like someone had given me something to hold for a while but then never came back to take him back again!! I think it’s only when we got him home it felt more real! Thanks for your comment, Emily!

  • Haha, I love this. From experience births rarely go smoothly, you are not alone with the damn car seats. Highly amused that your little ‘girl’ turned out to have testicles. We were expecting to have a girl with our second although didn’t get to be shocked at the birth. I couldn’t wait any longer and found out at 32weeks we were having a boy and just couldn’t believe it #KCACOLS

    • Fortunately we bought all neutral colours in advance rather than all pink!! But the testicles were definitely unexpected ?? Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Genuinely can’t believe you locked yourself and your labouring wife out of the house and you’re still alive to tell the tale!

    I was convinced number two would be a girl but found out at a scan that he did in fact have testicles. My mum was convinced I was a boy right up until the nurse handed me to her and she was very confused and said it must be wrong because I was a boy. I was going to be Thomas. Then I guess they had to quickly pull a name out of the bag which is how I ended up with this one.

    Could be worse, my sister didn’t even have a name for weeks.


    • Fran is a cool name – fairly uncommon and memorable. Congrats on not having testicles despite the pressure to do so. Proud of you!

      And on the subject of testicles I nearly had mine removed after locking us out of the house!!

      Thanks for reading – loving your work!

  • Haha, loved reading this. Those car seats are so tricky too. Thank God for isofix bases as it means I don’t need to work out the strapping thing each time I put the seat in! Thanks for sharing! #KCACOLS

  • I think it was just the pressure of really wanting to take little one home that threw me!! 45 minutes in the hospital fiddling around with the straps was definitely not what the doctor ordered!! Thanks for the comment!

  • Haha James I can only imagine what your other half was thinking as you tinkered about with the front door! My god you did not need that stress at that time. I love that picture of you and Joshua. He was such a tiny little bundle. I don’t think any dad preps themselves for the car ride home. I remember installing the iso fix at 9 months pregnant myself! Fair play for putting the pram together in the dark after such an emotional day!! #KCACOLS

    • I think with Sarah and a screaming baby in the hospital overnight, building a pram was the least I could do ??

  • This is a brilliant post that’s full of humour but has a lovely sentiment. I can imagine the panic you must have both felt being locked out of the house that day. Your precious bundle of joy looks gorgeous in the pics. But my one piece of advice would be to prepare, my husband spent what gel like hours sorting out the car seat, unclicking it to and from its base. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    • Thanks for hosting! I guess you can never be too prepared for a little one’s arrival!! Still not prepared enough now and he’s already 2!!

  • Hah!! What a time to lock yourself out of the house!! I can imagine your partner’s reaction! We also had that car seat and I also remember struggling with how to use it and even more so when trying to fix it on to the top of the pram wheels!! Arghh!! Definitely worth practising for a few months before baby is due. Lovely photo of you both. #KCACOLS X

    • We just need to have another baby now so I can be a bit more organised next time ??

  • Love this! Def practice the car seat! Those things are a right pain. A really honest post about those first few moments! Thanks for linking up to #KCACOLS Hope to see you back next time!

    • Thanks for having me – looking forward to next week (assuming I can think of something else to write that’s worth linking!!)

  • fairyqueen

    Great and funny post. Funny how we have all the build up to having our darling little babies and then when we actually take them home it’s a total shock, nothing is ever the same again. It’s great, weird, hard and bloody amazing!:)

    mainy – myrealfairy


    • Bloody amazing is definitely right!! Thanks for the lovely comment!

  • Sound advice! I think we practised with the car seat a few times with a teddy bear. The same teddy was subjected to practice nappies, which I later discovered we had put on backwards. Whoops! Looking forward to the movie! Is there a sequel? #chucklemums

  • God, I bet you were popular, getting locked out! Almost as popular as my husband, who, despite me telling him at 7pm that I was in early labour, came home late and pissed…we’re divorced now 😉

  • Did you know that sometimes, just SOMETIMES, a baby girl can pick up hormones from her mother in utero and emit a small period in the days after birth? I kid you not. Mine didn’t, thank christ. Thanks for linking this beaut to #Chucklemums!

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