Saturday, January 31, 2004

wow, what an eventful few days I've had. As I cycled into college on Wednesday morning, the predicted severe weather decided to turn up. I cycled along the canal towpath to Selly Oak in a blizzard. Managed to avoid falling off this time, but turned up to college looking like a snowman, and with an 'ice-cream' headache. As I sat trying to do my Hebrew test I couldn't help but stare out the window as the world turned white. Wow, this was proper snow, we never get proper snow these days. I was already kind of excited 'cos Rachel had phoned first thing in the morning to let us know her 'waters' had broken during the night, whatever they are, I'm sure she could get some new ones. Anyway, she seemed excited, so I was as well.
Su texted me 'cos she was worried I'd try and cycle back in the snow (as if!), so after college I decided to go round to Rachel's and wait for Su to come and pick me up after work.
Rachel had been having mild contractions on and off all morning but wasn't ready to go in yet. The snow stopped and started to melt pretty quickly. We spent the afternoon watching movies and listening to music. Later in the afternoon, it started to snow again, heavily. Rachel's contractions were getting stronger, but no more regular. By the evening she was getting really fed up and a bit teary. When was baby James going to arrive? It was difficult to see her in pain and so frustrated, we felt so helpless. But we prayed and waited, and Karl was a pillar of strength. Meanwhile poor old Su had got stuck in the now gridlocked Birmingham traffic. Dad was trying to get over from Coventry, and after being stuck on the Aston Expressway for 3 hours, decided to give up and turn round. Trust Rachel to go into labour on the worst traffic day in Birmingham's history. Su finally got to Rachel's by 10 o'clock, having left the office at 6.00. We all went to bed, but at 1 am Karl took Rachel into hospital with irregular but painful contractions.
The next morning I woke up with a migraine. Tried to go to lectures, but couldn't cope and had to leave early to go and lie down. Finally at 2.30pm we got the phonecall from Karl to say that baby James had arrived, both him and Rach were fine, although obviously knackered (and somewhat drugged up!). At around 4, we all went in to see them. James is amazing, at 8lbs13, he has quite a long body, perfect skin, punky hair and cute features. He has none of the new-born mankyness that I've seen with other babies, and he looks very tranquil and at peace with the world. Talk about joy coming out of pain!
It turns out that 5 women had babies in their cars stuck in traffic on the way to hospital! So in the end I guess James knew what he was doing by staying in as long as he did. God bless them all!

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