Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Notes from the maternity ward

Being the occasional blogger that I am, I suppose I should write about the delivery of my second son who came into this world in the early hours of Friday the 13th last week.

Yes, Friday the 13th. The date only dawned on me several hours after he'd been born.

Good job I'm not superstitious.

Ironically, it wasn't the greatest experience of our lives. I'll spare the gory details, but basically the little fella came into the world via caesarian in a surprisingly quick procedure that caught both me and wifey by complete surprise.

The main thing now, of course, is that he's out and healthy. Wifey is taking some time to recover, but basically she's doing fine.

So, as is my right and as is stipulated in my job description as a father, I have to say that he is a handsome, adorable little chap who I will love and cherish forever.

For those of you that wish to do so, you may vomit now.

Moving on, the main reason for writing this post is to simply thank the staff at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff publicly for all that they do. Without the nurses, midwives, doctors and consultants (and any other staff member I may have missed out), things would have been very different for us.

Put simply, my wife and baby would not have made it, and that's a stark reminder of the fragility of life even in the 21st century.

It's also a reminder of the fantastic healthcare system we have here in Wales. Yes, things go wrong and people sadly lose their lives occasionally because of bad practice or human error, but compared to most other countries I know where I'd rather have my baby delivered.

Plus, I dread to think how much the entire experience would have cost had we had to pay for it. My brother lives in the USA and even with health insurance the delivery of his daughter cost him and his wife about $900.00 (which was a straightforward delivery without complications – I wonder if they'd had to have paid extra for a cearsarian?). Makes you think.

I feel a rant coming on about how everyone should be entitled to free healthcare, but now is not the time or place (I'm very tired, after all).

By the way ... did you know that Maternity in Welsh is 'mamolaeth', which I think sort of translates as mother-milk.


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