A man in a sack troubles no owl

Benjamin pointing to a sign that reads: Baby Special Care Unit
Benjamin standing outside the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at St John’s hospital, Livingston. Sadly, because of regulations Benjamin wasn’t allowed in to meet his only cousin.

We’re just back home after having driven a little over 200 miles today: Edinburgh to Selkirk to Edinburgh to Livingston to Edinburgh to Selkirk to Edinburgh. I’ve had déjà vu on more than one occasion today — I’m sure I’ve said that before.

Driving back along the M8 towards Edinburgh, Jane was talking about how she has to be in Wick, Caithness, in the far north of Scotland on Tuesday morning to be involved in a number of interviews for a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award-related post.

“Did you know,” said I, “that Wick is that place that all the male owls in Scotland fly-to to chat-up the female owls?”
“Really?!” exclaimed my sister Jenni, sounding quite excited by that idea.
“Yeah,” I replied, “all the owls go to Wick to woo.”

It took me about 10 miles to stop laughing at my own joke. And that was only because we’d stopped at a chip shop in Edinburgh and I was too busy stuffing my face with chips to laugh!

Just as we were arriving in Selkirk Jane got this SMS text message from my brother Eddie:

Owen is still in special care unit, but is feeding for ages and seems fine. He is out of incubator and hopefully will be back on ward pretty soon. E x

which is great news. So thanks for all the prayers so far, saints. Time for bed now. But before I go, just to explain: this post’s title comes from a competition that one of the London broadsheets ran in 1996 to come up with pithy sayings. Others included “You can take a horse to Wembley but you’d be in the wrong place” and “Fingers for hands, toes for feet!” I feel that the world is a more beautiful place now because of these. Bed, I think…

Baby Owen update

Baby Owen in an incubator
Baby Owen in an incubator earlier this evening.

Thanks for your prayers so far. We were able to visit Rebecca this evening — the whole family gathered around her bed like the Boswells in a scene from the 80s TV show Bread.

At some point during the visit a nurse came in to say that we could visit Owen in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) — the delay had been due to a desperately ill baby being attended to in the same room as Owen — so we headed along there and visited young Owen in a manner that Noah would have been proud: two by two.

I’m so pleased that Mum got to see her grandson for the first time; there was a chance at a couple of points during the evening that no-one would get in to see him, but the prayers of the saints came through and he was ready for visitors shortly before visiting time ended, which was perfect.

Owen still has some way to go, and Mum will be pleased to get him into her arms to make sure for herself that he’s okay, and get the Official Retired Midwife Seal of Approval™.

Still more praying to be done.

Please pray

Owen with Gareth and Edmund
Photograph taken yesterday in hospital, Uncle Gareth holding Owen, with Owen’s father (Gareth’s brother) Edmund.

This is a call for all the saints (that’s you, by the way) to please pray for our new nephew Owen. We’ve heard that baby Owen had to be taken to the baby special unit within the last 24 hours, having had a little shaking episode and losing colour. We’re not entirely sure what’s going on, but our trust is in God to bring Owen, and Bec and Eddie through this.

Jane and I are off to Selkirk soon to pick up Grannie (my Mum, the ex-Midwife) and take her to Livingston to see baby and new parents for the first time. I mean, Mum’s seen Eddie and Rebecca before — obviously! — but not as parents. You know what I mean!

I’ll give an update when we get back later this evening.

It’s a boy!

Scan of baby
Not having a photograph of the wee man out in the real world this ultrasound scan picture will have to do!

Jane and I were woken this morning by the telephone ringing, shortly after 05:40. It was my brother Edmund on his mobile phone from St John’s Hospital, Livingston to give us the great news that his wife Rebecca had given birth to a healthy boy, Owen Thomas Saunders. He was 8lbs 5oz and born at 03:18.

Owen had to be born by Caesarean Section in the end. Rebecca was nearly three weeks late, having been due around 26 December, and well, frankly, it seems that he didn’t want to come out!

We’re absolutely delighted for Eddie and Rebecca, but for Jane and I it has also been a strange week of mixed emotions as the birth date has drawn closer, reminding us of our current situation of it being apparent that we can’t have children naturally. Which is not to detract from the good news, because we are absolutely delighted for Bec and Eddie, I’m just being honest, as we wonder: will this ever happen to us? We’ll keep praying, and I would say “and keep trying” but that might be too much information for some blog readers.

We’re now looking forward to seeing the proud new father and new mother and their delightfully quiet (so far, I’m told by Eddie) Owen Thomas Saunders.