Whilst I was typing the post below, my wife was in fact having contractions but failed to inform me of this. When she did inform me of this I failed to believe her thinking it was cramp / indigestion / phantom contractions. By around 11.30 Louise was getting one contraction roughtly every 5 minutes and by 12.30 this was down to one every 3 and a half minutes. It was then I lept into action.
Following a mad dash from Drayton to Trafford Road, the in-laws bravely came round to ensure that the child we already had was safe and sound, whilst Lou and I trundled off to the N&N.
Apparently most women worry about going to hospital in case they aren't really in labour and end up wasting people's time. We were determined not to be those kind of paranoid parents who think that the first twinge is the onset of labour and launch themselves at every passing medical practioner. This could, after all, be the start of many days of unpleasantness and we wouldn't want to block our maternity system. However by the time that Louise had to use the doorframe for support, we thought it best to seek some professional advice.
By 2am we were at the hospital and a lovely midwife called Sue confirmed that Louise was, despite Daddy's best attempts to block this from his mind, having a baby. No need to go home or feel ashamed at wasting precious NHS resources, this was the real thing (copyright, Coca Cola).
Things slowed down between 3am and 8am during which time I was seriously considering some kind of breakfast. Louise, on the other hand, seemed rather more in a hurry than I and decided to get a move on. The poor, unfortunate (but rather good) trainee midwife got the shock of her life when Louise's contractions went on some kind of turbo-charge and by 10.15am the baby was ready to be born. Cue lots of plastic things, a gaggle of women in the room and pain so bad that Louise actually bit the end of the gas'n'air tube off.
10.26am and baby Olivia Grace Little came into the world - much quicker, certainly easier but with the same amount of love as her big sister Emily.
Admittedly, she had a sort of Lord-of-the-Rings Orc like quality, but after a wash and brush up she looks just like Emily, beautiful - although slightly smaller at just 6lb 7oz.
Louise and Olivia were allowed to come home by 5pm and here we have snuggled ever since. Emily is loving her "bubba" almost as much as she loves her advent calendar ... but not quite.
Olivia is going what all good babies should - eating, sleeping and being cuddled. I am very proud of our latest addition, but most of all Louise - who after the trauma of last time took all this in her stride (and, for the record, got through the whole labour without resorting to Thundercats Impressions - unlike last time.)
I will post photos when I get them but in the meantime do excuse my sparadoic posts and general inactivity. I have a baby to love.