Into the World – Part 2

So since i have become an established author, after my first instalment of ‘Into the World’, i have received some pretty incredible feedback. My partner said it made her laugh, my sister said it was good and someone from North America must have bumped into it by accident, and like someone who treads on your foot and apologises, did the right thing and ‘liked’ my post and buggered off again. So good on him/her for showing good inter web etiquette.

So far 17 people have read my blog and a further 9 have viewed my profile, i don’t want to get carried away but surely i could start pulling in sponsorship now? Maybe let the marketeers start advertising on my blog? Maybe mothercare would like to leech onto my success? We all have that dream inside of us to do nothing and still make a living. What do i have to do to get enough readers to subscribe to my ramblings so that i can then go to work and actually be myself? You know what i’am talking about, all those colleagues who parade around in the security of their employment and their specific role which is technically above yours so they feel the need to talk to you like a sub-human with a slight edge of upmanship in everything they say. They sit in the work kitchen and oversee the general chit-chat and then decide to give the final thought like Jerry fucking (sorry grandad) Springer. And then finish it off with, “right, lets get back to work”. Oh piss off, i have a blog now so you will not speak to me like that, ever….again. Incidentally, does anyone ever want to get weird at work? I mean, turn up in an Native Indian headdress, on a horse that shits everywhere, ignore any command from any authority and just cup your hand and make Indian noises? When they threaten you with redundancy….just be able to feel self assured enough to laugh back in their face, then dig the heels into your horse and go somewhere else? No?

Well that got weird, sorry.

So back to what i’am here to do, tell the mans perspective of labour, because lets face it, men are forgotten in this whole process. Every family party the focus is on Danni “how are you feeling”, “You look well”. Jesus Christ, what about me? I’am the one who has to sleep in a bed that feels like someone has watered it when i wake up every night, just dripping in someone else’s precipitation. I’am the one who has to listen to that god-awful snoring, literally, awful snoring, the worst kind, the relentless low pitched shout snoring that slowly chips away at your sanity. I’am the one who has every single twinge, pain, scratch and pull relayed to me in minute detail. I’am the one who has to pick up the pieces of the hormonal mess, and lastly, i’am the one who has to walk really slowly whilst keeping my eyes out for a toilet every 2 minutes, i literally could not do anything without it taking a lifetime due to every hole in Danni’s body wanting to leak something out. Getting anywhere in the late stages of pregnancy is a faff, whats worse is that i will come up with an idea when out shopping, like, “oh, shall i run round and grab bits” (mainly because i’am less inhibited and can speed up the whole process), and the response will range from upset that i have the audacity to make a suggestion that implies she is being slow, to anger that i do not understand what it’s like to be heavily pregnant. So here’s a top tip for the boys. When out with your heavily pregnant partner, imagine being heavily stoned like you were that time in Amsterdam, turn your reaction times down and just go with the very slow (painstakingly slow) process and just accept the fact that Asda’s is going to be your reality for a large part of your afternoon, and yes, you will be discussing whether or not it is in your interest to take advantage of the buy one useless product and get another useless product free and you will bloody well enjoy it. And for gods sake, avoid those robotic, self-service tills….you literally will not make it out in a relationship (especially if she keeps picking stuff up off the weighed items and into bags, setting off a bagging alert, then waiting for an Asda fecking Ace to come and reset the whole system again). Someone, somewhere has either lost a parent or a partner, directly because of those self-service tills. Fact. Google it.

So there we were, on the new hospital bed, in the new hospital with a costa coffee shop and an M&S (brilliant). Initially i was relieved to be at the shiny new hospital, only to walk into the labour room to see Danni being attacked with a needle by a so called Doctor. I honestly think there was a blurry line at one point between imperative patient care and GBH. The doctor could not find a vein to stick a hellish canular in Danni’s arm, so rather than take it out and start again, was rooting around like when you catch a white van man driver rooting around his nose with his finger at the traffic lights. Blood going everywhere, and again, i was thinking to myself, do i need to step in here and ask the doctor to stop assaulting my partner? I’am not joking and i think i entered an area of brief casual racism in my head (as the doctor was from Syria), and started thinking how maybe the doctor is slowly getting her own back on the UK by subtly stabbing everyone with syringes! (is that a bit risque? I’am not a racist, i have 3 black friends) and I’ve been t India so if that doesn’t prove it, what does?

After the stabbing incident, things settled down. Of course Danni was still un-settled and frantic, but my belief was that you cannot help anyone unless you are yourself in a good place. So i surveyed the room, jotted down the Costa opening times and wandered whether or not i would go for the sushi option in M&S or maybe the broad bean and feta salad. I quite liked this room and our two new midwives, one being a student seemed agreeable as well, a vast improvement on Shreks mother at the last place.

So i had to explain to the midwives that we were initially opting for Hypno-birth, but judging by the canular blood bath, two doses of oramorph and the screaming, that this was now confined to a nice idea we once had. They were good with it, and agreed that we could just go along with whatever felt right. At last, i got to use the battery powered candles and smugly switched them on, next to Danni’s bed. Totally set the mood, dimmed the lights, i was loving it, i knew those candles would come to good use. I did briefly wander if maybe i should change careers and be mood setter for labour wards. Thats the problem with in-security, everytime i come into contact with another profession, i need to consider doing it seriously. Its like being a kid, every movie you watch, thats you now. What? Karate Kid? Yeah i’am doing Karate now….whats that there? Cool Runnings? Well if they can do it i could probably…….jaysus its a tiring way to be.

A coffee at this stage (7pm) would be nice, but no, the bastards had shut early. Surely if your in a hospital at 7pm it is the time you NEED coffee. I noted what time they shut 6:30pm and briefly started draughting my complaint letter in my head for when this is all over. Its ridiculous. Coffee houses in hospitals shutting at 6:30pm? I’am not being funny, but the Tories bang on about a 7 day NHS and Junior Doctors working more, how comes these in-house hospital Barista’s have slipped the net? If we are all under the Tories going to work longer hours, less pay and shit conditions then someone needs to send the memo to Costa because their lapse work ethic has ruined my childbirth experience. So a crap, granulated coffee stolen from the “midwives cupboard” it was then.


Wow..Danni was angry  that i left her for two minutes. I lied and said i needed to talk to the consultant and tried to give a concerning look. She doesn’t like to engage in detail so i was hoping she wouldn’t probe further, because in fairness to her, it wasn’t two minutes, i really did take my time, soaking in my last few hours on non-fatherhood through the empty MRSA filled corridors of Broomfield Hospital (libel?). Bloody loved it, thought back to all the times when i just got in my car and did my own thing or roll into the house on Sunday morning after a saturday night out for “a couple of drinks”. I will miss those days of still being drunk the next day, so much so that you feel excited at 7am after 2 hours sleep and cannot sleep. Or the nights down the casino when your thinking ‘i should really get my bank to up the £200 limit a day on cash machines, but its okay, i will wait by the cash machine until 12:03 and resume wasting my money on a black and red wheel’.

It was about 11pm now, Danni sucking on gas and air but not exhaling properly and instead keeping the seal on the tube and forcing her exhalation back through the non-return mushroom valve that eventually succumbed to the pressure and gave off a noise i can only describe as Darth Vadar having an Asthma attack. Constant Darth Vadar noises. There was a bit of a mix up at this point as on our Hypno-birth plan which was being half fulfilled, it said all the midwives need to keep quiet and speak to me, and only speak when i speak to them. I forgot that so wondered on various occasions why Danni wasn’t being coached through her breathing and why it was so bloody quiet (apart from Darth Vadar obvs). It was only after a few hours i thought maybe i should break the silence.

A few times i asked to speak to the midwife outside the room. This was a tactic. I had nothing to say really but i thought it would make Danni think that i was orchestrating the birth as per birth plan. So it went like this me: ” do you mind if i talk to you outside (in my serious authoritative voice; Nurse: “Certainly”. We are now outside me: “Do you know what time Costa’s open because i think they shut early tonight which has been slightly problematic” Nurse “i think it opens at 7am”; Me “oh okay, do you mind if i have some of your coffee in the midwife cupboard”; Nurse; (confused) “Sure”. Me: “Great, i will meet you back in there”. You may laugh, but i call it the ‘placebo discussion’. Danni thinks father and nurse are co-operating, relaxes more, and i get a break from the Darth Vadar impression which is really getting on my tits now, i don’t know why she keeps breathing back down through the tube.

I’am not sure how much detail i should go in from this point on. Things were heating up. It was 1200 (7 hours until Costa opens) and my hand was in pain. Danni needed me to apply pressure to her lower back with my hand so i did, for 8 hours and it was hurting. I felt as though i wasn’t allowed to say how much it was hurting though. I should be able to just say, but i felt i should endure the dull ache of cramp for her. In hindsight i should have just said. Danni had had some morphine for her pain, and here i was with cramp in my hand surrounded by painkillers but i wasn’t even able to say it. Anyway, i knew things were serious when Danni started contracting hard. When you go into labour there is a digital machine that monitors the intensity of the contraction from 1 – 200. Another tip, don’t use this as a guide because a few times after a contraction i said (not bad that one, only 127, thats alright isn’t it). Didn’t even respond to me at this point. Danni had this hateful glazed over look in her eyes, and when one of the few times she went to the toilet she had the walk of a hunched over beast. Head down, arms out to the side (so she didn’t further stab herself with the canular) and waddling side to side (baby in vagina) she had the distinct look of an old school killer. No emotion in face. I wandered whether to mention some of the things i could see from my angle, you know, birthy things like piles and grunge but i thought better of it after the contraction countdown comment. Good move.

In all honesty, i cannot do Danni’s effort justice in type. Only women and partners that have been through it know what i’am talking about when i say, during this whole process, you as a person develop a whole new respect for women, their pain threshold and their dogged determination (not that they have a choice), if anything choked me up it was that realisation that ‘your an amazing woman, and your doing this for us!!!!!’.

Right, its 1am and Ive just looked into the groinal area where the midwife is playing with my childs that has made its way out of my partners vagina. She said “he has lovely hair, you can platt it”. Now because this is a labour room this is okay i suppose, but hang on a sec. What are we looking at here. I’am looking at a Woman, twisting wispy bits of hair out of my partners Vagina!!!! And its scenes like this that put you on that different place. You do not see that every day. So here he comes, crown of head, just visible. Great time for Danni’s contractions to stop! After an hour or so they picked up again and i knew the end game had started.

I did actually coach Danni into some J breathing at this point which only highlighted how little i had helped previously but something kicked me into gear, probably the head hanging out of her vagina! I have to say, this was the most demoralising point. Danni would have a contraction and the head would start to slide out, then the contraction would stop and his head would slide back in. I was thinking, this isn’t bloody playdoe, how can he slide back in? Back and forth, back and forth…..i got bored of it in the end. “oh his ear, oh his ear again, oh right, thats his ear for the both time, give me a fucking nose will you, lets mix it up a bit on stop treating our child like he is some sort of vaginal solero!! PUSH DANNI!

Then Bang, all at once, bug hard push and out he came, crumpled onto the bed. Oh great, i notice that little human is purple and not breathing.

The cutting of the cord was i imagined to be a romantic, ceremonial love cut, but the midwife shouted at me to cut it quick. When i say cut, i mean i hacked at it in a panic, the pressure of the hacking made blood squirt everywhere, Danni had an angel halo of blood and everyone around the table got covered. The lifeless baby got taken over the otherside of the room for some air. I went with the baby. I glanced back at Danni and she was in shock, for definite. After a couple of minutes the baby bounced into like and cried out loud. I turned to Danni again, she was still in a complete Daze! I held the babies hand and spoke to him to calm him down and after a couple of minutes took him to Danni where they met.

Those last few minutes will never leave you. Pandemonium, worry, stress, happiness, relief just every emotion you can think of. Torn between your bleeding and shocked partner to your breathless new-born son completely relying on the professionalism of the doctors and mid-wives. Words cannot match the carnage. You are there, you are living, nothing else matters apart from whats in that room. The world shrinks from a million miles wide (or whatever it is) to just a few square metres. That is your world, all in that room and those angels in blue are there to make sure you all get to leave. Massive massive respect to them and for my 17 readers, i want you to know that i dedicate this blog to Danni and also to the Junior Doctors and Mid-wives at Broomfield Hospital for their amazing work. George Osborne is a C**t for going anywhere near you, but don’t worry. I will now use my online presence and blogging power to get that creep to back off and if anything start funding the absolutely crucial and brilliant service and resources we have in the NHS!

The only disappointment about Dylan being born at 2:42am was that Costa would not be open for another 4 odd hours and i was beginning to really flag. It wasn’t quite over for Danni i noticed as one of the midwives went back for some more vaginal action and started pulling on the visceral, duck egg blue umbilical cord! What was she doing? Well it turns out you give birth twice, once to a human and another time to a big blob of mass that used to be Dylans lunchbox everyday. We had ideas of eating the placenta but after seeing what looked like a grenade go off in my partners once sexiest bit, i was okay for Chips and Placenta so left that decision with Danni. She was okay too.

Dylan, beautiful blue-eyed boy. Born 21st January, 2:42am to his beautiful and brave mother Danielle Bloor. No wonder we celebrate birthdays, they really are momentous days. I feel like on that day we should also celebrate the mother and her poor vagina that had to go through hell in order for that human to be eating birthday cake. Maybe i will buy Danni’s vagina a bunch of flowers whilst shopping for Dylans birthday card, thats a nice thought, singing Happy “trauma” Birthday to Danni’s groin whilst rubbing soothing creme into it.

So thats it, we are parents. Future blogs are going to become slightly more broadchurch. If i’am to become a successful author and hit my target of 25 views by year end i need to start opening up my scope to encompass wider elements of fatherhood and the new world that i live in!

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Twitter: @chrishurrell84





Into the World – Part 1

Although writing this blog about what it was like to endure labour from the mans perspective, I’ve already made a massive mistake of assumption. Assuming that being a dad would give me plenty of time to make a coffee, cradle a child, stick on BBC Radio 6 and merrily tap away whilst simultaneously chopping up fresh veg to chuck in a slow cooker, await the partner to get home, revel in the glory of new age man and presumably be rewarded with some form of bedroom based eroticism was certainly the wrong assumption and evidently the polar opposite of my new reality.

So here i’am, week 5, sitting on a train back from college, with two eyeballs that are clinging onto the back of my skull for dear life, whilst i try and shake my brain to produce some form of sentence that i can tap onto the computer. Hell has arrived in the form of sleep deprivation, that is so horrendous that i envy Guantanamo bay inmates who are simply subject to occasional waterboarding and a friendly beating. Whereas for myself, iam not even sure what dimension i reside in and whether or not this is all lucid dream. Have you ever watched the film interstellar when he enters the 5th dimension? Its a bit like that, fuzzy, blurry and difficult to communicate with the three dimensional world. Everything is weird, and iam always a bit hot and uncomfortable or bloody freezing cold. Even so, i promised myself to document the trials and tribulations of fatherhood from day dot so i will push on despite the adverse writing conditions. Do not get your violins out just yet, a wee little disclaimer i feel i need to add is that if i think i have it tough, i do have to acknowledge the lady who not only is far more tired but has the added pressure of keeping the baby alive. The baby (Dylan), keeps my partner (Danni) very nervous. Constantly threatening to scream or defecate himself if it is not going his way. You would think breastfeeding would give you a 2 hour gap to re-cooperate but Dylan uses this time wisely to keep us on tenterhooks, and will loudly and proudly fill this time by filling his nappy or giving off the occasional death screech just to make sure that we are not enjoying an hour of continuous sleep.

So it was January the 20th when Labour kicked in, to be honest, a week overdue, this latest ‘claim’ that labour had begun (again) was treated with mild contempt by myself. I sort of nodded, gave the obligatory low level support and carried on with my morning. Everything is on an App these days so Danni was relying on the labour app to monitor the intensity and frequency of the contractions so i was obsolete at this stage. I used the time wisely to stare at the internet.

Before i go into detail i will give you a brief back story on our NCT classes, we didn’t do them. We made the ridiculous decision of going to Hypno-birthing classes. Thats right, Hypno-Birthing, that technique where you go inside yourself and meditate your overly large and overdue baby out of your overly small and narrow birth canal, with nothing but a whimper and push with the odd butterfly knocking about and the local fallow deer entering the labour room to eat up the placenta so that the circle of life may resume its merry course with mother nature herself whistling an ancient pagan tune!! Well that is how they portrayed it (or i may have made a slight disneyesque exaggeration to boost reader numbers to 22). My job when labour started was to set the scene in the labour room, you know, low level lighting, some yogic music, almost Ashram like as possible. Iam not trying to put off anybody doing Hypno-Birthing  by the way, as its a proven technique, but as a man, HAVE A PLAN B!! Your wife/partner does not even have to know about plan B (Plan B’s are seen as negative thoughts that can disrupt the positive mind-set of the mother dontcha know!), but plan B is a must otherwise if plan A does go wrong, you are up shit creek with nothing but a yoga matt and a Deepak Chopra calendar with positive quotes of the day!!

So the App decided we should ring the labour ward, which we did. We decided to birth at St Peters in Maldon. If you don’t know it, its like the set for ‘Call the midwife’. Externally Victorian with the interior to match, complete with freaky old school, front porch Texa’s rocking chair next to the bed just to make sure that if you want to get comfortable as the birth partner….you can’t. We were abruptly met with a smile by one of the cast members of ‘call the midwife’ too, bold as brass, like a second Generation WW2 child, who like people of that age always do, make some visceral claim to seeing a doodlebug at some point in the East End in Ninety forty never, but wait, she wasn’t a cast member, she was just an old school mid-wife. This did not bode well, i could feel it.

As you can imagine, the dinosaur mid-wife didn’t take to well too new age hypno-birthing and saw a chance to strike at me early and like people of that age do, like my grandad, of whom if i even whisper a personal dream or ambition he will destroy it with such ferocious realism, i always end up walking away licking my wounds and feeling childish for even daring to think big. She asked what Valsava breathing was (as per our birth plan), sensing a weak spot in my hypo knowledge……partner in pain, flustered and rushed, i failed. I shrugged my shoulders. The smirk on her face grew as she took the upper hand. New School 0, Old School 1. I knew she would be troublesome for us. She didn’t leave it there either, like a true old school machiavellian she wanted to finish me off and ultimately us until she had it her way with a pair of massive forceps and a plunger!

It is important in Hypno-Birthing that all conversations go through the birth partner, this protects the mothers neo cortex (thinking part) of the brain and allows complete meditation. Thats why she decided to ask Danni question after question involving people, jobs and places…she was toying with us. Like a Killer whale flipping a semi-conscious seal around in the ocean! Bitch. I couldn’t control her. She pointed out that my partner needed a pedicure, because thats important when your about to give birth, a fucking PEDICURE! She was relentless. We asked for one of the 4000 yoga mats they had in the next room that we had been practicing on for the last 4 months, but oh no, that would be a slight win for us, the midwife denied that these mats existed, i was confused, that was my one and only weak attempt at fighting back for control, like a true bully, she denied there existence, let the awkward silence engulf the room and then off she went. Our birth plan was also supposed to be drug free, the midwife’s eyes glistened when she saw that on the plan, i could tell she was banking that for later, but later became sooner as the contractions kicked in more frequently. “your not having pain relief drugs i see” she said whilst trying to hold down her delight at the wincing of Danni’s face. It was like a drug dealer hanging outside a rehab centre with a packet of heroine, taunting the ex-junkies as they came out. “How did rehab go, i see your on step 3, shame you don’t anymore, I’ve got shit loads of this free heroine i need to get rid of” whilst flicking the brown rock in its packet! She had us again, cornered and unsure with no defence, she was a pro. Little did we know Danni was Hyper-Contracting and had developed an infection, so we caved in and took the heroine (oramorph) to ease the pain. Hypo-birthing had died. The midwife, chest out like chief hen in the coup, waddling around all smug, parading around the room with syringes and 1940’s birthing tools!

Never was i so happy to hear that Danni had got that infection and was to be transferred to Broomfield Hospital. Shiny new age hospital with a Costa Cart and M&S (thats how i rate hospitals now). I followed the ambulance en route whilst Danni endured the dinosaur in the back of the ambulance. Never were we so relieved to know that the midwife was going home after the handover to the new hospital. I think she was genuinely disappointed that she could not finish off her kill and see Danni scream in pain or to see me breakdown in confusion and tears, iam pretty sure that is what she wanted. I will be sure to check she has retired before i even consider baby number 2.  Its like she wanted to single-handedly destroy the hypno-birthing movement and saw me as weak, easy prey. I was, and she won the battle but a whole war was coming.


Twitter: @chrishurrell84




Ive Just become a Dad and started blogging

Why? Well i need to do this shit now. I have become a dad, i spend a lot of time at home muttering what i think are humorous golden nuggets about situations brought about by fatherhood. So surely the world will want to hear my ramblings? Surely people want to hear what its like for modern day man to embark on fatherhood?

So where do i start? Well i bought a Macbook Air so far, I’ve taken it to a coffee shop to emulate those hipsters who stare deep into the abyss of their screens, looking very important and mysterious. I do not have any work like that to do, so i usually ended up on Facebook looking at everyone having a good time. Is everyone doing this? Behaving all mysterious? Trying to literally out ‘mystery’ each other in some kind of macbook ponzi scheme? But thats in the past. Ive found blogging. I first heard of blogging at festivals when young hip grungers were getting in free, all access wristbands because they were “bloggers”. Piss takers more like. They just got hammered day in day out, stayed as moody as possible until the MDMA kicked in and generally wandered around backstage areas taking wonky photos on their i-phones that they could then bastardise on instagram into some chic photoshoot, write a few notes, hashtag the fuck out of everything and carry on their merry VIP way. New age piss takers.

But now i get it, and i want to be one. A blogger. I racked my brain for inspiration. What am i good at? Not a lot it turns out. I wondered if i could blog about old passions i enjoyed at school but then worried i would sound like an out of touch old geezer that you can usually spot in a nightclub, you know the guy, you get talking to him and he has ‘lost all his friends’ but i should “add him on Facebook”….urghh, i cannot be that guy.

What about some of my friends, they are really talented and successful, maybe i should hang around them a bit more? Ive already started doing that cringey ‘like’ on every bloody sentence they spew on Facebook, hoping that it will make me in a small way a part of their success. Maybe i should hang out with them a bit more, get out my chequered shirt and blog about band stuff? No…its just not me. I have to accept that i’am pretty average as it goes, i never stick at anything and i’am in a constant mental battle, internally wrangling over my dead end, low paid career and why i didn’t do better for myself at school. Try and pick an interesting blog out of that!

But here is where things have changed. I have become a dad. I want to write about it. I want to tell the world the things it involves and maybe even encourage or prevent in some cases future dads coming to the fore!

So watch this space people (or do i mean no-one?…..i’am just on my bed writing this with no idea how i publish it or how i get people to read it), i will weekly blog about the pitfalls and successes of being a dad, and how it affects my whole world.

Starting with the grotesque and mind-blowing labour experience and ending somewhere not even i know, i shall share it with you. All the tears, all the fears and all the fun.

See you next week for part 1.