Memoir of an exceedingly hectic day

Bear with me, folks, this is going to be long-winded.

As some of you will know, Lone and I have been expecting our third son for some time now. In fact, we'd been told to expect him over a week ago - so we were sort of waiting for things to start occurring in the natural way.

This morning, Nature decided to oblige us. Before dawn, Lone felt the first pangs of labour, and woke me. According to our carefully-laid plans, we prepared the older kids for school and kindergarten, the intention being for me to deliver them and return, to take Lone to the hospital's maternity ward. The plan was then for the kids to be picked up from school and kindergarten by their maternal grandparents, who would take care of them over the weekend, so Lone and I could handle the arrival of Son Number Three.

I don't remember exactly, but I believe it was Dwight D. Eisenhower who said that no plan of battle survives contact with the enemy...

With Lone's labour pangs cresting faster than expected, we packed her into a taxi bound for the hospital, while I stuffed the kids in our bicycle and pedalled like a man pursued by demons. On a good day, I can handle delivery of the kids to their respective locations in less than an hour - this morning, it took me 32 minutes.

I arrived at the hospital around 8.30, just in time to take part in the actual delivery, which was over and done with by 9.40, a little less than 5 hours after the first twinge hit Lone. Makes me think of the slogan.

Anyway, there he was:

Herluf Elias Ravn Rasmussen Sewerin
Weight 3680 grams
Length 53 centimeters

...a strong, healthy, and unusually good-looking baby. He was active and aware from the very beginning (so much so that the midwife and nurse decided they didn't need to bother with determing an apgar score). He let out his first croaking yell while he was still in the process of emerging from his mother ("Uhh, he's not supposed to be able to do that yet," quoth the midwife).

Since the delivery was over so fast, we decided to change our plans. Instead, after a couple of hours of recovery time with Lone and Herluf, I went off to pick up the kids - and we arranged for the grandparents to meet us at the hospital instead.

All went well, including a whistletop visit from Lone's kid brother Anders (on his way to the airport to catch a plane to Budapest). Around 16.30, the kids' grandparents showed up, and we were enjoying ourselves very well, with cake and champagne and candy and stuff, when accident struck.

Excited and overtired, Son Number Two, Noah, had climbed up on a chair, which promptly tipped over. With nobody in a position to catch him, Noah collided headfirst with another chair. When we picked him up, he was bleeding profusely from his mouth, and crying buckets.

The hospital (Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen) is a teaching hospital, and as such has one of the very best emergency rooms in the kingdom. Unfortunately, it's a closed ER, with access only for serious trauma cases - all others go to the other hospitals, the nearest of which is across town.

Fortunately, there's an exception to the rule - hospital staff, and people who are already admitted to the hospital as patients, and their visitors, are allowed provisional access to the ER regardless of the seriousness of the injury. For us, this meant that we got instant access to an excellent surgical and dental-care staff.

Even more fortunately, Noah's injuries proved to be less severe than they immediately appeared. Nothing was broken, no teeth knocked out. The only real injury was to Noah's front tooth (a milk tooth, thank the benign Divine), which had been displaced upward into the gums, though without apparent damage to the tooth buds of the permanent teeth. Some dental surgery later, the tooth had been moved back into place, glued to its neighbours with fixative, and secured with sutures.

Throughout the operation, Noah endured everything with more calm and trust than any normal child might be expected to display. He's a plucky little fellow, to be sure.

After he'd been patched up, Noah and I went back upstairs to reassure his distraught mother and say goodnight to his new little brother. We then to a cab back to our apartment, where his grandparents and elder brother waited for more news. Likewise reassured, they took Lucas off for the weekeend, while I put Noah to bed in his parents' double bed.

Tonight, Noah sleeps in our bed (and when I sleep, later, I will cuddle him very carefully). Lucas, no doubt, sleeps with his grandparents, and Herluf sleeps with his mother.

A very hectic day indeed.

Let us hope that the rest of the weekend, and Easter, proceed in a less dramatic fashion.