tiny hint that anything might be 'different' was that we got called back in for a 35-week scan, to check on the size of one of his kidneys, which was dilated at 20 weeks. At this second scan they said it was all fine, and as a bonus I got to see my Tom close up too! The one thing they said was that 'he' was quite likely to be a boy (we had wanted to find out but he hadn't performed at the earlier scan!!), because most babies who have a dilated kidney tend to be boys - for some reason... From then on, 'petit pois' was known in my heart as Thomas.
I got to 42 weeks, and at this point they decided it would be wise to induce me before I burst open!
It was hideous, and I had virtually no pain relief. Of my three deliveries, Tom's was the most painful, the quickest and most dramatic. Once my body got going, Thomas was born within a few hours. The midwife looking after me didn't even manage to get me up to a proper delivery room, and she was hardly even in the room when I pushed him out! I think she was quite panicked, as I was screaming for pain relief, and they were very short staffed... I might well have pushed her over the edge, and for all I know, she may have subsequently quit, deciding midwifery wasn't 'for her'. I would have agreed with her.
Tom was out, and scored pretty well on the Apgar scale - once he had been resuscitated... He came out blue, and I remember Mark having to scream down the corridor for a resuscitaire to be wheeled in as swiftly as possible, and please would someone come and help! They eventually cleaned him out, and handed him to me, a little pixie of a baby with gingery hair and a cute little button nose. After taking one look at him, I know my first thought was that he wasn't nearly as handsome as Samuel had been at birth, and to be frank, I was more than a little disappointed...
However by the time he was all snuggled up and feeding on me, I was in love! This little boy, who had promptly emptied his bladder on me as soon as he'd come out, was my own; he looked possibly a bit 'odd', but he was my son.