Birth of Tristan Chivers

After more than 12 hours’ labour, Emma gave birth to our third child today, a boy we have named Tristan Alexander Paddy Chivers.

He was born at 11:45 this morning and weighed in at 3.3 kg (or 7lb 4 oz in old money). I am of course duty bound to say that he’s a little cutie.

We went up to the hospital at just before midnight last night, following the onset of contractions and Emma was initially examined to see how far the baby had progressed. The verdict was ‘-3 cm’ and we were advised that it would probably be worth returning home and waiting until the contractions were much more severe before coming in, given how near we live to the hospital. So we went home, only to return less than an hour later, following what were to Emma some quite severe contractions.

She was examined again and indeed the baby had made quite some movement, so we stayed at the hospital. For the rest of the night very little movement occurred and the contractions were extremely irregular. By the time dawn came, we had both been awake for 24 hours and were pretty much exhausted. We were handed over to the next midwife shift and were looked after by a qualified midwide, Amanda and a student midwife, Jayne.

Amanda and Jayne (and all the other midwives who looked after us) were absolutely fantastic and were happy to ply us with hot drinks in addition to all their midwifery duties. They went out of their way to make Emma feel comfortable and really did a marvelous job all round.

From the early hours of the morning until mid morning, there was very little movement and the contractions were quite irregular.

By 11:00, the doctor on duty advised the midwives to try to move the contractions on using the hormone Syntosin and Emma also asked for pethadine as a pain killer. In the event, once the Syntosin and Pethadine had been administered, things moved along very quickly. At 11:45, Emma suddenly said that she felt she wanted to push and within a minute the baby was born – an extremely quick birth once it was underway. Emma was fantastic and the midwives commented on how easy she made it look.

Once things had settled down and Emma had had a bath I made a few phone calls to family, came home, had a shower, and grabbed a couple of hours’ sleep. Emma’s mum, Joyce, who is staying with us at the moment to help out, very kindly picked up the girls from school whilst I grabbed this opportunity before I returned to pick up Emma and Tristan from the hospital this evening. The orthopaedic doctor checked him over and then we were allowed to go.

I filmed the girls’ first meeting with their new baby brother and Joyce’s first meeting with her grandson.

I’ve got nothing but praise for the professionalism and skills of the labour ward staff at George Eliot hospital.

A wonderful day, witnessing the birth of a new life and our first son. I’m absolutely exhausted and am going to turn in very soon to catch up on some sleep, assuming that Tristan consents to oblige!

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Beneva support Captain at the Barfly, Birmingham

I session drummed for Beneva at the Barfly in Birmingham on Friday night, in support of Captain. The gig went really well, the venue was pretty full and the crowd were very much into the music.

We played for about half an hour and the audience visibly moved to the front to be closer to the stage. The sound engineer did a great job from what we could hear and didn’t moan about my brass snare drum (which has a very metalic ‘pang’ sound to it that some sound engineers hate) nor my unmuffled toms. As time goes on, I realise that the good sound engineers with decent equipment know how to deal with proper drums – in the old days they asked you to put gaffa tape all over the kit, which may have made their lives much easier, but left the drum kit sounding like a set of cardboard boxes – yuck!

Captain seemed a little distant at first, except the keyboard player, Clare Szembek, who was very open and friendly. We feared a bit of the traditional snobbery that goes with being the headline act, but actually, as I returned to the back-stage area from the stage, I wished them a good gig and they gave a cheery ‘thanks, you too!’ response. The guitarist, Mario Athanasiou, seemed a little full of himself and ignorant to everyone outside the band, but it was his birthday and he seemingly had other things planned, such as seeking out the pleasure highlights of Birmingham.

We had extremely positive feedback from the audience after the gig for the Beneva set and many people clearly like the material that Malc and Nathan have written.

Captain themselves were excellent on stage. They’re all clearly very competent musicians and I particularly appreciated that Clare, the keyboard player, switched to accordion for a couple of numbers and the bass player, Alex Yeoman, switched to playing bass on keyboard – nice touches. The drummer, Reuben Humphries, is a very good drummer who adds just the right amount of interest to standard beats without going over the top. He’s also responsible for writing the band’s most recent single, ‘Keep An Open Mind’, which has been plaguing me since I heard it!

They seem to have a good work ethic from what I could see and from what I’ve read, and a very down-to-earth approach to the music business. If they don’t get caught up in the bad side of the music business and fall into the wasteful world of drugs, which has killed off many a good band, I think they’ll be around for some time. They deserve to be, because they’re the most original pop band I’ve heard in a long time.

For Beneva’s part, we had a great night all round and met some very nice people after the gig. Chris (ex BAiT colleague) came along and managed to get some good pictures too.