Hello everyone, I have to apologize for taking so long to post this big announcement. This is Andrew by the way. I’m guest writing on our blog while Sara recuperates, and it’s my fault that it took a month to get this announcement posted. Anyway, the big day that we have been anticipating and for which we have been preparing for 9+ months finally arrived on September 3 when Adam Benjamin Stamp was born! Mamma and baby are doing great and we are all very happy to welcome this sweet little baby into our family. Although he wasn’t technically due until September 5 we initially thought that Pico (his nickame, short for “piccolo” which means “small” in Italian) might come several weeks earlier and we were already starting to get ready for his arrival as early as the middle of August. Sara woke up one warm August morning and started panicking because we didn’t have any blankets for the baby. I thought she was overreacting and I told her that she needn’t worry, we had lots of time to get blankets for him. Mistake number 1: don’t argue with a nesting, pregnant woman. After she finished biting my head off we jumped into the car and set out in search of blankets for this poor little baby who was destined to come into the world all cold and unloved. Thankfully Mothercare always keeps a good number of baby blankets in stock, and soon the little moses basket in our room was made up nicely and waiting for baby’s not-yet imminent arrival. As late as the end of August baby was still shifting around in the womb, trying to find a comfortable position. He put himself in and out of breech position more times than we cared to count. Sara could usually tell what position he was in at any given time by how easily she was able to go to the bathroom. A nice long wee usually meant he was bum down, where normal baby position was marked by short and frequent trips to the ladies room. Finally baby settled on a nice head down position, and by the last few days of August Sara was starting to feel contraction-like pains. Very (very!) early in the morning on the 2nd of September Sara woke me up and said the contractions were becoming much more regular and she thought maybe it might be time to head up to the hospital. Despite being mostly asleep still I was very excited! I dressed quickly and went to look for the hospital bag that Sara had packed the week before. We woke the girls, told them where we were going and that we’d call them when the magical moment happened, and then headed out to the hospital. I have to admit at this point that it was only by the grace of God that Sara didn’t have to drive herself to the maternity ward that day. Our car here has manual transmission, something I had never really learned how to drive properly since most cars in the U.S. are automatic. When Sara’s father came to visit the previous week he insisted on taking me out to practice driving the car, something I resisted as tersely as I could. But despite my best efforts to avoid it, after a short time he had me driving our car fairly well. So by the time that we were ready to go up to the hospital, I was able to use the manual transmission well enough to drive up there. We spent several hours in that cold, lonely delivery room with Sara hooked up to a fetal monitor and doing her best to keep her spirits up. By around 5:00 am, however, the midwife informed us that Sara was only 2cm dilated and that the contractions just weren’t regular enough for delivery to be imminent, so she sent us home. That was a bit disheartening for both of us, as we were so sure that baby was finally on his way, so Sara decided that evening that she was going to walk baby out. We started out on foot and traversed almost the whole of East Finchley. We walked until she could walk no more. Sure enough, very very early that next morning I was awaken by Sara in a frenzy of pain and contractions. She said she needed pain killers right away, and we had to go to the hospital and get them for her whether baby was ready to come out or not. I called up the maternity ward again to tell them we were on our way, but the midwife informed me that they were full and had closed the unit to any newcomers. I wasn’t quite sure what to do at this point, as Sara didn’t look like someone who could wait for much longer. The midwife was very helpful, however, and she found us an opening at another hospital that was a bit farther away. I had never been to that other hospital before, so at 2:30 in the morning I was driving around North London with Sara screaming in pain in the seat next to me and I trying to understand the Google Map I had pulled up on my phone. Luckily Sara had been up to that same hospital just a week before to take a friend of hers there for an appointment, so between contractions she helped me figure out which roads to take. At this point Sara was in so much pain she could barely stand up. She literally crawled into the delivery room, and when the midwife came in to examine her she found her huddled in a ball on the floor. The midwife (who wasn’t known for her bedside manner) told Sara to get up on the table/bed thing so she could examine her. Sara told her that she couldn’t move until she got some pain killers, and the midwife told her that she couldn’t get any pain killers until she was examined. Somehow Sara managed to get up onto the bed, and after a rough but quick examination the midwife informed Sara that she was 7 cm dilated. After that she was given some gas and air (a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide) and her pain was dulled a bit. Unfortunately the gas and air also managed to knock her out completely, and for the rest of the delivery Sara resembled a person in a coma. She was physically there but her mind was somewhere else completely. She still kept at it, though, and soon she felt the need to start pushing. The midwife told her not to push because the baby was coming out too low (whatever that means), but when the instinct to push comes how do you ignore it? The doctor was called in and determined that Sara was fully dilated and ready to deliver. But then he told her that he would be back in an hour and would deliver the baby then. All throughout the morning Sara, still completely out of it, was telling the midwife that the baby wasn’t moving and to please deliver him via cesarian. She even had a few choice words for the midwife, which I won’t record here (this is a family blog after all, there are children present!). Despite the doctor saying it wasn’t time to deliver yet and the midwife saying not to push, Sara went on pushing. The midwife was frantic, afraid that Sara would tear something delicate, but she went on pushing. Then one big push and suddenly, in the midst of gushing amniotic fluid and blood, a blue and purple lump sloshed onto the bed. It was a baby! He was silent for a second, then he began to whimper and then to cry. We were all in shock. We always knew there was a baby inside that bump, but seeing there now, in the flesh and terribly vulnerable, made it suddenly very real. The midwife wrapped the baby in the blanket and handed him to Sara, who now seemed a bit more lucid. I was waiting to cut the umbilical cord, but somewhere in the flurry of delivery someone else must have done it. Oh well, I’ll get the next one.

possibly Adam's first picture

Adam was born on the 3rd of September at 7.20 weighing 6'1 or 2.780 kg.
After Sara and I both held baby for a while we decided to call the girls and let them know they have a new baby brother. I called a taxi to bring them up to the hospital, and soon the whole family was together enjoying the presence of it’s newest member.Because of the risk he may have contracted Strep B, baby Adam was kept in the hospital for a few days for observation to make sure everything was ok. We were sad at first that we couldn’t bring him home right away, but in the end Sara was happy for a few extra days to lie back and recuperate from the delivery.
A few days later Pico’s test results came back negative and he was cleared to go home. Hooray! It was definitely a big change having a new baby in the house, but we’re all so happy to have him here we don’t mind a bit of change. Kim and Lilly are wonderful big sisters and are very helpful with him. We are extremely humbled and grateful that God sent us this beautiful baby boy, and are looking forward to an eternity together of growing, bonding and loving.
get ready for..."Pico Time!"

big proud sister #1!
big proud sister #2!

burrito baby!

exhausted but happy daddy with Pico, still in the delivery room!