When the little ‘un came

We have recently let out the family holiday rental flat in Edinburgh to eight people from the Scottish Highlands for a stay of three nights so that they can attend the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston, near Edinburgh, in the forthcoming few days. The thought of the Royal Highland Show brings back many memories indeed and I cannot remember any ‘show’ that I have enjoyed so thoroughly and also brought so much more into my life!

Sample the food in the Food Hall. If you haven’t brought lunch with you, this is a great place to buy and taste some fantastic home cooking! This is a photo by Karen Miller taken in 2010. Certainly the food presented in the Food Hall in the 1990s was excellent! (www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radioscotland/2010/06/royal-highland-show-first-impr.shtml.)

Hubby and I and our older son attended our first Royal Highland Show when the little one was still in a buggy. It was great fun! Although the Royal Highland Show caters primarily to the agricultural and farming communities, city slickers like us interested in all things rural, homely, and good to eat (!) also greatly enjoyed the event. All of us took delight in trying out the wonderful farm foods, browsing through weather-proof clothing, quality kitchenware, creative home goods and other goods associated with farming. In fact, we came away with a grill pan which I have to this day – 18 years after the event!

Highland Cattle: one of the attractions of the Royal Highland Show in Ingliston, outside Edinburgh. The Show ‘includes a huge variety of events, such as pedigree livestock judging; show jumping; and agricultural displays over a period of five days.’ (Photo and quote courtesy of www.edinburgh.com/edinburgh_detail_1116_royal_highland_show.html.)

We could not wait for the Royal Highland Show to come to town again the next year; and when it did arrive, I was probably as excited about going to the show as my 2.5 year-old, who remembered playing on the huge tractors and climbing in and out of the Land Rovers parked up in the section where vehicle and farming equipment displays and sales were held. I could not wait to go back and try out more of the goodies and to watch the various shows, browse the stalls, look at the animals, and generally to enjoy a busy but exhilarating day out.

Of boys and their toys! Hubby and Sonny certainly enjoyed checking out these heavy duty vehicles! (Photo courtesy of www.events-in-edinburgh.co.uk/event-detail/Royal-Highland-Show-245.)

The year before, we had set out early and had spent the whole day at the Show. This year was to be no different. Hubby and I wanted to get there early because we knew there would be lots to see and do. However, this year, we had company: Hubby, Sonny and I went to the Royal Highland Show accompanied by a 6-month old Bump.

We arrived at the show around 9 am and were one of the last stragglers to leave the event. That night, with feet so tired I could barely drag them across the floor and a young child to see to who was still highly animated if exhausted after an exciting day out, I finally fell into bed around 11 pm. It was a nice kind of tiredness and I was hopeful that Sonny would sleep through the night for once.

Around midnight and I was still awake. In my lower abdomen was a certain kind of kneading that did not feel quite right. Hubby was snoring away and Sonny too. Finally, at 12:30 am, I nudged Hubby and told him that I thought the baby was coming. He muttered something unintelligible and then quite clearly told me to go back to sleep.

Of course I could not rest. The contractions were recurring and although Baby was not expected until September, it seemed quite certain that he wanted to make his presence felt. Five minutes later, and I was dialling my doctor’s number. Thankfully, my doctor was more wide awake than Hubby. She said that we had to go straight to hospital and she would arrange an emergency admission for me.

Trying to walk down three flights of stairs when one is gasping with pain is not pleasant. Then Hubby had to hoist me up into the passenger seat of the Land Rover. Meanwhile, thankfully Sis was staying with us and we left Sonny to sleep on with her in attendance.

Of course the doctors were alarmed and tried to stop the little ‘un from arriving so early. However, try as they might, he arrived 24 hours later. Sonny had taken 48 hours to arrive, so Baby’s 12-hour journey was a blessing in disguise. Unfortunately, he was too close to arrival for me to be given any painkillers, so I only had gas and air to help dull the pain.

Thus the Royal Highland Show 18 years ago brought Hubby and me more joy than we could possibly have hoped for simply by attending the event. Baby had to stay in hospital until September before he was allowed to go home, and inbetween we almost lost him to NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis). But the Lord was good to us and despite all the ups and downs, Baby is now well grown at over 6’ tall and healthy into the bargain!

This year, 2012, the Royal Highland Show can be enjoyed at Ingliston, just outside Edinburgh, from 21st-24th June. We will always have fond memories of this grand Show and hope to visit again one day. (Photo courtesy of http://royalhighlandshow.org.)

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