My phone buzzed at around 5.30 this morning as I had it on mute. I had gone to bed later than usual as my brother had sent me a text to let me know his first child appeared to be close to making an entrance.
Like many first babies, he was taking his sweet time about it. At one week overdue, they had already been in to see if he could be coaxed out using a technique that sounded a bit like trout tickling, but was apparently a lot more painful. They were sent home and told to come back a few days later, only to be told the hospital was busy and they needed to wait another 24 hours. This delay in proceedings did not appear to bother baby in the slightest, who seemed quite happy to stay where he was, but it was a little frustrating for mum and dad.
Last night, though things seemed to be happening and before the full induction which had been scheduled was due to take place, he took matters into his own tiny hands and decided it was time. I had sent my brother a text message to ask what the reading on machine that measures contractions was, and got a hurried reply to say they were, ‘waaaaaay beyond that.’ Then silence – which seemed to indicate that he had his hands rather full doing whatever jobs they give expectant fathers to do these days, while the mother turns into a thing possessed and blames them for everything from their current state of extreme pain to climate change.
As I live 4000 Kms away from them, there was little practical assistance I could offer, so went to bed and kept half an ear cocked for my phone’s vibration that might tell me something had emerged. Finally, at half past five his partner sent through the first images of their newborn, complete with huge smile and dashing red mark from the forceps which had to be used to help him out, and which they have been assured will fade.
I was twelve when my youngest brother was born and remember very well visiting my mother in the hospital to visit the newest member of the family. To see the baby I helped to feed and whose nappies I helped to change standing with his own child in his arms was like watching some weird meta circle swing around in a big arc. I won’t be the first person to wonder where all the time in between has gone. My mother and father now have their first grandchild and my baby brother is now a dad. Meanwhile, I get to be the mad aunt – a win-win all around, I think.
Hopefully, if all goes well we will meet him in a matter of weeks when they all come over for an extended Xmas visit. Usually, my dogs are the cutest things in the festive pics, but I have a feeling this year they will have to take second place.
But for now, it is nice to finally put a face to the little chap whose image we have only so far seen rendered in scans. The next decision will be choosing his name – they wanted to meet him before deciding and hopefully getting a final good night’s sleep before they bring him home and learn that the reason babies sleep all day, is so they can keep you up all night. Happy birth day, little nephew, and welcome to the world.