Monday, August 29, 2011

Can it really be...?

It's Son's 27th birthday (Happy Birthday, Son) but he's not here. He's having a few days off in the Lake District. According to the weather forecast, it might not be raining. This is him a few weeks ago, giving his nephew a professional (washed) pinkie to cheer him up.

Here, never before published (world exclusive) is an extract from my diary, written slightly post-event:

7 September 1984

... Anyway, around 6.15 am - ish, I suppose, I began the second stage of labour and felt the possibility of pushing and [Son] was born at 6.42 am. The cord was wrapped round his neck. The midwife tried to untangle it but couldn't, so cut it, and so he started crying when only his head was born - which was weird but quite encouraging.

He was born a bit chilled so was taken away to spend the morning in an incubator, but not before he'd had various cuddles and a little feed.... He's beautiful - quite perfect, no missing limbs or birthmarks or anything. He's very like [Daughter 2] at that age - a slightly longer head and bigger nose, but otherwise her spitting image... .

Well, I suppose he still has a longer head and bigger nose than Daughter 2 (who has quite a small head, with nose to match) but he doesn't look like her any more, I don't think, apart from the thick, dark, wavy hair. And he doesn't have a big nose - in fact it's rather an elegant one, I think.

It doesn't seem 27 years. And I would wish that I was back there again if I didn't have the diary to remind me that it was quite hard work:

15 October 1984

[Son] has now (famous last words) started sleeping through the night. He went on waking twice a night for four weeks, which was somewhat tedious, but then took to waking just once, and in the last week this has changed from being 4ish to being - today - 7.30. However, at the moment it's midnight and [Daughter 2] is coughing away, which makes me wonder if the night is actually going to be unbroken. Both she and [Daughter 1] have been waking occasionally, [Daughter 1] with night terrors.

But then, there's -

January 9, 1985

[Son] - I adore him. He has a lovely little, smooth, soft, bouncy face, with a dimple in his left cheek when he smiles, which he does a lot. I love carrying him around. He's at the stage when he just leans against you in a relaxed way, not struggling to get down. I can't help being surprised that I'm so besotted with a boy. I really did think girl babies were much nicer!

I did indeed think girl babies were nicer, just because I loved my own girls. I mean, I knew it was silly; but I felt it all the same - until I had my son, at which point I fully saw the charms of boy babies. Ah, nature, how it programmes us to nurture our young!


  1. well, now ... happy 27th birthday to Dr. Uncle ... and kudos to his besotted mother for a job well done.

  2. God laughed at me too and gave me a son after two girls. So glad to be able to enjoy both sorts lol. Happy Birthday to him and hugs to his nephew.

  3. How lovely.......and thank goodness nature does programme us that way.

  4. We are extremely biased in whatever Nature bestows on us. And nature does make us totally besotted with whatever we get (as a rule). Protect and love this baby, it says to us.
    When I was having my babies people generally expected that having a boy was preferable to having a girl, particularly for the first baby. My first successful pregnancy resulted in a daughter and, and so did the next. People used to ask mothers of daughters whether the husbands were disappointed. When my son was born, his paternal grandfather bestowed on the proud father a bottle of whisky in celebration. I felt a bit miffed by that - it seemed to devalue my daughters.

  5. Yes indeed. Our boys have reached the ripe old age of 27 -- seems impossible, doesn't it? You have the perfect family Isabelle. Two girls and a boy! I'll always be so very sad that I didn't get a girl in my mix, but I'm very hopeful that someday there will be a little pink grandbaby!

  6. Happy birthday to him. I think it's lovely that you wrote about it in a journal.