Two weeks ago, I had another baby boy. No surprises there, I guess. My imaginary daughter named Goldie will have to stay imaginary, because we’ve been given a very lovely alternative.
After the doctor accidentally broke my waters on the due date, and after me puking on the street and wetting my one remaining pair of maternity trousers on the walk home, and after a post-school, pre-hospital heated family argument involving the skewed attitude of teenage boys and featuring finger-wagging and quite a lot of comedy-esque mid-shout contracting, we went up to the hospital again where the contractions began to wear off and I became worried that I had, indeed, become an anxious first time labouring mother all over again, mistaking puny little are-they-aren’t-they? cramps for the real thing. I did some furious pacing around the hospital bed perimeters and some jumping for about five and a half hours to keep up the momentum and three quick pushes after that, we got this guy:
The initial OH, NOT ANOTHER BABY BOY wore off after a few minutes, and so did all of my 40- weeks-long anxiety that having another baby was a terrible, selfish, greedy, deluded mistake. As it turns out, it is a lovely, lucky, profound privilege to have another baby. I had forgotten that bit.
Here I am, post-shower, post-up-all-night the morning after delivery, sniffing the little velvety head and attempting to find my pelvic floor muscles. In an astonishing turn of events, I found them. Who knew that giving birth got a bit easier on the old 41 year old body by the sixth time?
His name is Remi Scout – a name largely cobbled together after I asked the concerned Instagram community what might be a good boy’s name just in case it turned out that a silken haired, fragrant little Goldie wasn’t on the cards. Remi feels a little bit French, good for both a cute little boy and a fanciable man (am I allowed to say that?) and Scout is the name the boys were most keen on. They think Remi is a bit awful, and were quite adamant about it – Otis even suggested that the baby cried for the sole reason that his name was so bad.
But they are over it now and are all very keen to hold him and cuddle him and settle him back to sleep. They like choosing his ‘costumes’ especially. There was some initial enthusiasm for helping with nappies but they’ve moved on from that – any hint of a baby fart and they are outta there.
Boys with their newest brother:
Oh, it makes my milk go just by watching that. Speaking of the boobs, at the latch-on, those nipples feel like someone is chopping them off with a blunt knife – even after six goes at it. It’s all winced-face and breathing through it, which feels a bit dramatic but is entirely necessary. Getting out of the shower is a trial, with my nipples as pointy as a pinky finger and accessorised by scabby bits that scrape against the towel, sending me into a World Of Momentary Pain and Swearing. There are disposable knickers in my world now, and a pouchy shelf for a stomach (good to balance the chomping razor-gummed baby on), puffy eyes and a bit of delusional glazed-eyes ranting whenever anyone asks me a benign question. I also cry quite a bit – today, I went to the Registrar’s Office to register the birth and when the poor man asked me how to spell my husband’s surname, my voice caught in a sob on the third letter. At the time, it felt like a very profound question, all right?
Current state of postpartum face (notice especially the under-eye situation):
Also, the birth seems to have given me a new crop of short, wiry grey hairs, hormonal spots, split ends and a persistent cough. Want to wake up the baby? Have a tickly 3am throat! IT WORKS WONDERS.
Here is my most treasured photo of the new baby – the one where he undeniably looks like David Jason as Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses. His knitted cap was made by Mark’s lovely nana twenty years ago – she made a whole lot of lovely things for her future great grandchildren and we got a stash. Have you ever seen anything more fantastic? And that face – that FACE! And more to follow…..
David Jason doppleganger situation: