Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The birth (the good bit)

(Based on diary extract from 25/01/2011... actually it was written a few days later as I was in no state to be writing after birth!). 

...Neil held my right hand; the anaesthetist the left, as my body shuck uncontrollably. I presumed I must be nervous but the anaesthetist informed me it was due to the amount of drugs I'd had pumped round my body. Nice.
I felt the surgeon give one final tug, followed by a sound that I think will change me forever... A cry. Now don't get me wrong, I've heard lots of cries before and I'm sure I've heard plenty of babies in supermarkets screaming their lungs off and never once has it made me want to take them home with me. But this, this was something different; something spiritual, even. As I heard my baby take his first breath, my breath was simultaneously taken from me for a brief moment, followed by a gasp of emotion as strong as being hit by a tidal wave (I'd imagine). I will never forget that.
The next thing I'm waiting, trying to guess which side of the pale blue curtain separating us (and my insides) that they would bring him. It felt like ages. Is it a girl? A boy? Ginger?? Then I finally saw a baby being dangled into the air and a flash of his bollocks confirmed he was in fact a boy. I somehow knew he would be, though I can't exactly class myself a psychic with a 1 in 2 chance.
They rushed him off to check he was ok, and Neil went off to check, more importantly, whether he had inherited his beloved 'strawberry blonde' hair. Two minutes later and a very excited Neil came rushing back, holding him in a lion king pose. 'He's ginger!' he exclaimed proudly, as though he had indeed inherited his kingdom. The nurse gently laid my baby on my chest, wrapped in a white towel. He stared at me like he was an old soul - like he'd been here before or something. I spoke to him in what, looking back, was probably a very drunken manner because I can't remember much of it except the anaesthetist had a bemused look on his face and, in fact, so did my baby. I can still see his big dark blue eyes piercing me as I gabbled away to him. Everyone said I'd know what to call him when I saw him but I wasn't sure. I said 'Albie', partly because I loved it, partly because Neil wanted to name him after his Grandad and partly because it was either that or Wolfgang (no, Neil wasn't joking). But I loved the name Albie and he kind of looked like an Albert, which means "noble, bright and famous". Albert Joseph Maltby.

Albie's first feed
They took him off me and the surgeons sewed me back up casually as they listened to radio 2 and joked about Eastenders. Then they wheeled me into a little room followed by Albie who looked like a 'meals on wheels', except a little tastier. Speaking of which, the next highlight was getting a slice of toast and jam which was quite possibly the best meal I have ever had, considering I hadn't eaten in 18 hours. 

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