I have a son now.
That’s a strange thing to write, even though it was always the logical conclusion of all this. Maybe the dissonance is because what I really have is a baby, who happens to be male. I feel like the son part comes later, when he becomes more of a distinct person, rather than this functioning, information-absorbing blank being in miniature.
In any case, he’s perched on my chest as I write this, wrapped in a sling. My iPad is on my lap, and my wife is upstairs with the dog, having a much-needed nap. I’m taking this opportunity to write to you while I wait for the tumble dryer to finish what has become it’s once– or twice–daily cycle. Our lives have become smaller, and both regimented in content but also enormously variable in schedule.
She was in labour for thirty-six hours. We went to the hospital twice; the first time for pain relief and the second time for the main event, about twelve hours apart. After admission, it was still more than fourteen hours until the baby arrived. Throughout, we were treated wonderfully by the staff, with our own delivery room and dedicated midwives who were with us — and only us — the whole time. I think we were alone for perhaps five minutes during our entire stay in the labour ward.
They made it clear that everything was our own choice, and that there were always options. They followed our birth plan whenever practical, and they kept us informed as things moved forward.
Even so, we ran into some difficulties.