Friday, March 10, 2006

Baby Talk

It has finally happened: Lady Sterne and I have a new baby daughter, Charlotte Grace, born at 4:29 p.m., Thursday March 9. Everything went well, and mother and baby are both happy and healthy. Father is pretty damn good, too.

I don't want to write too much about this lest I lose my reputation for reserved cynicism, but participating in the birth of your child is both bizarre and wonderful. Labour is hour upon hour of hell, and I doubt I will ever see a gutsier performance than Lady Sterne's over the thirty-six hours (I'll say that again: thirty-six hours!) preceding Charlotte's birth. Not only did she go without drugs, but she also refrained from swearing - I would have cursed a blue streak, whatever that means. She did lose her sense of humour, though. Frankly, so did I.

Then the big moment arrives, and instead of screwing up her face in agony, she is smiling, and you are smiling, and there's this squirming, soggy purply-pink thing in your arms, and after a minute or two of disbelief (and maybe a few tears - but I'm still tough, come on, who wants to fight!), you realise this is your baby. All the pain and anxiety is gone, and your life has changed forever.

Now that Charlotte has been born, I have a number of wishes:
  1. I wish that people would stop telling me their birth stories. Over the past nine months, I have heard hundreds tales of unimaginable horror, often from complete strangers. I have put up with it out of politeness, but now I am over it. Keep your stitches and your stirrups and your meddling student midwives to yourselves, thanks.
  2. I wish that the word "mucas" never be used in my hearing, except in the context of teasing somebody named Lucas.
  3. I wish for an end to this "you just wait until" business. As in, "You just wait until you're up at three in the morning, changing nappies and feeding and the baby is vomiting on the cat and", etc., etc. There's nothing more annoying to new parents than these smug cautions, especially since I already have a seven-year-old and know perfectly well how difficult parenthood can be! Some people have a baby and they think they know it all. They are obviously yet to learn the fundamental lesson of parenthood, which is: you know nothing!
Anyway, I'm off to the hospital. Here's a photo of me, Charlotte, and my brother, Chris.

Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of PBL Ltd. Look for the exclusive inside story of Charlotte Sterne's birth and a special five page photo spread in this week's Woman's Day.

17 comments:

LadyCracker said...

OH My! How Exciting! Congratulations!

Lucy Tartan said...

Wonderful news, congratulations to all of you! Charlotte Grace is a beautiful name.

TimT said...

Congratulations! (Would have preferred a more minute description, though - more blood and guts always ups the ratings, don't you know - but can understand that you may be over it ...) Great news, and thirty-six hours is a MAMMOTH effort!

MrLefty said...

That's fantastic. Congratulations to you both!

Beth said...

Congratulations Tim and Lady Sterne, and a big welcome to little Charlotte. How excitement.

Zoe said...

Congratulations, you lucky people.

Promise to call her "Princess" loudly and in public when she is in high school.

Tim said...

Thanks everyone. I'd just like to announce that from today Sterne will cease to be Australia's premier satirical and cultural blog (as voted by the Academy of Jon & Tim) and become a place where parents of all backgrounds (but no homos or lezzos, thanks!) can gather to use the word "poop".

Shiju Sugunan said...

Congratulations to both of you. Really fascinating!!

JPW said...

As you probably know, I am totally opposed to the idea of more people. Nevertheless, my wife has begun her clucking phase, and I fear that despite my ethical metaphysics, I may soon be travelling the same path.

Hearty and sincere congratulations, to you and to your wife. May Charlotte Grace live a long and happy and fruitful life - and not turn into an enormously snobby lit-prick like you.

Does this mean you can now strand the missus at home, with the screaming, and nip out for a cuppa?

TimT said...

Does this mean you can now strand the missus at home, with the screaming, and nip out for a cuppa?

I like the last part of that suggestion. We should totally celebrate.

russ said...

Tim, congratulations to yourself and Lady Sterne. That's excellent.

You aren't the first person I've heard complain about horror stories. Perhaps you should change the trend by telling people about all the easy births... "oh, I have a friend, took 20 minutes, had a coffee straight after. Said it was one of the most relaxed mornings they can remember."

JPW said...

Russ: Heh, yeah. "Slid right out and she was able to get back into work in the afternoon."

TimT: I concur so strongly that I completely agree. We must arrange venues, schedules, etc. I want to bring you guys and bunch of poems that I wrote when I was, uh, nine, and see what you think about them. We don't need to talk or anything. You can just read my poetry.

Caz said...

Just visiting from TimT's place; good to hear that bub arrived safely.

I've never really understood the whole "wait until ..."; and worse still is that it goes on forever; it's not just the baby period. Eg, "ooh, they might be cute now, but wait until they're teenagers". It would seem no matter the age of the child, there's some "horror" waiting around the corner for unsuspecting parents. It mostly seems to be wishful thinking on the part of the person conveying the "warning".

But, back to the point: "wait until ...". And what? You'll send the baby back and ask for a refund? Sheesh.

36 hr labor? Ha! That's nothing! I was in labor for about 85 hrs (not joking), eventually resulting in a natural birth, if an 85 hr labor could be considered to be in any way "natural". Sorry, had to throw that in, can't help myself. At least I'm leaving out all the gory bits.

Tim said...

85 hours? You women are so competitive!

A celebration sounds nice, but for now I just want to sleep. However Charlotte will be coming home tonight, so sleep may not be an option. ("Just you wait..." etc.) Maybe in a week or two when we're a bit more settled.

TimT said...

... true, you'll need two weeks or so to buy all those Havana cigars ...

UnderCrackers said...

Congrats...nuff said.

Guy said...

Congratulations!