Saturday, July 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Britboy!

July is hot. Was hot. Possibly always will be hot. Except perhaps in Alaska. Where I don't live and never expect to. In Montana in July of 1977 it was most assuredly hot. Especially for someone very large with child. Even though I'm not scientifically, or analytically inclined, I knew when I woke up on July 25 th. that it was going to be a different kind of day. Not a Braxton Hicks kind of day, but a Real Thing kind of day.

He wondered if he should stay home, but I shooed the OC,then the MYC [Much Younger Curmudgeon] out the door to work. The base was across town. I'd be fine, I assured him. Yes, I'd call, now go already. I knew if I'd asked him to stay home,the contrariness of the universe would kick in, and nothing would happen. And I wanted something to happen. I was thoroughly fed up with being pregnant.

Besides, if he'd stayed home he would not have let me do what I had an overwhelming urge to do. Clean.

If about to have baby, must first clean. I didn't just vacuum. I moved furniture that hadn't been moved since we'd moved in. Dust bunnies that had settled into quiet corners and started families of their own were routed that day, because the gospel, according to mother-in-law, decreed that the skirting board behind the couch had to be spotless; no crumbs could be left to lurk in anonymity beneath the cushions on the couch; unreachable corners must be cleared of even the suspicion of cobwebs. Between the grunting and the heaving, a contraction would come and I'd down tools and get through it on the couch, and when it receded I'd get up and press on.

And so it went throughout the morning. By early afternoon I thought I'd better go to my friend's house. My two little people were going to play with her two little people when the time came. The time,I began to think, was at hand.

So we piled into the jeep and set off. And pulled over at the end of our road, for a contraction to pass. And drove like the hammers to get as far as possible before the next one hit. Which was soon. So we pulled over onto the shoulder again, until it passed. In this manner, drive, stop, breathe, repeat, we finally arrived at friend's house. Who promptly called MYC. Leaving little people in friend's capable hands we headed for the base hospital, where at five that afternoon our third child/second son was born.

I had been convinced this one was a girl. Poor guy. None of the names we had picked seemed appropriate. Not Aislinn, not Margaret, not Olivia. You'd have thought we had only discovered the week before that we were going to have another baby. Nothing pleased us. If I liked it, the MYC didn't, and vice versa. And of course the in-laws were consulted by telephone and had veto power. What can I say? I'd be smarter now?

Finally, in desperation, we named him for his father. Which made for years of confusion. But in his teens he solved the dilemma by telling his friends to call him by the last three letters of his [long] name, which makes him sound like a Russian space station. Took me years to get used to it, but finally it seems to fit, and it certainly is unique.

When he was a mere day old, nurses came to my room with papers for me to sign so they could circumcise him. What?? Again with this crap?? Didn't I tell them with my first son that we were having none of it?? But they kept coming, and kept bugging me. And tried to send me on a guilt trip, telling me I'd have it on my conscience if women he might be involved with got cervical cancer. I had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy. I didn't give a rat's ass about women, as yet unborn, who might fool around with him in the distant future. For these faceless creatures I should put my precious baby under the knife?? For a procedure that had no precedant in my family or my husband's? The nurses were disgusted with me. But I stood my ground. I was outraged that they would be so agressive when I was in such a vulnerable state. If I hadn't been Irish, and stubborn as a mule, they might have persuaded me that it was the right thing to do.

I'm not saying it's the wrong thing to do. But for me it would have been. Since then there's been a lot of controversy on the subject. I'm not sure if it still rages, but I never regretted taking a stand. A few days later we took our little bundle home, all of him, to his eager older sister and brother.

And a few days ago he turned thirty! On exactly the same day that his little nephew turned three. Unfortunately, "my bonny lies over the ocean," so getting together to celebrate wasn't an option. But you can bet all your parts, I was thinking of him in the sweltering heat of another hot July.


Tanya Brown said...

Oh, goodness; this post brought tears to my eyes, both from laughter and being moved. Such a momentous time, and you captured it so well. The cleaning alone must have been a sign that it was the Real Thing.

I'm with you on the circumcision thing, although perhaps for different reasons. The way I figure it is, it's my son's apparatus, not mine. If he wants it modified one of these days, he can make that decision and have it done - with anaesthetic! And, hmmm. It's one of my peeves and it's not my blog, so why don't I just stop at that?

Happy birthday to your not-quite-so-small son, who will nevertheless probably always be your little guy!

Princess Banter said...

Seriously, where does time go and why do they go there so fast (wherever it is?). Circumcision is quite a sensitive topic in many cultures -- and I find that very interesting indeed. However, if I were a guy, I would want my mother to get mine done and over with as a baby. It'll hurt, I'm sure, but I'll never have enough consciousness to remember it!

Stomper Girl said...

Happy birthday to your 30-year-old bundle of boy. I can't believe you were driving yourself during labour. I remember the urge to clean too, I'm sure I did the tops of the window sills the day before my first arrived. Balanced precariously on a chair, of course.

molly said...

It's definitely a subject that people get heated about. I can understand if you belong to a tradition/religion where circumcision is the norm. But I grew up in Ireland at a time when most Irish "willies" were intact. I was a "good " girl so never saw too many anyway.... I haven't gone back to carry out an up to date inspection, but I think it is still that way.

The medical profession does some crazy things---what sane woman would choose to lie on her back to give birth?? They have their fads and their fashions, which change, willy-nilly, with the current wind direction. With Liz and both of my older boys, the nurses assumed I would bottle feed. Wrong! As flat-chested as I was,I was determined to use what little I had for the purpose it was there. And they rose, so to speak, to the occasion! So much that I was worried I'd have to send a boob to preschool in a brown bag for our Britboy, who was a boob man from day one.

Stomper, I get dizzy just imagining you teetering on the chair in the name of dust free window sills!

Princess, if I HAD to do it,I think I'd wait until the owner of the apparatus was on board, and aware of what was going to happen, in case he had an opinion on the subject....of course, in the case of religious tradition, I might be overruled...

Tanya,the fact that it IS a pet peeve of your means you probably have some very interesting thoughts to share. So share!

Tanya Brown said...

Molly, I do indeed have "interesting" thoughts on the subject, but it strikes me that sharing them on your blog wouldn't be polite. People come here to read your excellent writing, not my screeds.

I may or may not write about the topic on my own blog. It's a topic I'm so passionate about that it's hard to be diplomatic, and I dare say that I would offend and alienate almost everyone who read my views.

Pam said...

Love the picture of little D, who is undoubtedly a cutie, at least from behind (and I'm sure from in front as well).

You never realise before you're a parent, do you, that your birthday is as great an event - in fact probably a greater one - for your mother (and father) as for you?

I'm amazed by those cleaning stories. Yes, I did clean the kitchen floor, but in those days I had a small kitchen. But I was always rather crippled when pregnant.

Anyway, happy birthday to your family in general.

Birdydownunder said...

Happy Birthday to the Britboy. Isn't it amazing how we remember the small details of when we gave birth to such important people. The Scot went home and slept through my first birth, and the Dr. had a devil of a job trying to wake him up to let him know he was a father.

riseoutofme said...

Ah Molly .. could this be THE answer to all the house maintenance problems???

Its called "nesting" here and is THE definitive sign that theres no going back!

Busy month for birthdays, July?

meggie said...

What a lovely birth story Molly! I had the same drama over our son's bits. And stood my ground. But I did have a Doctor on my side.
Happy Birthday to your second born Son. And well done you!

debi said...

What a great story. I always love a good birth story. My last son was born in 1982 and neither he nor his big brother were snipped. I think of it like the clipping of a dogs ears. I would love to hear what Tanya has to say about it.