My youngest son is 24 today… goodness me. I realised recently that I can’t really refer to ‘the boys’ any more… they are all men, and my youngest daughter is older than I was by the time I had two children… and yet it all seems so recent in many ways. Memories remain fresh, and today I’m remembering Arty, as a beautiful blonde baby, such a gentle soul. Arty was my only home birth, planned, but none the less unexpected – the midwife didn’t arrive until half an hour after he was born by which time I was on a folding beach chair Tony had brought in to the bathroom for me, nursing him happily! Yes he was born in the bathroom, delivered by his Dad, with no real hassle or complications, in the old weatherboard Queenslander we were renting in George Street, Maroochydore behind the RSL, at about 1am from memory. Tom wandered in and out a bit during the process, a small blonde dot himself clutching his blankie; Tony told people afterwards that he wasn’t at all worried delivering him as he’d delivered plenty of poddy calves in the past, and I guess I knew what I was doing after four previous deliveries.
It wasn’t a hard decision, to give birth at home, and I certainly would have done the same again with Helen if we could have afforded it. It is a completely natural process, and remains the most pleasant childbirth memory I have despite no pain relief… I didn’t really need it, a warm bath sufficed.
Whether it was the calmness of the birthing process or not, I don’t know, but Arty was the sweetest natured and most undemanding of my children, a delightfully peaceful toddler, a little angel… which was good news since Helen arrived thirteen months later and was the complete opposite! He’s a dead ringer for his Dad, a loyal friend, considerate, clever, and caring, and I love him with all my heart despite referring to him as the forgotten child of Kunda Park XXX Happy Birthday my son, I miss you and look forward to seeing you in July if not before. (By the way, I didn’t forget your birthday that year, I just didn’t want to wake you up before I went to work!)