See that little nugget of deliciousness up there? This is Horatio at about four hours old. This is how I spent the next few days in hospital, after having him. I could not stop staring at him. It was instant love. I tried to get him to re-enact this pose this morning but he was not having a bar of it. A brand spanking new thirteen year old is on my hands. And he is quite good at this teenage stuff already.
He is an inch taller than me. He is kind to old people and animals, his little brother, not so much. I am sure it is just a stage. HOLD ME.
Horatio’s arrival was an interesting and dramatic one. I went to the hospital on a Wednesday afternoon and typically, I failed to progress LIKE EVERY FUCKING SCHOOL REPORT CARD I HAD EVER RECEIVED. I was quite ok with failure, as I was used to it, but this scenario was a little different. I could not shove it down the bottom of my school bag and pretend that it never happened. This was unavoidable.
On the Saturday the obstetrician advised a c-section. By this stage I was foaming at the mouth and speaking in tongues and holding snakes and trying to give myself stigmata, all the whole eating M & M’s, by birthing snack of choice. During the operation, I realised in my drug induced state, that the male nurse was quite hot, so naturally I enquired about his marital status. Because, I was looking my best with the surgeons hands in my guts, and I thought that this was an entirely appropriate time to hit on the help.
But the best was yet to come. We had to take the baby home.
It was February 2004 and we were suffering from the biggest heatwave since anyone could ever remember. Kind of like what is happening now.
I was in the air conditioning, on a self-administered morphine drip and being waited on. Complete with Catheter. TV Remote. Life was good. I did not really want to leave.
Like all first time parents, we had an enormous amount of gifts and flowers delivered on an hourly basis. Mr Woog’s OCD took a dramatic spike as he ferried these items home at the end of each day so a clear path could be made from my bed to the bathroom. The final day came and it was time for us to leave. There was nothing really to pack up as Mr Woog had taken care of that. Really taken care of it. A whole heap of care in fact. The only thing to take home was the baby.
The baby whose carefully purchased “going home” outfit had been taken back to the house.
Along with my entire wardrobe, undies, bras and shoes.
So we were standing in the car-park in 40 degree heat. I was wearing a hospital robe with another hospital robe on the back as to not show my ass to the other fresh-faced mums benefiting from the luxury of shoes.
Yes I was barefoot and bare-assed on the hot asphalt, with a throbbing c-section scar.
Horatio was dressed in a natty white singlet top with PROPERTY OF HAWKESBURY DISTRICT HOSPITAL across the back, and a nappy.
Times were tense.
Mr Woog opened the car door, looked at the baby, looked at the capsule, looked at me, looked at the capsule, looked at the baby and asked “Can you put him in?”
I fucking exploded.
Horatio started crying. Mr Woog looked like he wanted to run far far away. A passing doctor stopped and showed Mr Woog how to put a baby in the capsule.
That night Horatio screamed from dusk to dawn. It was not fun. We looked at each other all night in panic.
But those days are far behind it, although I do recall it as if it were yesterday. Happy Birthday Horatio Roberto Wooganowksi. You are the peas to my carrots. The tonic to my gin.