Well, That Was Certainly Interesting: Brief Notes on Having Just Spawned a Baby

Last Wednesday, I did something I’d never done before, in a way that went in a totally different way to how I had roughly planned it.

Kind of like blindly climbing Mt Bromo in Indonesia at dawn, with the thick sulphur mists obscuring everything until you’re right at the lip of the volcano, or maybe hopping on a bus with everything written in Chinese and really hoping that you’re going to end up in the right place even though you’re not entirely certain where that place is or if you’re even pronouncing it correctly.

I had a baby.



Whoa! Did I do this?


Guys, this is Oscar, named after the esteemed Wilde, Peterson, Schindler and The Grouch. He emerged into the world with a level of enthusiasm and gusto and keen appreciation for the element of surprise that bodes well for future endeavours.

After planning out a crunchy granola home birth (a lovely NHS option for uncomplicated pregnancies), complete with a rented purple birthing pool, a supply of HobNobs and Haribo sours, books by Ina May Gaskin and various hypnobirthers, and an iTunes soundtrack that included The Ramones (um, yeah- I Wanna Be Sedated made it onto the list) and the Cramps and Miles Davis, he ended up nearly being born in the elevator at the hospital when we went in for a routine check at the beginning of my labour  (‘We’ll send you back home after,” they said…).

Was it a Schindler brand lift? I wouldn’t doubt it.

But like a mad journey that utterly derails and ends up taking you on an alternate route never even contemplated before setting off, he took off running and was out within two rather intense hours (uncushioned by painkillers as it was too late by the time we got a room at the hospital), a mighty 4 kilogram burrito with a proper Paul Weller mod haircut who was welcomed with a little John Coltrane on the iPhone in a hastily cleared room at the hospital.

He came home with us in a taxi six hours later, dressed up in his finest Canadian moose suit.



You know you want a moose suit.


It’s going to be an interesting year.

Where should we take him when he gets his first lolling-headed baby passport? France? Italy? Oman?

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About MaryAnne

I live in Hanoi. I used to live in Shanghai (hence this blog's title) but I left in 2013. I tend to travel. I cook stuff. I read a lot. I try to scare myself silly with regularity. I write about it all. A lot.