When I walked into our house yesterday after taking Calum to a doctor’s appointment at the hospital, I thought to myself, this house smells like baby. “Baby” is a unique combination of Dreft laundry detergent, formula & breastmilk, and baby diapers. It is not a smell that I ever associated with my house.
I have been debating how much to put about the babies on my blog. I mean, even though this blog is not widely read, once you put something on the Internet, it is there for all the world to see. I want to respect and value my children’s privacy and allow them to make their own decisions when they get old enough about what they want to share with the world. But at the same time, they are an important part of me and to not write about them at all wouldn’t be authentic. So, I plan to be highly selective – save most pictures for family photo albums and most stories for their baby books and other offline memory books.
So here is what I want to share from the hospital. I was terrified before and during my scheduled c-section. I never will know what it feels like to have an actual labor contraction, but I definitely know the fear and anxiety that come from not knowing what to expect. The moment my doctor pulled Baby A from me and shouted, “Oh my goodness, he is looking right at me,” to the next moment with Baby B reaching his hand forward to be pulled out (the result, the kids were born 15 seconds apart), I felt, finally, yes, this is real and these babies are yours, and I finally allowed myself to cry in relief and in happiness. At that moment, I felt like I became the mother of those boys.
In the recovery room, I held our nameless boys and talked with David about what they should be called. Truthfully, we had already decided on one name, Desmond Alexander, and had thought for many months that it was going to go to the baby born in the presenting position. Yet holding those two boys, it didn’t feel right to go to the elder brother. I looked at Baby B and said to David, “No, this one is Desmond. I know it.“ Desmond was named after one of my icons, Desmond Tutu. I knew Desmond because he was calm and peaceful (he still is as he so far doesn’t get worked up over anything). His middle name comes from three different generations of Alexander McIntosh, of my great-grandmother Lessie’s McIntosh family (Lessie was who my mother named me after). They made their way from Scotland to the Sand Hills of North Carolina right before the American Revolution.
Baby A was a feisty one. In some ways, his temperament is much more like mine. He is frequently impatient, but loves a challenge. I wanted to name him Aengus, after the poem by Yeats, “The Song of Wandering Aengus.” David thought that name sounded too harsh, but we still wanted to give him a Scottish name. After back and forth rounds of discussion, where Aengus and also Malcolm were discussed (he could be a little baby Malcolm Tucker), I finally relented to David’s preferred name of Calum. Although the only Calum’s I know are football players or sons of football players, I just hope our Calum doesn’t grow up to be an Arsenal fan. We decided to give Calum the same middle name as my dad, Michael.
The hospital experience was trying, but I felt the boys and I were well taken care of. Thankfully, my parents have been here to help since the boys came home. Melissa and her family were here at the weekend bringing a lot more laughter and fun to our house also.
Now let’s get to something better than my words, a few pictures of our new family.
The last pregnancy photo, at 4:45 AM leaving the house for the hospital.
I will post more of the back at home photos later, but finally for all of you wondering how this guy is adjusting, use this picture and judge for yourself.