Enter the Wallaby

My friends, I would like to announce that Her Highness gave birth to our 6th child on Sunday afternoon. He shall hereby be given the web-moniker of Wallaby, to join the ranks of (from youngest to oldest), Gum, Sunshine, Princesa, Bill, and Spasmodeus. Here are some photos, taken today, of the little man of the hour.

He’s a wonderfully sweet little boy. He’s got the same temper that the rest of the kids have had at this age. However, I have detected a difference between him and his next older brother, Gum. Gum’s temper was epic and was multiplied by a remarkable amplitude to his shouts. Wallaby’s shouts are loud, but don’t have the visceral, feel it in your parietal lobe aspect to them.

This is a nice change.

He is an inquisitive boy and, when alert, looks around very curiously. He likes my voice it seems and really likes to be held and talked to.

All of the kids, even the de-throned Gum, fell instantly in love with him. How could you not, really?

Now for some details for the curious.

This, as you probably gathered, is our 6th child. We have 2 boys, 1 girl, then 3 boys. Children #2, 4 and 5 were all born in our home via water birth. We have loved doing this and planned on doing the same again for #6, but then the midwife offered us a significant discount off the normal fee if we would have the baby in her birthing center.

We consented.

Now, our babies are on time or late. Gum was 1 week late. But when he decided to show up, he came so fast that the midwife showed up a minute or two after Gum arrived. We were cuddling him already when the midwife got to our home.

Given this experience, we were concerned with getting Her Highness to the birthing center quickly enough to not end up having the baby arrive in the van during transit. Thus, when Her Highness’s water broke at 10:30PM Saturday evening, we watched closely for contractions. She slept for a few hours while I made some final preparations. Then, at about 3AM Sunday morning, we decided to head to the birthing center. She’d had a few contractions and we didn’t, as mentioned, want to take any chances.

We slept for a few hours at the birthing center, having listened to the little man’s heartbeat and not had much in the way of labor. Then we killed time by reading and chatting. I went back home a couple of times to make sure the other kids were not destroying their grandmother.

Finally, about 1:30PM, some contractions made their appearance. After 15 minutes of regular contractions, I set my phone timer for 45 minutes, showed my sister the timer and explained that I predicted we would be holding the baby before the timer finished, and Her Highness settled into a warm tub of water to finish things off.

Grace and miracles ensued. Wallaby burst into a watery world with a nice twist and a kick that would have done Michael Phelps proud. He was cuddled, wrapped, kissed, pronounced perfect and kissed some more.

My phone timer went off.

At birth, he was 8 lbs. 3 oz and 22 inches. He’s been eating so well these last two days, he is probably past that weight already.

Now, the funny thing is this:

Gum was a week late. On the evening that marked his week lateness, Her Highness and I went to a friend’s house to play Cash Flow. Her Highness won handily and we left with the advice that we should have her eat some fresh pineapple. This might encourage labor to begin.

I bought a pineapple, carved it up, and Her Highness partook.

Gum was born the next morning.

So on Saturday night, can you guess what we were doing? We were playing Cash Flow with those friends and eating pineapple (and Christmas cookies). I won and within ten seconds of winning, Her Highness told us her water had just broken.

Once is a fluke, but twice is nearly scientific!

So that’s the story of Wallaby’s entrance into the world.

In other news, Spasmodeous and Bill both just got glasses. Wild and crazy stuff for the children of a dude with 20/15 vision. Some folks call that the eyes of an eagle.

Just sayin’.

About jaredgarrett

Jared Garrett is the author of Beat, a YA scifi thriller, and its forthcoming sequel, both published by Future House Publishing. A new series, debuting in January 2016 and also published by Future House, kicks off with Lakhoni, a fast-paced rescue adventure in a world reminiscent of Aztec culture, to be released in January 2016. He self-published Beyond the Cabin, a novelization of his childhood in a cult, in December 2014. Both Beat and Beyond the Cabin were Whitney Award nominees, and his story Song of the Wind, received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. In addition to writing, he's spent fifteen years in adult education and is an accomplished public speaker and workshop leader.
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