I am delighted to announce the birth of my daughter, Phoebe Doris Joy Herring, who took her sweet time entering the world, turning up six days late on the 10th February at 2.05pm. She had the consideration to wait until after we’d watched the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” before making her move, though I am slightly annoyed she didn’t allow us to see “Better Call Saul” as well.
What an incredible and joyous day it was, though tempered somewhat by what my wife had to go through to make this happen. My understanding from the Old Testament is that increased pain in childbirth (note the word “increased”- there was going to be some regardless) is God’s retribution for Eve eating the apple from the tree of life, which seems a bit harsh. My wife never ate off the tree of life – she doesn’t even like apples that much- why is she getting penalized? Also God is all-knowing so was well aware that if He put a tree in his garden and told people they couldn’t eat from it, then they would definitely eat from it. That’s human nature. And he invented human nature. It’s apple-based entrapment at best.
My wife is a champion though and withstood the punishment for a crime that she didn’t commit with great bravery. I didn’t have much to do, so filled my time by taking sneaky drags on the gas and air, which was not as hardcore a drug as I had expected. It only gave me a sensation of light giddiness and I certainly didn’t think it would provide much pain relief if I was going to try pushing a bowling ball through my anus. Which is unfortunate as that is something I had agreed to do for Comic Relief.
I am squeamish and worried about fainting during the birth, but the whole thing was so violent and surreal that I remained oddly detached. It all looked about as realistic as the special effects from the original Total Recall.
My brain couldn’t even process what I was seeing, but if it was strange for me, imagine how it must have seemed to Phoebe. I have some understanding of the biology and yet none of this whole process seems remotely possible. For her, the entire dark, solitary Universe has exploded into light and sound and someone tugging at her ears.
I had tried and totally failed to picture my baby before the event, but evenso she was not what I expected at all. Perhaps subconsciously I’d thought it would be like a Carry On Film and my baby would have a smaller but exact version of my own chucking face. But she looked like a stranger. A stranger who was also a very angry troll, crumpled from being trapped under a bridge, but still furious about this unrequested eviction.
I was asked to cut the cord, which I did with unexpected gusto. I only wished that I had brought along some big ceremonial scissors.
Very quickly this screaming animatronic stranger turned into the most placid and gorgeous human being I have ever met. Within minutes I felt like I’d know her for a lifetime. She’s sleeping on my lap now and I couldn’t love her more. The rest of you can give up trying to have babies now. My wife and I have made the perfect one. The quest is over.
Oh no, hold on, she’s just started crying. And she’s obviously done a poo in her pants. Bloody Hell. Keep up the experiments folks. We’ve still got a long way to go.
When I met my wife she told me her ambition was to build a Ferrero Rocher pyramid. In a foolish romantic gesture I said I’d buy her an exponentially increasing number of the chocolate-coated testicles every Valentine’s Day. With the baby drama I only remembered to order this year’s 128 chocolates on the 13th . Rocher creator, Michele Ferrero died the next day! I hope it wasn’t from the effort of making that last minute batch.