Huge Win on Melbourne Cup Day!
Off the Top of My Head
By Paul Murray
I’m overjoyed to report that our first child “Buster” Murray was born on 1/11/11 at 2:44 a.m. in Nelson Hospital…I can also report that, other than the end result, there is absolutely NOTHING beautiful about childbirth…it’s more like a mixture of serious drug withdrawal and an exorcism…brutal pain, gnashing and grinding of teeth, blood, mucus, sweat…plenty of shouting, screaming, tears, involuntary twitching, praying, begging for mercy, hot flushes, cold shivers, uncontrollable shaking, a procession of uniformed officials performing rituals, probing orifices, inserting catheters, needles, tubes, and drips, swabbing and mopping as anxious relatives look on…Labour must be a construct of the devil…but my wife’s purgatorial suffering has produced a little angel…in her eyes we see the future…overwhelming tides of love flow from me when I see her smile…never have I seen such perfection…I can’t wait for you to meet her! I told her about The Rongolian Star and she burped, vomited and crapped herself!
…I should add that the replay of “The Exorcist” we experienced finished more like “Alien 1” as my wife eventually had a cesarian section (after 12 hours of demon banishing) and Diva emerged from my wife’s midsection looking not unlike the bloody, goo-covered extraterrestrial that popped out of Sigourney Weaver!
Anyway, we have a daughter…It has come to pass that she was born on the same day my father David died 28 years ago, so we chose a name from the letters of his name…Diva is also Latin for Goddess, and she can really wail…Grace is how we hope she’ll comport herself throughout her life…Enna is Japanese for lots of laughter.
If you’re interested in astrology…28 years is the time for theplanet Saturn to return to the same position in relation to Earth…Diva arrived in the same planetary alignment as when my father departed…One could argue that there is a 1 in 365 chance, but I like to think my Old Man has some sway in these matters!
Welcome to the world Diva Grace Enna Murray…nickname “Buster.”
Mother and Daughter doing very well…Father managing….
A few weeks before the birth, a Canadian friend rang and walked
me through the delivery procedure as he’s had two children and far more
experienced in these matters than I. He highly recommended huffing on the
nitrous oxide, which is freely provided to labouring mothers to help take
the edge off the pain. I took this exceptional advice with me to the
hospital and managed to action it on the day.
The N2O is delivered with oxygen and goes through a mixer at about 50/50
before being delivered to the agonised mother to be via a flexible plastic
hose with a mouthpiece attached. She sucks on the mouthpiece and the gas
flows. The mixer makes a rattling noise, like small stones in a bottle, to
indicate the gas is being delivered. It worked a treat for Sanae, whom I
thought was going to snuff it…the gas calmed her and she took to it much
like “Buster” is now taking to her breasts, but that is another story for
another day. Her contractions were coming around every 90 seconds, once
the pain maxed out, she stopped huffing, which is where I came in.
I first changed the mixer to 100% NOX and then had it jangling like Tito
Puente’s maracas! Half a dozen good hits on pure N2O certainly got the
brain going…distant things became quite close, everything went liquid
silver like mercury…angels were flapping about…that sort of thing…just
then, our midwife/GP returned to the room and seemed to
realise I wasn’t quite as she’d left me…in fact, she seemed quite
clinically interested in observing the effects of nitrous oxide on
pre-natal fathers…or perhaps that was a paranoiac symptom of the
NOX…I’ll never really know, anyway, she seemed to expect me to have
helped myself to the gas and didn’t seem at all bothered…she in fact
appeared rather amused. She then informed us that “Buster” would be born
on Melbourne Cup Day 1/11/11…and all I could think to say in response
was to repeat the childhood tongue twister…”One One was a racehorse, Two
Two was one too, 22 won one race, 11, won one too,” which, on reflection,
wasn’t bad under the circumstances!
In other news, Sanae appears to have developed a third breast. Apparently,
humans have a line of mammary glands running down their torso…rather
like sows. In Sanae’s case, the one under her right arm has activated and
is engorged with milk…so my wife is not only gorgeous, she now has three
tits! (I feel the cosmic worm is turning and our recent spell of bad luck
is about to change!) Diva’s arrival will change a whole lot of
things…all of them for the better.
Buster’s also something of a scatologist…I was holding her last night with my forearm under her bum and she released an explosive turd that had now where to go but up…she had shit all up her back and in her hair…her racy new white jumpsuit is a less fashionable shade of brown now…Sanae was less than impressed at the 3:00 a.m. malarkey, but took it all in her motherly stride and quietly changed her clobber, mopped her hair and back and reattached her for more ammunition…will she never learn?
Last week, I was changing her in the night and just as I had the old nappy off, she simultaneously sneezed and let fly with a fresh batch of baby poo that fired out under considerable pressure just clipping my left flank and leaving the wall behind me looking like the beginning of a Jackson Pollack…an abstract yellow streak up the wall that required some explanation to the less than impressed landlord…my claims that my child was merely expressing her creative talent and that I wouldn’t charge her for the artwork failed to convince her to refund our bond…some people just have no appreciation for modern abstract.
The other incident occurred halfway home when we stopped for lunch at the Riverside Cafe in Murchison. We woke Diva and proudly strolled into the restaurant among the customers carrying our new baby. We stopped by a couple who were enthusiastically hoeing into their lunch. They looked up at the waking Diva who proceeded to rip of a VERY loud and rather moist sounding fart tableside…the patrons visibly paled, their respective appetites evaporated as the stench wafted over their table and they seemed to concurrently decide that it was time to start dieting…must have been something wrong with the food!
She’s also learning about rugby…Sanae’s nipples were red raw and bleeding from the hammering they’ve taken in keeping the juice up to the growing bundle of joy. The midwife showed us a new breast-feeding hold she termed the “Rugby Hold.” The new hold positions the baby under the arm as you’d carry a rugby ball on the run. My role is to pass the baby and, in keeping with the rugby theme, have developed a kind of scrum ritual where by I say, “Crouch, touch, pause….engage.” She has become used to the routine, much as Pavlov’s dogs learned to salivate in the expectation of food…on the command of “crouch” her little mouth puckers up, on “touch” her eyes widen with anticipation, with “pause” her head starts to shake and the on “engage” I place her ready mouth on Sanae’s willing nipple and she commences enthusiastic suckling…hilarious! (With Sanae’s permission, I might film the ritual and send it to you…Sanae is getting quite used to getting her norks out in front of all and sundry, so why not share the joy on YouTube?)
Should be fairly easy to remember her birthday!
“Buster” comes from the Bryan Brown TV-Movie “The Shiralee.” Have you ever seen it? Brown is a single father on the road looking for work in depression era mid-north of South Australia…his
daughter’s name is “Buster” and Sanae and I have been calling Diva “Buster” since we first discovered she was on the way…it’s proving quite difficult to stop!