Off the Top of My HeadBy Paul Murray
After 41 weeks of abstinence and special duty of care, Sanae Murray again subjected herself to a medical exorcism and delivered a handsome little devil at Nelson Hospital just after midnight on the morning of September 3, 2014.
He weighed in at 3.585 kgs (a sparrow weight) and remarkably resembled Winston Churchill…not the keen-looking, preppy Boer War journo Churchill…more the wrinkled booze and tobacco ravaged elder statesman Churchill (minus the obligatory cigar).
So, after much discussion with Mum, Winston was chosen as the handle for newest Murray. We feel it fits him rather well and hope it encourages deft acuity, eloquence and determination in the child….and should he ever encounter any Nazis, he’ll take no truck with them either. Of course pomposity, arrogance and grotesque physical appearance would be the downside, but I hope young Winston adopts his namesake’s positive attributes and transcends the negative.
For some reason, “John” is the name traditionally given to the eldest male in the Murray clan and, as he is half Japanese, we also gave him the Japanese name “Aita,” which means “Abundant Love.” So it’s welcome to the wonderful world Winston John Aita (愛太) Murray, may you live long and well little man.
Its early days yet, but the wee chap would seem to be a good sleeper (his mother’s side) and an enthusiastic drinker (my genes I expect) and has a pleasant disposition, he smiles frequently and appears to be taking on the world with calm ardour and inquisitiveness.
Sanae was determined to have a natural birth and was progressing very well through the horrendous ordeal of labour, ably assisted by our competent and lovely midwife Kerensa. I was by her side in my role as moral supporter and coach…”Come On,” “You can DO it,” “Go for IT,” “Go, Go…GO,” “PUSH,” ‘Well Done,” “Breathe” etc, etc…sideline encouragement for the team was the extent of my input. But alas, after many hours of seeing my dear wife’s eyes roll white, hearing her agonised muted screams, much grunting and moaning…our obstetrician Dave made the call to preform an “emergency C-section” as the baby was clearly not able to escape. (It transcribed that Sanae’s pelvic orifice was insufficient to allow passage of the child and a vaginal birth would have been a physical impossibility, so it was the right call).
Then, after the patently ludicrous process of going through the legal documents and expecting an exhausted woman in the throes of labour to understand or even care about jurisprudence…her signatures were hastily scribbled Xs somewhere near the appropriate dotted lines and once the medical staff’s potential culpability was waived, we scrubbed up, donned medical blues and were off to the theatre.
There we met with another posse of strangers, including a Russian sounding woman who insisted on attempting a somewhat sinister-sounding, heavily accented albeit well-intentioned conversation with exhausted Sanae (“Zis time, Mr. Bond, za pleasure vill be all mine!”), who, at that juncture, could have cared less about the f*#%ing weather.
An epidural was administered by groovy Steve Jobs-looking anaesthetist “Roger” and I was again privy to the brutality of the cesarian section operation, which resembles wild animals pulling apart a carcass. Little blue Churchill was quickly extracted…pulled out by his head from the steaming crimson innards of my conscious but heavily sedated wife (the epidural calmed her down considerably…that’d be the morphine I expect). Sanae was screened off to the carnage going on in her stomach, but I was able to give her a running commentary of proceedings by peering over the screen and the shoulders of the surgeons…being tall has its advantages…and disadvantages.
The baby was released into the capable hands of the pediatrician (who had been also previously legally immunised at the slash of Sanae’s pen) where he was cleaned off, his passages cleared and weighed…there he performed his first act of defiance, immediately endearing himself to his proud father…he pissed all over a nurse.
** (The epidural needle is about six inches long and the gauge of #8 wire…it goes in through the back and into the spine…not something I would ever wish to try, unless my uterus was labouring to expel a foetus from my body…alas another experience I’ll likely never have)**
***In passing I should commend Sanae on her exemplary grace, composure and dignity in the face of excruciating agony…”Oooo Gosh” was the strongest oath uttered during her ordeal…she’s a true lady the wife!***
The family tracked into the hospital each morning and again in the evening to see my scratchy spouse (it’s a bitch coming of heroin) and beautiful son. They came home this morning and we’ll stay here in Nelson for another couple of weeks resting up, relaxing and welcoming young Winston into the Murray family with our daughter Diva and extended family of Sanae’s sister and parents…and I imagine there will be considerable sake consumed in line with the Japanese tradition to celebrate the expansion of one’s family…Campai!****The entire staff at Nelson Hospital were tremendous, from the cleaners to the surgeons, everyone worked together to make our experience again thoroughly enjoyable, stress ands hassle free…thank you linesmen, thank you ball boys…Great Match!****(Special thanks to Jean, Kerensa, Kevin, Suzy, Dave, Roger, Dot, Wendy…and many others whose names we don’t recall, but whose kindness and care we will always remember).
Related Article from The Rongolian Star Archives:
Huge Win on Melbourne Cup Day!
Off the Top of My HeadBy 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 walkedme through the delivery procedure as he’s had two children and far moreexperienced in these matters than I. He highly recommended huffing on thenitrous oxide, which is freely provided to labouring mothers to help takethe edge off the pain. I took this exceptional advice with me to thehospital 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?)
Diva is now almost three: