On Monday 29th March 2010 at 4:56pm Australian time, we welcomed into the world the latest (and last), the fourth (and final) little Duck.
Our son (hereafter referred to as Newborn) has broken all previous family records for being a runt, and clearly takes after his father’s side – weighing an impressive 7lbs 14oz. I could tell the heavy weight champion was going to be just like his dad when he failed to show up several weeks early like all the others – preferring instead, like his father, to arrive just on time, and only when absolutely necessary.
My husband thought that going to full term would be good for the baby as it would give him more time to grow bigger (unlike the others). As he was not about to give birth to a watermelon and split open like a piñata, it was hard for me to take his medical advice seriously.
Details of the Birth
And so, on 29th March, the baby’s expected due date, I went to the hospital for a routine 40 week appointment. My midwife examined me and declared that I was actually 5cm dilated (ie. in labour and half way there). She asked me “Darl, are you sure you don’t feel anything? No pain or discomfort?” To which I replied, “Since 2003, I have been pregnant every single year aside from one. I am always in some kind of pain or discomfort, but no, I don’t feel a thing.”
The midwife then called the Delivery Suite in the hospital to say (in a thick Aussie accent) to the delivery midwives, “I’ve got a lady down here who is in labour but doesn’t realise it – I’m sending her up, she’s gonna give birth today.”
Two hours (and two OK! Magazines) later, no sign of baby or labour pains, but I was three-quarters of the way there apparently. The midwife broke my waters for me (more out of boredom than anything else) and after another half an hour of no activity, no pain and no sign of labour, I went straight to the final stages. 50 minutes later we were holding our son.
Details of the Name
We have struggled (once again) to find a name consistent with the other children. My husband originally wanted to name this child “Sachin” but I was concerned that after naming our other children after sacred caves, mountains, temples and a great Hindu king, we really could not name our last child after Sachin Tendulkar, even if he is the greatest cricketer of our time. My husband corrected me – apparently he is The Greatest Cricketer of All Time and he has many fine attributes that we would want in our own son: dedication to the game, a strong leader and team player; consistency and of course many lucrative product endorsements.
We have finally agreed to name Newborn after the Buddha, who gave up his kingdom, riches and family in search of the reasons for and an answer to human suffering. His inward journey led him to the meaning of true happiness and he shared these truths with the world when he became the Buddha, the Enlightened One. We have also given our son the middle name of Sachin, in case he gets teased at school.
Last week, my grandfather took Newborn to his shrine for the traditional blessing and welcome. This is my Appappa’s 11th great-grandchild and the 4th generation of a large and loving family. It made me both happy and a little sad to see my grandfather slowly place holy ash on Newborn’s forehead – a blessing from the oldest to the youngest.
We have given Newborn an enormous name for such a little boy. We hope our son’s outward journey in life is a safe and healthy one; and that his inward journey leads him to lasting happiness like the Buddha. We also hope that like his middle-namesake Sachin (and irrespective of what the Buddha said about detachment from material wealth) little Newborn earns many lucrative product endorsements and has better hand-to-eye co-ordination than his mother.