Terribly Two

Two years ago, Tercero came rushing into the world.  I’ve been feeling nostalgic about my pelvic floor muscles, apologetic to my perineum and I’ve been trying to remember what it feels like to sneeze without clenching (hard). In honour of the great day, I have reprised the birth announcement that we sent out at the time.  All names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved – as such it seems a little nonsensical when you get to the part about how and why we gave Tercero and the others their names but trust me, their real names are sweet.


Tercero’s Birth Announcement

 Part 1 – The Birth Story 

11pm, Thursday 4th September, 2008 – we go to the hospital because I think my waters have broken but I am not sure. I know, I know, I should be able to work this out by now. The midwife is not sure either so she sends us back home.
Later that same night…
3am, Friday 5th September, 2008 – I am woken up by a belly ache which I can now (after Secundo’s undetected labour and 15 minute delivery) recognise as contractions.  I try to time the contractions but due to the fact that I am innumerate, this is harder to do than it seems.
4am – we thankfully ignore the advice of the midwife to wait an hour and we go straight back to the hospital.
4:20am – we arrive at the hospital. Husband tries to explain to a new midwife that we have already been here 5 hours ago. Midwife (hereafter referred to as Nurse Ratchet) cuts him off and picks a fight with Husband saying we have only been here for 5 minutes, not 5 hours, and she will attend to us when she gets a bed ready.
4:28am – bed is finally ready, Husband tries to explain again and this time, Nurse Ratchet, realising her mistake, launches into a protracted apology.
4:30am – in my final moments of lucidity and coherence, I cut her off and say “I don’t care. I do not care. Last baby, 15 minutes. This baby, contractions, 2 minutes. Baby now. Pain relief now.”
I hope she understands this is pregnant lady code for “Shut the hell up, this baby is coming right now. I need an epidural stat.”
Nurse Ratchet examines me and clearly has a panic attack. I would have laughed except my belly looked like that scene from Alien (you know the one).
And then in a scene straight out of ER, panicked people are wheeling me down the corridor on a bed, rushing me into a delivery room and I am clinging to the bed railing, crying like a baby, begging for pethadine. Another new midwife tells me (and this is the second time I have heard this in 3 years) – “You will have pain relief in a few minutes when this baby is born.”
4:35am we enter the delivery room.
4:42am baby boy born. Pethadine and George Clooney notably absent.
Part 2: The Naming Story
We gave Prima and Secundo their names after a place in the world that Husband and I love. On that particular trip to India we visited some of its greatest temples and it was really only in the quiet of the Secundo temple at Prima that we felt the presence of God. We were awed by the depth of man’s devotion and his ability to express it through such beauty.
For our third child, we wanted a name that was consistent with the other two as well as our own names.
But we could not find one. The new Baby Duck was therefore almost called Bob. Instead, he has been named Tercero for the following reasons:
Tercero – after his father (who I will now be calling by his real name). He has been given his second name after my father and his surname of course comes from Husband’s father.
The children would like to call the baby Milo and have already introduced him to their friends as Milo. Yes, Milo, the malted food drink and a Tweenie.
Tercero shares his full name with one of my favourite characters from Hindu mythology, the great king who never lied and always kept his promises. 
So Husband and I have named our third child after his father and his grandfathers and although it will take some getting used to for me  (I still confuse Tercero with Husband), Tercero could not be named after better people.
After all, Tercero Duck is the first boy I fell in love with, and now the last.
Two years on, here’s to you Tercero, may you always approach life as you do today – with confidence, curiosity and endless, infectious amounts of joy. Happy Birthday darling, Mummy loves you.
And to my pelvic floor muscles – so long and thanks for all the clenching.

About Shankari Chandran

Six years ago we returned home from London to Sydney with our four young children and life has been chaos and comfort chocolate ever since.
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