Birth report

Okay, I know you’ve all been waiting to hear about this. Well okay, so a few of you have shown a passing interest. All right, so one person asked when it happened. Here’s the birth report. I’m not completely knowledgable on all the correct terminology, so forgive me if it sounds a little muddled.

It all started yesterday morning, around 1am, when L’s contraptions started getting strong. Yes, the utensil was contrapting. By 10am they were getting regular, so we called the hospital. They said to go in, so we did. The cab driver looked very relieved that the waters didn’t smash during the ride, leaving antibiotic fluid all over his seats. Especially when he drove through the Burke Road roadworks. Bump bump bump…

The nurse used a monitor to measure the heartbeat of the feet. The contraptions continued, and a doctor came around just after 1pm, and said the cervix was 4cm dilapidated. To get things moving, the doctor burst the mum’s brains, and labour began in earnest.

Once the cervix was fully dilapidated, pushing began. With the help of two midwives (a good cop/bad cop team if ever I met one), as each contraption came, L pushed for all she was worth. I haven’t seen anyone that sweaty since the Hard Yakka overalls commercial.

After a while we thought we could see the top of the head, and sure enough, a few contraptions later, the head came out. Following the head, the rest of the baby, with the umbrella cord, which I got to cut. Lucky they had left-handed scissors handy.

They gave baby Isaac (it means "he laughs") a little oxygen to get the blue blood out of his cheeks. Then the placemat (or afterburn) arrived, looking red and horrible. We made sure we got a picture of it, just to shock the chemist. And the celebrations commenced.

(NB. Need to investigate the possibility
that a midwife with personal odour
problems is called a midwiffy.)

Imminent arrival

Okay, it’s Sunday night. I spurn the Eurovision Song Contest and pump up the Led Zeppelin. I wipe the screen with my promotional DHL static wipe thing, and sit down at the keyboard. But am I inspired? To be honest, no.

Actually, it’s lucky that I made it. With the baby almost overdue(*), it’s impossible to plan beyond the next ten minutes. Sure, I planned to do the drying-up, take a quick visit into bogland, and then come and write this. But at any minute, the scheduled program could be cancelled, and the 1995 Home To Hospital Dash could be on.

(*) Depending on what date estimate you believe.

I didn’t think that nervousness about the imminent arrival was affecting me. Until last Tuesday night, when I entered the bathroom.

  • The plan: to brush my teeth.
  • The execution: Pick up the shaver, turn it on, start shaving.

Hmmm. I was halfway through shaving when L asked: "What are you doing?" I stopped. I turned it off. And stared at it. I think I’m going out of my mind.

So anyway, no, the baby hasn’t arrived yet. And no amount of shouting "Isaac! Get down here!" has worked yet. I guess it’s like waiting for a bus. You know it’s going to appear eventually. You’re just not sure exactly when.

9Phone 9numbers

Well, today it happens – all phone numbers in my little part of the world, Melbourne, grow by a digit. A nine in front of every one. The government’s communications authority, Austel, claim it’s all to allow more phones, better services – all the usual stuff that Austel usually claim.

But is that the real reason? I’ve uncovered a plot by major telephone manufacturers to lobby to have phone numbers made longer, so that the buttons on their phones wear out sooner, and have to be replaced. If the average family makes two calls a day, and instead of dialling a 7 digit local number, dials 8 digits, that’s 730 extra buttons pressed on that family’s phone in one year. And they’re almost all "9". Will our telephones stand up to that sort of treatment? Time will tell.

I don’t really mind, actually. I just think it’s a shame that our home phone number, which at the moment is nearly symmetrical, and very easy to remember, will have these qualities shattered by adding a 9. Oh well. At least it’s given me a chance to make a new answering machine message. And maybe we’ll stop getting calls for the video rental place.

New Album

Del Amitri has just released a new album. And what a kick in the teeth for their loyal fans – with the new album comes a free copy of their last album. Oh, thanks very much guys. Like we don’t already have it. Just ‘cos you woke up one Monday and realised you had ARRRGGHHH! thousand CDs left over in the warehouse from three years ago. What do we do with the spare – use it as a frisbee?

First aid/Mobile phones

Just went on a St John first aid course. And just to show you that you’d be in perfectly good hands if you collapsed in the street in front of me, here’s an ever so slightly modified version of their drill.

Just remember the letters: LCPAH. (It makes it easier if you think of a high-end MacIntosh owner being offered an inferior model: "LC? Pah!")

L – stands for Look away. Try and ignore the person who has just collapsed.
C – stands for Check if you’ve got time to administer first aid and then get to your appointment on time.
P – stands for Panic, when you see how bad the person looks.
A – stands for Ambulance. Because they can deal with the problem much better than you can.
H – stands for Hero. Which is what you’ll be if you can ignore this drill and do something useful instead.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a mobile phone. Alas, I have so far come across no accidents, where I would have the chance to ring for help and thus justify to the world my need for having it. Especially as hardly anyone ever calls me. And I’m not a real estate agent or a property tycoon, so I can’t use it to point at buildings I’ve bought.

The phone companies would have us believe that Australia has just about the largest percentage of mobile phones in the world. Yep, coming up to 2 million phones. For about 17 million people. Heck, I know I wanted to buy mine so as not to miss out on being at least semi-fashionable.

Phones have different rings. But not different enough. Whenever one rings, no matter how distinctive it sounds, everyone with a phone feels for theirs to check. One way around this is the vibrating phone. That’s right folks, the vibrating
phone.

The phone being constantly at your side has its price. I mean apart from a $30 a month connection fee. True story: I get up from my desk, saunter towards the toilets, trying not to look too urgent. Go in. Walk up to the urinals. Undo zipper. Just about to whop it out and take care of business, when *RING* *RING*. One second later, and either I’d have got wet shoes, or someone would have not got an answer. I hope I’d have plumbed for the latter.

You have to be polite with your phone. For instance, making sure it doesn’t go off in restaurants. I mean more your cultured location, of course, rather than McDonalds – who the hell cares if a phone goes off in McDonalds?! It helps drown out the Musak and squawking teenagers. But the real thing to watch for is breaking the new Communications laws. A new amendment, just passed, states that: "It shall be illegal for anyone to knowingly and willingly make gratuitous use of a mobile communications device before a large number of people, with intent to look cool or impress."

But with mobile phones becoming so popular, nowadays as I walk down the street, I try to spot who could be "carrying". Not everyone wears their Poserphone on their belt. The people with those vibrating phones tend to leave them in their pockets; for that cheap thrill when someone calls. A new angle on telephone sex.