And now we are three

At 17:25 on 26 August, Cameron Mervyn Rip was born! He arrived a whole month ahead of schedule yet clocked in at 2.6 kilograms. In order to try and process everything that’s happened in the last 48 hours I thought I’d write about it. Plus I am confined to my bed at the moment so there’s not much else I can do.

The story starts on Saturday. Colin and I were at the shops getting the last items we needed for Cameron’s arrival. On the way home I started having contractions and realised the baby was attempting another prison break. So we fetched my bags (a lesson well learnt from last time) and headed for the hospital.

As I was only 35 weeks pregnant they decided to stop the labour with medication. Having been through this process only a month ago Col and I took for granted that it would work. I started popping the pills and the wait began.

Saturday night’s observation showed that the contractions had subsided. I urged Col to go to his golf game the next morning, which he duly did, leaving for Joburg at 6:30. And then at 08:00 the contractions started up again. The doctor decided to give the meds more time to work and told me we’d reassess in the evening. But by 10:30 they had just become more regular. The suppression wasn’t working and our baby was on his way into the world.

Col and I now had some decisions to make. The doctor was happy to let me try for a natural delivery but warned me that I would have an incredibly long and difficult labour because I was only 35 weeks. After giving it some thought I decided not to put my body through a process that it wasn’t ready for and elected to have a caesarean.

And so at 17:00 I went into theatre. I was incredibly nervous – about the procedure but also about what would happen to Cameron once he’d been delivered. Col was my absolute hero and supported me through it like a champion. Initial checks on our boy showed that he was having a bit of trouble breathing but I was allowed to hold him for a minute or two before they took him to the Neo Natal ICU.

Cameron was put on oxygen and had x-rays taken of his lungs which showed that he might have a mild infection. While Col kept an eye on our son I was stitched up, cleaned up and taken to the maternity ward. The next few hours passed in a blur of smiling grandparents but at about 20:30 they wheeled me into ICU so I could see my baby.

I haven’t been able to see him yet this morning but Col checked in on him before he left for work. They haven’t put him on antibiotics which we assume means he doesn’t have an infection. He is also no longer on oxygen so it’s seems he’s doing superbly. Col says he looks like a giant next to all the other preemies!

That’s all the necessary info at this stage I think. Now I’m going to make the most of this down time and have a nap!


What’s in a name?

With only a few weeks left before Speckle arrives, the question we are being asked most frequently is ‘Have you decided on a name?’ The answer to this is yes, but before you get excited, I am not going to tell you what it is! That happy announcement will only be made when Speckle’s safely made his way into the world. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, we’ve been pretty open about our journey so far and it’s sort of nice to have a secret for a change. Secondly, my mom changed her mind about my name three days after I was born (I even got cards saying, ‘Welcome to the world Kirin’) and I want to give myself the option of changing my mind when I see our little boy.

So sorry, but you’ll just have to be patient. What I will tell you, however, is a bit about the process we’ve gone through trying to name our son. Let me start off by saying that I got to know an incredibly analytical side to my husband while these discussions were taking place. I adopted a sort of ‘read through the book and see what jumps out at you’ approach, while Col was far more methodical. Potential candidates had to meet the following criteria:

  • Must start with ‘C’ (this because we’ve decided to give Speckle the same initials as Col – CMR).
  • Must be a strong name.
  • Must be a traditional English name.
  • Must not have an Afrikaans equivalent, or the child will spend his life having his name mispronounced as we live in a predominantly Afrikaans city.
  • Must not be the same as anyone who Col went to school with, but whom he did not like.

This last one was by far the hardest to meet as Col went to Pretoria Boys High, meaning there were hundreds of boys in his year. In addition, the irrational side of Col came through here because when I asked why he didn’t like a particular boy, he usually just said, ‘Because.’ Using forceful arguments of association, I managed to get this criteria bumped pretty far down the list (although I think our chosen name does have a previous ‘owner’, but thankfully one who didn’t seem to rub Col up the wrong way).

The name discussions took place way back in May, and the winner was selected before Col left for Scotland in June. As Col and I both tend to be sharers by nature, it’s been tough to keep it under wraps this long so if your innocent query about a name was met with hostility, I do apologise. Put it down to hormones on my part, and fear of my hormones on Col’s!