Fine Living | Diary of a Somebody

Matt Hermer

False alarms as the baby bides his time

Matt Hermer

November 07 2011
Matt Hermer

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I lied. When I started this blog at the beginning of the week, I wrote that we were going to have a baby this week. If only. There have been times when we thought it might actually happen, notably Friday afternoon when, after an “induction” acupuncture session, I was called and summoned to pick up Marissa, who had almost fainted and was convinced that she was in labour after five minutes of the needles being in.

Luckily we were due for a scan immediately afterwards and the doctor assured us that all was fine – that my wife was not in labour, and that everything was going “to plan”.

I’ve never known a “plan” that has a beginning, a middle, but no definite “end”. We left the scan on Friday feeling no more the wiser as to when our baby was going to come – “It could come at any time” now seems to be the sage advice we have been given by doctors over the past couple weeks, which is completely useless as far as planning a weekend goes. So the only planning we did was to see very close friends who would not be offended if we cancelled at the last minute or if my wife gave birth on their kitchen floor.

I was awoken early on Saturday morning by my better half telling me that we needed to go into hospital as she was having contractions and was in labour (again). In perhaps not my greatest defining moment, I think my exact words were, “Oh rubbish, don’t be ridiculous, it is three o’clock in the morning.” But we called the hospital and spoke to the midwife who told Marissa that we could come in then, but best to wait until contractions were four minutes apart before dashing off. Better to stay at home and be comfortable for as long as possible. So I made my wife as comfortable as possible, and apparently did such a good job that she fell sound asleep until late in the morning. I, on the other hand, was wide awake until dawn, gripped with panic and excitement.

So Saturday and Sunday mornings, I head to KX gym to sweat out the past week and prepare for the inevitable exhaustion that is to ensue. After merciless spinning classes, we have leisurely mornings with papers by the fire, afternoon snoozes, and last-minute shopping for this creature who needs to get his act together and join us. We walk around the King’s Road and through Harrods and I’m a little in shock that Christmas festivities seem to already be under way. Every year it seems the windows are dressed earlier – and every year, as I am inevitably dragged through the masses in the Harrods Food Halls, I swear that I’m never going back through a department store from early November to January. This is probably another lie.

We catch up with some American friends for dim sum at Chuen Cheng Ku in Chinatown – I love the trolleys that transport the steamed little gems. Other dear friends have also just returned home to London after giving birth to their first son in Bermuda, so after lunch we popped by to see them and their baby. He is truly adorable – and seeing our friends, already seemingly experts in their new parental roles, made it all the more real that we were on the cusp of welcoming our own.

The rest of the Sunday follows our normal Sunday evening routine – phone calls to family, catching up on some emails, finishing the papers, and roasting a chicken for a cosy supper. For me, it is usually a chance to reflect upon the last week and plan the week ahead. Though tonight, I’m just excited to meet my son.

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