May 25, 2017 saw my third grandchild arrive.
We have been waiting for him for quite some time. Lucy was convinced he would be early (like Julia) but it turns out that we was very happy where he was and in no hurry to make an appearance.
There was some excitement about four weeks ago, but it turned out that it was just back pains. Lucy was finishing some essays for her first year PhD and had been sitting in the same (bad) position for too long.
So the pregnancy term of Julia came and went, and Lucy's official due date came and went, still no sign of action.
On Wednesday this week, six days after the due date, I went down to Baldock to look after Julia for the day so Lucy and Nidia could spend some time together. While we went to grandparents’ playgroup in Letchworth, Lucy and Nidia walked to Sainsbury’s, then to the swimming pool, then back to Baldock to have lunch with us in Dizi’s, then back home. Lucy was too weary to walk to Avenue Park in the afternoon, but she did walk to the chip shop with Tom to get fish and chips for dinner. I think she must have walked four miles that day, plus an hour’s swimming.
In the evening, Tom and I went to the Templars Hotel to watch the Europa League final between Manchester United and Ajax Amsterdam (Man U won 2-0 and qualified for the Champions League next year). Lucy was still up when we got back and I drove home.
At 5am, when Holly woke me up, there was a WhatsApp message from Tom to say that Lucy’s waters had broken and they were at the maternity hospital. For the past five weeks, we had been on standby to go to Baldock to care for Julia when Lucy went in to give birth, but since Nidia arrived from Ecuador just over a week ago, we’ve not been first-line responders.
I made a cup of tea and went to tell Margaret the news. I had a meeting at school in the morning with the head teacher and two prospective new governors, so Margaret went down on the train to help Nidia and lend some moral support. Julia was at nursery until 2pm, so Margaret and Nidia did some cleaning and washing before having lunch and picking Julia up.
Lucy gave birth at midday with the baby weighing 3.7kg (8.4lbs) which was much more than Julia and reflects the fact he was a week late rather than three weeks early. After my meeting, I sorted out Holly and some watering and then drove down.
They were in the Lister Hospital in Stevenage and so I drove Nidia, Julia and Margaret to see them. The new baby - Aureliano Jacinto Rayner Rojas - was doing fine. He had fed already and was fast asleep. He’s quite a big baby, but seems tiny next to Julia or Arthur. Julia is fascinated and was very keen to touch him and give him a hug. She calls him “mano” which is part of “hermano” - Spanish for brother. We will probably call him the same thing as there’s no obvious diminutive of Aureliano. We thought about “Arry” or “Rio” from Aureliano or “Jack” from Jacinto. Anyway, Julia will have the final say.
She was shattered and starving when we got her home and was so hungry (by the time I’d got to Tesco and back) that she needed Tom and Margaret to feed her - one shovelling in the tuna fish and sweet corn, the other doing pasta and pesto.
After dinner, I played with her while Tom went back to Lister hospital to pick up Lucy, Aureliano and Nidia. We’d just got her pyjamas on when they got home and she was very weary - overtired. Aureliano, on the other hand, was fast asleep in his car seat and didn’t wake when Margaret took him through to his Moses basket in the lounge.
Welcome Aureliano, I look forward to watching you grow up and wish you a long and happy life.
|Aureliano has lots of hair. Quite dark at the moment|
|Back home with grandmother Margaret.|
|In the Moses basket - and still sleeping.|