Being a first-time father is all delight and excitement but when you are expecting your second, the attention required for the first one, kind of diminishes the focus on the second bump. My elder one is nearly 3 and highly demanding in terms of his energy levels and his constant desire to slay dragons of all colors and hues. So getting up as usual for an early session of Squash at 5 am has become a bit of a task these last few years and this was like any other day. Except I suddenly hear the better half moaning in her sleep. Or at least I thought she was asleep. It turned out that her labor had started in earnest and I wasn’t sure if this was another false alarm (as her ‘water’ burst a few days ago and nothing transpired soon after). So we quickly started timing the contractions and the intervals, only to realize that it was quite erratic and not at all consistent. Considering this to be a Braxton Hicks moment I had half a mind to tell her to go back to sleep but she insisted on calling Midwives at Birthvillage. That’s when I knew things were changing rapidly. My initial days of training kicked in and remained calm through the process while she spoke over the phone. Lucky for u,s they were up as well, having just finished delivering two babies back to back over the last couple of days and one just hours before. So it was all well-coordinated, I was rubbing my wife’s back while a close watch was kept on her contractions and the baby’s heartbeat, by one midwife while the other midwife was busy preparing the ‘wading tub’ for a water birth. We missed that the last time as my wife grew a bit uncomfortable sitting in the tub for a long time while the water slowly went cold. Considering that it took us 13 hrs last time to get to the end result, I was hoping this one would be quick. And quick it was! I believe she was in the water for just under an hour before the second coming, as they say. Before I knew it, I was looking at this tiny bundle of joy being cradled in her arms, hardly making a sound and looking as peaceful as he would be if he were still in the womb. And once again it was all due to the lovely caregivers at Birthvillage that our faith in the natural process has been rekindled, stronger than ever. And we were back home by 4 in the evening! And here is the interesting part: I must say that he was way different from how my first was born. For starters, he was half the size, and secondly, he was so calm and cool that for a moment I was not sure how they would relate as brothers. But then again one must never expect the same would apply to every child. Every child is different and going by his initial temperament, Samuel(yes, that’s the name) seems to have a very different personality to Joshua(my firstborn). And that’s a relief. With Joshua wanting to slay dragons and using my stomach every evening as his battleground, having a calmer soul next to me would be a welcome relief. Perhaps he would like to just hear the part about the princess that needed to be rescued.

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