If you happened to have some form of music available, they say that you will always remember the song that was playing when your baby is first placed in your arms.
The Small Girl, thanks to the wonders of Kingston Hospital FM (that, together with the gas and air had me hallucinating about ABBA at one point!) was born to the sickly strains of Shania Twain’s “Looks like we made it” when she eventually decided to grace us with her arrival. Not a choice I would have made, had it been up to me and my incredibly organised list of “things that absolutely should happen during labour with my first baby”, which of course went out the window when reality struck. Anyway, as much as good old Shania is hardly my cup of tea, the words do ring quite true nevertheless, and I think of our first moments as a family when I now hear that song.
With the Small Boy, my labour was very different, and a lot more relaxed (as much as these things can be!) – and to suit the mood, he popped out to Simon and Garfunkel’s rather beautiful (if not overly played) Bridge Over Troubled Water (also on Hospital FM!) – whilst I wondered whether his hands were abnormally large, and whether he would remain a cone head forever (they aren’t, and he didn’t thankfully!)…
The Baby and I obviously had a very different experience altogether last time around (not one I would wish to repeat), and we were deprived of hospital radio (but, given Bavarian radio’s obsession with bands like Status Quo, Genesis and Scorpions, in hindsight might not have been such a bad thing!). Neither had we been organised enough to take any form of music of our own to listen to for the ordeal (not that I could have heard it with all the moaning from next door going on, and the bloody builders outside!), but we do have a song…
Our first hours together obviously didn’t go exactly as planned, but on that first evening in intensive care, and as darkness slowly fell outside, the nurse that looked after me bought me my baby to hold and attempt to feed as they felt I was now strong enough to try. And as I lay there propped up in the darkened room with a whole spaghetti of wires and tubes attached, and with moonlight streaming through the window, I sang Moon Shadow to my tiny perfect infant. Again its not a song I would usually listen to, it just appeared and felt right. And when I hear it now I still think of that bitter, but totally sweet moment of our slightly delayed, painful but beautiful start…
And in what seems like a flash, a whole year has passed and the Baby is ONE! Our turbulent initial days as a family of 5 are well and truly behind us, and he has brought nothing but joy and laughter to our lives ever since – especially as his cheeky personality emerges. I love this age as the first attempts at talking and walking begin. So far every animal is “dog” and he has mastered “no” and a very cute “yes” which sounds more like “yish”. He has 9 teeth and a determination that I am afraid mirrors my own (and quite possibly my stubbornness too!) and the best laugh in the world. It’s been so lovely to watch his older siblings adapt to him being here, and envelop him with love (his brother decided he did actually love him after a few weeks of his arrival!). He has quite the fan club when we go to pick them up to school, and it’s all I can do to stop the ladies in the cafeteria from gorging him on chocolate on a daily basis!!
Being the youngest, he’s had no choice but to fit in with our slightly alternative lives, and living abroad with a baby has bought a whole new dimension to this expat life. Whilst some things have taken some getting used to (the “hat police” for example!), it has mostly illustrated just how much Germans love babies and children, and puts how child friendly we are in the UK to shame at times, it really does.
And the boy himself? I think he enjoyed his first birthday celebrations, if he wasn’t slightly bewildered by them at the same time! We couldn’t be at home for his first birthday sadly, so as much as we missed being with family, we celebrated by spending the day at the fabulous Marchenwald (post to follow!) before picking his brother and sister up from school, and then popping into Munich for dinner. Of course we had to pay a quick visit to the Hofbrauhaus so that he can say he went there on his first birthday. If you can see it (it’s playing up for me!) I just adore the video below. Not only does it illustrate how cheeky he is, you can tell he was born here as he cannot resist a bit of dancing to any Oompah band! We then went on to celebrate at the weekend with good friends over a traditional Bavarian Brotzeit, followed by birthday cake in the glorious autumn sunshine.
Thank you for being you my sweet, we wouldn’t change you for the world. x
lol. I love that you went to the Hofbrauhaus for his first birthday! So basically, he’s a cool kid without even knowing what that means yet!
I loved reading your story about music and how you associate specific songs with each of your kids now. :)
I felt he had to be able to tell people that’s where he went on his first birthday! :D Thank you! :)
I don’t think any music was playing when Rory was born – but my song when I was pregnant with him was Lifted by the Lighthouse Family.
Happy Birthday to your gorgeous boy xx
And now I will be singing that all day! Lovely song, can’t believe it’s as old as Rory though, where does time go? Thank you xx
That’s so lovely!xx
Thank you xx
Oh Emma, what a lovely post. I can’t believe a year has passed either. Happy Birthday to your gorgeous boy.
Thank you lovely x
Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely says
Where has the year gone?! I can’t believe he’s one already. It sounds like you had the perfect celebration x
It has flown past! Thanks Rachel! x
Aaaw how is he possibly one already!
He really is looking like a proper little toddler now though and will be zooming around in no time x x
He’s already attempting that part! No-one is safe when he has his little wooden trolley thing on the move! :D xx
Michelle Twin Mum says
Ahh that year seems to have gone very quickly and he is looking like a real little boy now and not so much a babe anymore. Mich x
It has flown past. Thank you. x
Oh my goodness; a year!! Where does the time go… Xx
I know. It’s scary! Thank you xx
Jen Walshaw says
How can he be one already! Oh my, he is just so squishable (in the best way). I never had music playing when either of my boys were born (1 crash section and 1 emergency section), but they do have their own songs.
Thank you Jen! I am glad your boys have songs too despite their scary sounding arrivals! :) x
A beautiful post, well written and tear inducing. So happy you had very special celebrations at the weekend for Bruno. x PS I can’t get that song out of my head now!
Ta Ma x
Midlife Singlemum says
I’m with the baby, I love a good oompapah. Happy Birthday to your Bavariam Boy! xxxx
Thank you! :) xx
Gosh I can’t remember at all, how bad is that – both my labours were emergency sections though and I was shattered by that point. I vaguely remember some Take That playing for L, and playing Cold Play’s new album while in labour with G (how blooming depressing – ‘it was a long and cold November, from the rooftops I remember’ will be forever etched!) Happy Birthday little one, what gorgeous pics! I love you have your song :)
Thanks lovely. I can imagine you had your mind on other things during your baby’s arrivals! And don’t worry, I imagine if I had been organised enough to take play lists, there would have been something I would have been a bit “what?” about nowadays! :D xx