It’s my son’s 18th birthday today. He’s at 6th form college in London so I haven’t seen him, I spoke on the phone this morning and his mum is seeing him this evening.
It’s a big transition for my family, he’s officially an adult now and it seems the briefest blink of time back to when he was a little baby in my arms.
My wife gave birth in a pool using the Leboyer technique. Frederick Leboyer was a French obstetrician who came up with the notion. Essentially my wife was in a large bath, like a hot tub, the water was at body temperature and my son came out into the world very relaxed, he stretched and expanded before our amazed eyes.
He was under water for what seemed like ages but was probably only a few seconds. Due to the fact there was no air in his lungs he just stayed suspended in the water, he had perfect neutral buoyancy. The midwife, who was leaning over the edge of the pool, gave him the lightest lift with her hands and he came up to the surface. As his face emerged and without stress or crying, he took his first breath. Like a tiny sigh, still without question the most amazing sound I have ever heard.
My wife pulled him toward her gently, took him in her arms and he stared into her face with his piercing blue eyes. Not a sound, no crying, very very calm. No one spoke, I was crying but even I managed to be peaceful. My wife said ‘Hello you’ and he was with us.
18 years later and it’s like a whirlwind went through our lives leaving us dazed and confused, but the most amazing, challenging and extraordinary whirlwind. I feel very lucky to know him.