Our son Mark is five years old today. He was born as a ‘Monday to Firday, 9 to 5’ baby – that is, by elective Caesarean Section after Debbie had a rough final trimester in the pregnancy. (Seventeen months earlier, Rebekah had been an emergency Caesarean.) Debbie went into the hospital at seven in the morning while I took Rebekah to her childminder. But the planned trip to theatre at nine never happened, due to crises. Eventually, Mark was born at 2:21 pm.

A scheduled date for August had bothered me. It always would have been tight for him to stay in the womb until September, but I was bothered about him being one of the youngest in his school classes. (The school year begins in September in the UK.) I need not have worried, he has turned out to be the brightest child in his class by a distance. Amazingly, he is also one of the tallest. And had he been a September birth and had to wait until next month to begin school, I don’t know how he would have coped. I’m a proud Dad, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Having no brothers myself, I had always wanted to have a son, to keep the family name going. I know, it’s a guy thing. Not that I love our daughter any less – far from it, I feel a similar special father-daughter bond with her, compared with that my Dad has always had with my sister. And as our firstborn, she holds a special place in my heart. Besides, she is the most beautiful girl in the world!

Mark has certainly inherited my love of all things academic. He devours books, and has even started writing his own. Yesterday, he started writing his own Bible! He gets fixated on one thing and won’t let go. I call it tenacity and perseverance, Debbie calls it an obsession. It will stand him in good stead as he learns more.

He does have a redhead’s temper, though, and combined with the stocky build (that’s not from me) he’s developed in recent months, I don’t think he’ll have the trouble with bullies that I suffered for many years. I won’t be sorry if that’s the case, although he’ll need to improve his social skills in terms of conflict resolution as he gets older!

For some months now, he has compiled a list of girlfriends – especially one girl called Lily, but there are about thirty names on the list. They go on the list whether they consent or not – they just have to be girls he likes. One day he will learn that one woman is (more than) enough! But yesterday on the beach, Rebekah made friends with a five-year-old called Carla. Mark joined in, chatting the hind legs of a donkey. When Carla had to say goodbye, she came up to him and planter two smackers on his face. He looked so happy!

So – happy birthday, son!


  1. Oh my goodness Dave…..

    I foresee many father-son chats regarding women! Quite the ladies man you’ve got there.

    Our son was a “scheduled birth” the same way – my wife had severe preeclampsia with our first, necessitating an emergency c-section. A lot of doctors do not want to see mothers try a vaginal birth after a c-section, and my wife’s doctor agreed that the risk was too high. So we had a nice calm, relaxed arrival of our son – a nice change from the heightened drama that was our daughter’s birth.

    And you should be proud…….although you might reinforce a few shirt buttons!


    1. I was never a ladies’ man, so I don’t have any experience to draw on! 🙂

      Both the c-sections in our family were medical necessities, hardly the designer c-sections (‘too posh to push’) that you hear about allegedly being demanded by certain wealthy parents. We’re glad they both happened that way. In Rebekah’s case, she was ten days overdue and induction didn’t work. More drugs only sent her heartbeat all over the place. With Mark, the reason was for Debbie’s sake, but when they got the little man out, the cord was around his neck. I always felt it was in the providence of God that he was a c-section.


  2. Our elder daughter was born 9-5 by induction – on 31 August 1978. Those were days when maternity was more authoritarian. The experts never beliwed my wife’s dates and felt Debbie was much further on than we knew. As it was she was 8lb 12 oz. Not that you’d know that now seeing how petite a young lady she is.

    Being the youngest in year, and initially in school was never a problem. She was always at the leading edge, through uni as well, narrowly missing a First when still just 20 years old! And I fully identify with the father.daughter, elder child sentiments. It was a privilege to escort her up the aisle at her wedding in 2004.

    Oddly the 9-5 element of the pattern was repeated in October 2007, when she gave birth to her son Alexander. She had developed a young lady’s variant of MD during pregnancy, which messed up her sight, and was not allowed to push for fear of more major damage to her eyes. So her son was born by C Section around noon. A fine and delightful boy – and a lovely first grandchild. With his mother’s, and father’s, brightness , inquisitiveness and vivaciousness. And he seems to have a girlfriend already! He also has his father’s tough build and will have to learn to manage his growing strength. Debbie is now registered as partially sighted.

    She is now expecting her second child, due next March (a very good month!). So as Matron of Honour at her younger sister’s wedding last month there were more of us coming up the aisle than could be seen! Eyes are stable so far. But the fortcoming child will again be born by C section. No need for anyone to feel guilty about that, especially where there are good medical reasons.


    1. Colin,

      That’s very moving. Thank you for sharing it. I hope to look forward to similar experiences when Rebekah is older, although I am sorry to read about Debbie’s sight.

      And yes, March is a very good month – both Rebekah and I have March birthdays!


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