The Fourth Trimester

The Fourth Trimester

Guest post by Bruce Devereaux

Looks like baby number seven is going to get a lecture on teasing when it finally shows its head.

Today, being the first day of the school year, is the ONLY day Tracey didn’t want to have this baby because she didn’t think I’d be up to the challenge of delivering all four little kids to their respective classrooms (well, daycare for Miss2) with the appropriate books, pens, glue, crayons, plastic slips, library bags, clothes and hairstyles.

And don’t kid yourself, hairstyles is the most important thing on that list.

Initially, if she went into labour, I was to do their hair.

“Can’t I just put a hat on them?” I asked Tracey, which lead to a quick change of plan.

If Tracey went into labour last night I was to march all the kids up to hospital tomorrow, not to meet their latest sibling, but to get their hair combed, braided, plaited and juzzed. I don’t even know how to spell juzzed nor what the difference is between a plait and a braid.

But all that was forgotten about last night when things really started heating up in our bed. No, not like that: Tracey was getting contraction like pains.

While mild at first they did build over half an hour so we thought it was time to get things sorted. It was 11.30pm. I rang the hospital to let them know to expect us in tonight. I rang my mother and she came over to mind the kids. I put the hospital bag in the car. I posted an entry on Facebook.

Then we waited. Then, around 1.30am, things started to die down.

“We’ll go for a drive,” I suggested.

Although Tracey thought it was an old wives tale, we went. Turns out Gympie has some fantastic baby inducing roads – all bitumened and lit for our convenience. Whether or not it was the pot-holed streets of G-town I don’t know, but suddenly it was on again.

“Have you got the camera?”

“Yes, dear.”

“The phone?”

“Yes, dear.” I mean, this isn’t the first birth I’ve attended.

We popped home to let my mum know we were heading to the hospital. While Tracey updated my mother I quickly ducked into our bedroom and grabbed the camera and phone then tried to muster her back to the car.

“It’s settled down again,” she told me. Despite my mother and I encouraging her with cries of “Push! Push!” an hour later it was obvious things were going right off the boil again.

Tracey was a bit peeved by now. Forgetting completely this was the one night she didn’t want to have a baby because it was the first day of the new school year in the morning, she said, “It’s got to be tonight. I’m in my fourth trimester!”

Again it started up and again things settled down. By 5am it was all over red rover for the night. Dang and bugger.

On the bright side, Tracey did manage to deliver all the kids, each with their half ton of books, glue and pens, to their classrooms and settle them in.

And their hair looked fantastic.

Bruce started his blog because friends and family kept wanting to know how he managed to feed and clothe such a large family while still having fun and being able to afford holidays and beer. He had no idea, but thought if he started writing things down some sort of pattern might emerge. When not at work Bruce enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies. He’s recently taken up the cycling challenge with a view to surviving long enough to see all his kids out the door so he can finally sleep in.

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