Thursday, August 24, 2006
Iestyn Emrys Albertella was finally born at 1:31 am on Saturday 19th August 2006, weighing in at a very respectable 7lb and 8oz in old money. Alice had been having contractions since about 5am the previous morning, but things seemed to be progressing very slowly (if painfully) until gone midnight. Once things really started to happen, though, it was all over very quickly and suddenly there he was: our gorgeous little boy, announcing his arrival into the world with a muffled cry.
Muffled, it transpired, because his little head was still caught up in the amniotic sac, which had preceded him, unruptured, into the world. A good omen, apparently, this 'caul' over a baby's head - a recurrent element in Celtic folklore, reputed to confer the second sight and protection from drowning. Which makes his middle name, Emrys, derived from the Roman Ambrosius
and associated with the enigmatic figure of Myrddin (or Merlin), seem all the more appropriate.
Maybe this explains why Iestyn has cast a spell over us both. For this tiny, wonderful, precious and vulnerable creature - with fine fur on his ears like a little mouse, and impossibly tiny and delicate hands, and a wrinkled scalp that seems too big for his head, and deep deep deep blue eyes, so dark they seem almost black - has certainly captured our hearts. Abruptly, our whole world is focussed on this bright new life and we realise that all of the cliches about parenthood are true.