I love my son. It’s unconditional and, at times, overwhelming. For some strange reason I find him so fantastic I want to put his feet in my mouth and eat him up!

…and the thing is, I think I love him all the more because I broke the rules that are imposed on ‘Dads To Be’ by other ‘New Dads’.

Against all the advice of my friends, during the birth I was down ‘the business end’.

“I will give you one piece of advice,” said my freind Terry giving me his 49th piece of advice that week. “Whatever you do, don’t go down the business end!” He stated emphatically.

“There is nothing to be gained down the business end,” my friend Steve said, supping deeply on his pint and backing up the sage words of Terry. “Oh yes, there is nothing, I repeat nothing for a man down the business end.

And this is exactly where I was and I will be honest, this was 18 certificate stuff! My beautiful partner pushed and cried, squated and thrusted through the pain and, at one point went so beetroot that she lost the plot and actually believed she was inside a machine’ – I have no idea what she meant either, it’s what she said, you try and make sense of it!

When the wee man’s head finally popped out from between Becky’s legs I cried out, “well done gorgeous girl, you have done it! It’s over. The head is out! No more pain!”

And the midwife said, “that’s right Becky. Well done, the head is out… now you just have to push out the shoulders!”

A fair sized heid and shoulders like James Caan in 'The Godfather'

A fair sized heid and shoulders like James Caan in 'The Godfather'


This morning I had a reality check as to what the next few years of my life involve. They involve events like the one I experienced this morning sitting outside Costa Coffee in South West London at 5.48am.

You see, strange things happen in the twilight hours. It’s a world inhabited by shift workers and parents with tiny children, city bankers and those with nowhere better to go. It’s a world inhabited by the interesting and the downright strange. This morning before dawn even broke I saw a priest with an eye patch and a man wearing a sword –  no word of a lie. This is a big city.

At 5.48am, as I waited indignantly and with shortening patience for Costa to open I wondered why, if I was up and showered and had managed to drive the three miles to a coffee house then why the hell were they not open? And then I remembered that A: not everyone has a screaming, sleepless three day old son and B: it was not even six in the morning!

So, the future may be bright, the future may be orange…. but that’s only because it’s so bloody early the orange happens to be the sun rising!

Violin Impresario Nigel The Bloodhound Kennedy

Violin Impresario Nigel The Bloodhound Kennedy

…unlike on a labour ward, where everyone can hear you scream – and they do!

Men have no idea, no idea at all! I cannot put this point forcefully enough. I just watched Becky go through unfathomable pain to produce our son. If men gave birth 98% of all deliveries would be C-sections and 100% of men would have an epidural before they even reached the hospital!

I have now got a whole new level of respect for all women – and especially my mother, as I have a pretty big head.

Noah Rafferty Railton was born on March 28th at 10 past eight in the evening after a labour which lasted so long we witnessed two rotations of Hailey’s Comet, the appearance of Brigadoon and my friend Terry buy a round of drinks.

“Would you do it again?” I asked Becky as she lay cradling her newly born son in her arms.

“Absolutely,” she said. ” I think 15 years between children is about the perfect age gap.”

An irrelevant picture of hovering dogs, you just don't see that much these days!

An irrelevant picture of hovering dogs, you just don't see that much these days!

Pig Sperm And Needles…

March 30, 2009

“This is not the natural birth I expected… This is not my beautiful plan,” said Becky starting to sound a little like David Byrne of Talking Heads.

“I Know Babe, it’s a far cry from labouring in the birth pool, swinging on a bean bag and enjoying all the facilities of the Natural Birth Centre, but I suppose that’s what happens when your waters break and you don’t even get a single contraction for over 50 hours.”

You don’t have to explain that to me,” said Becky getting slightly annoyed.

“I know that,” I countered. “I was just using it as a plot device to explain to the readers what has been going since the last time I blogged.”

“Oh, okay then.” she said joining in. “I never wanted some weird pig sperm gel shot up into my bits to get things started and this needle in my arm is killing me. And why does everyone talk to me like I am a fucking idiot?”

“I know. This is not what we wanted. Hopefully the end result will be worth all of this,” I said trying to reassure Becky.

“I know it will… I know it will.”


You could at least buy me a drink first! (Last farmyard picture I promise!)

Back in 5 mins…

March 29, 2009

I will be back soon… am off having a baby… I did suggest to Becky that I take my computer into the labour ward but she called me a word with four letters, which was, up until the last few years, a really really bad thing to say…

In the meantime here is an amusing picture of someone who looks like Jesus.. obviously I am not say it is the Lord our God as some people may find that offensive… It just looks like him… a lot.

"I am not Jesus, I just have the same initials" - Jarvis Cocker

"I am not Jesus, I just have the same initials" - Jarvis Cocker

The voice was unmistakable as the curtain around Becky’s hospital bed twitched like a routine by Morecambe and Wise.  Delia, the oldest Yoda like Lilt Lady midwife was trying her best to find her way around a six foot wide cotton screen, and not having much luck at all.

“I’ll be with you in just a minute dear…” Poke, prod, push went the curtain before she finally burst through, bottle top glasses askew and her shopping TV curly black wig slightly to one side. “Barbara! How are the twins?” She asked and I watched Becky’s heart rate immediately spike on the monitor by the bed.

“We need to check how dilated you are,” said Delia, snapping on rubber gloves to her Mike Tyson sized hands and squirting a generous dollop of cold, clear lube. Immediately I was struck by childhood memories of watching an episode of All Creatures Great and Small when James Herriot straps on an arms length glove and starts rummaging around in the back end of a cow.

As Delia went about her business I watched poor Becky grow more and more red and uncomfortable. At one point I thought Delia’s elbow was going to disappear!

“I just inside the cervix now… I give him a little pat on the head.”

“How dilated am I?” Becky asked, face like a boiled lobster and the stark reality of what was to come washing over her.

“One centimetre,” announced Delia triumphantly.

... and relax!

... and relax!

Beedy beedy beedy!

March 26, 2009

“Well, there’s a whole load of stuff you can do to help me through this final stage of pregnancy, babe,” Becky explained to me this afternoon.

“You name it, I can do it… just let me know what you need.”

“Perhaps later you can tweak my nipples to help bring on the contractions,” she said.

“The last time I did that you got really annoyed at me!” I said indignantly.

“Babe, I was only three months pregnant at the time!… and I am still too embarrassed to go back to Sainsburys!”

Buck Rogers and his sidekick Nipples, I mean Tweaky, er, Twiki!

Buck Rogers and his sidekick Nipples, I mean Tweaky, er, Twiki!

“Sleep all day, party all night… it’s fun to be a vampire!” Hmmm, I very much doubt any of The Bloody Lost Boys had a screaming newborn when they so cockily came up with that catchphrase!

Steve just texted me and asked me if there was any movement on the baby front.

“No,” I replied. “We are bouncing on the gym ball, marching, marching, marching, drinking raspberry leaf tea, massaging Clary Sage oil into Becky’s feet… you name it, we are doing it to get the wee man out. How goes it with you?”

“Well, both the boys are throwing up and have the trots, and the youngest had to go to accident and emergency yesterday for a skull x-ray after whacking his head on the corner of the dining table.”

“Nice!” I said. “I bet right now you feel that starting to work from home was the best decision you ever made.” And then he put the phone down on me.

I had a chat with my friend Terry at just after four this morning. Becky was up waddling around the bedroom, cursing her lack of contractions, the state of the world and the fact we have a downstairs toilet.

“What are you up to Terry?” I asked “It’s four in the morning.”

“I know it’s four in the morning… I am always up at four in the morning these days. Maybe I will pop round to your house for some peace and quiet. I have fed her, changed her, taken her temperature but still she cries. And that’s just the wife, wahey!”

“Good to see you have not lost your sense of humour.” I said.

” You have to laugh my friend, you have to laugh. What are you doing?”

“We are waiting, Terry.. still waiting….”

57 Channels And Nothin' On

57 Channels And Nothin' On

“Babe! Can you come here for a minute,” Becky called from the bathroom last night.

“Sure,” I replied with a little trepidation, not really knowing what to expect.

“I was just having a pee and I think my waters have broken.”

“Ok, that’s a good thing,” I said looking calm and in control while suddenly feeling I had been kicked in the balls by Vinnie Jones. My face said, ‘everything is just Jim Dandy and peachy keen,’ while inside my head was saying, ‘SHIT SHIT SHIT, THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING OH GOD RUN AWAY NOW!’

So, off we went to the hospital where we met Delia the most laid back midwife on the planet…

Delia was the living and breathing incarnation of one of the Lilt Ladies, well over three hundred years old and moved at just over one mile an hour…oh, and she was quite, quite deaf too. In a strange way it made the experience all that more relaxing, simply due to the fact the whole thing was bordering on the comical.

In the first five minutes she managed to wrap herself up in the curtain twice, knock everything off the table, bumped into the bed, could not find the light switch and asked Becky if this was her last baby.

“My last baby?” replied Becky giving me ‘the eyes’.

“Oh no, dear,” said Delia dropping cotton wool balls all over the floor. “I meant your first baby. Let me just have a feel around,” and she laid her hands on Becky’s tummy like it was some sort of giant crystal ball. “Is breach yes?”

“No, no,” said Becky, a little alarmed. “Is, er, he is not breach at all. His head is fully engaged. Just where it should be.”

Delia scrunched her yoda like nose, pushed up her bottle top glasses and went in for another round of mystic belly prediction. “Twins?”

At this point Vinnie Jones suddenly reappeared to give my balls another hearty boot and I began to think that perhaps Delia was actually just an inquisitive cleaner who had wondered in and we were still waiting for the real midwife to turn up.

“No Delia! No, No!” I said, realising my voice was now so high that it was probably alarming Alsations all over South West London.

“Hmmm… maybe not then,” said the Yoda Lilt lady. “Just the one…”

And so this farce continued to just after one in the morning when we were sent home until the contractions really kicked in… which brings us neatly to where we are now. Waiting, waiting, waiting….

The waters breaking, even I didn't expect the Jack Russell!

The waters breaking, even I didn't expect the Jack Russell!

Oh yes, it’s true. Giving birth does not have to be agony, it turns out it can actually be ecstasy!

Type “Orgasmic Labour Birth” into You Tube and you will find a lovely film featuring two complete headbangers from the United States having an Orgasmic Labour in a birthing pool. At one point the woman actually purrs… actually purrs my friends!

According to one American midwife 21% of her clients have Orgasmic births – they actually ‘come’ during labour! “It’s the best kept secret in childbirth,” she declares. “The baby coming out of the birth canal is just like a penis going into it,” she goes on to say and I guess that’s true if you are used to having sex with men who have a seven pound penis.

So, when your wife or partner is screaming out in pain for an epidural, gas and air, morphine and a litre of gin to kill the pain, while at the same time calling you a ‘complete and utter, utter bastard’ that is the exact moment to tell her to stop making such a fuss and remind her of You Tube’s Amber and Aseem Hartnel and their Orgasmic birth. Do let me know how that goes.

The Baby's on his way darling!

The Baby's on his way darling!