A Remembrance Day Baby

I bring you good news of great joy. My sister, Em gave birth today (which was November 11th in LA) to a beautiful baby boy.  Every birth is a miracle but none more so when the mother is 47 years of age.

Em’s gynae history hasn’t been plain sailing and her first child was born just three years ago.  We thought she’d done the miraculous when she gave birth at 43.  But she never wanted a one-child family, believing a sibling for her gorgeous son would make their family complete.  But following Casper’s birth was a difficult path and in the end, she gave away all her baby paraphernalia and adjusted to the idea that her family was complete at three.

The happy couple on their wedding day

The happy couple on their wedding day

And then one Saturday morning I was standing on the sidelines of Alfie’s rugby game when a phone call came in from my father saying one of my sisters was pregnant.  It could only have been Em but as she was 46 I could barely believe it.  ‘She’s 11 weeks’, my father said and although I was swept away with joy for her, I couldn’t help feeling very tentative at the realisation that she wasn’t yet ‘out of the woods’ and that she had a long, long, long way ahead of her.

We seemed to all live on the razor’s edge through every day and week of her pregnancy, hoping never to get that phone call of adverse news.  But the weeks went by and she had all the tests and everything just went absolutely perfectly.  Her doctor even told her she was a very boring case.  Blessed!

Em’s first son was born at 37 weeks so with her past history and increased age, we were all expecting an early birth.  But it didn’t happen.  Day after day I checked in with my mother asking, ‘Any news’ but no, there was nothing to report.

A beautiful baby boy just after his first bath

A beautiful baby boy just after his first bath

But this morning I went and did a swim squad and when I got out of the pool there was a message on my phone saying Em was in labour and at the hospital.  I was on stand-by for the announcement – all day.  Five hours later my mother gave me the news.  Em’s family is complete with a second son.  His name is Freddy but more accurately, Frederick Germanicus Selwyn.  His father is a history-buff and wanted to have a Roman General’s name in there and quite fitting seeing as he was born on Remembrance Day.  My Archie’s middle name is also Selwyn as that is my father’s father name who was a WWII Veteran who spent over four years as a POW in Stalag Luft III.

Now…as for the labour…It started during the day when her son was at pre-school and her husband at work.  Thank goodness for Patrick who is a long-standing friend who was able to fill the gap and drive Em to the hospital.  Poor Patrick, he doesn’t have children, nor is he married, nor does he have any kind of medical background but anyway, he can drive.

So he drove Em to the hospital but by the time they arrived she was already 5cm dilated and in AGONY and requested a wheelchair and an anaethetist.  She did have a natural birth for her firstborn but gave up that idea thinking that at her age, she needn’t put herself through such an ordeal. Unfortunately, for the next few hours Em’s husband had to fight the horrendous LA traffic then battle for a parking space at the hospital so in the meantime, the inexperienced Patrick was in the birthing suite stepping up as the birthing partner with no knowledge or experience.  Just minutes before it all got interesting, Em’s husband arrived but everyone forgot to evict Patrick.  You’ll be pleased to know he stayed at the other end and not the business end for the delivery. And there he was; a beautiful baby boy weighing a perfect size of 7lbs 12ozs with lots of dark hair and a pretty face.

His father's genes appear to be very strong

His father’s genes appear to be very strong

I wish I could have been in Patrick’s place.  But all is not lost, Em and her family of four will be flying to Sydney in around four weeks for a four-week holiday.  I’m having them for dinner on Christmas Eve.  I’ll post photos of me cuddling that precious bundle – and the food of course!

So my parents quiver is full.  They have six granddaughters and eight grandsons and while I have the oldest grandchild, Em has the youngest – and there’s just two decades between them!

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  1. What a lovely story – and congratulations to you Aunty!

  2. I’m so thrilled for you!! This is such good news and I’m so happy that you get to hug them all very soon. 🙂

  3. Oh what a gorgeous story. And can I say I think Master Frederick has a look of Alfie about him. I bet those four weeks can’t come quick enough for you all.

  4. OMG Charlie, I researched Stalag Luft 111 while researching my great uncle Bede Sutton – not many survivied that! Thats where Hogan’s Heroes was made and inspired by – and the reader!!

  5. Congratulations Em and welcome to the world little Freddy. He’s just precious and I’m so glad everything went well. Can’t wait to see more photos.

  6. What an exciting new addition to the family, and such an adorable one at that! Congratulations all round!

  7. I’m in tears reading this story. We’ve had 2 deaths in our family this week, so the happiest news of all with the birth of a very much loved new baby is joyous! I’m so pleased for you all!!!!!!!!! Happy, happy times.

  8. Congratulations Aunty Charlie! Your sister looks so much like you! At 46 and pregnant, to be a ‘boring case’ would be the best news possible, thank God for the beautiful miracle that is Freddy!

  9. God is good. What a beautiful new nephew you have and I am thankful all went well throughout the pregnancy and delivery. Patrick was such a trooper and what a wonderful friend to be there for your sister and her husband.

    Em looks a lot like Arabella, who looks a lot like you.

    What wonderful news you’ve shared with us today.

  10. How wonderful, a truly gorgeous baby and great news. GG

  11. Oh, your new nephew is gorgeous! Welcome, Freddy!!!

  12. Congratulations on the wonderful addition to your family.

  13. Touching story. Congratulations. And even though it is his middle name, Germanicus is brilliant!

  14. This gives me hope. Thank you. So much congratulations to your whole family. xo

  15. Congratulations! What a happy story! I can’t wait to see your Christmas Eve photos.

  16. What a happy time!! Miracles come in small bundles 🙂 SO happy for you and your sister. Congratulations!!!

  17. Oh, such a gorgeous little baby boy and a wonderful and happy story, Charlie! Congratulations!!! 🙂

  18. themerryrose says:

    as another remembrance day baby (there are 2 in our family), welcome little Freddy! Congrats Charlie on being an aunty, again; its the best part of my life (the aunty bit).

    • How lovely to be a Remembrance Day baby, Merry Rose and happy birthday! Amazing how there are two in your family born on such a significant day.

      • themerryrose says:

        Charlie, I was the first and my SIL was the second … The funniest bit my bro’s bday was yesterday (13th!) … What were my parents thinking/doing!!! …

  19. Awww Charlie I’m so happy to you and your family! What wonderful news and I bet you can’t wait for them to arrive! Would love to see pics of you and baby Frederick! 🙂

  20. Aww congratulations to your sister on her beautiful baby 😀
    That is wonderful news 🙂


  21. Love and congratulations to your whole family! Welcome to the world sweet baby boy!

  22. G’day and really enjoyed your blog post today Charlie, true!
    Congrats to your new addition to your family…to your sister and brother in law too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  23. Congratulations Aunty 🙂 You and your sister really do look alike

  24. OMG a miracle birth of biblical proportions. So glad mummy and little man are well. How wonderful they will be visiting very soon and at such a special time of year. Congratulations.

  25. congrats on the good news! make sure you are a good aunt and spoil the baby heaps!

  26. Congratulations to your sister! What wonderful news – and how well timed that they are visiting soon. I am sure you can’t wait to see your sister and meet her latest newborn. Thanks for letting us share in your family’s news 🙂

  27. This is such a heart-warming story, something of a miracle. I feel so happy for you and all your family.

  28. What an exciting miracle indeed Charlie! I’m so glad everyone is doing well and that friend Patrick rose to the challenge- perhaps a Patrick could have been tacked on the end of the Roman general too? 🙂 congratulations, and what a little cutie indeed xox

  29. Awww, what tears of joy you all must have had. Talk about a miracle baby and one that will be treasured by every one of you. It’s tough to be so far away – I have experience.

    I’m thrilled for your sister. and btw.. I could certainly pick her as your sister from a lineup!

  30. Wonderful and exciting news. congratulations all around. I must say I thought the first pic of Freddy looked like a mini Alfie.
    So, any news on being a godmother…
    Have a beautiful day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  31. Congratulations to your sister Em 🙂 That’s fantastic and I think Freddy is a miracle baby because having a child at age 47 is definitely not easy! So so so happy for them! And can’t wait to see more photos!

  32. Such great news for everyone! Yours will be a particularly Merry Christmas this year!

  33. Congratulations to all, and what a wonderful tale and outcome for your sister and your family. So lovely. It will indeed be a very Merry Christmas this year!

  34. Congratulations! What a lovely story. And it sounds like you will be having a marvelous Christmas.

  35. congratulations to your sister! he is absolutely gorgeous! I look forward to seeing more photos of when they all come to visit!

  36. Sounds like a precious miracle baby!!! My mother gave birth to me at 45! I could not see myself have a baby at that age; she always said it kept her young! This was such a heart warming post, I’m so happy for you and your family!!

  37. What a blessing…a sweet, sweet blessing. I am balling like a big baby, Charlie. God is so good!! Please pas my congratulations on to your sweet sister and her her darling family. I am just so happy for them. 🙂 xoxo

  38. What lovely, happy news, your sister Em is truly blessed. You’ll be counting down the days until they arrive!

  39. Congratulations to all; that baby is perfect!
    My mother was born when my grandmother was 43…then my grandmother was 47 , she had twins! (However, those were my grandmother’s 10th, 11th and 12th babies).
    God bring your sister joy and a quick recovery!

  40. What a joyous occasion for your family! Congratualtions and welcome to the World, Little One!

    • Thanks John. He’s just gorgeous and I’m looking forward to meeting him. His father says this is the first child he hasn’t been able to see – now so old he needs glasses!

  41. Awww, I was smiling the whole time reading about the newest addition to your family! Congratulations! Hope your sister is feeling well! Your nephew is beautiful!! XO

  42. What joyful news and what a cute little guy he is!

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