The hysteria. The elation. The family Whatsapp group going out of control.
This is the scene that went down the moment we found out that my eldest sister had just given birth to a gorgeous baby boy. The first grandchild of the family had arrived! And he was three weeks early.
The Initial Reactions
The eldest of five sisters, you can imagine how excited we were when Kate announced that she and her hubby Kev were expecting. There were tears and squeals and noise levels that only four younger sisters could generate at such news.
Within a week of hearing the news that they were expecting, my dad had bought his future grandchild a 500-piece jigsaw (how a newborn was going to tackle such a thing, nobody knows), whilst my mum thundered up the stairs to rummage out the Moses basket from the attic.
I am my father’s daughter, which means that I felt a similarly instant and overwhelming urge to buy unnecessary gifts for this not-yet-born-baby. Everywhere I went there seemed to be tiny t-shirts, teeny hats and miniature runners calling my name… In places where the miniature apparel wasn’t immediately visible, I’d still sniff them out. I once found a knitted “baby-crown” in a Phibsborough stationary shop, of all places. It was priced at €30, and ohhh how I wanted to buy that nonsensical, overpriced knitted baby-crown…
The Big Reveal
I remember seeing the first message come into the group, three hours after my sister had gone into labour. My brother-in-law announced that Archie had arrived into the world a healthy 7lbs 7oz, and we freaked. Within seconds my younger sister (who is now based in Sydney) called me, it was 3am her time but she had waited up all night to hear the news.
We both had Whatsapp Web up on our computers so we could see the whole procession of updates coming in whilst staying on the phone. We carried out a live commentary as the heartfelt messages, and photos of the newborn baby and overjoyed mum buzzed up onto the screen. This made it seem like we were experiencing it together, despite our vast difference in location. It was the most millennial thing I’ve ever done.
The Baby Shower
The plan was to throw Kate a small, tasteful baby shower with just the family in two weeks’ time, a “low-key high-tea”, with lots of carbs and minimal fuss, one week before the baby was due to arrive. In hindsight, it was probably cutting things a bit fine, but bear in mind my sister was still attending pilates classes on the regular, so we figured an afternoon of sedentary eating would not be too much to handle.
You’d imagine that the small detail of the baby being already born might somewhat scupper our plans for the shower, but, no. A party was planned, and we were adamant that a party would take place. As such, Archie will be attending his own baby shower. I mean, what a legend.
A Bunch Of Junkies
Since the birth of the baby, my mum has gone into food-provision overdrive, making deliveries of lunch, dinner and endless flapjacks to the couple at every possible opportunity. The family WhatsApp group has also now doubled as the Archie Appreciation Fan Club and the new parents are hounded by us multiple times a day for more pictures of Archie, more descriptions of Archie’s last feed, more insight into Archie’s bowel movements…
As a family, we never had a tendency towards addiction, but all of a sudden we’ve become a bunch of fervent junkies, and this baby, the first grandchild of the family, is the drug we don’t look likely to come off anytime soon.