Aside from the panic and the waiting and the worry, endless worry, the things I remember most about the day Oliver was born are the sounds.

Oliver was born by a C-section that was convened in a hurry at the last minute after his heart rate started diving into the low 60s the day before he was to be induced out.

I remember the unearthly quite of the surgery waiting room where I waited with Dr. Peter Noonan, the wonderful paediatrician who attended the affair.

I remember the constant beep, beep, beep of the machines in the NICU that helped keep Oliver alive. I remember being scared to death that they would stop beeping their “he’s still alive” beeps.

But most of all I remember the sound of his emergence from Catherine. It is a hard sound to describe, and I’m fairly certain that I was the only one in the world to hear it clearly (Catherine and the medical people being distracted by other things, obviously).

The sound was sort of exactly like you would think it would be, a sort of schlorpt sound. To approximate it as you read this, you can put your tongue on the roof of your mouth, then pull your tongue quickly back and down and back while taking a quick breath in.

But that will be only an approximation. I will never forget that sound.

Oliver was born on Sunday, October 1, 2000 and by Tuesday he had bounced back from near oblivion and has been a happy healthy boy ever since.

My friend Stephen Good says that becoming a parent is like joining a club that, before you join it, you can’t understand why you would ever want to join, and after you join it you can’t imagine why you didn’t join sooner. He’s right. Oliver is a joy to be around, and has changed my life in untold ways.

So please join me tomorrow in wishing Oliver a happy second birthday. It’s the end of free airfare and the start of the really exciting years.



Andrew's picture
Andrew on October 1, 2002 - 02:55 Permalink

Happy Birthday Oliver. :) And happy second anniversary of being a father, Peter & Catherine.

Michael CK's picture
Michael CK on October 1, 2002 - 04:07 Permalink

Happy Birthday OR-M!!

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on October 1, 2002 - 05:18 Permalink

That’s ODLR, Mike.

Oliver's picture
Oliver on October 1, 2002 - 06:08 Permalink

An oldr ODLR. Happy birthday, O! Congrats, P &C!

Ann Thurlow's picture
Ann Thurlow on October 1, 2002 - 12:12 Permalink

God in the aubergine jacket joins me in wishing Oliver the happiest of birthdays. Certainly, he has brought much happiness to both of us (and our friend the World’s Best Babysitter) and we are glad to be able to wish him a little back.

uncle rocker's picture
uncle rocker on October 1, 2002 - 14:56 Permalink

Happy 2nd Oliver…you’re lucky to have such nice parents.

Cassady's picture
Cassady on October 1, 2002 - 15:01 Permalink

Please wish Oliver a Happy Birthday for me. Also tell him that will be over to wish soon( I will try to come to visit next weekend but I can’t make any promises) I hope every thing is well

Johnny's picture
Johnny on October 1, 2002 - 16:55 Permalink

As wee Oliver’s crazy uncle on the other side of the country, I don’t get to spend too much time with the little fella. Given that I work with his father, I am afforded the occasional privilege of hearing him gurgle into the phone before bedtime. I did, one day, get to push him around in his stroller at George Campbell’s farm in Park Corner while his father had a Land Trust meeting. We strolled past the Lake of Shining Waters in the warm September twilight and petted a horsey and, well, it just doesn’t get much better than that. Happy Birthday wee Oliver!

Matt's picture
Matt on October 1, 2002 - 23:23 Permalink

Happy B-Day, Oliver! You’re a cool young dude blessed with wonderful parents. Molly is hoping to firm up her prom date plans with you now, so please R.S.V.P.

stephen's picture
stephen on October 3, 2002 - 16:13 Permalink

Happy birthday Oliver from Phoebe, Anna, Liam and Chloe.

Mine birthday? — Phoebe, 2 too.
Birthday? — do we get cake too?  — Anna, 5
Can I send him a Bionicle?  — Liam, 7
Happy Birthday, Oliver — Chloe, 9.
I’m 39 years older than him, almost 21 times his age, how depressing — Stephen.
God bless you, Oliver — Sheila.