Induction and convection

Thursday, 16 December 2010

It seems I possess slightly unusual powers to induce birth.

Firstly – to all men - beware! Never become involved with me unless you want to procreate with another woman soon after we're over. This has happened more times than I care to remember now. I could get a complex over it, but actually I choose to take it as a compliment on various different levels, if you can work that riddle out.

I've also played mid-wifery assistant for a good friend: timing contractions, fetching towels and boiling up large quantities of water, as you do during home births, which was a groovy and err… enlightening experience.

But most serendipitous of all was pitching up with blankets and provisions at the farm earlier this week in preparation and expectation of a long wait to see a foal that was “due to arrive sometime soon”, but not necessarily in a hurry, being born. But just 5 minutes after my arrival, and not long after the sun had gone down (horses usually give birth in the wee small hours), it’s all on. Fifteen minutes later, out pops a marvellous ¾ Cleveland Bay filly. This morning I found this in my email inbox:

“We’ve been pondering over foal names – for a brief moment I did contemplate Anthea, in recognition of your amazing ability to induce birth. Unfortunately this is a silly name for a horse. We eventually decided to continue our Greek god theme and go with Athena, daughter of Zeus. This evening I realised this also happens to be an anagram of Anthea. Serendipitous huh?”

For those not versed in Greek mythology, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, born out of the head of her father (after he swallowed his pregnant wife whole), fully grown and wearing robe and helmet. Athena is known for being a powerful defender in war as well as a potent peacemaker. Of course it’s also the name of a well known line of tap ware, but that’s okay. As I love being immersed in hot water, it’s still kind of appropriate.

Naturally, she will grow up to be a champion.