At 2:22 on the 22nd of August, my niece Imogen Judith Lines was born. 6pounds and 15 ounces of pure miracle child.
Going to the hospital to visit her reminded me of one of my earliest memories... the birth of my younger sister Johanna. At the time, I was only 5, and my elder sister Camilla (Immy's mum) was 8. It was a baking hot summer's day in central California, and my father made us walk all the way to the hospital, (which was literally miles away from our home).
We were made to wear masks to protect the baby from germs (which apparently I was very unhappy about... as if I have germs), and I can remember finding the whole thing very strange indeed. My mother had bought us presents, which she said were from Johanna, and I genuinely believed that they were... Although I couldn't work out how she had had time to go get them, what with just being born and all.
I can remember having to get up on my tip-toes to see into her little cradle thing, and seeing the strange discoloured banana protruding from where her belly-button should be. This, of course, turned out to be the umbilical chord. (As a side note, "Belly-button" in Spanish is "Umbligo" which I think is far more fitting.)
Imogen shares a lot of similar features with Jojo, so I'm sure that made the connection all the more potent. But it really was strange how I felt so much like a small boy again when I met her. Of course, I became very aware of my size in comparison to her... And I was very scared about holding her for the first time. Such a delicate thing should only really be held by a ninja master.
Congratulations Camilla and Mark. Your baby is beautiful.