It’s likely if you’re a redhead that you’ve heard the joke about a couple who’ve just had a red haired child, and noticed that the attitude towards having red haired children is not always positive (we won’t feature it here because its in bad taste, but please feel free to use your favourite search engine). We had a discussion about how we feel about having red haired babies and it lead to me (Jess) giving Mum a mini interview about her experience having a red and the difference with having a brunette baby (my lovely sister).
The red haired arrival and a special visit
Mum told me that she had always expected a red haired baby and there was a very interesting story about my birth. When I was born there was quite a stir on the ward, with the nurses buzzing because the Consultant Gynaecologist Obstetrician would be coming down to see me. Mum asked if there was a problem, but was told that, ‘no, it was a special visit’. When he arrived he walked through the ward, passing rows of other mothers and babies, exchanged pleasantries with my Mum, leant over my cot, smiled and said ‘Yes, I always come to see my redheads.’ It turns out that whenever a ginger baby was born he was to be told about it, so that he could visit them, as a Redhead himself.
Redheads are hard to mix up
My sister and I were born at Leicester General Hospital maternity unit, a huge maternity unit with hundreds of babies and beds. As with me, Mum expected for her second child to be a redhead and was quite surprised when she wasn’t. It was only then that she became very concerned that she could be mixed up with other children when taken away. This had never been an issue with me, as the only red haired baby on the ward. She was so concerned that she fought to keep my sister with her, and had to prove to them that she was strong enough to take care of the new baby.
My personal feeling is that I would like to have a red haired child, to pass on the gene, and see a big part of me in my child, but I would be concerned for their experiences at school, at the hands of their peers.
So what’s your experience of red haired babies? Do you have any? Would you be happy to have one?