Monday, 30 January 2012

Home Alone

Well okay, technically, I am not home alone at all. Jack enjoys food too much to be venturing out on his own just yet. But I did wake up to a grownup-free house for the first time in weeks this morning. Jack is staring at dots, I've just had some cereal and I'm trying to decide if this unsettled feeling in my gut is post-partum blues or abject terror. Either way, only thing to do is focus on my beautiful boy. It was a constant stream of visitors this weekend and both my mom and Alex have been around since he arrived. But I guess pretty soon it'll be just me and the kid, so I need to get ready for that.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

It's a bird, it's a plane...

It's a plane bearing a very excited Grandmother! My mom, the newly-self-christened "Grammie" is finally on her way over for a nice long visit with Baby J. Just yesterday, I was thinking maybe I wasn't getting my fair share of post-pregnancy hormone tears... but all is in order. Just conjuring the thought of opening the door and introducing my beautiful mom to her grandson tonight is doing the trick today.

I think this calls for a nap!

The Baby Who Stares at Dots

There's a baby in my living room. He's completely absorbed staring at the polka dot fleece lining his pram... and I am completely absorbed staring at him staring at the polka dot fleece lining his pram.
So I guess I can confirm the fact that we humans are wired to be completely amazed by our little creatures, whatever it is they might be doing.

So yes. Baby Jack is here. He was born at 11:28p.m., Saturday January 14 after 2.5 hours of fast and furious labour. And I do mean fast AND furious. Apparently at one point, my requests for the "MF drugs" got so profane, so emphatic and so creative that Alex had to get out of my line of sight. He was amused, but cleverly concluded that laughing where I could see him would only end in tears (his, not mine).

Labour was indeed the worst pain I could ever imagine - the terror as bad as the pain, as the contractions feel like the devil grabbing hold of your uterus and pulling your body and nerves behind it for the worst, careeningly out of control ride of your life. My waters broke in the waiting room and by the time they got me into the birthing pool (where, from my many viewings of One Born Every Minute, I stood the best chance of a serene, natural birth) I was screaming for the drugs. In the end there wasn't actually time to administer them and I remember once the urge to push struck and I realized that tube in my hand or no tube in my hand, I was on my own, something clicked. At 10:35p.m., I got on my knees, grabbed hold of the rails and -- always a sucker for a deadline -- decided I was going to relax, use all my strength and get this kid out before the close of the 14th (carrying on in the tradition of my mom, brother and several 14th babies in Alex's family). Believe it or not, the pushing bit wasn't so bad... and all the cliches (which I had assumed were lies) are true - you really don't even think about the pain the moment you see your baby. I mean, you don't actually FORGET it -- that part is a total lie -- but you don't hold on to it.

We spent the night and next day in hospital, and since then, it's been Alex, Jack and I taking it easy at home. A few visitors, lots of sleep (relatively speaking) and lots of wonder at this awesome little dude. I was going to get this blog stuff going again the other night when I was up at 4a.m., having a mini cham after a particularly grisly attempt at feeding, but today, when he seems to be really opening his eyes to the world seems a better day to start. So. Here we go!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Our new addition

Nope, no baby yet... but Alex is getting a little early practice on the Proud Daddy front with Leo, the chatty lion. He has crinkly ears, a face out of a Picasso for kids painting and has been our constant companion since Alex finally bought him late last week after months of admiring him in the catalogue.
Nothing pithy or quippy to add... it's just adorable. And, I think, a sign of great daddy-ing to come.
Alex has also taken to following me around interpreting every twinge as a sign of imminent labour... although to be fair, Leo DID tell him last night that I was getting close. :)

Friday, 6 January 2012

The letter J

Today I decided to end the charade and admit that, much as I get weirded out by the idea of referring to an unborn person by name, I know the name of the particular unborn person currently residing in me as well as I know my own. 

I was at M&Ps (at 38.5 weeks pregnant I can confidently say it's the best place to pee near Oxford Circus) and, like I do every single time I'm there, I found myself looking at the bin of blue fabric letters, picking up the letter J and feeling this weird little premonition of love and pride.

Unlike every other time I've been in there however, Alex was with me... and so I was busted. Despite my insistence that we both come up with a list of names to bring to the hospital (a scheme he has been cleverly circumnavigating by adding only names of babies we already know to the list, thereby leaving J as the only viable option) I'm down to the one name, too.

So. I guess we just named our son.


Well. It's finally happened. I now own a bra big enough to wear on my head.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Last year, Alex and I rang in 2011 on the dance floor. This year, we all but played Scrabble. And while I have always loved Scrabble, it wasn't until this baby forced me to take great care of myself that I realized I love Scrabble - or its equivalent, which in this case was a day at the British Museum, a soak in the bath to ease aching back after said day at museum, Alex's spaghetti and meat balls, a small glass of fizz and the Jools Holland New Year's Hootenany on the telly - more than I love a crazy party these days. It made me grateful to the kid for forcing me to give clean living a real go. As the clock struck 12 and Mr. Baby struck my ribs with his foot again, I came to the happy realization that since I decided to have him, I actually don't have to quit anything or get rid of anything this year. My entire New Year's Resolution gets to be this: I resolve to embrace the challenges and changes this year will bring with a clear head, open heart, good humour and as much patience as I can muster - which so far, is way more than I thought.

And since we're baby blogging here, a few resolutions on that front:

1. I resolve not to talk or write about poo unless directly asked to do so
2. I resolve to wait until my baby can type before allowing him to "post", or granting him access to any other manner of social media
3. I resolve not to engage in competitive parenting
4. I resolve not to use this as a forum to state the obvious fact that I am tired. Unless I get really tired and forget
5. I resolve to love and respect my baby's dad - in deed and in the written word (even if/when he is a jackass and I really, really want to write about it)

Huh. I did not know that.

As a pregnant lady, I am used to unsolicited advice and comments of a highly-personal nature. A few weeks ago, the woman stocking shelves at Sainsbury's grocery store would not let me anywhere near the peanut butter until  she finished describing the increasingly harrowing birth stories of her children - each apparently larger than the last - and leaving me with her top tips for perineal massage. My midwife told me last week as I was reviewing MY birth plan that having an epidural would lessen my "sense of accomplishment" (I now have a new midwife). And formerly all-business colleagues tell me on a regular basis to go home, have a curry and/or have sex with my boyfriend. But today, as I moved "operation get ready for delivery" from the home (this morning's nursery prep drew to a close when I actually drew blood trying to seal off the draft from the fireplace by jamming pieces of adorably-decorated cardboard in openings) to the spa, I received the strangest one yet when the aesthetician felt it fitting to wax poetic - if you will pardon the pun - about the cleanliness of my lady area. Apparently this is unusual in pregnant ladies. I did not know that... and while grateful for the compliment, sort of wish I still didn't.

We're engaged!

Well, he's done it. He's rolled over from his preferred location on the right side of my tummy, dropped headfirst and assumed "the position". So I guess this is all really happening, then.

There's been a lot of crying today. Mostly, it's stayed inside my face - but despite the low kleenex count, I feel like a marshmallow, wrapped in a hormone, covered in a blanket. My boy is on his way.