Archive | August, 2011

Changes

25 Aug

Gosh, almost another month has passed. I still feel like I’ve achieved nothing, though looking at Henry it seems plenty has been going on. The Master of the house has found his smile, his hands, a cheeky giggle and a powerful kick. He’s becoming more and more like a real little boy with each day that passes and often I catch myself sitting there with him in my arms thinking I made¬†you. For nine months I helped you grow from a microscopic little thing to something with arms and legs and hands and a nose. Those toes that I’m holding right now, you grew those inside of me. That smile, that hair, those beautiful blue eyes; all that was once living inside of me and now, here it is, out here in the world growing up right in front of me.

Some days it feels like it’s all going to quickly. I want to catch and savour every moment, I don’t want to let a single smile pass me by. Only yesterday I was in that labour ward listening to Cinematic Orchestra as Henry made his grand entrance. I can still remember every second – what it felt like, what it smelt like – and the slightest thing can take me back to that very room where he took his first breath. I can still feel him nestled on my chest, and remember what it was like to hold him with one hand.

They say it takes about six weeks to forget the pain of labour and be ready to do it all over again. I can’t say I’ve forgotten, but I can say I’ve now reached the point where it all doesn’t seem so bad. A second, and maybe even a third is certainly a possibility. Not now, not yet. There’s still so much to do and enjoy but someday, yes.

But for now our days are slowly slipping into a predictable routine. There’s mothers group and nap times, play dates and story books. Cakes are being baked, rugs are being sewn and knitted and the odd job is being picked up here and there. There are good days and bad ones, days where everything clicks and days where nothing makes sense. But I’ve reached that point where I feel I know this tiny new little human being, so when things aren’t going to plan I know it’s not forever.

As for today? It’s a mixed bag of smiles and tears. But it’s nothing a slice of birthday cake and an afternoon nap won’t fix.

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Besties with God

7 Aug

Today Henry became BFF with God. Everything went well – the service was perfect, Henry was better behaved than an angel, and it was so lovely to spend some time with friends. We even managed a public breastfeed and the little dude was so hungry he latched himself on piranha style the second we sat down. Success!

And now we’re home, enjoying the rest of our Sunday in our PJ’s. Perfect way to spend a wintery day. All in all it feels like we’ve reached a turning point, a time when life is starting to become more normal. A time when we can actually start to do stuff and go places without everything falling to pieces. And if nothing else this Sunday that’s certainly something we can thank God for.

Breast is best

7 Aug

It’s funny, all through your pregnancy you think about the labour. What it’s going to be like, how you’ll handle the pain, what you need to learn to get through what’s supposed to be the toughest four, twelve, twenty hours of your life. Typically, I didn’t think about it that much. I figured it was going to suck, that I’d beg for pain relief within seconds, and that it was only one day out of a life of thousands. And that’s pretty much how it panned out.

What no-one really talks about, and what I certainly didn’t think about, was the weeks and months after labour. How much a third degree tear really does hurt once the epidural has worn off. What it feels like to have your nipples ripped to shreds by something that looks all innocence but really has the sucking power of an industrial strength vacuum. How much it hurts to put your all into something for hours and hours each day only to have it not work, for absolutely no reason. How guilty you’ll feel giving your baby formula. And how terrified you’ll be that you’re stuffing absolutely everything up.

I’ve never been the most confident girl in the class. But I always figured I’d be a good mum. I’d love my kid to bits, I’d give him everything he needed, and I’d breastfeed because ‘Breast is Best’. I never thought that we’d struggle with something that’s supposed to be so natural, or that I’d reach the point where I just wanted to leave, run away, because I was completely unable to do the one thing I was supposed to be able to do – feed my child – in the way I thought I had to.

Seven weeks later and it still hurts. Every time I think I’m ready to just suck it up and pack it in I feel guilty for giving up so easily. I still think that by eight weeks, ten weeks, twelve weeks something will magically change and we’ll get it – there’ll be no more tears and screaming. And then there are the days when I wonder why I’m still plugging away at something that feels like it’s ruining the bond I have with my baby.

We’ve had help and lots of it. Our community health nurse has been fantastic, we’ve been to Tresillian to learn how to settle Henry and recognise the difference between hungry and tired. I’ve seen lactation consultants, I’ve been medicated, I’ve pumped till my nipples were purple. The supply has improved, slightly, but it’s still not where it should be. In a word, it’s heartbreaking.

But it’s time to move on. Henry will be two months old on Thursday and the time is simply flying by. He’s smiling now, holding his head up and pouting, becoming his own little person. Each day it’s something new, some little thing that becomes absurdly exciting when you’re a new parent – and I don’t want to miss a second of it.