Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This means WAR.

On reflux.
It's a bastard, this thing that has her chucking up whole feeds and then screaming as though she's just lost her stomach lining as well (which is probably exactly how it feels).

Yesterday's classy visit to the paediatrician concluded with a possible diagnosis of pyloric stentosis and a referral for an ultrasound. So after screaming through two cold-handed examinations and then peeing on her suit (the only day I have EVER left the house without a spare set of clothes for her) we made a quick trip to our local Savers (she wore a couple of blankets over her mercifully dry singlet and new nappy) to buy a replacement $0.99 wondersuit for Audrey... then it was off to fight for a parking space at our local hospital.

Quick digression: at my standard prenatal check (37wks 5 days) the need for an ultrasound was declared with the ominous words, "You're measuring very small." Two days and two ultrasounds later I was being induced into labor, up there in the all-time top hmmm... ONE Most Unpleasant Experiences of My Life. Hence my lack of "Oh, GOODY!"

However, sitting and waiting for the ultrasound tech to wave us through with a growing sense of doom, I realised even the worst-case scenario was not, actually, all that godawful. Like another mom-and-baby  feeding/stabbing iPhone combo (in my defence, she was sleeping), who'd clearly been here before and would clearly be here again, and who'd probably come to regard a waiting room as their second home. I realise, of course, that at five weeks old I can hardly state that we will never be that family, but I'm so grateful we're not starting out that way. (As the second ultrasound showed,) She doesn't need surgery. This is not life-threatening. It may distress me more than it hurts her - seeing a young baby squalling in pain and confusion and general Oh god make it stop is a horrible thing - but it's reflux.

Not even the really bad kind (as far as we can tell, and let's all hope it stays that way). So far 1mL of Mylanta seems to take the edge off and break up the wind, and suddenly our baby can sleep peacefully again. I may need something stronger.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chucks away...

The day has come. The day where at 2.30 PM I am wearing ugg boots, Peter Alexander pyjama pants, and my darling husband's Transformers T-shirt, swiped off the clotheshorse on my way to answer the front door (postman; Audrey's birth certificate). Thank goodness I have the kind of haircut that looks as though it's just walked out of the salon when in fact it's just gotten out of bed. The day has looked like this: feed, burp, wriggle around brightly, chuck. Protest hunger, feed, burp, wave arms and legs vigorously, chuck. Every time her body even thinks about approaching horizontal, chuck.

This is entirely because today my violin students are performing and I MUST GO to this concert. Hmmm.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Super Sunday.

Important lessons I have learned:

When baby is asleep, do not let husband pass her around. Really, it wasn't his fault. But the next three hours of catnap, feed, feed, chuck, feed, catnap, feed, chuck... turned today into ONE OF THOSE DAYS. Shame, it being Sunday and all.

Still, we made it to swing class. I made it through swing class. Audrey likes music. She doesn't like a particular swing tune, but that's probably because I cringe doing that routine and she is conditioned to the wave of horror that shudders through my body every time I hear those opening bars.

Cleavage (when burping a baby) is a bad thing. It allows the milky posset to slide right down the front of your top. Not. Pleasant.

Prosciutto and mushrooms w/ ravioli = great.
Prosciutto and mushrooms AND red capsicum AND green capsicum AND onion AND tomato AND parmesan w/ravioli = bleargh. Like slimy salsa invading my perfectly salty pasta paradise.

Space Odyssey 2001 is a complete head trip and the guys making it dropped a ton of acid. I don't want to imagine what it would have been like if I too had indulged in illicit substances.

Parens are good things. First-time grandparents are a little scary. (A little? I want to change the locks and get an unlisted telephone number.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Duplicate Audreys.

It happened. In the same suburb. The same hospital. Possibly the same week... Another Audrey. (DAMN!) I mean, I know they're out there. Little ones, not just adults, but seriously? We'll probably be assigned the same mothers' group, and when I don't turn up on week 3, everyone will think it's because of the Audrey factor, when it will actually be because (a) I hate the idea of a mothers' group and (b) it's going to clash with my working hours. )If it doesn't I'll do some rescheduling.)
 The guy who mentioned his chef was on maternity leave and her baby was Audrey took a photo of my Audrey to show his Audrey's mom. They even look a bit similar (The Audreys, not the guy and Audrey, or my Audrey and his Audrey's mom. This is getting ridiculous). Anyway, we now have a new talking point for her name. Not so much the "Oh, Audrey after Audrey Hepburn?!" but the "Oh, and you'll never believe..."


Today a lovely friend dropped in. She brought lovely presents; for me (revitalising facial masques), for Audrey (a little red dress, citrine crystals, a capital "A"and her first lovingly made flashcard - in purple glitter letters), for the pug (a chicken stick wrapped in pig hide) and for afternoon tea. Lovely chats ensued, cuddles were had, and then she asked to see the nursery. Off we went... and returned to a scene of gluttony and devastation. Thinking, perhaps, that we weren't so interested in the slice of cheesecake, the slice of something else yummy, and the macaroon remaining on the coffee table, the pug helped herself. To all of it. She's in a sugar coma now.

How to know your husband's really into this dad gig: when he presents his nose to a hungry, rooting baby just to see if she'll latch on. She did. Then she growled. I think the fur baby and the human baby have a little confusion. I think my darling husband may be suffering from slightly greater delusions. I think I needed the sugar fix more than the pug, but that I may settle for watching a movie in a facial masque. Glamorous Saturday night, huh?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's all okay. Really.

I've just come to a shocking realisation: for the first time in my life I am at a place where I could survive with three sets of clothes. And you know what? I, the self-confessed owner of three wardrobes (full of clothes, not just three wardrobes. It's not like I keep Narnia in one and Disneyland in another and Middle Earth in the third. Although that does kind of describe the clothing in each. ANYway...) I am okay with that. 

As in: Monday, Set 1; Tuesday Set 2; Wednesday, possibly Set 1(because they were washed yesterday and may already be dry)... probably Set 3. It's a great uniform. Underwear,  jeans, socks, glamourmum singlet top (with soft built-in nursing bra, BEST THING EVER), top to layer over (I'm on a rotation of about four button-downs and a couple crossovers). Ok, so a few days actually go like this: Set 1; feed, vomit, Set 2, oops, dodgy nappy/productive burp, Set 3 and bad luck, I'm staying in this till bedtime (and trotting off to put Set 1 & 2 in the wash) but I'm okay with that. She's four weeks old, who says you have to control all the ins and outs? (Or even any of the ins and/or outs.)

We're still using cloth nappies with success; I hung out six today and that means six more nappies not in landfill. I think 6-8 cloths each day is our average. Is it weird that my four-week-old produces more laundry than I do? (I realise I have full bladder/bowel control on my side, however I'm also some 20 times her size.) Never mind. Today I coloured my hair, dropped a gift to a friend, and spent some lovely time with my favourite not-quite-aunt. Audrey fed, slept, did cute things, repeat, repeat, repeat. Somehow I'm not bored yet, and that's very okay. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The things we make time for.

And thank you, autocorrect, for believing that what I really wanted to call this post was "The thugs we make time for." believe me, that's a whole different nappy of mystery.

So when I'm not gazing adoringly at the small person who inexplicably evolved from a couple of cells and got unceremoniously evicted from my body, I'm sleeping. Or eating.

Actually, reverse the order of those. And feeding, expressing, nappy-changing, tea-making...
I actually fend off help hanging out the washing because it's the one tangible success of my day. (btw, the cloth nappies are working beautifully. Bambooty are making me a happy, slightly less environmentally catastrophic event).

Hence my amazement that I can't quite get it together to color my hair but I could totally get changed, manipulate feeding a little (wake up! You have to feed NOW!) and get to ballet class. My joy was slightly marred by the physio-in-the-class stating I really shouldn't do anything high-impact for three months (seriously? It's been four weeks and I'm stir-crazy; take those endorphins away for three months and I'll need a prescription), but the only sweat I broke was because I stubbornly refused to take off my outer layer. Nursing clips are really not the sartorial standard for ballet class.

Little miss A was suitably engaged, staring about in the complete realization that all the rocking and bumping she felt to THAT music was her incipient mother jumping/spinning around like an idiot. I'm going to put the brief upset down to the fact that she wanted to DO the fouett├ęs.
Ballet class: win.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The happiness of washing...

We're starting the MCN (modern cloth nappy) journey and I think I like it! Started off small using washable breast pads from day one and given I've used one pair every day that's about 50 disposables I HAVEN'T used. Sure, I have a box of disposables as a backup, but when they're coaster-sized discs of fabric, it's not as though I'm washing a whole extra towel every day or anything crazy like that. i also like the breathability factor of bamboo, because who wants to walk around with sopping wads of tissue in their bra every day? Glamorous? I think not.
Now, upping the ante slightly, I bought a collection of small bambooty nappies and some peapods off a local mommy and so far so good - the bambooty nappies have this brilliant design with boosters sewn in from the front and the back, so when drying you can spread them flat and the eight? layers of fabric dry so much faster. Plus they don't need reassembly after every wash.
I am starting to wonder how many pairs of socks one very small baby can conceivably possess, but I'm sure we'll lose them at twice the rate of adult socks, them being so small and all, so probably best we start with a million pairs and work from there.
Just hung out five MCN. That's five disposable nappies we didn't use yesterday. Excellent. Add those to the (much smaller) mountain of breast pads I'm not using and the (larger) mountain of formula tins that WON'T be in our garbage can and I'm feeling better about the Everest-sized mountain of clothing and other ridiculous things that babies incur. (Let's save the Kindle outrage for tomorrow, this can be a happy sparkly post.) For laughs, go here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thump, thump, thump, my arm's going to fall off...

Life is so much better when she remembers how to burp WITHOUT evacuating the contents of her stomach. Mostly because we don't wear a week's worth of clothes in one day and I make it off the couch to do essential things like make cups of tea and refuel before the next impromptu assault on my breasts. Much, much better.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

That colour which shall henceforth be known as bleauuuuurgh

Would it be terribly wrong to greet the next "IT'S A GIRL!!!" card with a look of consternation and surprise teamed with "OH MY GOD! REALLY? IS SHE? I HAD NO IDEA! I mean, people keep giving us pink stuff, but I was sure that was a penis! A girl, you say... incredible..."

I am so grateful to the lovely people who brought us gifts. I really am. If more than 1% had been not-pink, that also would have made me very happy.

I thought that the massive knitting project (a cot blanket knitted on 3mm needles IS a massive undertaking, trust me) I toted around and showed to EVERYONE over several months might have established a certain aesthetic: bone, cream, navy and red. "Look at this gorgeous (red) jacket!"... "I LOVE that sweet (gray) wondersuit!" Um, no. We said "she's a girl!" and they heard "PINK". To the point where the one pink thing I let myself buy (ok, one of the very few pink things) - a Bugaboo hood and cover, which seemed cute and tongue-in-cheek oh, SO girly - now seems ludicrous and makes me feel faintly nauseous because it's just another pink thing in the sea of pastels, brights, ruffled and frilled pink things.

I have one wish for my daughter (at this early stage of being): that she might know there are colours other than pink. Fifty shades of grey? Pffft. Try my existence... four thousand and ninety-seven shades of that colour sitting sweetly and innocently between red and white.

Monday, June 11, 2012

It begins.

So we made it. On the 22nd May, 2012, at 7.11pm, Audrey was born. Then there was a whole bunch of faffing about with the Special Care nursery, hand expressing (it really means what you think it does,  yuk), sleep deprivation and glucose tests. Maybe I'll go into all that stuff later. Maybe I'll spare you.

She's three weeks old today and showing every sign of being a perfectly healthy child who won't qualify as 'petite' much longer but who will stay on the slender side of normal (thanks Dad for those famine thighs). Given today's horrifically judgemental society where lack of kilos is equated with inflated self-worth she'll possibly wind up Queen of all the stupid people.

(I could blame that snark on new-mother-sleep-deprivation but the truth is that Ms. Audrey's quite a good sleeper. In three-hour blocks. Actually it's just my repressed inner monologue making a break for it through the keyboard.)

We've taken the Bugaboo on a couple outings and I can't wait to get the custom topping in the mail (that is NOT the reason I bought a Bugaboo, I swear. It was just the only pram that did all the stuff I wanted and that I could actually operate. I don't trust three-wheelers or my ability to steer them around obstacles, so a Phil & Ted's was NEVER going to be my friend. Apparently Striders don't fit through normal supermarket checkouts, and the iCandy just freaked me out. I am not a seventeen-year-old who wants my pram to match my phone. Anyway, grey damask topping... mmm... delicious damask.

So we're doing this whole parenting thing. Helped along by our friends, our family, and an awful lot of pink. Not that I have anything against it, I'd just like our daughter to grow up knowing that there are other colours in the world. Baby steps....