Sunday, February 29, 2004

this is not fair. birth mothers have to have that right of revocation, I know, but it's still not right that it can happen to anyone.

and a woman on my online community has a down's pregnancy after several m/cs. she's not going ahead. I wish I had a magic wand sometimes. dammit, these people deserve babies. why can't they have them?

Friday, February 27, 2004

sometimes it's like I have a few different babies: the happy playing gurgler, the screamer, the serious hardworking feeder and the silent angelic sleeper.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

nothing to say today. how many people are visiting Chez M daily? another 9 days until her beta.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

baby stuff: where does it come from?

have just finished yet another session of sorting out things that mysteriously arrived in our house in placcy bags around the time A. was born. more T-shirts, a MILLION hats, a few rattles, yada yada. no aqua nappies, unfortunately - and as the Baby Target girl lied to me last month when she said on the phone that they had them, I wasted a morning going up there looking for them. my going-out tolerance is still very low. by the time I got him in the car, drove to Preston, got him out (with pram), cruised Baby Target and then got him back in, I was too tired to go to another store looking for nappies/sunglasses for him for our proposed beach trip. I did start out to the other store, but realised I was so vague and hungry I was actually dangerous, and headed home.

dh whinge: six weeks ago I researched, booked and paid a deposit on a little beach house for five nights for him, me, A. and the dog. since then I've been planning what to take, what I have to do here (cancel papers etc). last night dh told me that as he hadn't put in his leave form and something else has come up, he may not be able to go. I have been fantasising about being on the beach with A., taking him for walks in the forest, etc. no, it can't wait until next year. he won't be four months old next year. and the weather is about to turn, so don't want to put it off either - the beach in the rain is not what I imagined. I am really hurt that dh couldn't be bothered doing his tiny bit to make it happen, especially when I was so good about him going off on his work trip. seriously considering going by myself, which would be very sad of course.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

every time I think I have the sleep thing going OK, I lose it again. yesterday the pm nap was going well; baby asleep, mummy into a deep sleep and boom! he's awake and crying. for the first time I felt that impulse they warn you about - not a conscious "I'll do something" thought, but a surge of something, not anger either, that says this noise must be stopped because my body needs sleep. fortunately of course (most of us) have a counterveiling impulse to react in horror at the slightest hint of danger to our babies. so he went into the cot while I lay on the bed with my hands over my ears, half-sobbing with exhaustion. I got better once I was fully awake, but it wasn't pretty. and today I have a sick headache caused by back pain caused by baby-carrying. physio Thursday (another appt at which dh must cover for me - he tried the bottle for 1/2 an hour last night, nothing.)

this is a particularly whingy post. as they say on S & C, "whatcha gonna do"?

(and OT: it's just started in australia. now I have to spend three months avoiding finding out What Happens. I assume that link above would reveal same, so I haven't actually gone to the site.)

Sunday, February 22, 2004

wow, some progress over at Dawn's place. maybe a baby in April!
she's so, I dunno, grownup? about it all. which I admire - it's so rare, and I know I couldn't be like that.

Let nations rage,
Let nations fall.
The shadow of the crib makes an enormous cage
upon the wall.

-Elizabeth Bishop, via Salman Rushdie in hard copy.
(and wouldn't it have been cool if there had been blogs when Rushdie published The Satanic Verses? and he'd kept one?)

and yes, the world goes on out there without me. and in a very small way I had some influence in a very niche area of a very small country via my position as a writer in a relatively well-read newspaper. and none of it matters right now. I like my cage.

Friday, February 20, 2004

small note on the colleague catchup - they were both keen on doing some work from home, feeling like something other than just a mother, wanting to retain their old identity. me, I'm not so sure. going back to work would be nice for my self-esteem (ie, pulling some of my own weight cash-wise, though we could manage without it) and kind of fun to be in an office with all that banter and gossip and so on. but being "A's mum" is fine with me. no one needs me more.

getupgrrl has a long and nailbiting pickup-day story. to cut to the chase - by tomorrow she may or may not have 3 embies on board, with a roughly 25 per cent chance of a successful pregnancy.

and my news? not much. he's learned to say "neng", as in NENG NENG NENG when objecting to going to sleep, at which he's getting better. sleeping, not objecting.

and he came to work today, to the joy of some whom I'd not have expected to be clucky, and the frank disdain of others. there are some 6pm to 2.30 am shifts available, I'm told. great for avoiding having to use childcare, *%$#%$ for my sleep patterns.

Thursday, February 19, 2004


he went to sleep at 8. cried at 9ish when I went to bed and again at some stage during the night, but I settled him again. then, just before dawn, maybe around 5.30 am, he woke for his feed. this is very, very nearly "sleeping through", isn't it?

even better: he went back down at 7 and so did I - caught another 1/2 hour of zzzs. now I merely feel tired, not completely wrecked. tired is good.

as I sort of suspected, I'm actually achieving more with dh away than when he's here. the lack of choice on nap time (which I only get on weekends anyway) isn't great, and I'd love a swim or a bike ride, but otherwise we're OK. so far. last night I even got into the garden and planted some plants dating from before A was born. oh, and swept the front porch while A. was having his settling sook around 8. I think I need to limit my Web surfing to once a day - that lovely autumn weather isn't far off and the garden could really use my attention.

now if we can only make nights like last night standard, not exceptional, I'll be such a happy mum. looking forward to this morning's catchup with work colleagues. don't know either of them very well, but we work in the same job, same company and have small babies. expect none of us will draw breath for 90 minutes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

a lack of daily posts at Chez Miscarriage. wonder how she went? a nail-biting 2ww coming up - we hope!

what happened tonight was not the cot's fault, but consisted of me sleeping between about 11 and 5 am with two feeds in between. bleary&vague'R'us...

saw a very pg friend today and dispensed much unsolicited advice. well, she seemed to be enjoying it. a little boy playmate for A. on the way, excellent. I've developed a habit of pouncing on pg women/women with babies in my street. there are two under 6 months within 4 doors of us - a girl and a boy. haven't got them over here yet, but I will.

it's funny with my friends who have older or no kids; I do love them and all, but in a way I feel I need to ease back on them, in order to make room for people with babies so A. will have friends. and I'm not the gregarious type who can see 5 people in a day and call it fun. I need rest and recovery time after each big social interaction.

tomorrow I'm off to see a couple of colleagues whom I don't know very well - yes, they have babies.

(shopping note: is it in Fantasia that the Sorcerer's Apprentice conjurs up a pile of stuff he can't stop from coming? I feel like that: dh has a List of Things to Get and goes ahead and gets them whether we're actually out of them or not. so spent half the morning schlepping bag after bag of muesli and soy milk inside, and half the afternoon putting them away. we have no cupboard space left, it's that bad.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

look, see the fearless Mummy attempt to move the baby to the big cot without Daddy
(hushed silence)
it's going OK, actually. a couple of times I wimped back to the bassinet, but as he simply won't fit into it soon, I've put it away and we're going straight to the cot as if nothing has changed (or that's the plan). I've got the movement alarm all wired up, too. it's hard to believe it could pick anything up when he's in one of his deep sleeps, but we'll see what happens tonight.

Monday, February 16, 2004

I'm happy for her. I really am. I just get a bit wistful reading stories of women getting pregnant on the first try. I wouldn't say I wish I had an older baby by now, because A. is all I want. I just could have done without IVF, really I could.

dangerous childhood pastimes #3: exploring old houses.

in fact, not just old houses. no, we used to find old burnt-out buildings and climb up in the roof. my brother started it, truly. there was one particular old hotel that was left unattended for ages, and brother #2 and his mates used to set up camp in the ceiling. how dangerous is that?

compared to that, the odd invasion of the deceased neighbour's house on one side and, very memorably, nearly getting caught exploring the live neighbour's house on the other side (my heart still jumps thinking of the sound of that door opening), was nothing, nada.

brother # 1 also scored by getting caught exploring the grounds of the old church building across the road from us one day - he claimed the housekeeper or whatever you call him pointed a gun at him!

subsection of this pastime is building sites: brother #2 broke an arm leaping from a pile of bricks onto a pile of sand. yes, deliberately jumping from a great height. how did we ever survive? but again, it was all fun. and A. will be doing NONE of it.

assorted brain detrius warning!

he's my little wobbegong. after all, he's the right size (60cm) and he clamps on and won't let go...

yet another warning in the paper today about how women are harming their unborn babies by, in this case, eating tuna. why don't they just let the men have the babies already; clearly they think they'd do a better job of it.

this is outrageous. 25 week twins, two kids in melbourne already and she has to go to Adelaide for a NICU bed? what??

and go the French! a few more laws like this would fix the birth rate here, no problem.

and apropos of nothing baby related at all: DAMN but David Bowie is still cute! used to have a boyfriend who vaguely resembled him. sigh.

thank you, I'll be here all week...

unlike dh, who is now in Hong Kong. there's nothing I can do except try hard to keep up all the little tasks that I usually manage when he's around - dumb stuff like dishes and washing - I'm afraid if I get behind I'll never catch up. and I'm putting A. down for his sleeps even earlier than I otherwise would, out of fear of a crying jag at a time when I'm too tired to cope with it - another time dh would normally step in. it's somehow got to be a busy week, too, with blinds/flyscreens/shopping deliveries, visits to and fro and so on.

I should be napping now - baby class today, and one I was sorry to leave, the "ladies" are shaping up nicely as a group to chat to - meaning no decent nap for A or me this afternoon and I've just resorted to the dummy, which miraculously he took.

for six days at least, failure is not an option.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Disaster Management:

1) Secure the scene.
2) Don protective garments. Do NOT stand in the line of possible future attacks.
3) Check for survivors
4) If you find any, eliminate them. they pose a threat of contamination
5) Arrange your tools: decontamination products, safety shield, replacement noxious material cover.
6) Remove contaminated objects
7) Remove contaminated coverings
8) blow raspberry on baby's belly. giggle.
9) as quickly as possible, reinstate noxious material coverings and remove safety shield.
10) take contaminated products to decontamination room
11) sterilise hands, floor, all surfaces within 50m radius
12) resume normal operations.

he's three months old today. and tomorrow is his "transfer-versary".

as an example of how fragile tiredness makes me: in the market car park today I cleverly moved the pram to the "sitting up" position to get stuff out of the basket. then I found I couldn't fold the pram up and couldn't get the seat to go back down. therefore I was stuck in the hot sun with a baby about to want feeding, and no way of getting the pram into the car. rang dh. he didn't know how to do it. practically hung up on him. appealed for help from a couple (with a crying toddler themselves) who were waiting for a car spot. the bloke rose to the challenge and figured it out for me.

on my way in to the market I was thinking "I'm not really a hatchback-driving middle-class suburban mother at home. I'm really a black-leather-clad, promiscuous, motorbike riding young writer." oops, that was 10 years ago. what other identities are hidden inside the people you walk past at the mall?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

looks like getupgrrl needs some lovebombing.

speaking of adjustments: dh is off to Hong Kong for SIX NIGHTS next week! will have to cancel my next hypnotherapy appt, it's all too hard, and hope my mother does decide to visit so I can get a swim in. a friend has offered to sit, but she means "after-school-while-my-11-and-nine-year-olds-trash-the-house-distracting-me" type sitting. and she'd be offended if I said "look, can you come over without the kids? I'm worried that in one of their fights, A. will get caught in the crossfire. so I'm just leaving it alone altogether.

so someone I know, who used to say "ewww, children", is unexpectedly pg; due in June, going ahead with it obviously or I wouldn't know about it, I'm sure.

I wonder how she'll go? all this is hard enough for a committed pair like us, who really wanted a baby. the sacrifices and sleep loss are at least offset by the aren't-we-luckies. but to be having a baby a long way from relatives, in your mid 30s, even with a dh you've been with for 20 years (and I also know fairly well), is a bit of a sudden change. she's a smart, sensible woman. she'll get through. but I have a feeling that after June I may need to further develop what's been more of an acquaintance than a friendship, as much for her dh's sake as hers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

quick blog; he's in a happy playtime and I don't want to miss it.

but a) who said breastfeeding was a gentle bonding experience? it's violent. he headbuts me, then chews on me, then throws his head back and screams when he's done. that's when he's not popping off and getting sprayed top to bottom with milk.

hand progress report: now the little hands are grasping each other and he gets confused as to why he can't grasp what's right in front of him. because his hands are locked together, of course.

envy: of my cousin, whose baby is due in April and whose mother lives a 5-minute walk away. sometimes some of that village style community support would help a bit. like last night when I had to drive 40 minutes each way to the hypnotherapist's. dh even managed to get 20ml of milk into the poor tyke.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Sunday morning: my sleep-in morning. baby wakes at 7. feed baby, instruct dh to remove baby. 15 minutes later he comes in, declaring baby "hasn't burped" and intending to put baby back to bed. evict dh.

then, at exactly 8.36, the dog comes thumping down the hallway and WAKES ME in the middle of a dream. I investigate why this has happened. dh says that he "had to go to the toilet and couldn't think what else to do with the dog", apart from put him outside the childgate into my end of the house. in my disoriented state I accuse dh of trying to drive me mad with sleep deprivation.

these are the things he could have done to keep the dog (who is very unlikely to even lick the baby) away from him:
put him outside
put him in the laundry
put him in the bathroom
take him to the toilet with him
tie him up
put baby in his daycot

dh has a phd and an MBA and is a very smart man. so he's either: stupid (not), careless (?) or trying to drive me mad. which is it, do you think?

(seeing hypnotherapist tonight for the sleep thing, btw)

I don't really fear turning into my mother: my MIL, maybe. I'm not sure if she ever worked; certainly never since dh was born. and it seems to me she may have forgotten who she is and how to get joy out of life, terribly nice and polite as she is. she's so eager to please, to not be a problem, she praises people who "never complain".

sometimes I wish she would complain, get angry, take a trip away without FIL.

dangerous childhood pastimes: # 2 in an occasional series.

My various forebears hail from Scotland, Ireland, England and Poland. yes, they're WHITE. so why, in the carefree childhood days of the 70s, was it considered an amusement to peel the burned skin off my and my brothers' arms and legs?
the Australian sun on a midsummer day can burn a child's fair skin in a few minutes flat. but everyone I knew did it: went to the beach, ran around in the sand and water joyously, then slept on their sides for a week because their backs were red raw.
skin cancer is only a matter of time for me: not if, when. I hope it will be of the mild and easily removable kind. A. is going to spend his time at the beach in silly long leggings and tops, and under umbrellas, and then only in the later afternoon. sigh. getting burned was fun.

Friday, February 06, 2004

the small gap in my compulsive posting below is due to an ill-advised trip to stay overnight with parents, 90 minutes drive away. no afternoon nap, and a baby who knew darn well he wasn't in his regular bedroom, so why should he sleep? sigh. be it ever so humble...

(still, it was lovely to be in the spare room packing up and hearing my parents both cooing like idjuts over my little boy in the lounge room)

On Monday he was swiping at things. today he's gripping them and waving them around.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me
A Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches
I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime
No help from my friends
So Lord, won't you buy me
A Mercedes Benz?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me
A colour TV?
Dialling For Dollars
Is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery
Each day until three
So Lord, won't you buy me
A colour TV?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me
A night on the town?
I'm counting on you, Lord,
Please don't let me down.
Show me you love me
and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won't you buy me
a night on the town?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me
A Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches
I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime
No help from my friends
So Lord, won't you buy me
A Mercedes Benz?

...repeat ad infinitum until baby sleeps.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

is that a tiny note of hope I detect at the tres cynical Chez Miscarriage?

she don't believe in baby dust, but send her some for this cycle anyway.

baby class yesterday: a whole room full of babies around his age, mewling and feeding and sleeping and clinging to their Mums. awww....

not much to say, except that I love my baby very much.

and that we are going to crack this going-to-sleep thing together.

kicked dh out last night. only to the lounge room. so he got up early for work and I got my extra half hours' sleep. and yes, it was worth it for half an hour.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

heh. I currently outrate on a Google search for babybaby

my current blog*spot ad is about "spike milligan".

yes. quite. I suppose it's because his bio is in the "books read" column. or is it that I'm a bit of a Goon?

crossing Royal Parade on Friday: two women, one about 20 and a student, I guess, another around 50. the same height, the same face, and even though the girl would probably deny it, the same mannerisms down to the way they swung their arms and the way she put her hand to her face waiting at the lights. a vision of a line of reflections down the years, each a little older than the other, generations of women looking the same. at the market later: a man with a fairly protuberant nose and his four daughters, all with the same nose no matter how differently from each other they chose to dress. still too early to see how A. looks like me and/or like dh.

sorting out my clothes in the attic (desperate to try to find things to wear that are a) bf-compatible (so many lovely, long, useless dresses!) and b) not tracksuit pants and T-shirts, I put aside a suitcase for "interesting but unwearable clothes". if I was honest with myself I'd call this pile of stained silks and torn evening dresses a "dressup box" for the daughter I may still have one day (though I expect not, really and truly)

there's another suitcase. it's completely full. it's labelled "jeans which will fit me again one day".

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