The Unexpected Encore

January 19, 2011 at 2:55 am (Uncategorized)

So my shocking, worst day so far with Baby J culminated in a trip to the hospital last night, where they eventually decided to admit us overnight – mainly in the better-safe-than-sorry vein. Looks like he has reflux, and that we’ll be going home shortly with medication, but after 12 straight hours of screaming yesterday, I was pretty happy to check in with the professionals.

His red-faced, high-pitched distress yesterday really broke my spirit in the end, and I actually sobbed for the first time since his birth, helplessly rocking him, nothing at all working, both of us covered in vomit and tears. I think being a communicator by nature and profession made my inability to alleviate whatever ailed him so much more acute, and I felt like a total failure. In one of my innumerable and ill-fated attempts to settle him yesterday, I was even bullied off the grass across the road by a really menacing, scary motherfucker black crow. It was really not my day.

And it seems Baby J really objects to our seeing things at the Sydney Opera House – this is the second time in a row he’s landed us in hospital on the eve of a performance we were due to attend. Tonight was going to be our first tilt at leaving him with a babysitter – his eminently capable auntie – so we could see John Malkovich’s Sydney Festival opera (Llew’s anniversary gift to me), but now Auntie is going in our place. The first time Baby J nixed the night out was the start of his early arrival, and, now as then, we really don’t care, just so long as the kid is all right. I think we all know who’s on centre stage now.

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Now, Where Were We…?

January 12, 2011 at 12:55 am (Uncategorized)

Apologies for the lengthy delay between posts, my friends (and sorry to worry you, Graddikins – we are not flood affected, but feeling very concerned for all who are as it’s pretty alarming stuff) – belatedly, Happy New Year! All is well, it’s just that between Baby J, Llew, family and friends, I quite literally haven’t had a chance to write – not this post, and nothing else either. It’s starting to make me feel absolutely crazy, and I am currently sitting on the floor in my underwear, post-feed, beside Baby J (who’s presently deciding whether to sleep or resist, a debate that rages every few hours with ever shifting odds), madly scrambling to at least get this post started…

I had hoped to be able to master writing while feeding – in what would surely be a virtuoso display of female efficiency – but that hasn’t been possible as I am having terrible trouble with my wrists, and therefore completely unexpected issues picking him up and even holding him during feeds. Just now I had to flop him on his back onto a pillow and then pull it around into position as though he were on a toboggan. Not ideal, and the alternative genuinely painful. We are currently investigating alternative feeding pillows – I think the trouble started with the original, specially designed product, and I am currently using a regulation pillow off our bed. Who knew such a thing as ‘mother’s wrist’ existed? Not me. But I am uncomfortably acquainted with it now.

So I’m sorry to say all those hours of feeding a day are currently a temporal dead-end – I’m not even having great success reading while feeding, as holding the book and the baby is trickier than you’d think when your wrists aren’t cooperating. However, I shall persevere with the books, and although it’s taken me six weeks of snatches (a very apt description given the book’s prostitution subject matter), I finally finished Kate Holden’s debut memoir In My Skin last night. I felt positively triumphant about it, too, an entirely excessive response that betrays nothing so much as the degree of difficulty I experienced doing it.

I’m woefully behind on all your blogs, and please accept my sincere apologies for my absence – I really have been wondering about every single one of you, and missing you, and looking forward to all the news. This is the most time I have had on my computer since the last time I posted – oh my god, what’s HAPPENED to me???!!!

Well, we all know the answer to that, and I am now in the throes of learning just how much a child compromises a woman’s creative freedom – at least temporarily. Let’s keep some perspective on this – Baby J is a mere 6 weeks old, and I am confident there will be time for writing down the track. But it’s already proven much harder than I expected to just find that hour a day to draft blog posts, let alone commit a single word to paper of a short story I’d like to write, much less attend to my atrophying manuscript… And here I am not even continuing with the birth story, merely lighting a flare to let you know I am still here. Please do bear with me – I will get the next instalment done just as soon as I can, and I will see if I can master the art of feeding Baby J at table, so that I might be able to read everyone’s blogs in the wee hours. Maybe that will work. We must find a way.

But in the meantime, I will just say this: he is worth it. He’s so absolutely worth it.


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