week 04

How quickly the time goes. Someone asked me today if we’d started planning for his 21st – it doesn’t seem so far off, even now.

puff and a powerbook

This week, I spent four days at work, two days on a conference, and took today as a day of rec leave, so I haven’t spent as much time with puff as I would normally. I still managed at least a couple of baths, a lot of nappy changes, and a lot of settling him, so I don’t know that I’ve missed *too* much, but I had to check in with Kel for this week’s firsts.

puff in the rocker

This was also the last week where he’s had a live-in grandmother to help look after him. Kel and I will certainly miss all the help that the grandragon has been providing, though we’ve learned a lot about patience and settling from her. Hopefully the lessons will stick.

– first funeral

– first random breath test (he was crying when we had to stop the car, but the policeman said that puff’s crying was pretty quiet compared to his own kids)

– first trip to double bay (where the conference was)

– first trip to a baby-supplies shop (where he behaved himself perfectly)

– first visit to the physio (though only to keep mum company – he’s still a bit young

week 03

Firsts this week:

– first trip to word by word
word by word meeting

– first trip to ikea with Dad and aunty Sarah (he slept through it)
first trip to ikea

– first time fingernails cut (Mum)
– starting to smile (well, fake smile) when he gets tired
– sleeping starting to be a bit more predictable (though only a bit).

looking out on the world
He’s already starting to be more alert, and for longer periods of time. He’ll happily sit in his rocker for a while, and watch the world go by. When you put him on his stomach to practice his neck development, he can lift up his whole head, and look around a bit.

Oh, and he can also scream for long, long periods of time, for no apparent reason, often in the small hours of the morning. At times like this, we’re very grateful for the help that his grand-dragon provides, often nursing him back to sleep.

week 02

The second week flew by: this time, he spent the whole thing at home, except for a couple of visits.

– first trip to his grandparents’ house
– first trip to morning church
– first trip to a pub – for Troy’s (one month) birthday

troy and puff

He likes to stay awake longer, now: this has been interesting, in trying to get our sleep. I know: new parents talk about how little sleep they’re getting, and yes, worse things happen at sea.

You hear stories about how you have to feed a baby every four hours. This week, as often as not, he’s gone for two hourly feeds (that’s two hours in between the start of one feed, and the start of the next one, and 40 minutes out of that for the feed)… this makes for some stressful days.

week 01

Well, puff is officially a week old: a lot of well-wishes, a lot of gifts, and a lot of changes. In fact, as I type this, he’s trying to settle; scratch that, he’s ready for another feed.

So far, it’s just been a whirlwind of new things: learning how to change nappies so that they don’t leak (and how to clean them up when they do). Talking about nappies as part of conversation, as if someone other than the parents were interested. Learning how to burp a baby – this is all important if you want to get any kind of sleep. Oh, and getting used to interrupted sleep.

Oh, the times when I could have slept, but didn’t. What was I thinking. A few weeks back, I asked the dad of a newborn, “any advice”? He said “get as much sleep as you can”.

The night before he was born, I was too excited to sleep properly. By the time he was born, it was too late. Before he was even home from the hospital, I was getting 4 or 5 hours sleep each night, and was busy the rest of the waking hours.

Last night, he started into something of a routine, and – what with having to go with work during the day – I had a pretty well unbroken night’s sleep, and managed to feel human again.

For mum, it’s a bit trickier, but she’s had some helpful people staying with her during the day so that she could nap.

Looking forward to many more weeks of new experiences.

home via grind

So, we’ve checked out of the hospital, and head down to the car. Instead of going straight home, we seize the momentum, and stop off at Grind, down in Cronulla.

decaf latte at grind, cronulla

An excursion out with a baby – even a short one – is a bit more of a logistical exercise. For days – puff’s whole life – he’s been living in a plastic cot, in a trolley that has everything he needs either in it, or on call.

Suddenly, once we leave the hospital, we’re on our own, in a very real sense. There are no more midwives to respond to the push of a button, no immediate changes of clothes if he needs them, no convenient place to bathe him. Just us, and the rest of the world.

The biggest challenge so far is settling him: sometimes after a feed, he’s relaxed and easily goes to sleep, but at other times, he’s grizzly, and complains about – well, who knows what. We work through the new parent checklist: dirty nappy? wind? too hot? not wrapped tightly enough? but sometimes, it’s none of the above, and we just have to wait until he’ll go to sleep.

This is easy enough with two parents at home, but looks like it will be a lot trickier when I go back to work. Time will tell, though.

a room of his own

So puff has his own room in the hospital (with kel), after two days of sharing a room with another new family who seemed to be unaware of the hospital’s visiting hours: a steady stream of visitors poured in day and night, so we had to have the curtains pulled, and he didn’t really get much in the way of natural light.

The new room is much cheerier: a big window lets in lots of natural light, and the sound of traffic will be good practice for him when he gets home. We’ve had a few more tests – his hearing has been checked (he passed), and he even had to have a couple of blood tests (not so much fun) to make sure everything is okay.

Next is to do a stack of paperwork – when a baby is born, they give you a pack of nappies and some wipes, a few health related charts, and a few forms to fill in. I’ve filled in his birth certificate form (it was a bit odd to put someone else’s name in the “name” part of a form), and still have to do the medicare paperwork: I think we’ll be doing that once everyone is home.

finally here

Well, the big day has arrived. [name redacted] is amongst us, and learning about life with all his might. What a journey. For now, though, I need to sleep. Email me if you’d like to see a photo or two.

Useful advice that I was given included:
– when cutting the umbilical cord, remember, it has a similar texture to that of calamari
– relax
– don’t forget to sit down
– it’s called labour because it’s hard work

Thanks to the catering team at the hospital, whose carb-laden meals kept me going through the 14 hours between start and finish. Can you believe a hospital meal that includes

– stir-fried noodles
– mashed potato
– bread roll
– bread and butter pudding

I was so hungry by then, though, that I scoffed the lot without so much as a photo!

overdue

Interesting times. We’re trying now to make the most of how ever much time we have left as a couple, while also avoiding doing anything too strenuous.

Yesterday, we managed to go to the pool together (walking around in the pool seems to be good for kel’s back), visit a couple of cafes in Balmain, and even go into the city for laksa.

One high point was finding this little street.

memory lane

And now, back to waiting. Thanks to everyone who is covering for me in some way while I wait with kel.

due date

Well, today is the day that puff is “due”. This – as we’ve known all along – is no guarantee of anything. We’d been given two due dates in the past, the 16th, and the 20th. As a friend points out, the date of birth 20-08-2008 would be quite a memorable one to have, but at this stage, it looks like puff is going to be late.

Waiting for a baby is unlike any other kind of wait that I’ve experienced before. What you’re waiting for is going to be incredibly life changing, but you have no control over *when* it happens. I suspect this is good practice for once the baby arrives, when there’s a continual lack of control over when things happen.

It’s a mixed sensation: I’d really like puff to turn up, but to get there, kel has to go through rather a lot of suffering, so it’s hard to be enthusiastic about everything starting.

nesting

pantry organised

I guess I’m the one who’s starting to nest (or perhaps I didn’t want to read my college library book). Tired – after months – of not really understanding what we have in the pantry, I decided to take everything out of the pantry, and organise it my way. In the process, I’ve thrown out a lot of expired food, and found a lot of groceries that we had – unwittingly – in bulk.

We’re really into the territory of “the waiting” now, so we’re running out of good ways to fill in the time: the room is ready, the house is getting tidy, now the pantry is done.