Wednesday, 19 August 2015


I am working on a magnum opus about W's birth (HOLY SHIT I GAVE BIRTH TO A REAL LIVE HUMAN BABY, I am so impressed with myself) but in the meantime, some short updates:

- W is already over a month old and is the giantest baby of all time. Not really, but he has amazing cheese rolls under his chin which I could eat with a spoon.  He's over 5 kilos now and has burned through all the newborn clothing.

- So I had a baby out of my vagina [soz, spoiler alert for the birth story] and ended up with a few tears.  Recovery has been not too bad, actually, but when will I ever feel brave enough to, you know, do it again? I told the midwife that abstinence was a particularly effective form of birth control when she went there last week.

- The sleep thing is shithouse, no?  I hate daysleep so I'm going to bed by 8pm which seems to be keeping me functional.  He's pretty reasonable at night and has developed a good three hourly pattern (eat, poop, sleep) but not so much keen on the sleeping during the day.  I've just spent an hour letting him doze off on me and failing to transfer him to the bassinet.  Can't say I blame him, cuddling is far nicer.

- Also shithouse: engorgement.  Fuck me that was horrific.  My left breast is markedly bigger than old righty and I not-so-fondly refer to it as the shit tit - there's always some lump and its always full to
bursting.  I cannot wait for them to regulate.

- We had another weekend with my parents, with us travelling to them this time.  W was three weeks and managed nicely, but Dad caught bronchitis on his trip to Auckland and was in hospice while we were
there.  The last two or three weeks have seen quite a deterioration
for him, which is likely the effects of the tumour growing.  It's
awful.  We're there again next weekend.  I feel time clutching at my

- Mum is doing it tough.  God, I wish I could help.

- My MiL is here and my house has never been so spotless.  I feel
terribly guilty as I fanny about cuddling the baby and she does all
the housework and cooks the meals and wishes I'd relax enough to let
her get paws on the baby.  I should just relax and enjoy but the sight
of someone else handling my smalls is stressing me out.

- P continues to be the father I knew he'd be.  He was fabulous onparental leave.  Each day when he gets home from work he's genuinely
devastated when W is already in bed.  He sits up for at least one
night feeding, marvelling at W.  I have a feeling that watching P
watch W will be one of my favourite memories.  I'm trying so hard to
imprint some of these things on my brain - the dim light, P's wonder,
W's lovely noises.

- I was doing the deliberate memory stocktake for Dad, for a long time
post-diagnosis.  I've stopped, somewhere along the line.  Somewhere
where the essence of Dad changed and he retreated to help himself
survive, as contradictory as that sounds.  The only thing I cling to
now is the feel of his hands and the 'love you very muches' that end
each visit.  That, and watching Dad with W.  It breaks my heart as it
mends it too - the contradiction is profound.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

when he was 5 days old

I was cradling my newborn son in my arms when I stepped out onto the front verandah and found my father in the front yard. I burst into tears. I hadn't known he was coming and there he was, wheelchair bound, steroid bloated, but with his arms open to meet his first grandson.

I had known Mum was keeping secrets from me, but I thought she was shielding me from info about his declining health, not planning the best surprise I've ever had. As I write this, two weeks later, Dad is having a bad day and I've been crying on and off. W is still in my arms, his warm, solid weight reassurance of life. We take W to see Mum and Dad on Thursday. I'm so glad he didn't wait for our visit - I will cherish that memory and the pictures of him drinking in his grandson for the rest of my life.

I was feverish with engorgment for the duration of his visit and my hormones had unbalanced me beyond belief, so the whole two days feels like a crazy, tear-stained dream. I was so lucky to have that, to have W, to still have Dad.