Monday, October 22, 2012

Seven Bags O' Sugar

Thank you all very much for your good advice, kind wishes and finger-crossing! I'll be in touch in person when my new boss decides to sleep for more than 10 minutes at a time ... xxx
Awwww!
(Don't be fooled. He's plotting something.)

Oh. Emm. Gee!
You are not going to believe this, but soon after publishing my last post on the 5th October, I went into labour! Clearly, the one method I had not tried actually worked: write miffed blog-post about resigning oneself to one's fate. And bing! The contractions start.

So: childbirth. Not a walk in the park. Not entirely pleasant. One becomes familiar with practically every bodily fluid one can produce - and that in a 24-hour period and in front of total strangers. And one is so physically overwhelmed, one resigns oneself to one's messy fate. Having said that, though, childbirth was no better or no worse than I'd expected and I managed to accidentally do it naturally, because by the time I'd decided that it really did jolly well hurt, goshdarnit, it was too late for an epidural. (Before I get applause and a rubber medal for my bravery, I would like to add that once the baby had been born and I'd enquired about his general good health and had been reassured that all of his appendages were in place and good working order, I turned to my husband and said, "If I ever do this again, I WANT AN EPIDURAL!" A martyr I am not.) And at 3.5 kg he was only seven bags of sugar after all.

In any case, four days later, Mr Gingerbread and I were sent home with a very small, black-eyed stranger that we named John. We both have blue eyes, but newborns - being pigmentally-challenged - often have darker eyes. Our young 'un has little black button eyes that swivel around the room, trying to follow us. It's quite disconcerting. I've also learned a lot about babies and thought I'd share - for the benefit of those of you who are thinking about a smidgen of reproduction.

THINGS I'VE LEARNED ABOUT BABIES
(There are only three things because ... well, babies only do three things at the start.)
1. Sleep
It doesn't matter how nice the cot or bassinet is, it doesn't even matter if you've toiled for hours over his handmade blankie and coordinated his bed linen in a fashion otherwise unknown in your household, babies want to sleep ON you. Oh, and it doesn't even matter if you're grotty and unwashed, if your hair looks like a bird's nest and you're still wearing the same pyjamas you've been meaning to throw into the laundry hamper for the past two days but when night-time comes, you're too worn out to open the wardrobe and pull out a new one - no! Babies think there is  no better place to catch a few zzzzs. The uncurl their little claws hands with their teeny-tiny claws fingernails and clamp them into the delicate flesh of your chest, digging their tiny claws feet into your stomach for a good hold.

2. Poo
There will be a lot of it, and it will go from being something that's rarely discussed as a matter of delicacy, to something that you and your partner will openly speculate about at the dinner table. For there is a lot of it and it comes in a range of colours. More astonishingly, it gets everywhere. How a person (albeit a very small and wriggly one) can simultaneously have poo on his nipples and on the soles of his feet whilst encased in a brand-name diaper is beyond me. I wouldn't have thought it possible till yesterday - but now I know it's true. And small babies don't like being naked. Who'd have thought it? You see all of those Anne Geddes photos and presume that there's nothing a baby likes more than lounging about in the nude in a flower pot or whatnot - lies! All lies! They don't like it at all and they scream their fluffy little heads off in protest as soon as you undo a couple of buttons on their trousers.

3. Eat
Rather than being the beatific vision of Madonna-like contentment, suckling babe in arms and a halo of hazy sunlight around my head, my breastfeeding endeavours resemble something from the World Wrestling Federation: my baby is a very enthusiastic and greedy eater. And my boobess are delicate flowers. The combination is fatal. To start, I have to hold down baby's frantically waving arms while he tries to claw my delicate flowers and sideswipe the nipples. He roars in protest (because he does not like being restrained) while I pin down his flailing limbs and shove the nipple in his mouth. Everyone says you ought to bring the child to the nipple and not vice versa, but bringing the child to my bewb requires a level of foolhardy bravery that I do not have. When he finally latches on, he'll maul me contentedly for a while, detach himself and then after a couple of seconds of confusion, roar his head off at me for starving him so cruelly.


People, this is strenous. The child is a hard taskmaster. Just when we think we've got him figured out ("Aha! He likes to take long naps in the afternoons!"), he does the exact opposite, leaving us bewildered and confused.
"He's flippin' lucky he's so darned cute," I growled at my husband at 4.30 a.m. this morning, as I disposed of a reeking Pampers and wiped a dimply bottom (while my offspring screamed his head off because I exposed his buttocks to the fresh night air.) And therein lies the rub: babies are cute. It's hard to hold a grudge when they roll their little black eyes in your direction and slurp sloppy newborn kisses on your face.

39 comments:

Gracey is not my name.... said...

He's beautiful! Congratulations!!!! Can't wait to hear more about the joys of motherhood!

Sweet Seahorse said...

I think babies are designed to be cute to make adults happy to do revolting tasks they wouldn't otherwise volunteer for!
Oh those fingernails! Having sharp baby fingernails scrape across a nipple is excruciating, it's almost worse than when the baby starts teething.
Congratulations to you and Mr G on John's birth.
xXx Helen

Heather - The Good Life said...

Congratulations on your beautiful little boy and I know, bundle of joy! Heather

The Foggy Knitter said...

Congratulations, he's very cute and John is a good name. And, um, good luck!

Sharripie said...

Congratulation! So glad you're all safe and (mostly?) happy. He's lovely.

mim said...

Congratulations! Gingerbread baby is a very charming boy.
(My baby is almost 18, and I still remember the smell of her head. Sigh. )

Anne said...

Many congratulations on your new baby! He's gorgeous and looks like a thinker!! Bet he's writing a little story in his mind, as you do online! You made me smile very much as the memories of my baby son came rushing back! All the best and hope you can rest when he is resting!! :)

Liz said...

He is absolutley gorgeous. Have fun! xx

fairyhedgehog said...

Oh my word that does bring it all back to me! Good luck with your new harsh task master and I hope you manage to get some unbroken sleep some time soon!

Die Ehefrau said...

Oh my got, i hope you will forgive me, but i laughed a lot about this entry :D first of all i want to congrat you and your hubby for this wonderful new life u gave birth.
<3
when you told about the birth, i remembered on mine, it was the same except that i was NOT too late for the epidural. ;) i needed 12 hours of contractions, fever, airing my belly to be stronger than my fear of the epidural :D

i hope you feel good now, where everything ugly is done. your body will be a stranger for some weeks, but then you will deal with this "new" one! ;-)

oh, by the way, tell your husband he has to be careful to feed YOU enough, its hard being a breastfeeding and HUNGRY woman! but i think he will learn it soon ;)))

i wish you three all the best, have fun and love together and after all: stay healthy! <3

Chain Stitch Crochet said...

Awww, congratulations!! And belated Happy Birthday to John! He's very adorable and I'm sure you are very much his big slave. :o) I mean that in a nice way. Enjoy because they grow so very quickly.

Laurinda Matheson said...

Congratulations! He's beautiful! And yes, just when you think you've got them figured out, things will change. Enjoy the ride!

Kelly said...

Just a little tip about his flailing arms when going to nurse...let him beat on your chest. This is one of the ways that baby stimulates the glands to help bring a quick let down of milk. Babies just know what they are doing when it comes to feeding.

Kelly said...

Just a little tip about his flailing arms when going to nurse...let him beat on your chest. This is one of the ways that baby stimulates the glands to help bring a quick let down of milk. Babies just know what they are doing when it comes to feeding.

mutantsupermodel.com said...

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

Awww your bags of sugar is gorgeous!! Good luck, you'll survive :D

P.S. Please turn off the captcha. It's a nightmare

Paul & Carla said...

He's beautiful, Olivia. I know it doesn't seem like it now but things will (eventually) settle down. At this point he's just doing what babies do: eat, sleep, poop, and scream. Perfectly normal.

Sue said...

Congratulations! What an adorable little one you now have the honor of raising. Wishing you and your family good health, sleep, and clean pajamas. :)

Tink Edwards said...

Congratulations! He's a cutie! I look forward to reading more of your adventures into motherdom.

Hazel said...

Congratulations. Treasure all these days as they grow up so quickly! He is a real cutie. x

Eithne said...

Awwwwwwwhh how cute is he? Can't wait for a squeeze! Well done, it does get better ;-) hope you get some rest! Xxxx

creations.1 said...

Congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful little bundle. The pain dulls with time memory (luckily or none of us would be here!!). And it doesn't matter how much they tire byou out or test your patience.....their cuteness wins you over every time. And it hard too understand how that little miracle of life can cause so much disruption to ours....fully grown adults who should be able to cope with anything they throw, perk, poop at us!!! Congrats and enjoy!!

Ella said...

Congratulations! And he's gorgeous. :-))

Marie/Underground Crafter said...

Congratulations and I'm glad you're all home and healthy. It is amazing what writing a miffed blog post can do!

I don't have my own sugar bag ;) but I do have vivid memories of the mysteries of poo from when my (much younger) sister was born. (As a teenager, I wanted nothing to do with these mysteries!)

Sue said...

Oh congratulations he's a cute little fella and he looks like he knows what's what! And can I just say yeah babies are cute that's how you can end up with more than one LOL! Hope you get at least some sleep sometimes. x

Joan said...

Thank you for this wonderful start to my day. CONGRATULATIONS! And what stamina you have, that is a beautiful post you wrote while sleep deprived. Young John looks and sounds like a live wire. The only advice you need: sleep when he does! Isn't it amazing how noisy newborns can be? My very best wishes to the new and improved Ginger family!

Paula said...

Congratulations, you have a seriously cute baby boy.

Allyson said...

Congratulations! Enjoy this special time with your new addition :))

luffymoogan said...

Love your blog! Well done on motherhood - lots of inspiration and future material there, I'm sure.

YarnRoundHook said...

Well, he is just gorgeous. Your post made me laugh. It also made me broody, but 2 babies was plenty for me!

KinnicChick said...

Congratulations on your latest and most beautiful creative endeavor. He's a keeper!

Debi Y. said...

Congratulations on your new baby boy - he's beautiful. :)

Doris said...

Total ein süßer kleiner Wonneproppen, den du da hast.
Da werde ich gleich ganz wehmütig und grabe nach den Fotos meiner kleinen Wonneproppen, die mittlerweile 16, 11 u. 7 Jahre alt sind. Vorbei sind die Zeiten wo ich Schnuller und Kuschelkissen war, in der Nacht kommt nur mehr der Jüngste. Ach.....
Solltest du mal Auszeit brauchen, könnten wir gerne tauschen.
Diese Zeit geht so schnell vorbei, wobei ich mich noch sehr gut daran erinnern kann, das ich als ich mittendrin steckte, manchmal dachte, das hört nie auf, ich werde nun für immer und ewig Schnuller, Matratze und Kuschelkissen sein.
Herzlichen Glückwunsch, der Kleine ist wirklich gut gelungen.
Liebe Grüße
Doris

patrysia said...

Well, he's just gorgeous! I'm so delighted for you.

Soon he'll be a cute baby blob, more on regular schedule and knowing what he's supposed to do. After all, it's all new to him, too. Before this he wasn't ever hungry--there was the lovely cord feeding him nonstop. Of course he roars now--the dripline is gone. Outside is colder than Mummy's tummy, and where's the warm goo? What's this stuff coming out of me?

Ahh, and then, just as he's settled into contented, predictable regularity will come the ability to walk, and talk. Running everywhere! Opposable thumbs that can grasp and pull! And a mouth that stubbornly can say "No!" or "Nein!" This auntie loves it when they get to that stage (not sure how much Mum and Dad will like it, though).

Enjoy him this young and snuggly. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but before you know it, he'll be borrowing the car keys and thinking he's too cool to kiss you goodnight.

Susie Little said...

Congratulations to you both xxxx

Margarita said...

It is a long time since I had my babies, but you bought it all back. I had to laugh though, especially about the "poo".
I hope your 'boobees' hurt less soon.

Rachel said...

Congratulations!

For some reason this post didn't turn up in my blog reader thingy, so I've only just seen it.

Thanks for the warnings. I have heard such tales before, and resolved to leave the miracle of reproduction to hardier women. Like my sister, for example. She's just had her second. I can visit, enjoy the cuteness, and give them back when they get messy.

Ah, cuteness: The reason that the human race has not died out.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Congratulations on having the cutest 7 bags of sugar I've seen in a good while.

I had four ... trust me you ain't seen nothing yet re. the poo ... expect the impossible!

And enjoy every day of the little fella's new-babyhood, all too quickly it will be a distant memory.

Lorna D Lewis said...

 A friend of you told about gold making wow items in WoW a few weeks back. You have wow gear given it a try a couple of days back. Now you are getting accustomed to the exploration wow leveling of the mysteries hidden within the world of Azeroth and have started collecting gold.

barazile, livpåIrland said...

Congratulations belatedly, well done! Hope things have settled down now a bit, life with a new baby is blessed, (if not entirely blissful all the time)....;-))