Archive for February, 2010

Hard work but wonderful

Before I had Leila, people who had already become parents would take great pleasure in informing us what hard work it is. This was irritating, because it really is impossible to understand how and why it’s hard to have a newborn baby before you actually have one. It’s also not really what you need to hear when you’re waddling around heavily pregnant, and already feeling that you’re working quite hard, actually.

On balance, Leila is what my Granny calls a convenient baby (because babies are not “good” or “bad”, though obviously Leila is both good and a genius, as well as uncommonly good looking. Obviously). She only shouts when she wants feeding, has a sore tummy, and of course just for fun, when  it’s time for us to eat our dinner in peace- take that, parents! She loves peddling her little legs in the bath, she guzzles like a trooper and loves a good feed just like her mum and dad, and treats us to a manageable night’s sleep at least one night in two.

But yes, it is hard work.

It’s hard because 3 hourly feeds means 3 hours from the start of the last feed, not the end. What with winding and cuddling and settling, that leaves very little time (sometimes no time! What fun nights those are) between feeds.

It’s hard when I’m suddenly awash with hormones and weeping again for no apparent reason. Today I started a sentence, only to get as far as saying her name before bursting into tears in public.

It’s hard to find a balance between lying tensed up in bed wishing she’d stop making those “I’m about to wake up” noises, and lying tensed up in bed wishing she’d make a noise, any noise, so I’ll know she’s still breathing.

Giving birth and recovering from the birth is hard (especially when you’ve pushed the blighter out with no pain relief- sorry, just had to show off there for a minute! It’s a whole “nother story and one I’ll probably write about), but already, 17 days later, I’m starting to think it was all rather fun and I’d do it again.

It’s hard work to decipher what the different squeaks and screeches mean, from the fairly amusing “eh eh ehhh” which sounds almost exactly like Anne from Little Britain, to the heartrending windy screeches which have us dangling her desperately from every angle in an effort to relieve her belly. Not only is it hard work, it’s also rather nerve-jangling.

So tired. That is hard.

But most of all it’s hard to take on board the sheer weight of my feelings for my little girl, the fact that my heart is now held hostage in her plump little form, and the knowledge that life with Leila could get ten times as hard as this, any number of times as hard as this, and I’d take it. Not just because of the biological imperative, but because she’s everything. It’s hard to take how precious she is. It’s hard hard work but wonderful.


You may have worked it out for yourself…

…but there’s a reason why I’ve been absent from the blog, why I am more tired than I have ever been, and why my heart has jumped out of my body forever. The reason is this little miss:

Leila Helen

Born 9th Feb 2010

7lb 15oz

She was 11 days late and in no hurry to come out, and continues to be a laid back, tranquil little soul. We’re smitten, and overwhelmed, and hoping to get more than 3 hours sleep at some point soon. I’ll try to post again before too long.


What a rollercoaster this is. Yesterday I decided to give the Bean a “day off”- from the wishing, the wondering, the silent  and out-loud pleading. I just decided to relax, and spent a really lovely day by any standards- never mind 5 days overdue standards- meeting up with friends, eating cake with little babies, having needles stuck into my body (I’m trying acupuncture… desperate times…) and enjoying a really special meal with G. I had wine, and steak cooked medium rare- I am WILD, I tell you. I figured that at this stage, women go into labour and get pumped full of morphine, pethidine and nitrous oxide, so a bit of alcohol and cow-blood wouldn’t hurt. It didn’t hurt, in fact it was great. But none of it- including the relaxing bit- did anything to encourage the little Bean out of her shell.

Today was not so great. I had a lovely lunch with Mum (this overdue lark involves a lot of eating out, it seems!), and spent another hour full of needles, which produced some rather exciting back pains which of course dissipated the moment I was depunctured.  But the rest of the time was spent battling despondency.

It’s a bit like when you’re waiting to GET pregnant in the first place: everywhere you look are people who got there first and it makes you boil with irrational jealousy; you feel like a hostage to your body as you wait for a sign that something is happening; hours feel like days feel like weeks; and you try to push to the back of your mind the thought that it will *never* happen.

Except of course it’s nothing like trying for a baby. For the baby is made. Unlike the start of this journey, I know for sure now that it WILL happen, we will hold a baby in our arms. And it’s easy to forget,as these limbo-days of waiting for the Bean stretch by, how lucky that makes us. The me of 10 months ago would pull the me of today up by her britches. For what I am experiencing now is, after all, a very fine problem to have.


I’d post more often, but I don’t have much of any interest to say or report! My days consist of waking up, feeling grumpy, feeling OK again, going for a waddle or doing some kind of activity to keep me occupied and stay at least a bit active, feeling sleepy,  eating quite a bit, and watching telly/reading/playing on the internet. It’s a bit like the time between Christmas and New Year, except a month late, or a particularly sedate Sunday, except every day.

Needless to say, the baby has not appeared yet. I’ll be having a sweep (which sounds simply lovely) on Friday if there is no action before then, and if that fails then I’ll probably be induced next Monday. Which seems, frankly, YEARS away. I do hope the Bean will be born before then.