Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A bad case of the "they grow up so fast"s

  • My not yet three weeks old son is lying snugly in his four month size PJs. They are not too big. I think I gave birth to a giant.
  • My two and a half year old is starting proper school tomorrow. She has a school bag and a pink box for her apple pieces. I say thank fuck for proper school at two. It's the Belgian way, with twenty to thirty or even more children in a class with one teacher, but I haven't seen any of them be traumatized by this.
    So hurray because oh my god after two full months at home the two older ones are at each other's throats constantly. I have it on good authority that all the other siblings in the country have been doing the same thing the last couple of weeks. Enough is enough.
  • My six year old has proper hairs on his legs. He has also become a peace maker: he now understands our subtle bickering-in-a-polite-voice-and-complicated-words and has tried to fix things with hugs and "daddy was just joking"s. Dammit - we're going to have to grow up and bite our tongues.
I just hope there's not another, 105th, request for Mamma Mia after school tomorrow. I cry at "Slipping through my fingers" anyway, but tomorrow I would just dissolve.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Life on hold, HERO, baby progress, message to my boil

  • Ah the new baby - I forgot that it's three full time jobs in one. And then there's the two other children. I will, shall - oh yes - get back to the internet soon. I'm only getting five minutes now thanks to a visiting sister-in-law who is kindly burping the baby.
  • At least Babes is still at home being my HERO. HERO, I tell you. And a HERO with six weeks off. How cool is that? (Yay for living in socialist Europe where the capitalist swine is kept reasonably at bay still.)
  • A week in new baby time seems forever. I must remember that. Just when it seems like my life will forever be a cycle of feed - burp - adore - fuss - vomit - sleep - cramp - cry - poo - comfort - adore - walk - lullaby - sleep - adore - fuss - feed, Charlie spends five minutes pushing himself up on my chest, staring at my face, giving me smiles and just generally melting me. After which he returns to the usual fuss - cramp - cry - feed - ...
  • Oh, and I have a message for the massive spot that is growing in my recently vacated stretchmark: piss off already. The joke has worn off.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

This watch advert cracks me up

... well, that's her told then.

(Shit. Babes just alerted me to the fact that that could be interpreted as really bitchy. I didn't mean she's not beautiful. Just that she's being told she's going to lose her beauty, unlike the watch. Nevermind. Not so funny with this explanation, I suppose.)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

My new love in toilet land: the maternity ward toilet

People, you can forget about Dutch toilets. I have a new love when it comes to WCs. I have lost my heart to the maternity ward toilet. It is a marvel. You remember our little debate about wet wipes and needing water when cleansing after a bathroom visit? Well, this discovery of mine is the answer to all our combined needs when it comes to a clean yet ecologically sound post-poo bum!

Last time I gave birth, I was still stuck with either the hosepipe behind the toilet or the side jug of water. The hosepipe was still hanging there this time, looking at me accusingly, angry to be reduced to rinsing only floors now. This time, what was waiting for me post-birth was a shiny new toilet with mega-entertainment value.

Get this: you sit down, you do your business, then you take the remote control (I kid you not) and you are presented with a plethora of options. You can rinse your front, you can rinse your back. You can rinse hard, you can rinse softly. You can rinse cold, you can rinse warm. You can even get a fan (also with variable temperature) to blow your tender nethers dry!

I was in toilet heaven.

I tell you, I want one of these if I ever build my own bathroom. Forget about Dutch toilets and their shit shelves. I will happily sacrifice the visual element if I can get properly clean every single time. No need to install a bidet or have an endless supply of wet wipes - this baby is the ticket for me!

I'm sure I've only glimpsed a fraction of its possible entertainment value as well. Imagine I'm having my mother come for a first visit to our new house. Before she arrives, I remove the remote control from the bathroom. Ah yes, I can hear you chuckling already. How long do you think I should wait with the extra cold top strength bum shower, followed by the extra warm high power blowdry? Is it funnier midstream or while she goes in with the toilet paper? The delicious possibilities...

I'm sure tricks with the remote control would be developed into a true family sport. Just to be safe, we should have a normal toilet somewhere in the house as well - for those with safe toilet syndrome who can't "produce" any more after a few attacks. Yes, that would probably be wise.

The maternity ward toilet in question was called "Geberit" which is a Swiss toilet company. (Some of my fellow Europeans seem to have the same issues as me.) Many times I sat there, rinsing myself, considering the fact that really "Geberit" was not enough of a name for this delight. At the least it should be "THE Geberit 2000!" (with exclamation mark). Then I thought that really showed my age. The year 2000 is hardly a mark of the future any more. "THE Geberit 3000!" on the other hand sounds a little bit hysterical.

Imagine my mirth when I went to look up this very toilet online and I found out it's actually called the "Geberit AquaClean 8000plus." It's only lacking the exclamation point, which frankly was a little over the top anyway. I could SO get along with the people at Geberit. They appreciate not only the basic human need for anal cleanliness, but on top of that they are sensitive to the importance of a good product name. Maybe if teaching doesn't work out for me, I should try to get a job with them.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A communication from cloud nine - the birth story

One more post about the birth of baby Charlie, and then it's back to normal at Casa de Mwa. Because, really, who wants to hear about that every single time? I do, obviously, but that's because I'm high on baby hair smell and breast feeding hormones. And because our boy is just perfect and the most handsome in the world. Who could fail to fall in love?

We went in on the Wednesday morning for the induction. I hadn't slept all night and I was hyperventilating quite a bit. I just couldn't relax. Then I was examined by the midwife and it turned out I was already 2 cm on my way. Which changed everything. Somehow I got more confident and started to be sure I could do this. Just because my body had come a little way in the right direction.

I got a "tablet" to weaken my cervix (I think - all this terminology is harder in translation) which had brought on full force labour when I went to have Marie, but not this time. Nothing seemed to happen at all. Then by two o'clock (I did have 4 cm by this time) I got a drip to start labour. By this time, I was feeling confident enough to try it without an epidural for as long as I could.

I was quite happy with the labour, even though the drip made the contractions come really fast together (one contraction every two minutes from the start). It's amazing what a little confidence will do (yes, Ms. Moon - that made me think of you). I did ask to have an epidural for the later stages but so far I could manage fine. To start with I was lying on the bed, with the monitor strapped on. It just feels wrong to lie down during contractions. When I told the midwife, I was very surprised that she said I could get out of bed and off the monitor. She brought me a big ball to sit on (yes, Jo, I thought of you) which was amazing and made the contractions so much better.

Around four o'clock I was still managing fine, but had made no progress, so paradoxically I was told an epidural might speed things up because I couldn't relax enough on my own. The one time I try to do it without too many drugs, and they're brought to me without asking! I didn't really mind - I'm not such a big fan of gratuitous pain anyway.

Anyway, after that things sped up and our youngest was born at twenty to nine in the evening. He did get some help from some new-fangled tiny sucky device, but he came out all pink! And breathing immediately - which made me feel immense relief. This was the first time they put my baby straight onto me and left him there for ages.

Everyone seemed to be very surprised at his weight (4 kg 875 - I think 10 pounds 12 ounces or so says my online converter). I swear I did not eat more sweet stuff than during my other pregnancies. I watched this programme on TV last night on "giant babies," none of which were as large as mine incidentally, and the gist of it was that it was the obese junk food eating mothers' fault and the babies were destined to be obese as well. I'm not obese. I may be ever so slightly overweight right this second, but hey give it a couple of weeks and I'm guessing I won't be any more. Besides, I have a sneaking suspicion that a couple of kilos of my six spare kilos are in my giant comedy breasts which have grown in nicely in the last few days. I don't know what was different this time. He doesn't look like a "giant baby" either. He just doesn't look all newborn and like an old man.

Right. I have to go back and smell some baby head. I have been so sleep deprived and in some discomfort the last week, but I had forgotten the sheer bliss involved in having a new baby around - smelling him, breastfeeding him, being the only one who can comfort him every time. I'm really falling in love - I can sit and just stare at him for hours, kissing every bit of him. Ah well, enough of that, before I start a wave of impulse internet babies because I infect you all with baby yearning.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Quick hello

My lovely people, thank you so much for all your comments and wishes. We are finally at home and getting used to being a family of five. The birth went very well. I have to say I was happy he was my third and not my first, at that weight.

What I forgot was that babies do not understand about blogging and will throw up all over themselves just as you switch the computer on. I may be slightly more intermittent until he realises which is night and which is day.

The irony? I have SO much inspiration for blog posts. The gems I have composed in my head! Alas, I shall have to go and try to get our newest charge to bed, and myself as well.

Please bear with me a while. I WILL be back.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


We have a beautiful baby who online shall be known as Charlie. He's 4 kg 875 and happy and gorgeous. All is well. Am on my dad's iPhone so will have to continue another time.

Kisses to you my people.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

t = +6 days

Well, I didn't need to beg, threaten or cry. I just talked to my doctor. He came in and felt me up (always awkward with Babes sitting right there looking on) and agreed that not much was moving. I said that I didn't feel like another week would make one bit of difference, and he AGREED! He said that I must not have had many contractions yet (I haven't) and baby was comfortable enough not to move down before 42 weeks. He also said I'd DONE MY BEST (which is making me feel very proud somehow - I really have) and that he would give the baby a little push soon.

I'm happy about this. I feel that my body is making NO progress whatsoever on the baby front, and if that's the case I'd rather he wasn't a whole week bigger. It has already been established that this baby is most likely a bigger one than either of my last ones, and they were big enough to squeeze out, believe you me. I will be one week exactly over my due date, and that seems plenty to me. Baby may be very comfortable, but I sure am not any more.

So - I'm going in tomorrow morning and I'm getting "a tablet" which will probably get things moving. If not, I'm being sent home, but this is what I got last time and it worked.

A nice touch: if the baby arrives on Wednesday, he will share his birthday with my maternal grandfather, who passed away a few years ago. He was great - an artist who loved travelling and literature. He's a good soul to have watching over us.

So, people - tomorrow evening, we will hopefully be the happy parents of another baby. Wish me luck!

(I'm shitting myself. (Not literally.))

Monday, 9 August 2010

Apologies, Monopoly

  • Something I read the other day:
    If you say sorry, it doesn't mean you think you were wrong, it just means you value your relationships more than your pride.
    Charming. And just not good enough for a neurotic like me. How can I be sure that the person apologising to me is truly drenched in an appreciation of the slight bestowed on me, as well as a profound sense of guilt associated with the aforementioned slight? It simply won't do.
    Oh, and obviously I'm not apologising to anyone if I didn't do anything wrong. Obviously.
  • Playing Monopoly is not what it used to be. I used to hate it - the cut-throat nature of the game, the humiliation if you lost, the endless dragging on if you won. Now I quite like playing the start of it, just seeing the delight on Jack's face that he's playing a grown-up game.
    Then came the horrible bit - how could I completely slaughter my own child, or my lovely husband for that matter? I kept giving discounts and settling for less money. Karma being a bitch, though, I won still. With many hotels and all the property. HAHAHA hahaha HAHAHA!!!
(Still no baby, but another doctor's appointment later today. I'm trying to decide if I should beg, threaten or cry.)

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Has anyone seen my brain cell?

  • Reading The Reluctant Fundamentalist on the tram into town, I wonder if holding that book is making me more or less likely to get blown up by a suicide bomber. I put the book down on my lap so no one can see the title.
  • Getting dressed this morning, I wonder if putting on two necklaces and a short dress with no leggings will bring on labour. I try it. If it doesn't work, at least I've tried everything.
  • When talking to other mothers, I wonder how quickly I am allowed to stop them telling me their childbirth horror stories and all their friends'. I only dare after two on average.

Friday, 6 August 2010


I'm up late reading a long love letter I wrote to Babes at university. It's more of a book than a letter, really. It's making me feel all lovey and fuzzy, especially with our third baby sitting in my belly right underneath the letter. It's nice to remember the important stuff sometimes. Like love.

I should go to bed and give him a big cuddle.

(No change in the baby situation to report.)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Nothing, nada, niente, rien du tout, niks!

Thank you all so much for your good wishes and support... but it wasn't to be. I'm such a drama queen really, announcing this baby might come today. I was lying there in the doctor's office, hyperventilating, on the monitor (baby's heartbeat, possible contractions) and of course the baby is not coming down and the doctor's not inducing anything just now. Apparently, it would be "too traumatic."

So - next appointment on Monday. Any possible induction at the earliest Tuesday or Wednesday. Sigh. He should not have used the phrases "full two weeks overdue" and "possible 42 weeks." That was not nice. And he really needn't have located my cervix, dammit. It was out of bloody reach but he wouldn't take the hint! Now I'm just hoping this will bring on labour for me, as it seems to have for some of you.

Actually he was being lovely and explained very clearly why it would be better for me to wait for any natural progression. You should see this guy - he looks like the kind of guy they would get to play the kindly and admired high society gynaecologist in Law and Order. And he wouldn't have done the crime either. He's genuinely not my type, but in an objective sense he's very handsome and kind, you know?

He gave me a whole spiel that he'd obviously done a million times before about how an induction would be much more convenient for him, but not the best thing for me or my baby. Blah blah blah - I hate to hear pretty people talking sense. They should compensate for all that perfection by falling over slapstick-style every half hour or always having something between their teeth.

Unless there is more news on the babyfront, I may try and post on something else between now and Monday. I hear you sigh with relief.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

t = -1 day

So here we are. Tomorrow morning we're going to see the doctor again. I will have reached my calculated due date and he's willing, if the baby is in the right position, to induce. Funnily enough, I'm not sure if I want that any more. I seem to have lost my urgency in getting this baby out, and also some of the fears of giving birth. There is still the theoretical fear that either the baby or I will die in the delivery room, but it's not making me nervous any more.

Tonight Babes and I were out for a nice meal together (last chance for a while), and I think I felt the baby move down and I also had some practice contractions. Or wind. Pot-ay-to, pot-ah-to. All of a sudden I have a glimmer of hope that this baby might come by himself. He probably won't, but I'm hoping he will. I suppose I will see what the doctor says. He seems like a pretty sensible guy. (I just hope he doesn't lose his patience with me if I tell him I've changed my mind about the induction.)

My dream scenario is that these practice contractions will develop into the real thing tonight, and by tomorrow morning I will have delivered a beautiful baby all by myself. Okay - maybe with a little help from an epidural by the very end, but mostly all by myself. I am daydreaming of having the first part of labour at home - in the bath, repacking my bag (actually - packing, no re- about it - I still haven't got around to that), phoning my mother to come watch the children, waking them up near the end to tell them the exciting news. Then when I finally do go into the labour ward and scream for an epidural, they will tell me I'm at ten centimeters and ready to push.

Because that's how labour goes for normal people, right? And that's what I want this time.

So - I may not write here again until I've had this baby. Or I may be back tomorrow and have nothing to report. The practice contractions have stopped now, so at least the natural birth tonight seems to be out.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Isn't it ironic...

  • ... that I'm so happy to be free of nappies now that Marie is potty trained? For all of a month maybe?
  • ... that I keep reaching the end of the internet and being bored now that I have slowed down sufficiently to read ALL those posts?
  • ... that I've completely relaxed about when this baby is coming now that my doctor has agreed to a possible induction in the future, maybe, if he's happy about it, in principle, but maybe not?