Introducing Piper Grey. Our Daughter.

I’m writing this from a very loved up cocoon. 13 days ago we met our precious daughter, Piper Grey. She was born via planned C section but came wide eyed and screaming into this world, just as I had hoped. She is perfection, All 3.42 kilograms and 50 cm of her. Just like her oder brother she was born with a mop of dark hair which I’m almost certain will, like his as well, fade, fall out, grow back blonde and then settle into a dark blonde. She has large almond eyes that currently, are a deep blue and a little rosebud mouth. Her character is simply delicious – soft and sweet with a ferocious crossness that comes every 3-4 hours when she’s hungry and needs boob. Her features are delicate and dainty but her hands, man those hands, those were made for something great. In fact, her hands were the first thing the gynae saw as he pulled her out, and as he did he said ‘she’s gonna be a 4 kilo’er’. I’m kinda glad she’s not.

Alot of people have been asking me about her name, and no, it didn’t derive from ‘Pip’. We were calling her Pip in the tummy because ‘It’ sounded too weird, and when we chose the name Piper it was simply a coincidence that it was 2 letters longer than her nickname 🙂

The whole C section and hospital experience was amazing – even better than the first. I had her at a different hospital to Carter and cannot tell you just how welcome, special and important all the nursing staff made me feel. The only downfall was the limited visiting hours for Barry and Carter and the broken aircon – she was born in one of the hottest weeks and I was uncomfortable for 4 days. It was like staying in a sauna.

And the boys? Well, they are simply besotted. Barry has been given 10 days paternity – which is great but in my opinion about 2 months too little – so has been with me for 2 weeks helping and bonding and being my rock. He goes back to work tomorrow and Im somewhat devastated. Carter is simply obsessed – I always knew he would be loving and nurturing but to see him with her, it can actually make your ovaries do the Macarena. She is his little light and he gravitates towards her like a beacon – he smothers her with kisses and soft touchers and whispers her name when he’s crying. I am the luckiest mom in the world.

Piper was born with several ‘stork bites’ on her face – a ‘V’ on her forehead, on her eyelids and under her nose. At first I was really upset – her perfect face felt flawed, and I gave myself a full day to mourn a little bit of her perfection. And then I sucked it up and told myself I was being ridiculous – she has 10 fingers and toes and is a perfect human in every other way. The docs said the marks will fade in a few years, and I’ve learnt to embrace them as part of her and who she is. I don’t edit them out in all my pics as I want her to look back at photos and see her for exactly who she was.

I have been loving my time at home with her. Not being able/allowed to drive is a tiny blessing. I’m trying this time do do less and be more. She is my last baby and so I want my waking hours to be spent gazing, touching and smelling this little bundle. Because I know all too well just how fast they grow up.

r-Grey

It hasn’t all been roses and custard, I did too much too soon and suffered a small bout of mastitis, afterbirth pains (we need to talk about that, people!) and threw in a dose of food poisoning for good measure.

She is 2 weeks tomorrow, and I actually don’t remember a time before she was here. Yes, the lack of sleep and 2 am feeds and constant soiled nappies and saggy tummy and exhausted eyes are leaving me more mombie than anything, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. She’s here, she’s ours and she has completed our little family.

 

 

Continue Reading

Today I Feel Like The Worst Mother In The World.

Kid, you and me, we’ve been inseparable these past four months. Even before that, when you were physically a part of me for 38 weeks and 4 days. From the second you were born, your body has always found a way to be connected with mine. From the way you rested on my chest, just seconds after taking your first breath, to the way your fingers will always find mine. When you sleep, you curve your proud little chest into me, and when you wake, your hands swat my face in play.

I’ve always battled to be without you. Not in a ‘helicopter parent’ kind of way, but because I miss you when you’re not around. From the very beginning, being your mom has been my proudest role. I love how we read each other, and how happy you always are to see me (although, you’d smile at a brick wall if given a chance and I’ve watched you flirt with anything with a face, so I guess you’re not quite at the monogamous stage just yet.). Even when you were tiny, and the pain meds from my C section forced me to sit on the loo for hours on end, you would always be nestled on the bed within earshot, whilst I coo’d sweet nothings from behind the closed door, holding back tears of pain. Soon after, I stopped taking the meds altogether.

Maternity leave for me, albeit not ‘leave’ in the true sense of the world, has been the most intense four months of my life. You have come pretty much everywhere with me. Ive 4×4’d your pram up steps to friends houses, I’ve plopped you in a Pick n Pay trolley to buy groceries and you’ve experienced the sounds of the bush house more than once. You come to the gym with me 3 days a week, and you watch me from the floor of the kitchen while I make dinner.

I wont lie, at times I’ve dreamt of a nanny, to help relive my aching arms at the end of a long day, to watch you for “just 5 minutes” so I could shave my legs or to unscrew the lid of your bottle when my hands were needed for rocking you, but we can’t afford one (have you seen the price of education?). I’m proud of the way that we’ve done this together, you and me. Thank you for your patience when I nearly let you fall off the changing mat, or when I placed you in a way-too-warm bath. You’ve made this easy for me.

Tomorrow, I go back to work. I’m trying to rationalise with myself that I’m not a bad mom. That me leaving you for a full day in the care of strangers is acceptable. That this will make you a well rounded boy, and that you will know that it wasn’t without severe deliberation or self blame. The thing is, a part of me wants to go back to work. My brain has fossilised these past 4 months. My friend Sheena and I (also a new mom) laugh about our ‘mum dumb’ daily. I love my job, I’m excited to see my colleagues and meet my new team. I’m excited to reunite with my favourite client, and push myself again. I am happiest after a busy day and I hope you know that you will always still be the favourite part of my day, and that when I see you, it will always be the best of me. I know that your new creche teachers and carers are going to fall into the Carter trap. You’re bloody cute, and everyone who meets you is taken in by your comical smile and sweet nature. I know you’re going to a place where you will be treated with love and care. Your two cousins are some of the greatest kids I have met – and I know that the school will help you get here too.

I also know that there’s a good chance that the only thing I’m going to achieve tomorrow is trying not to spend half the day in the bathrooms, sobbing. That I’m going to be looking at my watch every hour, counting down the minutes until I can fetch you from creche. That if Eskom initiates load shedding and I get stuck on Jan Smuts, that you may be visiting your mom in a state prison.

I also know that in a weeks time, and a months time, I probably wont cry anymore. And that in a few years time, you would rather be at school with your new friends, than stuck at home with ‘boring dad and me’.

Kid, you are going to be so great. So am I. We are not the first mom, nor the first baby to have to do this. In fact, I have a feeling being a working mom is going to help me more. You’ve given me a new found strength and set of balls. I want to work for me, and for you. I’m working so that I can be an employable and well rounded person, and so you can get that fancy new cricket bat when you need one.

So, while I may feel like the worst mother in the world today, I know I’m not. I also know that when it matters, I will be there for you. I’m going to be at your parent teacher days, and your first swimming lesson. I’m going to embarrass the shit out of you at your first athletics day, and your art is going to drip off every available surface of my fridge.

Here’s to new things, kid. But please, just always remember, if you have a bakerman day at school, your mom bloody better get that first cupcake.

IMG_20150903_153804
Sheena, my partner in ‘mum dumb’ gave me this ‘back to work’ survival pack.
IMG_20150905_181339
My mom gave me this beautiful locket, so I could always keep Carter close to my heart.

IMG_20150828_200018 IMG_20150831_165040 IMG_20150901_165818 IMG_20150903_190356 IMG_20150905_135817 IMG_20150905_172419 IMG_20150904_140732

IMG_20150803_190706 IMG_20150816_174119 IMG_20150824_125400 IMG_20150826_075306

Continue Reading

Things I Learnt at Antenatal Class.

One of the big pregnancy milestones is being far enough along to attend an antenatal class. (I’m lying, you can go anytime, I just feel I need to congratulate myself on 32 weeks of sobriety). We decided to join the free one that the hospital offers, because cheap.

The class took place over a full Saturday and I tell ya, the last time I was this excited for a full day Saturday anything was our wedding.

One of the highlights of the day was walking into the hospital foyer, pillow in hand, and bumping into our Gynae, Dr D. The look of panic on his face as he thought I may be coming in for an early labour was priceless, because he looked very ready to head on home – coffee and newspaper in hand.

Why a pillow you ask? I too was skeptical when the hospital asked us to bring one with. Turns out, if you can sit through 9 hours of antenatal class in the torture chamber chairs provided (even with a pillow) then you are well ready to have a baby. The nurse who took the class told us about a lady who was on bed rest, and took the entire class lying down on a bed of pillows. Having attended the class myself, I know that was all a lie, and the clever duck just had the foresight to make an ulterior plan.

Suffice to say, the chiropractors at Sandton Medi Cinic must make an absolute fortune on Saturdays at 5pm.

My favourite part of the day had to be the informative videos. For most of them, real life woman were filmed, all looking exceptionally glamorous having just popped out a baby. I also think all the men in the room are now immune to nipples and boob. The word aureole now gets tossed around as casually as you please.

For those who aren’t able to attend an antenatal class, or who want a little teaser of what’s to come, here you go:

1. Breastfeeding is best. They will literally shove images of latching babies and saucer sized nipples down your throat until you get the point. If you are considering breastfeeding, it’s very important to remember these handy, yet almost impossible to remember tips:

  • Baby’s lips must always be in a C shape, bottom lip visibly open, body aligned and latching like a starved fish.
  • Baby’s position should be like that of a football. Excellent analogy doc, as I’m sure a whopping 0.01% of the moms in the class are avid American sports fans.
  • When nipple cracks and bleeds, you are doing it wrong
  • Should baby’s mouth position not be as above, you are doing it wrong
  • If it hurts to the point where you want to stab yourself in the face with baby’s umbilical cord, then you are probably doing it wrong.

Basically, your baby needs to look like these goldfish.

2. Everything comes at a cost. From the nurse talking us all into ‘skin on skin contact’ immediately after baby is born (R700) to the ‘optional’ hearing test performed at birth (R400), not to mention the accommodation (yep, not rooms, accommodation) options – ranging from a R900 only-share-with-one-other-mom to the R2500 per night luxury suite (dinner for hubby included!) it is clear that nothing about having a baby is cheap. (Again, why we chose the free classes)

3. Possibly the most heart-breaking of all the lessons learnt was during lunch. The vegetarian option consisted of a Greek salad with feta as well as feta and tomato tartlets. HANG ON JUST ONE MINUTE, I thought feta when pregnant was the devil’s food, no more or less dangerous than swallowing a bottle of lighter fluid? My emotions were torn friends, do I eat the feta because I’m at baby school in a hospital, or do I listen to 99% of all the advice I’ve been given that’s told me otherwise?

Have the last 219.8 days of my life been a lie?

4. People are soft. And my darling husband is the most soft of them all. Apparently we were the first class to watch the illustrated video of the natural and C section births, due to complaints previously (I BET from men) about the real life videos being too graphic. I’m sorry, but do these folk think that a baby comes out in 2D picture? Nonetheless, 12 seconds into the cartoon video of a C section (think elevator music and a soft narrative) my husband goes as white as a sheet and leaves the room to go find Coke and other sugary treats. Shame – pregnancy is hard on the men.

5. As the class went on and the ‘list for hubby’s’ grew longer and longer (think tremendously intricate tasks like charging the camera, or packing socks) my poor husband began to look more and more distressed. It was at this point that I realised we would have to forego the R700 skin-on-skin option as I would need the money to pay for his stitches from when he passed out during the delivery.(Another item on list for mom’s – sit your hubby down in front of the telly and make him watch a medical documentary. If at any point he looks even close to vomiting, you may want to consider packing several Cokes for the hospital…and asking a friend to be there as a Plan B).

So, with 8 weeks to go I may feel slightly more informed, but no less panicked about what’s to come. It’s fine though, at least I know I will have my husband holding my hand throughout it all after he’s woken up from his coma.

Continue Reading