Don’t forget the bloody dummy

It’s been four weeks since our son was born.  Life has been chaotic since then as we’ve received some very sad news about a family member being given the news that they’re in the end stages of an inoperable cancer.  For this reason, my mom extended her stay in Joburg, my brothers came up for a weekend and my aunty Laine flew out from New Zealand to be with the family.  Of course, our little boy was in NICU for the first three weeks of his life too, so in between all the family things, Jon and I spent most of our days going to and from the hospital.

It’s quite a thing having a child in NICU but one of  the benefits is that when the baby finally came home, he was in such an amazing routine – Jon and I feel like all the hard work was actually done for us by the nurses. Now it’s just up to us to stick to the routine as much as possible so that we don’t ruin it.  He sleeps so much still, so I have plenty of time in between sleeps to get manicures, pedi’s, readi–HAHA! WHAT A LAUGH! In between sleeps, I express, wash bottles, do laundry (even with Thembi here, there is SO. MUCH. BABY. LAUNDRY.) and then there’ll be more bottles needing to be sterilised and then I need to express again, or freeze breast milk, or defrost breast milk, or find the ever-lost bloody baby dummy again. I spent many hours on bed rest talking myself into a mantra: rest when the baby rests, that’s what you’ll do. You won’t be like those other moms with bags under their eyes looking ragged and run down all the time. How silly! Just rest, it’s so easy! And basically, one day of having the child home is when I realised that I’d won the Pre-motherhood Asshole of the Year award.

But I’m getting well ahead of myself here.  Have you met my son even? His name is Aiden Basil Kretzmer, and he’s changed our world already. He’s perfect and sweet and calm and beautiful and obviously already way more advanced than all the other babies in the world ever created. I mean, he’s already smiling ok?

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His name was chosen with such love and thought. We looked into the meanings, symbolism and legacies behind ‘Aiden’ and ‘Basil’ – Aiden translates into “little fire” which really spoke to his tenacity and determination to be born on his terms, and how he fought so hard in utero, despite the doctors being doubtful of his survival.  Basil was Jon’s late father’s name. What an incredible man, with the most incredible values and morals – we hope Aiden inherits his grandfather’s traits and honours his memory. In order to introduce him to the world officially, we held an informal bris at our house last weekend. Aiden was circumsized earlier that week (omg traumatising!), so this was just a little ceremony to say the blessing and introduce him to our loved ones and an excuse for me to over cater again, like a proper (in the future will be) Jewish mother does.

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One of the weirdest things about getting used to having a baby is trying to leave the house.  Just last night we spontaneously decided to join the aunties for dinner at the last minute. “Last minute” being an hour and fifteen minutes later, we were able to leave the house.  Only having to run back into the house three times to collect various items we’d forgotten.  I’ve now made a hand-written list of things to pack for baby, because who knows when he’ll decide to make his next explosive pooh which means you’ll go through an entire packet of wet wipes, two face cloths, half a cotton swab bag and three nappies. And also, the dummy.  DON’T FORGET THE DUMMY, PLEASE GOD. After three phone calls from the mom and aunties to find out if we were lost, we eventually arrived for dinner, only to get there and have Aiden scream blue murder because he decided he needed a second bottle for the first time ever, which meant that dinner had to stop dead until the baby was fed. Again. Only to cotch it all up all over himself. Again.

And the other thing besides this new way of leaving the house, is remembering you have a baby with you once you’ve actually left the house. You see, it took me parking, finding my wallet, getting out of the car and closing the door on my way into a Seattle coffee shop to remember there was a sleeping infant in the back seat and that I couldn’t just leave him in there by himself and to unstrap him and carry the car seat into the shop with me wasn’t worth even the best cup of coffee-on-the-go.  But other than that, motherhood is a breeze, yo.

And I’m loving it. It just feels so natural, like he’s been around forever. And I’m not just saying that. I’m quite surprised by how lovely it’s been. Even though there’ve been moments where I’ve had to google “my baby is awake, now what?”, “how to entertain a four week old”, “why is my baby’s pooh green?”, “when is it ok to drink fifty frozen mojitos while breastfeeding?”, “what will happen if I paint my baby’s hands and feet with Plascon to make a keepsake?” (it was the only paint I had handy! And also, it would match his nursery colours [don’t worry, I didn’t do it]).

Jon is the most incredible father. I’m in awe of him every day – his instincts are just spot on with his son. He’s never done anything like this before, but he just follows his gut and is so confident and calm, it makes me feel like I’m so lucky to be on this journey with him. And he calms me down so much whenever I think of the changes we’re currently going through, or thinking about the future and freaking out – it’s ok, as long as we do it all together as a family I know we’ll be fine.

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14 comments

  1. Bridget says:

    haha new moms. man it’s tough isn’t it 🙂
    The best piece of advice I was given was “re-stock your going out baby changing bag when you get home because you know what you’ve used” then the only thing you need to pack is the bottle on the way out the door. Bloody marvellous bit of advice that is.

    I’m loving watching your story and so excited for you that Jon is so involved. It means he always will be and it’s so amazing watching your husband and son doing stuff all the time. In fact I have managed photo books which are only W and B with not a single pic of me in them called “Daddy and Me” and they make awesome fathers day gifts.

  2. jenty says:

    He is so gorgeous, and you sound like you’re coping amazingly 😉
    I’m in awe of your expressing! I didn’t even try!

    • Shebee says:

      I’ve been tempted to quit so many times. Last night I found myself listing the benefits of formula feeds to Jon out loud. He grinned and told me to just quit so we could switch over if that’s what I wanted. Which I then totally gave him a dirty look for. Because I ain’t no quitter, yo!

  3. Gypsy Jangle says:

    Those projectile poos… No one ever warned me with my first, and with my second on the way, I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for more.

    Two quick things:

    I’ve loved following your motherhood journey.

    And reading this has made me even more excited to welcome my newborn little dude (arriving in November).

    Oh, and a third,

    Momhood is making you glow and gorgeous and all the things new moms never are.

  4. acidicice says:

    I have legit left both of my children in their pram at the till in the shops because I forgot I had them. You’re doing great x

    • Shebee says:

      Yay I’m not alone! The garage staff at Seattle thought I was nuts – took five mins to parallel park only to hop out, walk two steps, pause, and hop back in the car with my shoulders slumped. Sigh.

  5. MeeA says:

    That little guy is just too friggin’ beautiful! So glad it’s going well with you all. 🙂
    I had a laugh about the explosive poo – Don’t forget along with the nappies to pack at least 2 sets of extra clothes, yo; Each of my babies had at least one of those explosive packages so huge, it shot all the way up their back & into their hair. For serious!

    • Shebee says:

      Aiden’s had an explosive pooh so far that dirtied his onesie, the nappy, the new nappy, the cotch blanket he was lying on, and then the changing mat too. I took off all his clothes and got into the bath with him, where he proceeded to pooh some more. It’s a charmed life, this.

  6. catjuggles says:

    This post just makes me so very very happy on this cold and rainy Friday. Enjoy your amazing little miracle – you are the best parents for him ever!

  7. Tara says:

    I too left baby in the car….then had to do the nonchalant OMGOMGOMG speed walk to the car when I realised. (It was not even 15 seconds. A lifetime of guilt. MOTHERHOOD). Since then I put my handbag on the floor in front of his car seat so i physically have to turn around to grab it and therefore see baby!

    I also learnt (the hard way naturally) to pack a spare t-shirt for me in the nappy bag. Leaky boobs. Nuff said.

    Just curious, are you going to try get Aiden to latch at all? Or are you going to continue to express? (I hated expressing…you are a legend!)

    • Shebee says:

      Yip, I’m breastfeeding him during the night so he latched beautifully. Bottle feeding is during the day mostly, and for Jon to also feed him. Great idea on the handbag!

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