Thursday, June 04, 2009

Back Then...


Dominic Rivron sort of started this: a mini-meme where you find a photo from the past and tell the story of then and into the future. So, here's mine.

This is my first time being a mum. I have no idea what's hit me. I am very tired, and feel very overwhelmed. I also feel a bit frumpy and fat, which is why I'm wearing black. I think I'm hiding behind the colour and I will do for about another year, until I start to lose the pregnancy fat.

I love dressing him in bright colours, but I've already had to buy him bigger gros, as he weighed in at 2.4 kilos or 9 lbs and 3ozs. I have to buy him 3-6 mths clothes and will have to buy bigger for the first four years.

He is huge: as we say here, practically ready to go to school. He took eleven hours to push out, with the aid of pethidine and gas and air. I have ten stitches as well, where I was given an episiotomy (a small snip in the exit wall), so I'm feeling a little tender.

He wakes every two hours and is a guzzly baby. I've not got used to disturbed sleep and I'm making the mistake of changing his nappy as he screams because his babygro is off before feeding him, which helps to make him wide awake and me extra frazzled. I've decided to feed him myself, and will do for the next four months. I will suffer engorgment as the real milk starts to come in and have extreme discomfort in about two days, that no amount of cabbage leaves will take away. In the coming months he will become the most photographed baby in the world. He will also suffer from colic, but I won't know what that is until I discover gripe water, followed by the magic of a soother.

Every step along the way: eating his feet, learning to crawl, stand, sit up and walk will be recorded. I will be so careful with him. I will do all my learning on him and try to apply the lessons on subsequent children, and find out that each child is different, needs different rules and help along the way. Right now, the last thing on my mind is having another, never mind another five.

I am 25 and the baby, whose 16th birthday was yesterday, is just three days old, no more. Poetry hasn't even blotted my horizons yet, and won't do for another two years.

12 comments:

Rachel Fox said...

This is a great series Dominic has started. They've all been so different.

I bet it seems like several lifetimes ago now that first babe!

x

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for the link. What a great post! Lovely photo. Took me back to my first time being a dad (well, and my second, and my third...) And I'd forgotten about the cabbage leaf thing.

Dominic Rivron said...

Pah! Rachel beat me to it by two minutes! She must have posted hers as I was writing mine, as there were no comments at all when I started writing it.

JAKI MCCARRICK said...

Just submitted my reduced text TO THE MAN so am late-night blogging you. I think the shot is lovely. You look good, girl.
jx

Liz said...

Gorgeous photo, Barbara and account. It has been a jam-packed 16 years...but a blink-of-an-eye at the same time, I bet.
x

BarbaraS said...

Thanks guys, it's weird re-visiting a time, with the benefit of hindsight and what you now know... but sure, that was then and this is now, and yes, those 16 years just flew by!

apprentice said...

Oh yes sitting on a rubber ring -Ah I remember it well. And that "what the hell do you do now" feeling.

It is amazing what memories we compress, that can be instantly expanded by a photo.

Dick said...

Most photographed baby, maybe, Barbara, but none lovelier than this, surely. This meme of Dominic's is producing some wonderful entries.

hope said...

Strolled over from Rachel's to see what kind of "past lives" we all have. It's funny how many of us picked childhood...I even noted that I was the first of 3 children and we kept getting bigger..the last one weighed 10 pounds. I'm sure my Mom would commiserate with you.

Thanks for sharing. I wasn't able to have kids but I love them. You've allowed me to visit the "rougher" parts and still come away with, "What a beautiful baby!"

Rachel Fox said...

As I was rinsing the 'cover all grey' out of my hair this afternoon I wondered about your comment about poetry in this post. So when did poetry show up and how? Have you written about that in a post before I was visiting here? If not...full details please! When you get a minute...
x

Kay said...

How do you remember all that?! It's all a blur for me now. (Still for me it's going back nearly thirty years.)
Lovely account ... and the babe is beautiful! (Our first was 9lbs too! The nurses called him Ali after Muhammud Ali the boxer / fighter.) And yes you do look a little overwhelmed but very, very proud.

BarbaraS said...

A, you have it in that one phrase ' the rubber ring.' It literally took me the whole year to recover, and I distinctly remember a doctor telling me that this was the case (pity it was four years later that I was told!).

Dick, hope, thanks for your warm remarks - I thought I should be honest about the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, the tiny-ness of babies really grabs me in the heart when I see them, it's just the balancing of that against who you are as a person that I found hard. It took me a full five years to accept motherhood - and also that feeling of 'the buck stops here.'

Rachel, that is a post that I should do, you are quite right. Watch this space: I shall think about it and write it up soon.

Kay, sometimes it is a blur, but photos and a bit of thinking and nail chewing have this habit of pulling me inside them. It's almost as though a part of my emotional landscape got captured at that time too.