Thursday, 29 May 2008

Angry frustrations

Well, tonight Emily pushed me to the limits. I know when babies cry there's something wrong. The "testing parents" phase doesn't come until around six months.

The last couple of nights Emily has put her real inconsolable cry on. Last night, Sue managed to rectify it by feeding her and have her drop off to sleep. Tonight, with Sue at school doing an exam, daddy wasn't so lucky. The initial feed was rejected but after a nappy change, was hungrily accepted.

Then... oh, then, dear reader. The choking, gasping, horrific incessant cry began and just would not stop. I attempted to burp and nothing came out. I walked around the flat, albeit deafened in one ear by blood curdling screams; I checked nappies that contained no soil; In short, there was nothing bloody wrong with her. The only thing I can surmise is she was tired and didn't know how to deal with it.

Toward the end I was ready to lose my rag. I put her in her bed and let her cry herself to sleep. The couple of times I checked in on her, when the cries subsided, resulted in her seeing me and ramping up the volume again.

It's been a disasterous night, and I really worry about what I would have done had Emily pushed my ire past the brink. I love the little blighter deep down but tonight I got a glimpse into the darker side of life and it frightened me. It frightened me a lot.

Even now, shaking somewhat from the evenings events, I just want to pick her up (she eventually cried to sleep) and apologise and just play with her, cooing and the like.

It's only 10.5 weeks in and I'm failing as a parent. This isn't good.

Update: I'm going to keep this website close to hand from now on

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Another first!

Last night Emily slept through the night. Now this won't be of any interest to anyone but Sue, myself and Emily!

Uninterrupted sleep is the holy grail of any parent and getting it back is a step in the right direction of baby growth and happy parenting.

More of this type of behaviour please, Emily.

Now playing: The Killers - Change Your Mind
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Big bubby!

10 weeks ago today, Sue gave birth to Emily. At that time, she was an amazingly large child for her age and we looked at her in wonderment.

Today she's 10 weeks old and comparatively, she's monsterous! There's outfits she doesn't fit into, and her baby bath is ALMOST too small. Sue feels that the Moses basket that has been her nightly slumber home since birth is almost at the end of its useful life. We will be getting a cot mattress very soon.

I guess children go through many phases, passing many milestones along the way. You tend to remember the big ones - first word, first step, first child, etc. You don't remember the first time she didn't fit into her birth outfit or the first time she sleeps in her own room... or maybe you do, as I'm pretty sure Sue and I will.

I'm sure as sure can be that there'll be loads more firsts that'll come and go and be lost to the mists of time.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Immunisation Jabs

Took Emily to get her immunisation jabs yesterday.

We were told she'd probably have a reaction against them as they're really just small (mostly harmless) doses of illness to which one develops immunities. Thankfully there was no side-effects... yet. Emily came through the "ordeal" like a trooper. There were tears, probably her first tears, but that was probably a mix of the jab pain and her hunger, as she was wailing like a banshee before the jabs.

We bought some Calpol at Boots just to be safe regarding any side effects, and dosed her up during feeding to be on the safe side. One of the side effects of Calpol (apparently) is your child sleeps and sleeps and sleeps. Between 3pm and midnight she was awake for a total of about 40 minutes.

Why parents don't go down the Calpol route all the time for a restful evening's peace was made clear by the warning, something about excessive use can cause liver failure.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Today's measurements

Sue went to get Emily measured today down the clinic. From the facts and figures, she's growing quite well.

Having been born at 9lb 15oz, Emily is now weighing at a healthy 13lb 14oz, just shy of a stone!

She's grown in height by 5cm in 9 weeks, from 57cm to 62cm, so she's now officially over 2ft tall.

Her head circumference is apparently off the scale for her age at 42.5cm. She was born with a circumference of 40cm.

From what we've been told all is well and Emily is doing amazingly well, so that's good.

Passport to hell

For the last month or so, my overwhelming concern has been to get Emily's passport sorted out so we go on our booked and paid for trip to Spain at the end of June.

If this was the 70s or 80s, all this would have entailed was adding her name to the dependants portion at the back of my passport and probably alerting the authorities I'd done this. Now, I have to fill out some labyrinthine document, in the correct colour, and jump through various hoops that aren't outlined anywhere.

The first steps are easy, go to a photo booth and get the shots done, go to the post office and get an app. I then found a mate to countersign the application, saying he'd known me for two years, and was a British passport holder. Then the problems set in ...

Passport application take 1. I signed my name in the box, but hit the edge of the box.

Passport application take 2. Written in blue ink.

Passport application take 3. Where's the birth certificate.

Having quickly hurried back to the post office with said document we move on to ...

Passport application take 4. Now the countersigned certification on the back of the photo is a bit big and, when cropped, won't fit on the back of the photo properly. I would like to point out here, this requirement is not mentioned anywhere (and I think the post office woman made it up).

Passport application take 5. Finally, I hit pay dirt, pay my money and am away, one month and 2 days since we got the first application and photos taken. However, we're not out of the woods, as I was made aware that the passport office may not accept the application as her eyes in the photo aren't straight (her head is at an angle). To this end, the receipt I received with post office stamps all over it has the word "advised" next to the word "Photos".

So, after more than a month, I still don't know where we stand with the application of my baby's first passport, but I have paid for it.

Emily should finally get her passport in the next 2-3 weeks, but as it's her first passport there may be an interview required. Can't wait for that.

Bureaucracy is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Baby Axioms to live by, #2

Got a call from Sue today. Apparently Emily was soaking wet this morning. Not from sweat (as it's been quite warm) but from bucket loads of wee. You see, having not slept much yesterday, Emily was fast asleep when I got home last night about 9pm. She woke up for a feed around 4pm, at which point she didn't whiff, so no change.

When Sue went to pick her up this morning around 9am, her 12 hours of single-nappydom resulted in her weeing through her nappy, through her 2 blankets, through the bedsheet, through the duvet under the bedsheet and onto the mattress.

Golden axiom to live by here? Never let baby go too long without changing.

This is up there with "never wake a sleeping child" which we learned pretty early on from a mid-wife.

Can't wait to sleep on my wee-soaked bed tonight!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Kinda Crappy

Last night was a two fold discovery of things you don't really want to worry about or experience.

As it's been warm recently, we decided to bathe Emily. Now every time you bathe a child, it's like free-falling without a parachute, you could be covered in all manner of excrement at any time. Up until last night we had been blessed with an effluence free bathing experience.

Tonight Sue decided to hop in the bath with Em and have some skin on skin contact, which all the experts say is good for both parties. As soon as she hopped in and rubbed Em's tummy, there's was a God-almighty fart followed by what we like to call "hard gas" (i.e. follow through). Sue leapt out of the bath like a bat out of hell and I was left to try and corral the little yellow flecks down the drain, fill the tub and start the whole procedure all over again.

Now baby farts are usually like Tusken Raiders, they travel in packs. Where one appears, more are soon to follow. Needless to say, it was a race to bathe and dry Emily before the rest of the gaseous monsters decided to make their presence felt. We managed to finish the bath and get her clothed without being subjected to any other bowel-dwelling surprises.

However, having washed Em's head we realised there was a nasty amount of what looked like dry skin. Fearing the worst, Sue declared that Emily had cradle cap, would start smelling really bad really soon and was wondering how this happened. A few glances through the internet later - Google and Wikipedia - we were happy in the knowledge that it wasn't our fault and it's not all that bad. We put some lotion on Emily's head before bed and this morning we washed her hair. It looks fine thus far, touch wood, so hopefully we've escaped the whole cradle cap thing.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

NCT reunion

Today we had our NCT ante-natal class reunion. Last time we all met up, the women were pregnant, the weather was morose and the days were short.

Today, there were babies everywhere of various sizes, the sun was shining and everyone was sporting their summery finest.

It was interesting over beers and nibbles to swap stories, see the other babies and find out who's the biggest, who's the smallest, who sleeps the longest, what schemes are working best for parents, etc.

The mothers in the group are continuing to meet up with babies in tow, taking turns to visit each other's neighbourhoods. This can only be a good thing, especially for a couple like us who work in London and knew no one locally, pre-Emily.

It's definitely true what they say about babies, they're good friend makers... for the parents!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Good news for Emily

Sue had her baby class today (I think it's technically called post-natal class) and she found out a whole ream of information regarding Em.

For the last couple of weeks, Emily has favoured sucking any number of fingers, and sometimes her whole fist, as opposed to her dummy. This is apparently a development milestone (check that!) and she's not necessarily hungry, which I would assume she is. Why else would you stuff your gob?

On a funny note, the last couple of days have been quite nice and sunny and Sue was told she really should lather Emily up with baby sunscreen. You'd assume that spring weather wouldn't necessitate sunscreen, but there you have it.

There was also a report in the Metro yesterday saying that breastfed babies are more intelligent. The health visitor today told Sue that the effects of breast feeding can still be seen in 70 year olds, so obviously starting a baby off on the right foot is only a good thing.

All in all, it looks like we're giving Emily a decent start to life. We're going to up her baths now that the warm weather is upon us and hopefully get her to baby aquatics as well. I don't want her terrified of the water like I was as a wee nipper.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Another first

This weekend we bundled up and headed off to Basingstoke to stay with cousin Ben.

This was the first time Emily had stayed over somewhere (can't really say "slept" as she sleeps everywhere) other than the hospital or home... ever!

It went pretty much to clockwork, although we had to fill the car up with loads and loads of stuff, all really for her - Moses basket, changes of clothes, change mats, nappies, wipes, pram, etc.

She was pretty good during the trip, as Sue and I were a tad worried the unfamiliar surrounding might set her off. On Sunday we all headed down to Southampton where I watched the Saints stave off relegation with Ben. Sue and Em mooched around the West Quays shopping centre. To celebrate the win, I bought Em a Saints baby grow. I think this is the first real purchase I've made for her since her birth (that wasn't a joint decision or out of necessity).

This weekend's trip was a test for what is to come later in the summer with our trip to Spain and Sue and Em's voyage down under in September.

They'll probably go just as well.

Friday, 2 May 2008

All's well.. Clicky-hip update

Sue and Em came back from the hospital yesterday and all is well.

Emily doesn't have clicky-hip, and will probably grow up to walk normally and unhindered.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Hospital today

Sue is taking Emily off to the hospital this arvo for her hip scan.

They'll test whether she needs a cast to correct any clicky-hip issues.

My cousin had this, but it was caught a tad too late and they had to have her in a cast longer and much later in life than is the norm. One of the babies in Sue's post-natal NCT class has been afflicted with this malady already.

Here's hoping all is well.

Not fun anymore?

Emily's becoming quite the moody baby. She sits and smiles at you for moments on end, then for no reason, will turn on you like a pack of dogs on a wounded deer. There are all sorts of theories on why this is - ranging from boredom, to wind, to hunger, etc. It doesn't really help at the end of the day when you've just had 20 hours filled with a constant "whhhhhaaaaaa".

Hopefully this, like all good AND bad things, will pass ... and soon.

On a good note, Emily is either sleeping more through the night, or not making enough noise to wake me up. Having said that, I don't really need an alarm clock with her in the room. I was awoken at 6am this morning by "cooing". The perfect father out there would have taken the opportunity to play with baby, taking her into the living room to enable mummy to sleep. I just put a pillow over my ears and wished for her to fall back asleep so I wouldn't be a zombie at work.

Ah, the follies of parenthood.