Saturday, 29 March 2008

Getting to grips

Well, it's been another few days of ups and downs.

The ups have pretty much been isolated to Emily sleeping loads. The downs obviously involve her awake-time activities, or should that be activity - feeding.

We assume she's going through another growth spurt as she's spending all her awake time suckling at the teat.

It's making Sue rather forlorn as she's merely a food conduit, and can't really enjoy Emily on any other level at the moment.

Me being dad, and feeling quite neutered not being able to help with the fooding, am trying to help out in other ways.

I took Em out for a stroll around the neighbourhood yesterday in the pram and sourced dinner and am doing laundry and nappy changes where I can.

Now that life is becoming a bit more routine with the baby (if that's possible yet), we're moving on to "phase two" activities, getting all the legal and paperwork stuff out of the way.

With Emily's registration last week, we can move on to getting her a passport and claiming for benefits and childhood credits. Also need to sort out a bank account so we can begin regular deposits into her education / PS3 / booze on 18th birthday / new car fund.

Managed to nab another cute pic of Emily. This time she's ready to go with her bluetooth headset sorted out!
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Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Went to the registry office in Sutton today and got Emily all good and registered like. She's now legal as Emily Patricia Archdall John.

We got a birth certificate so she can get a passport, got a form for her to register for the doctor and signed a form that will go in the public records. Many years from now, when our ancestors are doing family tree stuff, the document I signed today will form part of their research. History in action!

Our appointment at the office was at 9.40, so for the first time since Em was born we had to set the alarm (found this funny as any sleep past 6.30am is pretty much non-existent). Anyway, last night lying there watching Magnum P.I. on DVD (oh yeah baby!) it hit me that I had only 9 hours of sleep left before I had to be up, then 8. You just lie there worrying that you can't get to sleep and the pot of sleep you can have is growing ever so smaller.

When we've been getting up whenever we wanted to, it wasn't a problem, now there was a finite time, it's terrifying.

We had another adventure in the car today, we went to Carshalton. We decided to combine the travel system with the car seat. Walked around Grove Park and the Carshalton Ponds then went for a bite to eat. Emily was absolutely amazing, the kind of baby you wish you could have on days out. Quiet, and lovely.

This afternoon, we had Sue's new health care worker come visit today. She gave us some literature, let us know when the jabs and appointments for Em will be and weighed and took her height. She's still hovering around 4.5 kg and is definitely 57in long (yes, just shy of 2 ft!!)

As I type, I'm looking after the crap-factory in the lounge, as mummy is so tired she's in her "I don't want a baby any more" phase. I was here just the other night so I understand. I'm really happy to give mummy time to rest, but am super paranoid about what to do if baby actually needs a feed. I can change her, cover her, put her dummy in her mouth but I am biologically barred from feeding her.

Now playing: Bonnie Tylerr - Holding Out For A Hero [Special Extended Remix]
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Tired... and where do the hours go?

Why is it that with a child time seems to have sped up? I was used to a 24 hour day feeling about 18 hours usually. Now we have a baby (or time vacuum as they actually are), a 24 hour day feels about 5 hours long. I blink and the baby's already over a week old. I'm back to work a week tomorrow and Easter came and went in the blink of an eye.

To add to the time concerns, both Sue and I are quite tired, not feeling 100% and prone to being snappy. I can usually keep it together but the veneer tends to slip the more I get exhausted.

We went out today in the car. This is the first car-venture since we came home a week ago. We dropped mummy off at the doctor's then went to the chippie for mummy's lunch, followed by hanging out in The Oaks, a local park. All topped off with Emily's first trip to Asda.


This evening has been filled with Emily feeds, then crying when she's taken from the feeding-machine. Sheesh. Sometimes you think it HAS to END!!

Now playing: Bryan Ferry - Slave To Love [Instrumental]
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 24 March 2008

What's goin' on?

Marvin Gaye asked it in 1971, I'm asking it today - "What's goin' on"?

For the last two days our little bundle of joy has been devil spawn with her screaming, crying, and general not going to sleep.

Last night she slept what we adults would almost classify a full night's sleep. Today, she's been asleep more than awake, even when the mid-wife came to check her out. She stirred, went back in the Moses basket and whoop, she was out.

Tonight, she's been a bit grumpy, but nothing a feed couldn't solve.

It's been nice, especially after the last couple of days. Sue and I are just trying to distil the issue, much like on an episode of CSI. Is it a growth spurt? Is she over stimulated with all the new people she's met? Is she just coming to terms with being in a new home? Is her gastrointestinal system working out some kinks as it gets used?

We may never know, but as long as she's serene and happy and there's no more blood curdlers, we won't have to further out examination.

Now playing: David Bowie - Fame
via FoxyTunes

Good sleep

Not sure if it was the Easter Sunday champagne or the blood curdling screams, but Emily decided to have quite a long sleep last night. It was amazing and very, very lovely!

I woke up around 10am with Emily laying next to me, calm and just looking around. What a difference from the distressed cries of last night.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Emily John: Blood Curdler!

For the most part Emily's been a good newborn. Sue and I have attempted to understand her communication - which has mainly focused on "I NEED TO EAT".

This evening - Easter Sunday - however, and to some part yesterday, Emily has been emitting screams of a blood curdling nature which can only be interpreted as one thing "I AM IN PAIN". Now I'll be the first to admit that we have a windy baby, which is not uncommon. However, when that wind goes in (as extra gulps during feed, etc.) and doesn't come out, you have issues.

You can only burp a newborn for so long before you start looking for other reasons for the horrible screams of distress. When you have a baby screams DURING feeding you can pretty much assume things are wrong.

By trial and error and the eventual sweet relief of baby fart noises, we eventually got Emily off to sleep, but the in-between time has been quite trying. There's anti-gas drops you can get for infants which we may get for the bad times, but I assume you have to administer them BEFORE the baby is in distress, which could be problematic.

Sue is also playing to over-stimulation card. We did have a few people over for Easter dinner and it was quite hectic with the cooking and celebratory bubbly out.

Thankfully tomorrow we only have one set of visitors.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Inconsolable you

Having thought we'd come to grips with Emily, today's thrown us a complete curve ball.

She's been grouchy and inconsolable almost all day. Having read up in the books and on the net, it looks like she's going through a growth spurt already! So no colic, which is a Godsend! The first growth spurt is apparently around day seven and can last sometimes a week!

She's been perpetually hungry, eating all the time and falling asleep during feed. When we move her, she wakes up, grizzles and needs a feed again. If this were to continue for any length of time, I can imagine it would try our patience to no end. Please, please, please, just be a growth spurt!

Emily is a week old today. At 11.38 she achieved 168 hours alive, around 100 of those awake... as the bags under mummy and daddy's eyes are beginning to attest.

We went to our new favourite eatery today for a coffee and a getting out of the flat expedition. Just like Thursday it was a HORRID day out, weather-wise. Grey, cold and windy. Still not sure why we didn't go out yesterday, at least there was sun!

We only had one visitor today. I think yesterday when Paul, Sally and Ben were here that dear little Em got a touch over stimulated. Having said that, I've been playing my guitar while mummy and daddy sang to her today. If that's not crazy stimulation, I'll eat my shoe.

Tomorrow is Easter and we have a nice roast meal to be getting on with. Times like this I'm glad MY mum's here.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

getting to grips with this being

We had quite the adventure today. Woke up around 10 am!!!! After Emily had woken us up at 6am for a feed (having previously fed and fallen asleep around midnight), I managed to collapse back into a sleep deprived heap for a few hours.

The health visitor / mid-wife showed up around 10.30 to show us how to care for Emily, hygiene-wise. The daily wash mixed with the weekly bath was demonstrated.

Before we knew it, it was almost 1pm and "Uncle John" had come over for a visit, and to join us on our latest adventure - leaving the flat. I originally envisioned a glorious warm, sunny day for this, so obviously the actual rainy, gloomy, cold wet Thursday was a bit of a let down.

However, we persevered and went to the local library for some lunch (they have a lovely cafe out back). During our lunch, Em acted up and Sue had to do an impromptu feed, realising she wasn't actually dressed for it (not the easiest access top, you see).

Eventually made it back to the flat after acquiring a further two pacifiers and attempted to have a nice quiet evening in.

As I type this, Sue has lost the battle with consciousness and is passed out in the bedroom, while Emily dozes beside me, pacifier lying next to her. I am catching up on this blog and listening to some Smiths.

The more life changes, the more it stays the same. Fingers crossed Em stays asleep for a bit, but it's nice to know that powered by pacifier, she CAN be awake and not feed! Gives Sue's boobs a break and us a chance to talk and sing to her without her wailing like a banshee.

Everyday we're learning!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

First full day at home

Emily woke us up this morning, some time around 6am. Wonderful, start as you mean to go on, kid.

Got a nap around 9 and woke up when the community mid-wife showed up around 10. Also received a really nice and unexpected bunch of flowers, balloon and stuffed Gund teddy bear from my colleagues at work, so that was quite nice.

Apart from that action, today has been spent pleasing Emily. It seems that when she's awake she's hungry and then there's the sleep state. We figured out this afternoon while changing her that we need to introduce stimulation into her life - something besides mum and dad on the bed and mum's boob lunging for her face. We have a nice Disney mobile situated near the change table that was a gift from Canada-ways. Having that on while changing Em really pre-occupied her, which was good.

Later this evening, we decided to try the dummy / soother in her mouth when she makes the sucky-sucky motion and see if that works, and hopefully give mum's nip-nips a break. She enjoyed it apart from spitting it out every few seconds by accident. I ended up singing nonsense to her as well so she could hear some soothing tones and hopefully go to sleep. After MANY false starts she's finally nodded off, with mum beside her.

I know Sue's done the sleep deprivation gig for a few days longer, but this sucks. I'm exhausted, irritable and have had a lingering headache all day. This, dear reader, is only the beginning! OUCH

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Crashed out!

My two ladies are fast asleep in our bed. Sue managed to hold it together when we got home long enough to have a much needed shower, open a card and present from me and feed Em.

On the way home, we stopped in at Mothercare for a nursing pillow which Sue went in and bought (as she needed the loo as well). On returning to the car, she announced that someone had forgotten they'd just had major surgery. We then went to Asda for a few bits and our initial plan - walk around the shop with the baby in her basket in the trolley went out the window. Sue sat in the car feeding the little breast demon while daddy did the shop.

Waiting for Sue to wake up now before I order some take away to celebrate our first night in the flat as a full family.

Now playing: Moby - I Feel It [Contentious Mix]
via FoxyTunes

Going home

It's Tuesday and we're heading home.

The doctor and mid-wives have been round to check on sue and emily, taking sue's blood, making sure breastfeeding is done right and working Emily's legs like you would a chicken you're about to stuff.

The next phase of Emily's life - the one in her home away from St. Helier's begins this aft when the paperwork is done!

Monday, 17 March 2008


Another test came back with good results - Emily isn't jaundiced enough to stay in for a few extra days, so we can go home tomorrow!

Em is a bit yellow, but it's not in the blood so that's good news.

Day two

Back at hospital being regaled with Sue's tales of no sleep and baby bonding.

As it's Monday, there's loads of people milling around now - physios, druggists, etc. It's quite different from the skeleton crew over the weekend. There's also construction workers making a hell of a racket.

Got my rellies visiting today - mum, gran and aunt. They'll be here about 3.

Before then we're to get a lesson in bathing Emily, who still has uteris juice on her matted hair.

Sue thankfully has been able to move around enough to shower, etc. Today we're going to go for a walk - down the hall and back. Tiny steps!

I also got a call from work today. It's odd how being in your own little universe can detach you from reality. Nice to have the call and be pulled back down to earth. Going to get a newspaper today to make sure nothing major has happened since Thursday.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Day in hospital

Spent the day in hospital with mummy and baby. Changed baby, got mummy lunch and dinner from the kitchen (nhs food IS dreadful) and managed to get a couple of gifts delivered - chocs and flowers.

We entertained some visitors today on ward and expect a few more tomorrow.

Took some more photos to bolster my Facebook gallery as well. All in all a well spent rainy Sunday.

I even have some laundry to do when I get home.

Emily was crying this afternoon and first instinct is to wind her (since figured out that action takes more than a couple of minutes). After that I checked her diaper. There was a smear, but not even enough to scrape on toast (continuing the Bovril thread here). I asked the mid-wife if that was enough to change her or if I should wait for a good nappy full. Of course I got berated for asking that, and began to change her.

Didn't have to wait too long to figure out where the rest of the poo was, it started leaking out like tar from a toxic waste pipe. Not being fully ready for this I jumped to action while giving Sue a blow-by-blow or poo-by-poo breakdown, which lead to much laughter on her behalf, which then led to much pain from Sue as well.

Got things under control eventually, changed Emily and all was well, but that was a crappy thing to do!

Day one of having a baby

Woke up dazed at 9am and trundled down to the hospital with clothes for emily and provisions for sue. As sue is c-section victim, I have to do everything for her, which is cool. For the first time in this pregnancy / birth I feel useful!

I've been to the ward kitchen for food and held Emily while Sue winces in pain. I've even attempted to wind Emily.

Sue and I have managed to changed Emily who is pooing bovril. If only I had some toast!

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Home now

Introducing miss Emily JohnI managed to steal away for the evening, leaving Sue and Emily behind in the delivery room. According to the mid-wife, they'll be transferred down to the post-natal maternity ward this evening.

I've brushed my teeth, trying to remove some of my chocolate-based food from the day from my mouth. Also packed up some extra outfits for Sue and Em ready to go back tomorrow.

Still wondering how to play the visitor game. As Sue and bubby are in hospital for a few days, do we let people come visit - especially tomorrow as it's Sunday - or do we get them to come to the house on Easter Weekend?

On a lighter note, this baby's already cost me money. The car park at the hospital cost £24 for just under 24 hour stay. OUCH! A taster of things to come I guess.

What to do

Both baby and mummy are catching 40 winks and I'm sitting around like a third wheel. Kinda tired and hungry, but bored of the food option - a variety of chocolate based sweets.

I kinda want to go home, but feel sorta selfish. Sue can't eat from the op and I'm complaining about about the snack variety and now I want to go home - not to get away from my fam but to lay in a bed and eat something savoury. Besides, who would choose to hang in a hospital if there was a choice?

All fine

Sue's stomach hurts and Emily is sleeping. The family is doing fine.

Sue's groggy and I'm exhausted but it's all good. Going home later and will get mum and baby new clothes, as they're going to visit hospital for about 3 days now.

Alive and well

Emily arrived healthy and alive at 12.38p today. A whopping 9 lb 15 oz! She looks like a 6 month old baby already. wow!

I'm a dad!


We're ready to go on the c-section. Sue's had the epidural top up, and I'm in my scrubs.

She's going to be in hospital for about 3 days so I'll be making a few trips back here.

Regardless, looking like a 15 march birthdate. One of our NCT friends texted this morn to say they had a baby at 5.34 this morn. Sharing birthdays! Cool.

C-section update

Sue's been shaved to allow for c-section access and they're going to size me up for scrubs so I can hold sue's hand in theatre.

I read in one of our books that they put a sheet up so don't have to watch the op.... Which is good.

The consensus amongst the practitioners here is we have a monster baby - around 9 or 10 lbs. Sue's eyes watered at the thought of passing that. Maybe nature has a way of handling these larger loads cuz it doesn't look like it's coming the normal way.

Exam again

The new team have just come round to look at Sue and said they'll probably let her go until lunch time and then do a c-section.

Hard to think we've endured the last 15 hours or so, when it could have just ended c-section-wise at the end.

The midwife we had over the night said that Sue would be up and around within a day of the c-section, but obviously lifting heavy stuff will be out for a while.

We were so optimistic when we arrived that things would progress naturally, especially when the waters broke about 11 hours ago.

I need food and a drink. My mouth tastes horrible. I can only imagine what Sue feels like / is tasting, etc.

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Cervix issues

Had a horrid sleep (though not as bad as sue who is hooked up to wires and machines, etc).

Sue's just been examed again and told that things aren't progressing that well. There's to be THREE more hours of syntocin before a plan B is considered. However, the dreaded c-section is now looking quite possible, especially as we're told we could have a "long day ahead of us".


Sue's just had the needle in the spine and we're now hoping for some sleep before the fun starts.

She's also been given a local as the hand she has the syntocin jabbed into is hurting a tad.

C'mon sleep, where are ya?

On the drip

Sue's on the Syntocin drip and has opted for the epidural, mainly so she can sleep. Looks like nothing will happen until about 6am now.. 4 hours from now.

Epidural will help Sue sleep so she'll be fighting fit to deliver this tyke is a few hours time. Just wish I had a bed too.


Sue is bouncing along on an exercise ball trying to move baby along. Apparently it's easier exercise than walking.

I've just run down to the car to retrieve the video camera. Even though it's a borrowed rover 100, Sue swears blind thieves will target it for our video camera.

Also erected a "baby on board" (something something Burt Ward) hanger in the window. NOW I feel like a father.

Sue's had some drip attachment jammed in her hand so the Syntocin can be administered. That should be soon I think.


Feeling knackered and no sign of baby yet. Best case scenario is apparently 3am.

Sue is about to bounce on a birthing ball to try and move baby's head down. 1am brings another assessment and then we see if a drip is needed.

So tired.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Waters broken

Sue's waters have broken. It's like she can't stop weeing herself. Sign of things to come with non-potty trained baby.

So it's all go from here.

Looks like we'll have a 15 march 2008 birth.

Moved to Labour Ward

Down in the labour ward now (second floor in the Women's Health Centre at St. Helier's Hospital).

It's still touch and go whether they'll force Sue's waters tonight or not. It's looking like they want to get things under way asap.

More soon.

in the hospital

Sitting in the hospital with Sue and she's having contractions, according to the monitor she's hooked up to. I think the baby is on it's way. More soon.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008


Well, it looks like our child isn't arriving without some medical intervention.

Went to the hospital yesterday for another "how far along are we" exam, which Sue failed (i.e. it's not very far along).

At the same visit, Sue got booked in on Friday afternoon to be induced. Apparently, they do three attempts at inducing and if that doesn't work, they move onto Plan B.

I think Plan C is C-section, which involved up to six weeks recuperation, as it's major abdominal surgery. Thus, that's the very bottom of the desirable list.

Whatever happens, we've been assured that when Sue arrives at hospital on Friday, she won't be leaving without a baby, whether it's Saturday or Sunday when that comes.

It's all a bit final now and all a bit sterile and medical at the same time.

Oh well, at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Baby ruins all the fun

Sue wants to fly to Australia in September for a wedding. No problem there, she's always flying to Australia for various reasons. This time, however, she wants to take the baby. Only trouble is, the baby isn't a baby yet, it's still a foetus. By September, of course, it will have been a baby for months.

Try buying a plane ticket (or at least pay the taxes) for a person who legally doesn't exist yet. When you can't tick the "name" or "date of birth" box for the travel agent, they tend to come back with a "not enough information" response.

Now that the baby is 8 days late, we're hoping it'll arrive soon, with the task of getting cheaper airfare added to the list of reasons why.

Now playing: Bloc Party - Kreuzberg
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

hospital visit

went to the hospital today with all hopes of Sue having a "sweep" and coaxing the baby to come out. The mid-wife came to the conclusion, quite quickly, that the cervix wasn't ready. She then sent us on our merry way with a "see you next week"... argh! just what we were given LAST week!

On top of that, one of our NCT couples gave birth on our due date! They were due on the 7th. Irony of ironies would be us giving birth on the 7th.

Baby will arrive sometime, just wondering what it's birthday will be.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

and then there was... none

Well, today was supposed to be the birth day of our new child.

What did we do to celebrate? We went for a coffee at Nero and made something to eat.

That's right, we're part of the 80% of first time parents whose child is late.

When's it coming? Who knows. We have an appointment at the hospital on Tuesday and hopefully we'll learn more then.

Kinda glad it's not coming now as I feel sick as a parrot and need a couple of days to recover before an all night session of brow mopping and bedside coaching.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Baby show!

Hit the babyshow today at Excel and managed to pretty much break the bank. Having said that, we're pretty sorted now for baby.

We really went to get the OneLife nappies, which retail for £295 on the website. Show special was £275 and they threw in the £20 nappy pail pack which was awesome. We also talked during the walk around the show about the glider chairs you can get. Mothercare have them for about £400 and we'd pretty much written them off. Then what do we spy? A glider / footstool combo for £105, down from £179. SOLD! Also got a £79 toy chest for £15.

Loads of deals, specials and a bunch more promo freebies and handouts made it well worth the hideous drive to the docklands. Now we just need a baby to use this stuff on !