Now any of you who were at my wedding ceremony in Cheltenham will know all to well that I have a tendency for the odd tear or two when faced with the task of speaking at a celebration. Well two weeks ago, on Mr Sir's first Sunday (when Nana was also visiting) I was on the rota to do the Church readings. I had practised the reading first thing that morning, reading to him lying in my arms and tears came rolling down my face splashing onto his. By half ten Dr K was giving a feed so Nana and I went along and took up a pew ahead. I went up to the front to do the first reading and stayed for the hymn between the two readings. All fine, Dr K had not made it yet - perhaps they'd not make it in time, which was a shame as I'd hoped to have him there. During that intervening hymn I felt myself going, trembling, failing to get some of the lines out. I was taken back to my Mum's wedding and the reading I did - I was again in floods of tears the hymn before (and probably during the reading too, though I can't fully remember that). Things were not looking good for my second reading. I got up to the lecturn and turned round to see that Dr K had arrived at the back with a swaddle of my son. I was a gone. I struggled through, broken, faltering, welled up with the joy and realisation of being a dad, resonating with the love that Jesus had for his disciples (the reading was about Thomas).
After the service we were greeted by so many of our church family. At 5 days old it was pretty special to have him there and he behaved like a little star, looking frankly angelic asleep in our arms. Most of the ladies admitted that they were equally in sympathy tears as I 'read' - a comment mirrored at my wedding, crying is clearly an effect I have on women. Amusement aside I was so honoured to do that reading and have him there, safe and well after a nine month journey (with a longer 2.5 year journey before that).
Following the service and coffee Nana drove us to the Rosie for a midwife weight check. All good - weight up and heal prick blood test done (returned all clear). We then went to Waitrose for his introduction to nice super market shopping (and only his second ever shop experience after our local greengrocer).
Welcome to Waitrose shopping
More tests today including his other ear which had still been blocked the day before and he was jabbed with a BCG vaccination due to our Eastern risk factor. Eventually we were discharged and our recently birthed friend came to pick us up as she had a car seat installed. I cycled back via a couple of errands to pick up some supplied from Seoul Plaza. When I got home Dr K was feeding upstairs in our newly created landing. It was such a joy to behold, my wife and child at home.
After his feed, as the sun was just beginning to set I stole him away and popped outside to show him the garden for the first time. To be frank I can't say he was that interested, but I'm sure we can work on his gardening instincts. Having been round the garden twice (it is only tiny after all) I followed my urge to show him the neighbours magnolia which has just exploded into flower. Pretty soon we were visiting my favourite garden center (Histon Plant Sale) and then it was all the way round the block. I later explained to Dr K that this was his favourite walk - I suspect this is how parenting starts: you simply make stuff up about your child, some true and others become true. I must admit, and I doubt this will surprise anyone of you who know me (and particualy annyone who went to my wedding), that I cried all the way round. It was lovely. Actually lovely doesn't cut it, it was perfect, it was joy. Yep, joy. Transcendent happiness, like the feeling God must have for humanity. The love of a father, Oh dear typing this and I've gone again.
I cycled into the hospital in the morning and found Dr K with Mr Sir having survived the night. He was sleepy but had managed to latch for some feeding attempts. He'd also done a good few meconium poos. Pretty soon it was time to change his nappy again. (not my first time; I'd given him his first nappy with the help of the midwife the night last night after his initial mec explosion that happened skin-to-skin on Dr K [such tar]). In fact I noticed him as it happened and when I checked there was an epic amount of black sticky mess. This cleaned up fairly nicely and soon a new clean shiny nappy was on ready to go on. And with perfect timing the gates of Mordor oozed forth its sticky goo all over the clean nappy. A second clean and finally we were there with a fully nappied baby.
Lots of things happened over the day. We were expecting to be discharged, but eventually it was clear they wanted Dr K in for extra monitoring. Tests were done before I'd arrived, and then his hearing while I was there. I's held him as Dr K nipped out for some lunch. Pretty much he just slept while the sun shone outside and we just rested with him (I had a bit of a migraine, but not unexpected due to the trauma of yesterday, frankly I'm fairly confident he must have had one too having seen his head crushed like a Toblerone as he was born). This evening, after celebrating his first 24 hours de-wombed, I was back home with the cat, had some dahl and fixed the TV.
Some of the things I've learnt today include that the way I curl up in bed is a remnant of my gestation and early life. I woke this morning from a dream in which it wasn't clear if that I had not just been born, my arms were up round my head just like Mr Sir has arms. The second, rather intimate, discovery is that it turns out it is completely normal to have that strange linear scar-type line down the length of my penis. Either that or it's genetic. And I was even prouder of Dr K for coping so well with his feeding and care, she looked like a proper mum, it was incredible. My first message from her this morning was to say how she's spent a good part of the wee small hours simply adoring him - my heart oozed a bit like Mr Sir's rear, but in a good way.
Now it's another night back home for me and then work tomorrow. Bit weird as I was hoping to be on holiday now (by holiday I mean paternity leave). Hopefully I can be a little productive while I wait for any news. The next stage is to break the waters which should encourage a natural labour, but that could still take another 24 hrs. Unlikely, I suspect, seeing as how things are progressing, but then you never know. There's a three ladies in the wait and over the bank holiday I think they've been quite happy for them not to go into labour. Tomorrow might be a little different with the Doctors back in force.
I'm super proud of Dr K already and feel ready now for this next step. I shall miss the quiet and miss the bump, the sleep too as well as our peaceful shared current life (and when I express this I see concerned look on peoples faces followed by their urge to try and convince me I'm wrong and that it will be fabulous), but I definitely feel I have made the full journey from doubt and worry to preparation and... I was going to say excitement, that's not quite right, not exactly excitement but rather perhaps 'peace'. Still, should get to sleep and some rest before it's all change please, all change.
gardening in labour limbo
Repost from 2004
Had a first go at trying to capture those beautiful water droplet images you see. Set my D70 up in the kitchen on my tripod with desk lamp shining on one of my Chinese bowls. Then standing over the setup, I tried to drop drips into the bowl while clicking my remote control to take the images. Some success of which a couple are here for your viewing pleasure:
A coloured drop in the ocean
Classic water droplet
Drop a la 'Crown Paint'