Ten Days In – A Review



I just realised I’d not every put a picture of Pip on here. So here you are, Pip!

Pip is ten days old – actually eleven – as I write this. His due date is tomorrow, February 1st. Like I said, tissue of lies those dates!

It seems like months ago that he was born, and not because of the continuing sleep deprivation. It’s not actually as bad as it could be, D my partner has been letting me sleep, which means I’m on day duty, watching him while he naps and she sleeps. No, it seems like months ago because he’s already changing. In the first few hours his tiny head sprung back into a reasonable shape, after coming out looking like a garden gnome’s hat. Then he was a bit more jaundiced than they’d like so soon after his birth – he was yellow almost to his navel. Which made him a bit groggy his first few days, and meant he didn’t feed very well. We resorted to expressing colostrum and feeding it to him with a syringe.

That stage only lasted about 48 hours though, then he got the idea about feeding, and took to it enthusiastically. Babies always loose some weight in the first days after being born, and then start gaining it rapidly when they really get feeding. He’s still wasn’t quite back at his birth weight last wight in, but was gaining on it and will probably have surpassed it next time he gets weighted.

We’ve been very very lucky. We had a good birth, which I do need to write up, and we have a good healthy baby who eats well and sleeps in useful chunks of two to three hours.

It’s amazing to watch his little body waking up. His digestion started working straight away, producing weird tar-like poo in the first few days, gradually shifting to a more normal baby yellow poo. He still flails when his arms and legs are free, he has these limbs but doesn’t know how to use them! And he’s a fully formed human, a tiny little version thereof, a person rendered in miniature. Tiny fingernails, tiny feet, tiny little eyes all in a little package that’s still less than three kilos.

And… I’m really liking being a dad. I’ve come to live for the times I can hold him to my chest. We made this little human, this warm little blob that has a lot of interesting growing to do.

Pip has Fantastic Musical Taste already

The other night, Pip was fretting a bit in my arms. I’ve heard that babies like continuous noises, like static and rain, so I went looking through my iPhone for some appropriate tracks. Yes, I actually listen to stuff like that of my own free will – even Lou Reed’s infamous Metal Machine Music – four vinyl album sides of pure feedback. Open that link at your peril!

Luckily for everyone’s ears, I didn’t have a copy of that particular musical masterpiece on my phone. So I thought I’d go for something instrumental and funky. And what could me more funky than original funk band The Meters? I played him this track:

And he was asleep before it even finished! My kid likes the Funk!

Immediately I made him a funk mix CD – actually just a mix of James Brown and Meters tracks – and popped it in our shitty CD play. It works! We lie him in his crib, and if he’s fretting we just put on Soul Brother Number One and off he goes.

Now, which musical artists can I introduce him to in his second week? Led Zeppelin? Is it too early for Black Flag?

Surprise Appearances by my Partner’s Boobs!

So, as you can imagine my partner’s boobs have been getting a bit of a work out this last week. Pip has turned into a fantastic feeder, which in turn means a lot of milk is being produced.

Which doesn’t entirely explain the random appearance of boobs when perhaps they’re not actually actively engaged with Pip’s lips…!

So far they have put in an appearance in:

  • A Skype conversation I was having with my sister
  • When my mother was over and D decided to finally get dressed
  • During a conversation with another nursing mother D flipped up her shirt to show them off!

They even snuck into one corner of an otherwise uneventful shot of Pip whilst I was cuddling him. I’d posted the picture to facebook, where someone commented “Sneaky boob!”. We’ll see if Facebook every spots that nipple…

Lenny the Car and Neck Trauma Giraffe

I’ve noticed I’ve been posting lots of wordy posts. So here are some pictures.

Everything in our place gets a name. Not just my bewildering number of computers, but everything – toys, washing machines, everything.

Lenny the white Forester

Lenny the white Forester

This is Lenny my car. He’s named for my grandfather who delighted in the name good solid Dutch name of Leendert! Of course once he migrated here be became Lenny or Len. Not only did he build cars for decades, his inheritance helped me buy this car.

Ingrid the Washing Machine

Ingrid the Washing Machine

Ingrid the washing machine. My sister helped us buy it, Ingrid is her middle name. And sterling service this machine is giving us… Pip, did you have to pee on ANOTHER NAPPY???

So, now it starts getting a bit odd.

Vuvuzela the breast pump

Vuvuzela the breast pump

This is our Avent breast pump. It has some ridiculous model name like “Genius IQ”. We decided it looked like an airhorn, or possibly a Vuvuzela. So now I hear “My breasts are full, bring the Vuvuzela!”

Mr Snuffleupagus the air-conditioner.

Mr Snuffleupagus the air-conditioner.

Mr Snuffleupagus our portable air-conditioner. Enough said!

Hedge Turtle

Hedge Turtle

We were given this toy a few days back. He (she? it?) is either a Turtle or a Hedgehog, although he has some Seal-like features and his shell looks like a Giraffe. So we’ve decided to call him Hedge Turtle. Great toy, easy to hold, nice and fluffy.

And finally I present:

Neck Trauma Giraffe

Neck Trauma Giraffe – Noise making Giraffe who suffered a bit in transit!

It’s Neck Trauma Giraffe! This is a Cloud B Gentle Giraffe which I picked up on eBay for cheap, because it had a damaged box. Said box had partly throttled him in transit and his neck is not quite right! Still, he makes the happy noises he was designed to make.

So now I’m going to go clean the Vuvuzela, put a load of washing in Ingrid, cuddle Hedge-Turtle, then take a trip in Lenny out to the chemist.

Yes, I will accept your offer of Sleep

Here’s a useful rule of thumb: when the baby sleeps, you sleep! So what am I doing up blogging? Hmmm…

Here’s another useful rule of thumb: if you find a flat comfortable surface, make use of it. Case in point: we popped into the hospital on Monday night to get Pip’s jaundice looked at. There was an (adult) examination bed there in the room they popped us into. So without hesitation I lay myself down on it and took a rest! Pip was asleep in his car seat, and D was comfortable in a chair. Medical types wandered in and out, they’ve seen tired daddy’s before and didn’t bat an eyelid. I answered questions as required from the bed.

BTW, Pip’s jaundice turned out to be “perfectly normal” and we just had to keep feeding him and get him some indirect sunlight.

“Yeah that’s perfectly normal”

So there are a lot of odd things that happen with babies. Some of them are expected, for example when Pip came out I wasn’t surprised that his head looked like a gnome’s hat, or that when he startled he flailed his entire body.

But some things are just weird.

We’ve had lots of contact with nurses and midwives at our great hospital, so I get to ask questions like “His first poos look like sticky tar” and to be told “That’s perfectly normal, it’s stuff that’s been in his digestive tract for months.”

He took to barfing up yellow and then clear goo, before he was really feeding. We were told “That’s perfectly normal, he’s obviously swallowed some mucus while being born.”

We found some odd red patches in his nappy when he’d had a good wee. “That’s perfectly normal, he has some proteins [er, my recollection of the exact substance is dim] in his urinary system which he’s now getting rid of.”

So so far we’ve had a Perfectly Normal baby!

I Feel I Should Have An Opinion about this Kochie Breastfeeding Fuss

I feel like I should form an opinion about this sunrise host breastfeeding fuss as a new daddy with a breast feeding partner.

But I’m finding it incredibly hard to give a fuck about the mindless musings of some B-list celebrity TV host on a show I never ever watch on a TV station I also never watch! I don’t doubt that the twit is an insensitive numpty, but I would expect nothing less from trivial little talking head from a fluffy show on a commercial television show. I doubt they’ve ever had an insight of any kind.

And needless to say the opinions of any man on a subject like breast feeding or anything else which is unique to women (see the US Republicans for some lovely opinions on the subject) are of absolutely no consequence whatsoever. This includes mine – owning a penis and being a middle aged white man gives me no privileges at all!

OK, this got a bit ranty. I’ll leave it to the feisty breast feeding militia to hang him by the balls.

One final thing. He was quoted today saying he was the subject of a social media vendetta, or words to that effect. To which I say – social is the voice of the people these days, get used to hearing from everyone. When women are pissed, these will let you know!

Suddenly: Baby!

So, somewhat unexpectedly, although not technically early, we had a baby in the early morning of Sunday the 20th of January. Pip’s due date was February 1st, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, due dates are A Tissue of Lies! Pip turning up at 38 weeks and 2 days is therefore perfectly normal.

I will write a much longer post on the subject soon. I was planning a post about how labour never really follows the traditional, clichéd, movie and TV scenario. Which goes roughly:

  1. Waters Break
  2. Contractions start
  3. Mad dash to hospital
  4. A great deal of screaming and squeezing of hands
  5. Baby appears

I was going to say how rare this actually is and all births are different and so on, as if four birthing classes have made me some kind of expert.

But for us is this more or less exactly what happened! Complete with screaming mother-to-be in the back seat of the car!

Will flesh out the story soon, maybe once I’ve got some – some! – of my sleep debt erased*.

(* this never happens.)

My new name: Daddy Bear!

My partner has taken to calling me her “Lovely Furry Daddy Bear!” I do hope this doesn’t continue after Pip is born… I can see my kid now, after her learns to talk, introducing me as his “Daddy Bear”!

My response? I said “how are you my lovely pink whale?” He he, I didn’t even get slapped!