Monday, February 27, 2012

Bringing it back

It is true what they say, that you don't magically cease to be infertile (or, though this is a bit more obvious since it is a historical fact, to be the parent of children who have died) once you become the parent of a living child (a very cute living child currently wearing a Small Paul t-shirt, $2 in the resale shop thank you very much, and throwing up over his Moses basket sheet, and yes I am supposed to be changing his sheet, not blogging in my pyjamas).

It seems to have hit Mr Spouse more than me, just now, as confronted with the reality of a baby (in fact, besotted with the reality of a baby, it is so sweet to watch him!). He was contemplating how many children we in fact would have had if either NigelandDelia or Sproutetta had been born, and the fact that probably Baby Spouse would not have been here in that case. I wondered whether even if we'd had NigelandDelia, we might have had the subsequent problems anyway, and as it was so many years down the line, perhaps Baby Spouse (in some incarnation) might also have been added to our family.

I had said when I got my implant, and I had continued to say, both to Mr Spouse and the GP, that an early removal might be on the cards if we had a baby in the house, and he (Mr Spouse) was much happier with the idea of trying to get pregnant (again, at my vastly advanced age) after we had a baby than while still waiting for one.  At the time he said that he thought I'd be able to cope better with another miscarriage if we have a baby we are parenting, and I think he's right. But he's not sure he can cope with more of that. I don't feel discussions are closed on that (but I also don't feel ready to have the implant taken out yet, either).  

I really hate that we have an eight week old baby and we already need to think about whether and how we might have a second child.  But time is ticking both for any magical pregnancy and also for adoption (while I'd love to have a grown up five year old to help with a new baby, that's not as likely to be practical from the point of view of, well, all kinds of stuff, though it might turn out that way).  Mr Spouse originally said we might think about adopting a second but it would definitely be an older baby or toddler, i.e. free. But I'm not sure if he'll change his mind on that one, seeing how besotted he is (see: very sweet to watch).  He is quite realistic about the fact that we have an easy baby and we might easily not have such an easy baby another time. He's an only child, and sees advantages and disadvantages of this for Baby Spouse.

In other random facts, we have worked out it costs £2 more to run our diswasher daily on the highest temperature setting. Per month, that is. I am fairly pleased to realise this as I have been avoiding buying a steriliser on the grounds that the kitchen is already crammed with useless stuff.

And finally a random question for Blogger users. How the H E Double Hockey Sticks (as they say on Big Love) do you make it start each post in the font you've asked for??!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

They do have their uses

Baby Spouse does find, especially if he's in a sling, that my 34Es are jolly useful for holding his pacifier in. And keeping his hands warm.

Although I am pretty sure those in the know, here, will not be asking why I am not breastfeeding, there has been the odd smug comment (can't possibly leave the year-old baby with husband for more than a couple of hours because he doesn't have the required anatomy - which will also be mildly irritating to the colleague who knows this person, is breastfeeding, but desperately needs to start full time work in about six weeks as her husband has lost his job...), and I've yet to meet any new random groups of mums that are not friends of friends that therefore know the full story.  

Fortunately because adoption of a baby is so rare here, no-one will have a friend of a friend of a friend who adopted and fed her baby entirely by breastfeeding and found it so easy and fulfilling. I also strongly suspect that Baby Spouse would have been sucking his thumbs or a pacifier from day 3, when he discovered said thumbs fit nicely in his mouth, however he was fed. So the "my baby's never had a dummy" brigade will be told they are just lucky.

But I did have occasion to ring up a colleague (who actually knows a lot about social care as her work is on that end of the spectrum of what I do), to talk about a project we need to get done in the next few months, for which I'll arrange some child care, and then work will owe me a day or three when I go back properly, which is fine by me. She said "oh, you won't be breastfeeding, will you, so someone else can care for the baby". Well yes, but it is not easy to find "someone else" who is not Baby Spouse's father and who will be able to take over a whole day, or three, of care, and although he may not need my actual anatomy every two hours, he still needs a knowledgable caring adult to produce feed and change him about every three hours, and preferably, some days, to sit on the sofa cuddling him most of the rest of the time.

In other news, our county council social work department are useless, but we knew that. They legally had to come and visit us within 7 days of Thursday last week, but only thought about this, and about not having anyone spare to do this (well, except for the whole team of social workers 10 minutes walk from our house) on Tuesday. So they are going to pay our own very nice social worker from our agency to do this, so we'll see her every 6 weeks, but that is fine, she doesn't even drink tea or eat cake so we don't need to get anything special in for her. She came today at very short notice, because legally she had to, and she is of course in love with the baby (especially his very fat nappy).  

We also are in love with the baby, though Mr Spouse less so with his nappy (it's fat because we're trying reusables - we were given a large stock by a friend). What I am not in love with is Mr Spouse's crazy business school coursework schedule, he has been very good about doing overnight feeds, but although I know this will get better shortly, I really don't want to be the "expert" and do everything my way without him knowing how it's done, and therefore have him in a few weeks' time when he has his evenings free, not know what he's doing and therefore leave it to me because it's easier that way for both of us.    

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Did you know...

... being a parent means never having to buy anything for the baby. Except formula. Well, almost. We have been given almost everything so far, including far far too many 0-3 month babygros (I did say, but a friend sent me about 100. I am not kidding). I think she had too many anyway, but her baby slept in them, and Baby Spouse is an elasticated nightgown guy. He has this (a gift, from the friend who has lent us a cot bed, a buggy, and an entire infanthood supply of reusable nappies):

which Mr Spouse says is his Harry Potter outfit.
I advertised the babygros on our local Freecycle equivalent (it's slightly different, and predates Freecycle by quite some time) and someone with a baby due in July wants to come round and get some. Can I face a bouncy, second trimester, pregnant lady? I may have to be about to go out and not enter into conversation. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Home at last. Got back yesterday and had a bad night with jetlag, Mr Spouse being unwell, and Baby Spouse not synching with us. But I managed to make it out of the house and make a new mummy friend - the family across the road have an 11 month old with an equally "unusual" name. She seems to know everyone in the street, and has invited me to go out on Friday with her, colleague with very prem girl (who told me about this family) , and wife of That Wasn't Awkward colleague, who has a baby too. I like the new neighbour and these are all "in the know" but all of these children will be at school with Baby Spouse and I just don't know how much of his story he will want to share when he is older.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

And I forgot...

to mention the doctor's appointment last week. Health and growth wise, Baby Spouse is getting chubby in exactly the way he should be - he has almost added 50% to his birth weight in a month.  He didn't even scream much when he had his jab. We got the medical information we were waiting for from the hospital he was born in, which was more what we feared than what we hoped. We were told at the time of his birth that if this was the case, it would probably already have had an effect, and there was no evidence it had. So we think that it's probably something eventually we'll need to tell Baby Spouse, but that won't affect him long term. But it was a piece of information that showed that Nella had not been anywhere near as open as we had hoped; but it ties in with something that her parents had sent us in a rather nice email after we met last week.

This did not place me in a particularly good mood for our monthly phone call with Nella which was due the same day. However, I was polite, she called on time, on the right day, and it's all been quiet since then.  Let's hope it continues like this.  We have one final legal i to dot on the birth father side and I'm hoping after that to ask Nella if she might have a picture of him (he's not her favourite person, with some justification, so I've been waiting till all the loose ends are tied in case asking her this led to her being mad at him and him then being mad at her and therefore being mad at us/the social worker/the agency).  

Monday, February 06, 2012

One thing that pleases me

is when people can't work out if Baby Spouse is a boy or a girl, so use no pronoun when asking about him.  I did dress him in blue today and three people asked me about  him, one of whom said "he". I've bought yarn for three wool sweaters (it's now chillier here, after a few days of 70+F weather, and although our particular rainy part of England hasn't seen snow, it will definitely be chilly there)... in red, a lilac mix, and green.

In other news, I am ready to throttle anyone associated with the UK Border Agency.  Mr Spouse has our MP on speed dial. I could go into great detail but I'm saving my between-feed-change-and-knitting typing time for emailing persons associated with the UKBA, in a tone of politely clenched teeth.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

In which I take to drink

Everyone is doing their best to take care of me and I am making sure that I get out of the house at least once a day.  Today's is a well baby appointment, which should include getting the results back of two tests, one of which will be a tick-box-he's-fine they do on all babies here, and one of which might be a bit more worrying if it reveals something we have a slight suspicion of, based on some information revealed immediately after he was born; and which will also include a booster jab for something babies don't get given in the UK, so it's probably good to get it sorted out here.
But the visa situation is beyond complicated, the right hand doesn't even know that the left hand exists, we can't have the type of visa that everyone else has been given, they haven't heard of the type we know we are supposed to get (it's really worrying when you know immigration law better than the people who work for the Border Agency).

If nothing happens by later today I am going to ring up the consulate and pretend I have been arrested (this is the only way to speak to a person, apparently).

Unfortunately as I can't go for a run, and there are lots of fattening foods available, some of them in the convenience store next door to the apartment, this is not going to be good for my waistline. I also discovered they sell Smirnoff and Cranberry (very reasonably priced too), so I decided that I needed to watch Unforgettable and eat chips (they do constitute dinner, if you also have a mango and some cottage cheese, don't they?), and that if Baby Spouse spiked a fever in the middle of the night I'd have to call 911.