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December 2003
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February 2004

Success, of sorts

Nora spent a large part of today screaming, and could only be settled in a carrier called a "Hug-a-Bub" which is distributed in the UK by Bio-Bubs. The very nice, gorgeous looking and extremely tall owner of which lives on Valley Road, about 5 minutes up the road, somewhat bizarrely! (She's there at the top of that page with her daughter Ujanah).

We have bought a different sort of wrap (the Maya) as used by Quinn/Danny/Gilbert with Ada, but so far, Nora has done nothing but SCREAM when she's put near it never mind in it. It doesn't really offer proper head support for her at the moment without her head being too close to the rings. The "hug" meanwhile is a somewhat bizarre long and slightly overpriced length of material which ends up looking a bit like a straight jacket but meanwhile it holds her loveliness close to the heart and can easily provide her with head support.

And of course she sleeps in it. This being the point. Today, gas interrupted her sleep within minutes of her lying down to sleep *every* time. Poor munchkin. I wore her over lunch and McK has worn her all night. Hopefully she will have her nightfeed in a moment and pass out with knackerdness so we can get some sleep - Sky News want me to go in the morning to talk about the MyDoom virus so bags under eyes... ach... well they can be covered with makeup can't they.

But, these wrap things. They're damned good. Slightly concerned that she ends up thinking - hang on, my cot is rubbish compared to this nice stuff. I want to be held all the time! I will cry, they'll get it. Frankly, only slightly though, I mean, who cares. the "Hug" is fairly hands free, which is very... er... handy.

On a different tack, Mos Def is to play ford Prefect in the film of Hitchhikers. This isa bit of a freak out. It got me thinking about who would play Zaphod Beeblebrox. McK thought Mick Jagger would be good. This is true but he may be too ancient. My thought was Bruce Willis - which your instinct immediately rejects, but I would argue that the man can act. And he can act dumb and charismatic too.

Now I have done my "MyDoom" research, and printed it out. So I must gooffline and feed my gorgeous, hurting little girl.

The osteo she's been seeing by the way is a very pretty French woman, who says in the most delightful accent "'Ello littel gell, 'ello Norrra, beootifool littel gell".

It is hardly surprising that Nora looks at her with pure awe. The fact that she has cascading black hair has absolutely nothing to do with it.

More pain, more crying

Nora is going through her own personal hell. Her lower intestine seems to attract gas, and she has a number of "reflux" symptoms. As if at the age of 7 weeks, she wants to outdo her mother in the heartburn stakes. But it's so much worse. She's arching and screaming for... well... fairly much most of the day or so it appears.

God knows what is disturbing her so much. No cow dairy, no wheat, no greens, no onions, garlic.. the fucker is I can't really avoid soya given my need for protein of any sort whatsoever. So today we tried split feeding - ie: feed her smaller amounts with actions in between feeds but obviously, a hell of alot more of actual feeds. This is to avoid munchkin's stomach getting too full and the reflux thing to kick in. Haven't placed anything under the top end of her cot yet to raise the head up but I'll do that later tonight.

Anyway, after suffering her crying and putting her in to what Sears calls a "colic crunch" (basically her sitting against me with her body at a right angle and her legs straight out to help her relax her belly) and massaging her tummy clockwise until 2am last night, tonight (thus far) after split feeding all day interspersed with her screaming with frustration and pain, we had a wonderful bath together in which... heh. Innumerable teeny farts bubbled up, and one small but bloated belly became a small and reasonably comfortable looking warm and cosy torso.

She was so flaked she conked out on me after drinking probably an ounce of food, so I'm waiting for a fairly noticeable "Oy, my tummy's empty" in about an hour. Serious suckage will occur (accompanied with formula topup - but, that's ben it for formula today. Not bad, eh?). We tried gripe water earlier on the advice of the health visitor but since she was comatosed at the time, no burpage occurred. I am dubious.

And, obviously, somewhat shattered. Off to hopefully grab an inch of sleep before thenext feed - I'm sorry, my love but I realy don't think I'll be able to tolerate split feeds all night. It's normal night feeds for you.

Ups and downs

The burden of being the Mother in a new baby situation is something that would be difficult to explain, but easy to empathise with by anyone who has been in the situation themselves. The link between me and Nora is almost perverse. As I said to McK last night, I look at her when she smiles at me and I am so full of love I feel like I could vomit it all over her, or chew her. Ingest her.

Continue reading "Ups and downs" »

It's all going pear shaped

never be a vegetarian as your baby enters the colic zone. Gone are the days of managing to get her off between 7 and 8. Nowadays we're lucky if she's asleep before nine - never mind the 11 or night feed issue.

She cries and arches her back, stretching her legs out and resembling a skateboard. Awful crying ensues. The despreation to help her (and help us) leads us to Colief, an enzyme to break down lactase in formula and breast milk, and a minty goup which we administer via a plastic syringe. Well, I say administer... I've discovered a third type of cry. The incredulous "This is disgusting" cry. I managed to get two doses down her and indeed, the belching increased and the griping reduced. What one must not forget however is Nora os a human being, not a cat. As such, the third time I attempted to give her some, three aurters of it dribbled down her chin. Hmmm.... Bugger.


She slept till 6am.

Today, I produced enough milk to get her through the day with no add-ons from the rapidly diminishing frozen store, or formula. This does not necessarily mean the worst is over, but I can't help but hope. It's a careful juggling act of the extra expressed in between meals and the stuff in my breasts at the time.

Tonight, two days after I'd run out of Fennel tea, Nora screamed for an hour and a half after she'd finished her feed even though she was mind numbingly exhausted after refusing to have a mid afternoon kip. So tired, and in so much gut pain, she completely forgot how to latch on to her bottle for a while. Nora is not the world's greatest latcher, as we know, and she often sits gumming her bottle for a good couple of minutes until she manages to get the angle right. Earlier on, sitting in the near-dark, she was screaming with pain and in danger of choking herself on the teat, slamming her head back and forth in frustration and misery. I managed to swaddle her up eventually. A loathed procedure but one which manages to knock her out in minutes. Her stomach meanwhile continued to roll and rattle, reeling up a storm inside her sensitive guts.

Downstairs in the kitchen trying to shovel my dinner in to my mouth as quickly as possible, Mackay upstairs taking over the "soothing Nora" activity momentarily, I started to express the leftovers from her last meal and witnessed the extraordinary pumping the female body can do when a baby (as in, my own baby) is crying. Moments after apparently emptying one, lo and behold it yields another near-ounce only minutes later. And an ounce, in my position is somewhat akin to a gold bar in terms of value.

I love her with such weight, looking at her small confused face, contorted with pain and tiredness, my helplessness and intense guilt at not drinking enough herbal tea (look, I have to have guilt. It's clutching at straws I know) was as nothing compared to the intense wash of concern and care as I held her close to me. My darling love. I can't explain anything to her, all I can do is hold her through the bad stuff.

She's been having a really good week apart from this, too. All gurgly and happy for a large amount of the time. She says "Meur" and "hyeeeee" then does a sort of solitary hick, whilst kicking her legs and touching my lips with her teeny toes. I swear to God she has the longest legs I've ever seen. They seem entirely disproportionate to the rest of her. I predict a future as a tights model.

And Geoff Hoon should have resigned today, the spineless cunt.


A smile. Then she forgot how to do it again. The big lummox.

It changes by the day. The other day, she looked in the mirror and looked away again uninterested. Two days later she saw me in the mirror, and stared, transfixed, for a couple of minutes.

...there are those moments, and then there are the ones when she just cries, and cries. It drains the life out of you. The night before last, poor muchkin had a shock - an empty tin can fell three or four inches on to her head. She screamed for about half an hour. It left a tiny red mark that couldn't be seen in the morning. All I could do was hold her to me, body to body so I could wrap her up in as much physical protection as possible, sing a friendly known song over and over and rock her gently. Eventually the screams became sobs and then there were a few gaps with heavy breathing.

Poor munchkin!

Why Nora?

I just wanted to join in a sort of blog tag team on baby names after Danny talked about Nora's virtual cousin Ada regarding her name.

Nora was a name we both liked, ad only later remembered it is also the name of a slightly insipid jazz singer with a husky voice. Except she spells in with the abomination of an "H" at the end. And in the back of my mind was the reminiscence that nora was a character in something good - and of course, like an edjit I was forgetting Mr James Joyce and his commonlaw wife Nora - herself forever remembered as the person behind "Nora barnacle". Now if I'd had the wit, Nora would have had 2 middle names and I would have insisted trhat one of them was the aforementioned scaly shore creature. Then I could have called her Barney. It is, unfortunately, perceived to be part of what Dan says is the Victoriana kick and yers, he's right, except for the fact that Nora not-quite-Joyce was a 20th century person.

Anyway. Jessie is my Granny's name. So that's Edwardian. Granny Todd was a truly magnificent person. Loving, smart, fun, interesting and thoughtful. I really, really loved her but of course didn't realise it at the time (mostly) and I hate to think of how rotten her last couple of years were without her husband. I prefer to think of her as the lovely person who used to send us far-too-clever presents and who smelt so nice when you gave her a hug. It was only when I was a teenager that I realised what a widely read and generally cool person she was. She was a member of the humanist society - a "practicing" athiest. I really loved her and I couldn't think of anything more lovely than honouring her memory, whilst also giving nora a reminder of someone I can tell her about - and so can her Granny. My Mum, Jessie's daughter.

Hmmm... alseep by 8.15.

Surely some kind of record.

I really do want to say substantial waffle, in my usual "style". However, since I am at present dribbling with tiredness and am about to join my daughter in sleeping for at least an hour or so, I really can't seem to prioritise the web diary aspect of my life right now.

General news is and has been:

- She was heavily jaundiced soon after delivery and we were readmitted. At that point, I had not slept more than about 8 hours in 8 days, my adrenalin had worn out, she hadn't latched on to either breast, spent most of her time asleep and the rest crying for food or turning yellow. As I recall, on our arrival for the second time in three days in A&E, after waiting some 6 hours to see a Doc, I apologised for my profound inability to cease crying and explained that even if Nora might not be deemed to be at risk from the jaundice, she was at risk from me. A very nice senior staff nurse later let me bawl at him while my darling 4 day old girl was having a drip pushed in to her arm (I had to leave the room, I would have fallen even more to pieces to witness that) and calmly said - look, sleep deprivation is horrendous. It doesn't matter. Cry, it's ok. It was such a relief, even if he was humouring me.

2 days later, released from the cucoon of the labour ward (again) to the hell of the first few weeks at home.

She's currently not putting on as much weight as she should, and this (was) primarily because of my tits. They ain't producing as much as they should. This could be because I'm having to use nipple shields because munchkin can't latch on to one breast and just headbutts the other in a frenzy of desperate crying. Fairly horrible to witness and be a party to frankly. What has been more worrying is that in the last week, my rate per day has seriously diminished. I'm using up all the frozen stuff we've got from whewn I was engorged and the first few days after that but talking it through with the health visitor we came to the conclusion to calm down and just accept that we're doing 1 formula feed per day, and continuing doing all the techniques to try to boost it up. I've been taking Fenugreek tablets which are making me honk of curry, and don't seem to be working so far but it's only been a few days. Trying some other ways to increase the supply from tomorrow other than *the entire list from every book going* that I have been doing.

They lie and bullshit you you know. I read one book that said literally - do not worry about your breastmilk, you will make enough. End of story. Well it's patently total cobblers. I've talked to several women who haven't and didn't, excluding myself.

Anyway. So I'm bitterly fed up because the whole birth was fairly miserable / shocking / scary (with the exception of the point when Nora was placed at my side) so I think I've been through enough complications, thanks.

Time for bed.

Damn, I did substantial waffle, didn't I.

Jesus, who was I kidding...

Have time to write diary entries?


At some point, I may write something. It will not be an intellectual call to arms or an economics debate. It will more likely be related to poo, wee, crying, lack of breastmilk (a current bad problem) or "attachment parenting versus gritting your teeth and letting them cry for a while after they've refused to to to sleep for 2 hours. who is right? Discuss".

My heart lies in Sears territory. I don't know how long for, though.