Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Mama I'm coming home!

I am shocked. For the first time since I started the blog, a day went by without me writing anything!
The reason for that is the fact that yesterday was a Day From Hell, which started at 4:15am with a meganappy that required an outfit change for Morgan, followed by feeding Morgan as well as an argument between myself, my mum and my grandma. The argument was prompted by their wanting to help, to be honest. My mum was meant to babysit whilst I ran a couple of errands, but that was no longer possible.

The morning continued with cooking lunch at 6am, then showing my younger sis how to change a nappy - which led to yet another outfit change - and how to give Morgan her bottle.

 Omnomnomnom

Whilst Morgan was being fed, I got everything ready for our trip over to my place. Obviously even the walk there had a number of irritating occurrences - starting from the fact that the closest ATM was unavailable due to some work being done in the lobby. My frustration then flew in the faces of the idiots who give permits for people to build a doorstep that takes up half of the already narrow pavement, and the assholes who park their car on a double yellow line on the corner, thus blocking access to the ramp I needed to use to push the pram off the sidewalk. Not to forget the inconsiderate twats who dump their garbage bags on the corner, thus also blocking said ramps. And to finish, the local councils for either letting the pavements deteriorate enough to be ridden with potholes worse than those drivers have to face on a daily basis, or else for building pavements so narrow you'd have to walk in a single file with your back against the wall in order not to fall off them.

In other words, Indiana Jones should envy us for making it there and back unscathed.

 Home sweet home!

We finally arrived at my place, and soon after my landlady arrived. We had a brief chat, she oohed and aahed over Morgan, and left. I packed my laptop and we started the journey back home. We made a quick stop at the post office where we picked up a parcel sent to Morgan from my good, bearded friend Cris.

Morgan is now the proud owner of a really cute blanket, and her very own Elder God!
 See? :D

Not even 10 minutes after arriving back home, a workmate of mine came over for lunch and to meet Morgan. She gave Morgan this awesome handknitted outfit her mum made, and also brought one of the most amazing apple pies ever.

After my workmate left, I attended to Morgan and had to change her outfit yet again. Once she was clothed and fed, another friend of mine who is currently pregnant came over with her son and we chatted a bit as her 5(?) year old son hovered around Morgan, examining her attentively. I think he was trying to decide whether he likes the idea of a sibling or not.

My friend and I then tried to explain to him that girls don't have a penis and don't need one in order to pee. He was not convinced and seemed to think we were grossly mistaken and pretty delusional. I'm sure he'll figure it out eventually.

The day carried on being hectic until late at night. It did end on a positive note though! Morgan's Other Granny - the paternal one - confirmed her dates. She'll be visiting for a week soon! I'm excited about it since we never met but she has been immensely supportive throughout the pregnancy and this first month of Morgan's life. I'm also excited for her as well as for Morgan - I know how excited my mum was upon holding Morgan for the first time. I can't imagine what it will be like for his mum.. Having to wait for so long and yet still see and read about the daily changes Morgan goes through via pictures I post and the blogs I write - it must be difficult. I can somewhat empathise due to having lived a long distance relationship. It is not the same though.

So yes - Morgan is now a month old! She is growing up so quickly! There are clothes that are already fitting her a bit too snugly and that will have to be cast aside. Her foot is now longer than my middle finger. I ought to get an inch tape and measure her properly! She is also pulling out the dummy by tugging on the strappy-thingy that is joined with the Bear's Head Clip that secures it to her clothes. She is also holding her head up by herself for a few long seconds, and following moving objects for longer periods of time.
 Notice her hand tugging on the strappy-thingy!

I hope I will have more time to write tomorrow as I tend to forget details which I would otherwise share. Besides from keeping you lot updated, this blog also serves as a journal for me, and later on for her, to remind me of those brief moments which can make or break one's day but unless a record is kept of them, they end up being forgotten.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Who let the dogs out?

A couple of days ago, I introduced Morgan to Whiskey.

No, not the drink. The dog.

Whiskey is a very friendly, happy dog who is quite sociable. He has a very inquisitive nature. The only issue is - he can be quite clumsy.

I went over at my parents' house and walked in with Morgan fast asleep in her pram. He was busy greeting me at first and ignored the pram completely. After a short whilst though, he started sniffing at it curiously. [See photo #1]

He sniffed at the pram for quite some time, and all of a sudden he realised someone was inside it! He 'pointed' at it, and started barking alarmed. His hind legs were trembling in uncertainty. My brother, his fiancee and myself were reassuring him and telling him Morgan is someone we love and that he should love as well. [See photo #2]

Eventually, I picked her up and Mel was holding Whiskey back from his collar as he kept trying to come closer in order to check Morgan out. I was concerned he might hurt her due to being a bit clumsy, however I did allow him to sniff her legs and bum, and removed one of her mittens so that he could see and sniff her hand. He kept trying to lick her hand, but I didn't allow him to. Not just yet.

He kept sniffing at the pram, then at me, and at my chest, before trying to jump up to peek inside the pram when I put Morgan back in it.

We then took Whiskey in another section of the house so that I could feed Morgan without being on edge.

All in all, it was a successful first meeting. I will take her back soon so that he can get used to her bit by bit.

It was nerve-wrecking, in spite of my trusting him. I can only hope the next meetings will go just as smoothly!

Don't drink and drive...

This week is when Morgan's blood tests re: chromosome count should be ready.  I probably won't get the results until next week though, seeing as we have a hospital appointment.  As mentioned previously, I'm not overly concerned however I can't help but be anxious about it.  I just want to see it black on white that everything is in order.

It isn't the challenges we'd face should she turn out to be a Down's baby - it is more a case of knowing she will have a shorter than average life.

A few days ago, someone I know was involved in a car accident and is now in a coma.  I'm hoping she pulls through.  I can't help but think of all those I've seen die over the years.  I miss each and every one of them.  A minimum of 1 funeral a year, for the past 12 years, isn't something that has been easy to deal with.

I do believe I've found an optimal solution for drunk driving incidents though.  I reckon everyone should skate instead of drive a vehicle.  That way, should the person be intoxicated, they'll fall flat on their face/arse the moment they attempt to get rolling.  Plus, it is eco-friendly! And would help people get in shape.  Win/win/win! So much win!


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Only God can judge me, right?

Whilst reading the paper this morning, I came across the article I'm including a picture of.

Such articles piss me off beyond belief. Who the hell does the Church think it is to be one to judge IVF as 'arrogant' or to say that children born out of wedlock are non-permissable?!

Are they seriously telling me that Morgan was born without permission?
This is the same church to condemn abortion as sin. So, what are they saying? That every pregnancy resulting from pre-marital sex - including rape - should lead to a shotgun marriage? [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_marriage]

Wikipedia has the following to say about forced marriages:

"The United Nations views forced marriage as a form of human rights abuse, since it violates the principle of the freedom and autonomy of individuals. The Roman Catholic Church deems forced marriage grounds for granting an annulment - for a marriage to be valid both parties must give their consent freely."

So, what exactly does the Church expect?

I realise that the article is quoting just one man - however that one man happens to be the Head of the Church and therefore its spokesman. He has shot himself in the foot so many times, it makes me wonder that no one has attempted to have him.. ahem.. removed.

Looking back, the Pope prior to this guy made less gaffes and statements that could me misinterpreted. And yet, he _was_ shot. It makes me wonder whether the Church's security has really been upgraded _that_ well since the incident.

I am in no way advocating violence, mind you. I merely am pointing out that violence has occurred for way less damaging statements. Yes, I feel he is causing some serious harm to the Church by not thinking twice about how he words his public preaches.

I also wonder - if IVF is such a big no-no, are they going to turn down all baptism requests for children born thanks to IVF?

The longer I postpone having to baptise Morgan, the bigger a hypocrite I feel I am for having to go down that road.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

How much is that doggy in the window?

Yesterday was a good day to die it seems. My family's she-dog was laid to rest. Her body was shutting down and she was suffering as a consequence, so the extremely tough decision to put her down had to be taken.
Cara was a very ladylike dog - her manners were very mild and gentle. When she'd be given some yummy treat, she would gently pick it up with her mouth, and carry it to some corner where she could nibble at it in peace. She was very vocal whenever someone she didn't like walked by. She'd be like "You! Get out of my territory!" - almost like the canine version of an elderly person yelling at youths to get off their lawn. Had she owned a walking stick, I'm sure she's have shaken it too.
I didn't get the opportunity to say bye - with Morgan being unwell yesterday, I opted to stay at home lest she get worse. Unfortunately Cara and Morgan never got to meet.
I hope that Whiskey, my other dog, won't grieve too much. He has known Cara all his life. She was a mother figure to him, before becoming like a sister, and later a potential love interest. He would be eating from the food bowl, and when told to allow her to eat, he'd walk away and allow her to eat as much as she'd want, and only then finish the leftovers off.
I cannot have any pets at my own place - however I firmly believe children should grow up around animals. I've always had a dog or two in my life. It taught me what mutual respect and selfless love are all about. I'm glad Whiskey is so good tempered - Morgan will have the pleasure of knowing him as she grows up.
Pluto, my sister's dog, seems to have accepted Morgan and just observes her from a distance for the time being. I still don't trust him, but it isn't as bad as I thought it might be.
Morgan seems to be doing better today. Her nose isn't as stuffy and the saline spray + bulb syringe combo seems to be doing the trick.
My mum and I might take her out for a stroll today, seeing as the weather is as nice as yesterday's so far.
Today involved one major achievement - Morgan managed to turn her head to face the other side, and back, whilst laying on her belly. That is one strong neck she's got, I tell ye! She's also trying to lift herself off her belly using her knees and feet.

Friday, 24 February 2012

A Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down

Morgan had her first doctor's home visit today. I called the pharmacy earlier to ask if their Paediatrician-in-training was in, and was told he'd be in on Monday, but that he does home visits, and got given his mobile number.

I asked my mum to call on my behalf whilst I cuddled Morgan, and he asked her to text him the address and he'd come visit Morgan this morning. I texted him soon after, and he replied saying he'd be over shortly.
An hour and a half or so went by, and the Doc arrived. A friend of mine had told me he is the Pretty kind, and she was right. He was very thorough in his examination, and very soft spoken and had a gentle touch when examining Morgan. She seemed to like him as he is the first doctor to examine her where she didn't cry.

At one point, he said to hold Morgan in my lap, and hold both her hands with one of mine, and to place my other hand on her forehead to hold her head still. This would enable him to examine her ears and throat. I did as he said, only to realise that I should have worn a poloneck shirt instead of the one I had on. This realisation dawned on me only when he was bent over, and had my cleavage at eye-level. I could have died on the spot from embarrassment and kept hoping he'd be solely focused on Morgan.

He played a bit with Morgan as he told me what to keep an eye out for. Basically at the moment she's got a virus which is causing a congestion, which I can flush out via the saline nasal spray. He said to spray twice per nostril every hour, and to reduce her bottle's volume and increase feeding frequency until she gets better. He prescribed suppositories just in case she gets a fever, and also wrote a referral note, just in case the viral thingy gets to her chest and makes her wheeze, to take her to hospital.

I have a feeling I've found The Doc for Morgan.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from GO Mobile

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Pink, it was love at first sight!

Last night was an insomniac one for me where I decided I would start making my grandma's house more toddler-friendly as of now. Whilst tidying up I found Pimp Sunglasses. *points at picture*

Morgan and I will be playing dress-up A LOT when she's older, I'm sure. As much as I hate to admit it, she pulls off pink perfectly. I hate pink. She has received a fair amount of clothes in different shades of the colour. I don't blame people for giving pink crap though - it is rather hard to find neutral coloured clothing!
I _will_ be taking her to a paediatrician today as her stuffy nose got worse last night, in spite of my cleaning her nose several times.

Today is also one of them days which make you regret being cooped up inside, so I might take her out for a walk too.

That is all for this morning! Over and out!

You'll survive - You will be well, because you - you are so special and I will take care of you.

Quite a few blog posts ago, I had mentioned the importance of finding a good paediatrician and how to locate one in your area.

What I had failed to realise is how difficult it is to go visit one whose clinic is just a bus ride away, whilst still recovering from a C-Section. Them car seats are bloody heavy - and with a rapidly growing baby acting as dead weight in it, it becomes even heavier.

This can only mean one thing - I am back to square one, in trying to find a paediatrician closer to home. I spent an hour or so making phone calls with no luck.

One pharmacy said that the paediatrician was in two days ago, but that they have no idea when she will be in next. Apparently, she decides, not the pharmacy owners. I find that odd, but then again, these things seem to follow a logic of their own.

I eventually got through to a clinic which had a rather helpful person take my phone call. She said they didn't have a paediatrician but that she could give me the telephone number of a pharmacy nearby who _did_ have a paediatrician available. The woman also suggested calling the hospital and ask them to have a look at their records as they should be able to help me out.

I decided to call the hospital first, and the receptionist who took my call was a bit at a loss, however I could tell he was trying to be as helpful as he possibly could. I obtained 3 telephone numbers from him, thanked him and hung up. Not having managed to get through, I decided, "Fuck it," and called the pharmacy that the receptionist at the other clinic had given me.

BINGO! This pharmacy has a paediatric surgeon who is in every Thursday, AND a Paediatrician-in-training who is in 2-3 times a week. Cool stuff! Admittedly it is a bit of a long walk from my house, but it is doable, and very close to my parents' house and my grandma's as well.

I didn't set up an appointment though. Morgan didn't have any other explosive diarrhoea episodes. Her nose is still stuffy, but when I cleaned it with the bulb syringe this morning, it made a huge difference.

Today we should be getting a visit by the midwife, so I'll mention to her my concerns and then take it from there.

I don't want to be one of those over-protective mums who wrap their child[ren] in bubble wrap. I enjoy popping the bubble wrap way too much!

Seriously though - it takes a conscious effort to find that delicate balance between not caring enough and caring too much. If I could, I _would_ protect Morgan from every single thing that could cause her harm in any shape or manner. Then again, I know she needs to get a cold, scrape her knees, bruise her legs, stand up for herself and what/who she values the most etc. I did all that, and am glad for it. I want her to learn how to fight her own battles whilst knowing I'm there for her to back her up whenever necessary.

Until then, I'll happily be the annoying mother who continuously takes photos of her child - even whilst she's sleeping! [See photo] I really don't want to miss a single moment whilst I still can spend _this much time_ with her.

P.s. Just in case you were wondering, the telephone number for Mater Dei Hospital is 25450000, and the pharmacy that is close by is Sta Lucia Pharmacy, located in Sta Lucia. Their telephone number is 21890111, and the Paediatric Surgeon's name is Dr Chris Fearne, whilst the Paediatrician-in-training's name is Dr Bondin.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Hercules & The Mountain of Poop

Motherhood - how I went from this to this.

True story.

I was having a sandwich in the kitchen whilst watching the Godliness that is Kevin Sorbo - possibly the only "buff" male I find appealing - kicking Tia Carrere's pretty arse in Kull The Conqueror - and just when he's about to deliver the final blow, I get summoned back to the bedroom.

Morgan was up, needing a nappy change and to be fed.

*Fanfare* Supermum to the rescue!

Morgan had in store for me one hell of a shitty experience! I know, pretty graphical. But.. *points to blog's name* 'Nuff said.

Anyway. I had noticed her poop to be more liquid a few nappy changes ago, and kept a mental note to see if it happens again. Which it did. Now I'm looking forward to sunrise so that I can get in touch with a paediatrician and take her for a check-up. She has had a stuffy nose as well - which by itself isn't a cause for concern. Stuffy nose + explosive diarrhoea = a potential cause for concern.

Hopefully it isn't anything, and simply her body adjusting to the outside world.

We are now in the process of trying to extend the gaps between one feed and the next. We're averaging 4 and a half hours' gap now. Yay for more sleep!

We also received the stuff I ordered for her from Amazon using the gift voucher my aunt gave Morgan. We now have a fair bit more nappies for Morgan to turn into poopy masterpieces! The 3 Lamaze toys I ordered for her seem awesome - we'll see if she grows to like them! Just in case you're wondering which ones she now owns, here they are:
1) Sir Prance-a-lot: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518SsOiJezL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
2) Freddie The Firefly: http://www.nestingmode.com/uploads/product/12175374560.jpg
3) Gardenbug Foot Finder & Wrist Rattle Set: http://images.learningcurve.com/is/image/media/LC27111A_SH_A01?$detail$
Now that she's asleep again, I just might _try_ and have some "me" time again. In the meanwhile, enjoy this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_WGPgIOXXQ

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from GO Mobile

Monday, 20 February 2012

How To Register Your Child's Birth: Part One.

When a child is born, their birth needs to be registered within 5 working days, according to Maltese Laws. In the eventuality that both parents are to be listed on the birth certificate, one or both parents would need to physically go to the Public Registry Office - located on the 1st floor at Evans Building, Merchants Street Valletta - with BOTH parents' Photo ID (National ID Card or Passport).

If the child's parents are married, and the marriage occurred abroad, the original marriage certificate needs to be taken along - and this needs to be in either Maltese or English.

Should there be a legal separation or annulment, the original contact/court sentence documents need to also be taken along.

If the child is born out of wedlock, you're better off making a phone call before you go to the Public Registry Office. Their contact numbers are 22209100 and 22220920.

The opening hours are Mon-Fri 07:30 - 14:00. On Wednesdays, they are also open between 15:00 and 18:00 and on Saturday between 07:30 and 11:00.

At hospital, you're given a form on which the midwife assisting your birth giving process writes down the time and date of your baby's birth, along with your name and ID Card number and some other details, and ultimately signs it. On that same form, you then get to write down your baby's name(s) separated by commas ( , ) unless you want all names written down to appear on your child's ID Card when they grow up (e.g. If your child is to be called Mark Anthony Charles Philip Elton, but you only want Mark Anthony to be on their ID Card when he grows up, you'd need to write Mark Anthony, Charles, Philip, Elton) as well as some of your own personal details (and the father's, if his name is to appear).

Now, this is where the fun part (i.e. Confusion) begins. If the child's father is to be left out, in spite of knowing who he is, he is very tastelessly listed as "Unknown Father" - however this _can_ be changed at a later date. How? That is what I'm trying to find out.

When I called the Registry people, I spoke to a manager who told me the Father would have to speak to a lawyer and get an Act issued from Court that would then enable the Birth Certificate to be changed.
On the other hand, when I physically went to register Morgan's birth, I asked about this again and got told a different story. _This time_, I was told that both parents would need to physically go to a _Notary_ along with the child's birth certificate and get the Notary to draw up some legal document that will allow the Birth Certificate to be changed.

Since I have no intention of wasting money talking to lawyers and/or Notaries needlessly, I'm going to ask about this another 3 times. The first option to be mentioned to me three times in total will be what I consider to be correct information until proven otherwise.

Oh, and you have to pay €2.33 as a registration fee. The reasoning behind this is a mystery to me. I wonder how impossible life would be for someone whose parent[s] opt not to register their birth because they don't agree with said charge. I know it is a highly unlikely scenario, but can you imagine never having existed to the world? Location would probably be key to how easy/difficult life can be for you.
The birth certificate can then be picked up within 10 working days from the Public Registry Office, or requested online via www.certifikati.gov.mt. There seems to be yet another charge to obtain the actual birth certificate via the website. If you request just an extract, the charge is €2.33, but if you request the full birth certificate, the charge is € 9.32.

Since there are a few details I still need to obtain confirmation about, as mentioned earlier, I will write up Part 2 of this blog once the certificate itself is ready for collection.

In the meanwhile, enjoy this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KANI2dpXLw - whilst I snuggle up to Morgan once more.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from GO Mobile

Wherever we may roam



Yesterday, Morgan and - had our First Day Out. It was fun - but boy was it overwhelming and tiring!
Our day started off with my mum and I deciding to give Morgan a sponge bath.


 Wet Baby! And not a very happy one!

The door bell rang just as we were done, but before we could dry her and clothe her. My mum handed her over to me wrapped up in a towel. I kept thinking "you're going to either pee or poop on me, aren't you?"

Lo and behold! I hear the trickle of pee slapping against the floor's tiles. I put Morgan down on the nappy changer to get some tissue paper to soak up the pee on the floor so as to avoid potential slips until I could clean it up. A few seconds later I notice a tiny amount of poop. I place a wet wipe underneath her bum so that she can poop freely before I clean her up again.. I gave her a couple of minutes or so, and when I saw there was no progress, removed the wipe and turned around to get something from behind me. As soon as I turn back towards Morgan, I see Mount Poop being built up on the towel beneath her.

It got a bit messy, but eventually managed to get everything under control. I suppose it was Morgan's way of telling me exactly what she thought of our stripping her down to give her a bath - and paying me back.
We then got picked up by my soon-to-be sis-in-law. We managed to get the pram in the car, car seat strapped in, and we set off, driving slowly to our destination.

 Are we there yet?

We parked a couple of blocks away from the cafeteria we were going to - Mint - and so I got to push the pram in the outside world for the first time. It was daunting! Making sure I keep an eye on Morgan, looking at the pavement to avoid potholes and other possible obstacles, keeping an eye out for any pedestrians, cars and other vehicles/beings who might cross our path, looking for the nearest, safest and most convenient spot to roll off the pavement to cross the street - and keeping a conversation going. Talk about becoming suddenly aware of how often we multitask without even realising it!

We got to Mint, and luckily for us a group of people with a pram left at that very instant, clearing up an ideal spot for us to sit inside. People were chattering, an REM cd was playing in the background [which I found amusing seeing as I made a reference to them recently in a previous blog], and Morgan was hungry. This meant I had to feed her whilst trying to decide what I wanted to order for myself. That wasn't an easy task since I was focused solely on her - so I opted for the easy way out of the "I'll have what you're having" kind.
Seeing as I was focused on Morgan, it took me a while before I got round to my coffee and meal. Mel (my soon-to-be sis-in-law) wolfed down her food so as to be able to help Morgan burp whilst I eat.

To those of you who work in catering - please don't hover over my shoulder when you can clearly see I have a young child to tend to before I can focus on my own meal.

I never had reason to complain at this cafeteria - food and service are both exceptional. However, yesterday it was as if the 3 waitresses waiting on us grew tired of waiting. They invoked The Unspoken Time Limit During Which Food And Drink Must Be Consumed Lest Your Plate And Glass/Cup Be Taken Away - and that nearly happened in fact.

I missed seeing the Blond Dreadlocked Eyecandy Waiter yesterday - it would have been Lesson 1 on men for Morgan. Instead some guy walked in, and I taught her that this dude is what I call a Pretty Boy, and that she should limit herself to looking at Pretty Boys and that's it. She seemed content receiving this knowledge.
We went for a walk and after a short while, I started getting quite tired. Morgan fell asleep in the pram, and so we headed back towards the car - but not before taking a photo of the two of us.

Happily bringing the day out to an end.

We stopped by to say hi to Mel's parents as they wished to meet Morgan, and then we headed back home where a nappy change & feed was due, followed by a ton of sleep for both Morgan and myself.
A major update for today is - I was discussing what weapon gives the most satisfaction - a machete or a sledgehammer (yay for sledgehammer!) - with a friend and I made a pun using the following video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG71yD8UUbE. I decided to show it to Morgan. She was entranced!! She was watching it quietly, and when I moved my phone slightly, she followed the movement with her eyes!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

All You Need Is Love

I love Morgan. That is obviously apparent. But, how do I justify it? Especially to those who never experienced parenthood!

http://www.babycenter.com/0_big-story-how-love-blossoms-between-you-and-your-child_1417762.bc

That article delves into biological explanations as to why I love my Creature so much. To quote a friend of mine, I'm "high on Morgan" - and it is true, from a chemical point of view! The mix of oxytocin and dopamine she provokes is one hell of an addictive drug - one I can never ever get enough of.

Speaking of which - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcD0ktuCeTE&sns

Knowing that maternal love can so easily be explained feels somewhat wrong, however it doesn't detract anything from the whole experience. If anything, it is perhaps reassuring to know that I'm not obsessed - merely human. It still feels odd to think that other parents feel as intensely about their own offspring as I do about Morgan.

My main question though, remains this - how, if it is biologically ingrained, can a parent not love their child?
I know that different people have different reasons for abandoning their children. Not too long ago, there was a case, locally, where a baby was abandoned on the steps of a convent. A lot of people seemed judgmental about it. I couldn't help but wonder what psychological issues the woman may have had, and what background she was coming from. Was she in an abusive situation? Did she have any form of support - emotional, financial or otherwise? Was she depressed? What made her run away from it all and abandon her child?

Knowing we're programmed to love makes me wonder - and I'm not being mean, bitchy, or anything along those lines here - whether there could be something fundamentally wrong in people who are capable of abandoning their spawn. In the physical sense.

I'm not saying it is easy for these 'parents' - and I say 'parents', again, not to be mean, but merely because I don't reckon they'd have earned the title, so to speak - to walk away. I'm sure that for the vast majority, it is a major regret they will have to live with until the day they die. They might try to convince people - and themselves - that it isn't so and that they did it to provide a better life and better opportunities for their child[ren]. Deep down though, I know they think of their offspring and wonder what could have been had things turned out differently.

I just wonder how the few who don't regret it function on a biological level, and whether treatment could "fix" them. Yes, I feel they're broken. It isn't nice, I know. I don't do nice, sugar-coating crap. You should know that by now. If they could get artificially supplemented by a dosage of picotin and dopamine, what would happen?

Wait.. Have I just mentioned a way to actually turn Love into a drug one can ingest? Hmmmm...

The Poop Crisis

Sometimes I feel my brains turning into a mix of jelly, poop, formula milk and baby drool. There are times throughout the day when I miss adult conversation, and the company of a peer where non-baby-related topics can be discussed.

Inevitably I will end up talking about baby stuff at some point. Try as hard as I may, I can't help it. I just miss my old self.

I just had quite a stressful nappy change & bottle experience. I didn't get much sleep last night (3 hours which felt like 5 minutes). I had every intention of taking Morgan out for her first stroll, however after feeding her this morning we both fell asleep. I managed to grab an hour or so of shut-eye. It was then time to wake up for her next nappy change and feed.

I switched on the bottle warmer and went to change Morgan's nappy. All was well so far. Nappy got changed easily, and so I then put her back in bed for a few moments whilst I go get her bottle. I then realised I had forgotten to put her tights back on, so before feeding her, I put her back on the Nappy Changing Table with every intention of just undoing her sleepsuit's bottom half and putting on the tights. Quite an easy job. Alas, it was not to be.

I realised she had pooped her freshly changed nappy already. Crap.

Sorry. Couldn't help the pun.

Anyway.

Off came every layer covering her bottom half. Which is when Morgan decided to start wriggling all over the place as I tried to clean her up. Frustration levels rising, I tried to deal with it whilst hearing criticism coming from my grandma's end. Knowing she means well, I refrained from commenting at first. That didn't last, which is how I became snappy.

Morgan's wriggling meant her socks got dirtied and had to be changed. With that out of the way, I finally managed to get her dressed, and started the feed. Whilst feeding her, I realised we're nearly out of nappies so I contacted my bro asking him to ask my mum to get some on the way back home. Hopefully she'll remember, otherwise I'll be screwed.

Once the feed was over, I was faced with trying to put on a cardigan on Morgan as her sleepsuit's sleeves kept acting like short sleeves and I figured she'd end up feeling too cold cos of that. Obviously that didn't go smoothly either as I couldn't get her 2nd arm in the bloody sleeve. By this time, patience was running thin.
A short struggle was had, and eventually the damned sleeve was conquered. Which is when Morgan grabbed my finger and looked at me calmly. That is precisely when I had a mini-breakdown and apologised to her for getting impatient.

I now am laying next to her in bed - on my stomach, nonetheless! First time I've been in this position since May! Morgan is half asleep, and so am I - but I can't sleep yet. There are bottles to be sterilised and prepared, and I have to cook. Blah.

This is me venting, by the way.

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Friday, 17 February 2012

Medical updates!

A midwife came over yesterday to check up on us. I had forgotten she was meant to come over, kinda. I knew she was due on the 17th, but I failed to realise that the 17th was yesterday.

She checked my blood pressure and C-section scar, as well as my uterus's position. She confirmed that everything was fine and the uterus has moved back down and shrank closer to its pre-pregnancy position and size.

She also checked Morgan and said she still has slight jaundice but it will soon go away. She stripped Morgan down to check her GirlyBits and her belly button and confirmed all is well. She also confirmed that the dry skin on Morgan's hands and feet is normal and gave the thumbs up to the cream I'm using on her, as well as the shower gel.

Morgan's belly button is an "innie", by the way. My soon-to-be sis-in-law has been asking me whether her belly button is an "innie" or an "outie" ever since the umbilical stump fell off. [If you're unsure of the difference - clicky here ]

The one issue we're facing at the moment is gas. It is causing Morgan to suffer abdominal cramps, which make her cry out for a few seconds several times throughout the day and night. I have mentioned this to a few people and have been told of a product called Infacol. Needless to say, I decided to look it up.

Infacol is a product that has an active ingredient called Simethicone. It is meant to help group the tiny gas bubbles trapped in a baby's intestines into larger ones for easier explusion. Having said that, the information I found about this product is disheartening. Have a read!

Infacol is currently out of stock on the island. My mum went to the pharmacy to ask about it and was instead sold a product called Dentinox which I refused to use for two reasons - it seems like it is intended for Colic not Gas - and it has an expiry date of May 2012 which makes me think the pharmacist had old stock he is trying to get rid of.

The active ingredient in Dentinox is Dimethicone. This is similar to the one in Infacol, however the one in Infacol is mixed with Silica Gel.

An interesting read was the following article: http://www.babycareadvice.com/infant_gas/infant_gas.old.htm
I have had friends swear by Infacol, saying it works. When I googled the active ingredients I mentioned earlier a fair number of hits I got were about rabbits. You know, long ears, twitchy nose, furry. They hop. Sounds familiar?

I am not about to give Morgan something which is used to treat rabbits effectively and yet seems to have little more effect than a placebo would.

A friend of mine suggested I try Infant Fennel Tea. Upon looking it up on Wikipedia, I came across the following:

"Carminative properties of fennel are known from ancient times, as recorded in the Latin phrase "semen foeniculi pellit spiracula culi"[11], which literally means "the fennel seeds make blow the arsehole"."

Needless to say, I'm still giggling over it. The article does carry on to say, however, that "Fennel can be made into a syrup to treat babies with colic (formerly thought to be due to digestive upset), but long term ingestion of fennel preparations by babies is a known cause of thelarche."

At this present moment in time I think I would much rather prefer to continue acting as her mattress and holding her close to me, belly-to-belly, to warm her up. Perhaps I go into too much detail, but I'm not willing to risk it.

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42

What does motherhood mean to you people?

To me, it means the world and more. It means forgetting the meaning of a warm meal and/drink as the moment you sit down to eat/drink, something comes up and you have to run off. It means being amused by your child's bodily functions and be oblivious to the fact others might not be. Being a parent also means sleeping on the edge of the bed because your gassy child with whom you decided to co-sleep with out of the kindness of your heart has decided to sleep in a starfish position. Who would've thought a 2 and a half week old baby girl could take up so much room?

Being a mother means that I would rather lay in bed next to my little Fairy, watching her sleep, than take advantage of her being asleep and get up to go pee/eat/drink/do whatever. It means running faster than I have run in the past 15 years the moment I hear her emit any kind of noise from the other room. Flash Gordon would be proud!

It means worrying about her immediate future, and her distant future. Knowing there will be a day where your child will tell you "I love you", and mean it - and a day where your child will tell you "I hate you," and mean it as well. Knowing there will be times where they will be proud to call you "Mum" and other times where they will be so embarrassed by you they will pretend they never even met you. Motherhood means knowing all this, and doing your best to coming to terms with it.

As I feed Morgan, I tell her about future arguments we might have, and how she will outsmart me. I fear, and look forward, to the day where student surpasses teacher in Smartassery. A couple of days ago, I was telling her how she will demand make-up, and I will insist she doesn't need it with a pretty face like hers. She will then tell me to look in a mirror and to mind my own business, and therefore shut me up.

Motherhood also means putting on a brave mask for your child's sake, no matter how heartbroken you are. You will be heartbroken, I assure you. I know I was as I watched a nurse poke Morgan's tiny hands with needles to take blood samples. Morgan's cries were so heartfelt, I wanted to steal her away and to hurt the nurse poking the needles in her and the nurse helping her. Whenever she gets gassy, and suffers pains, she lets out a wail that makes me want to hurt Gas for hurting her. Silly, I know. I just am really protective, and anyone who dares mess with my girl will find this out the hard way.

I know I cannot protect her forever and that I will have to take the back seat lest she becomes a spineless spoilt brat. She has to scrape her knees and earn her battle scars. I wish it wasn't necessary, but I know it is.

Motherhood is all this, and so much more. It is an ongoing journey, and it really does have its good times, bad times, and times that are just plain stinky - metaphorically or otherwise.

The only other people who might begin to understand what its like are other parents - and even then, you are bound to feel that "they just don't get it" purely because they can never really be in your shoes. I find that even your child's other parent will seem not to get it, from your point of view.

Having said that, I'm glad that when I will try to scare off Morgan's first boyfriend, her father will back me up (with a shotgun, if he is to have his way, I'm told). I'm a pacifist myself, however my looks are deceitful for those who don't know me - and that will be my secret weapon. *insert evil laughter here*

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

One night will remind you how we touched and went our separate ways

Morgan is asleep next to me, cuddled up with her head on my arm. Damn, her head is heavy! Earlier today (or maybe I should say yesterday seeing as it is past midnight here), I tried to put on a cotton beanie on her. It was Newborn sized. It was too small and looked like a skull cap on her. She looked ridiculous! This confirmed she does have a big head after all.

With all the silly things I tell her and the vast amount of things I pick on her for, she will grow up with a thick skin and ready to take on whoever will try to bully her. If her hair colour sticks and she grows up to be a true Ginger, she'll encounter her fair share of people who will try to bully her. Unfortunately for them she will have heard all the ginger jokes and grown used to them. I can't help but find them hilarious, much to her dad's dismay. (She takes the gingerness , amongst other traits, from him.)
[I can totally see Morgan in that girl's stead *points at picture*]

Tonight she seems to just have wanted to cuddle up for the sake of it, not out of the need for body heat to help her get over the gassy pains. I ventured upstairs for a short while, leaving her to cuddle up with my mum. The moment I returned back to bed, my mum removed Morgan from her embrace - and Morgan started protesting immediately, until I put my arms around her to hold her close. This, I must admit, she takes from me. Cuddle whores ftw!

On a related note, I just wanted to give my input on the subject of Single Parenthood. I have mentioned this in the past, or hinted at it. I just wanted to ensure it sticks in people's minds.

Just because your relationship with the other parent didn't work out doesn't mean you have to be a bitch/dick to them and deny your child[ren] the opportunity of getting to know them - especially if they want to be involved. Any issues pertaining to your relationship - or lack of - with the other parent should be kept separate. A partner/ex-partner is a separate identity from "parent" and should be treated as such.

On the other hand, if you happen to be the non-resident parent and commit to being part of your child's life, then stick to it. A child's life isn't a game you can pick up and drop half way through only to pick it up again at a later date. If you want to be there, be there through thick and thin. An adult heart can take being broken - a child's can't.

I write the above from an outsider's point of view after seeing too many friends getting screwed over - as well as from a parent's point of view.

Always keep the child's best interest in mind, whatever you do.

The C-Section Aftermath

You might be wondering how the recovery process is going. You might not. Either way, I'm going to tell you about it.

It has now been 2 weeks and a day since Morgan was ripped out of my womb. Well, fine, lifted out is more accurate. I spent pretty much the first week unable to do much. The amount of pain and discomfort and stiffness I was in prevented me from moving about properly. I couldn't bend nor move at a normal pace. I couldn't toss and turn in bed on my own. Sitting up was a very difficult and quite painful task. Everything was in slow-mo. Just like the dove in this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovEDhFfgdOo

The catheter was removed after a couple of days - and Gods, the first pee was a herculean task from beginning to end. I couldn't even walk on my own to the bathroom - I had to be supported by my mum and my elder sis. Once the drain was removed a couple of days later, I could move about a bit easier. Once the external stitches were removed, moving became slightly more comfortable.

My chest was extremely painful due to engorgment, and it was pretty messy as I kept leaking. The first 3 days after Morgan was born were the worst. It felt as if I was smuggling watermelons. Bit by bit, the situation improved, although I was still leaking all over the place in spite of wearing breast pads 24/7.

I was pretty swollen all over actually. My belly felt like jelly, and I had pretty bad edema, especially in my legs. I couldn't clench my fist properly either as my hands were swollen as well.

Week 2 saw me still moving stiffly and painfully - the stitching on the inside was feeling tight. I still was unable to toss and turn in bed without any pain. I couldn't bend my torso either, although I could sometimes stretch without being in agony. My back started hurting quite a bit from the sudden change in weight. On a positive note though, I wasn't leaking nearly as much, meaning my shirt wasn't getting wet patches all the time - and the swelling started to reduce more and more with every day that went by.

My belly is still numb in the section just below my navel till half-way down my pubic mound. The scar is fully healed, though scar tissue will change in appearance for a while yet. Scars do that.

Much to people's disappointment, I must inform you that my stomach is stretchmark-free. Also, since I managed to limit my weight gain throughout the pregnancy, I'm pretty much to the same shape as I was before the pregnancy (See photo).

So yeah - that is me so far. I haven't weighed myself as yet - once I do, I'll let you know how much weight I actually lost following the pregnancy's end.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

I'm a big, big girl in a big, big world!

Morgan is growing up too quickly! At 2 weeks of age, she is already looking at me knowingly, observing me when I'm talking to her as I hold her or lay next to her. Whenever I play (and most of the time, sing along [albeit badly]) to specific songs, she goes all quiet. Well, quieter than usual!

She is also trying to hold the bottle by herself! Not only that - but, within the last few days, she has been sucking on her dummy (a.k.a. Pacifier), spits it out to yawn, or just for the sake of it, and manages to push it back in her mouth using her hand.

Yesterday, whilst giving her a bath, she stretched her legs to touch the mattress and "stand up" (whilst being held, of course).

She is also briefly following with her eyes slow moving objects, and when she is laying on top of me, on her belly, she raises her head now and again.

Her snuffles and grunts are her way of talking right now. She has incredible communication skills. I know all parents like to think their child is special - however I think Morgan is slightly ahead of the standard milestones.

Here is a link to the common milestones reached between birth and 6 months of age: http://www.babycenter.com/0_milestone-chart-1-to-6-months_1496585.bc

If only I could keep her as a newborn for a while longer!

Monday, 13 February 2012

To my Valentine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsSS9VcMidA&sns

This is for you, my Fairy, on your two week birthday anniversary.

I loved you yesterday. I love you today. I will love you tomorrow and always, my daughter.


Your mother.
Xxxxx
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You Are My Dream

At times, I feel as if all this is just a dream. In the evening, after changing Morgan's nappy and feeding her, I get some alone time. Everyone, including Morgan, will be asleep, so I can go to the dining room and grab a bite, or a coffee, and read or watch tv or chat with a friend or three.

This is when I disconnect from reality, and I temporarily feel as if Morgan never was. It is strange. I don't feel happy, or sad, whenever this happens. It just feels normal, in a way.

Then, I touch my abdomen and feel the numbness, or run my fingers over the scar. Or even still, I spot a baby spit stain on my shirt. All of a sudden, I'm pulled back to reality, and I feel relieved.

Life wouldn't be worth living without my Fairy. I know, I know. Cliché. I mean it though. The moment she was born, I was reborn.

In just under an hour, it will be Valentine's Day here. Last year, my V-day was good - I had someone in my life with whom there was something in the making. This year far exceeds it though! The something-in-the-making led to Morgan. Even though I'm not in a romantic relationship, so to speak, I have my One True Love right here. Morgan, my Light Bringer, is the one person I can love and know it will not be unrequited. She far exceeds the love one can find with a partner. She is perfection to me. And yes, I'm smitten by my spawn. I would give anything for her, and yet I know it won't be required. At least, not yet.

Before she was born, I had question marks as to whether I'd be willing to give me life for her or not, should it be required. I can now safe say that I would - in a heartbeat, if not sooner.


I've got you under my skin

As I was changing Morgan's poopy nappy earlier today, I noticed the skin on her foot - right where it creases on the top part of the joint that joins the leg to the actual foot [i.e. The top of the heel, so to speak] - was peeling.

I checked her hands to find that the top part of her wrist was also peeling. Needless to say, this piqued my curiosity, which led to my googling what the cause might be, whether it is an expected thing, and what I could do to help treat it.

I came across the following site - http://www.babycenter.com/baby-rashes-skin-conditions - which includes a visual guide to different skin conditions that are commonly found in babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

So far, Morgan has had slight jaundice which has cleared up from what I can tell. She also had some Milia - tiny white /yellow pearly dots on her nose which are very common in newborns and that disappear without treatment.

She also has had some Baby Acne -[http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-acne_72.bc] and still does, however it comes and goes. It doesn't bother her in the least, so it doesn't bother me either. I just make sure to clean her face properly every day. Simple water and her body wash do the trick. Even just water does it. The less chemicals her skin gets exposed to, the better.

I don't believe in loading her with creams, oils and lotions as I feel they interfere with the skin's natural ability to have a balanced PH and be healthy. I only use creams when necessary.

Where was I? I got distracted watching Morgan sleep in my arms. Holding her relaxes both of us, and it isn't the first time it lulls me to sleep.

As I was saying, I don't use creams and all that crap as precautions. I believe using all that stuff as precautionary measures can easily backfire as the body never learns to take care of itself. So, I opt for a need-to-use method which so far is working out well.

Later this week, I might get to go to a Sling-wearing class. Once my friend mails it out to me, I'll then be able to start wandering about with Morgan more easily.

I can't wait till the weather warms up a bit so that I can take her places and show her things! She already is fun to be around - let alone if she gets to be taken to fun places!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A gift from a dear friend

A very dear friend of mine emailed me this morning, saying she wrote a Limerick for Morgan based on a blog entry I wrote not too long ago. I was so amused by it - and the knowledge that it will more than likely haunt Morgan well into adulthood - that I decided to share it with you lot!

For Morgan: A Limerick
by Dr Kathryn Rountree

Composed on a journey across Central Otago,
New Zealand, on Saturday 11 Feb 2012

"There was a cute baby called Morgan
Whose Mama got everyone talking
She started a blog
Which kept us agog
From evening till early each morning

Morgan looked like her Mama's reflection
Which made her the peak of perfection
Her skin was like silk
She drank all her milk
All loved her; there was no exception

Her hair and her eyebrows were ginger
She curled her Mum's heart round her finger
Her eyes were quite blue
She made MOUNTAINS of poo
No matter how often they changed her!

Morgan thought that her Ma was quite silly
The teasing and jokes made her giddy
Ma made funny faces
All over the places
Was Mama quite right in the heady?

Morgan's Mum loved to play, and Morgan did too
And day after day she grew and she grew
Ma loved her a lot
And the bigger she got
The bigger the MOUNTAINS of poo!

Both Morgan and Mama were happy
In spite of the mustardy nappy
They knew they belonged
Their love was so strong
Through the good and the bad and the stinky!

Sweet Morgan's so cute and so special
So lovely and precious and magical
We love reading the blog
Though it must be a slog
Thanks Ros, we think you're PHENOMENAL!"

I put a spell on you

Bathing Morgan is always amusing. I love how she throws up her arms and wails, as if to say "Why?! Gods, WHY?!?! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO MEEEEEEEE?!?!"

The fact that she pouts makes it even cuter! I know I keep going on about how gorgeous, beautiful, cute and adorable she is - she's miiiiine. AAAAALL MIIIIINE!! So I can't help it :D Plus, whenever I'm really pleased with something I just act like a broken record and become unable to take about anything else.

My aunt, who lives in the States, sent Morgan an Amazon UK voucher which I have put to good use. I got Morgan a big pack of nappies, a big pack of wipes, 3 educational toys, a Flower Fairy activity book [http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0723264988?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1] by Cicely Mary Barker[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicely_Mary_Barker], where you can make a mask and wings, and the Faerie Oracle Deck [http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/faeries-oracle/] by Brian Froud [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Froud]. I own the deck myself, but I figured she ought to have her very own. The awesome thing about it is, at the moment I will be using it as decorations for her room. Once she grows up though, she can put it to good use should she wish.

I do have a book for her - one I bought years ago with the intention of giving it to a daughter of mine, should she ever be born. I never planned to become a parent, mind you. I always thought to myself "If it happens, it happens. If not, fuck it," so to have purchased this book so many years ago must have been an indication that deep down, I knew Morgan would come to me, one way or another. When I find the book, I will tell you what it is called. In the meanwhile, I'll describe it. It is pretty much a young girl's Book of Shadows - i.e. A journal in which one can write spells, rituals, and information related to magick and what not, along with personal entries as well. It is all about mermaids, fairies, witches and other awesome beings!

All this can either lead to Morgan falling in love with all things fantasy and magickal, or it can backfire and have her opt for the commercial crap which I hate so much, such as Dora The Explorer which I find pointless outside of the States.

Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

So close, no matter how far...

I feel sick.

This morning, I have had to come home for a short while. My place is a rental, which is also up for sale. Every once in a while someone contacts the landlady asking to view it, and she in turn lets me know about it so that we can agree a time and day for the viewing.

I got a call on Wednesday asking whether it would be ok for a viewing to be held on Thursday. I refused as Thursday is Day From Hell for my relatives and no one would be available to come over on my behalf or babysit Morgan whilst I drop by.

We rescheduled for this morning, at 11:30am. I called my brother to arrange for him to pick me up, and he came by at my grandma's at 11:10am.

The moment I had to walk away from Morgan, I started feeling really guilty about it. I lost count of how many times I kissed her head and told her I love her and that I would be back soon.

As soon as I got in the car, I started feeling sick. The farther we drove, the worse I felt. I was excited to see that she received her first mail! Granted, they're papers from hospital. Still, seeing "Morgan Dougall" written on the envelopes made me happy.

The real estate agent and the people who came over to see the place were HALF AN HOUR late. I was pacing like mad, impatient for them to arrive. In the meanwhile, I packed some clothes to take back with me, a blanket, and Blueberry Bear. I was just about to call the landlady to tell her I was leaving when they arrived.

They had a look around, and seemed unimpressed. Neighbours starting arguing, much to my satisfaction. I always enjoy them arguing whenever some potential buyer comes over to view the place. It gives them a realistic view of it all.

Shortly thereafter, they left, and I couldn't come back to my Morgan soon enough.

The moment I held her again, I couldn't stop kissing her and telling her how much I missed her.

Relatives seem to think I ought to get used to us being apart. I feel it is way too soon. She isn't even 2 weeks old yet! After spending 9 months of being as one, being physically apart is bloody hard. I have no idea how I will cope with it once I have to return back to work. In the meanwhile, I intend to spend as much time as it is humanly possible with my beloved Creature.

Baby you're all that I want, when you're lyin' here in my arms

I wonder what Morgan dreams of. I love watching her sleep. Her sleep tends to involve a lot of eye rolling, changing facial expressions and sounds.

A friend had warned me about the eye rolling. Good thing she did, as it would have been quite a shock had I been unaware of it! It tends to bring to mind a cute version of The Exorcist - pretty creepy, I assure you! The whole eyes rolling deal is due to her optic muscles not being mature yet, so she doesn't have much control over them. This is the same reason some babies go cross-eyed from time to time, or have instances of "lazy eye". Her eye rolling during sleep signifies that she is within the REM period of her napping.
Not the bald, whiney guy-fronted band, no.

REM - Rapid Eye Movement - is a particular instance within sleep where A newborn baby spends more than 80% of total sleep time in REM. People's vividly recalled dreams mostly occur during REM sleep. [For more info clicky here.]

Needless to say, besides from the loving gaze that is to be expected, my watching her sleep is also heavily sprinkled with curiosity. Watching her eyes flutter open and roll up as she chuckles makes me wonder what World Domination Plans she is dreaming up!

Sometimes she smiles, other times she whines like a puppy, and other times still she let's out a cry in her sleep. I would love to see what she sees, to feel what she feels. Seeing her tiny body go through this experience makes me imagine that it can only hold one emotion at a time. It must make for quite an interesting experience - especially considering that her dreaming kicked in immediately. Having had limited exposure to the outside world [and by outside, I mean out of the womb] makes it even more enticing!
I wonder, does she dream of me? What do I look like from her point of view? What does she think of me? And how do I sound to her? I will never know, unfortunately. I can only hope she sees me as the one that will protect her by any means necessary.

Friday, 10 February 2012

You're all I need

Morgan is getting to know the real me, and I must say she doesn't seem impressed! I keep catching her staring at me in a solemn, perplexed way, as if to say "Seriously? You're meant to be all sombre and stuff, no? How come I've been assigned to a silly mum?"

Needless to say, I enjoy it thoroughly. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I don't enjoy "baby talk" - Morgan is a baby, not an idiot. I do, however, enjoy pulling faces at her just to see her perplexed stare. Also, it actually is educational as it inspires her to try and imitate the expressions and encourages interaction.

I adore her, seriously. I do have the motherly goggles on - heck, I even enjoy changing her poopy nappies! However, I honestly feel I have been blessed by being assigned such a laid back, sweet soul to be my daughter. All the fuck ups I have had to deal with in life were all worth it if it means I got rewarded by having my Morgan. She is an awesome child! I love her character, and I find every single detail of her not-so-tiny body fascinating - from her Ginger hair and invisible eyebrows, down to her triangular pinky toes.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Tease me, Please me!

Whilst looking up information about Newborn Skin Care, I got sidetracked by an image of a baby wearing a onesie saying "iPooped" - which, needless to say, I found hilarious.

In spite of being pretty tired this morning, I'm in a good mood - and to quote a dear friend of mine, it makes me insufferable. Poor Morgan will have a lifetime of putting up with my silly moods!

It started with my taking photos of her whilst she was still half-asleep, then teasing her whilst changing her nappy. As I was undressing her, I decided to highlight her big feet by photographic means. The moment I opened up the nappy though, it was payback time. My darling daughter is a Uber Pooper. Which of course made me break into song, using the tune for ABBA's Super Trooper. It was amusing - I kept trying to clean her up, but she kept peeing and pooping thanks to the wipes being cold against her skin.

One thing is sure - I will never, ever look at mustard in the same way again.

Due to her free-flowing pee, her clothes required changing as well. Whilst changing her clothes, she must have felt chilly as she threw up her arms, and looked at me as if to say "Mama', y u do this to me?!" - which of course proved to be amusing for me and made me take the piss even more!

Today, is the first sunny day since Sunday. This meant, sunlight shone on her hair at one point, and made the Gingerness emerge even more. This required photographic evidence as well, obviously.

By the end of it,Morgan pretty much resigned herself to my pestering her and played her most powerful card - her charm. I've now been sitting here for the past couple of hours, ignoring the TV, and just watching her sleep in her pram. She's by the window, soaking up sunlight that'll help her get over the slight jaundice which showed up a couple of days after she was born.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Cut my life into pieces - This is my last resort

As those of you who follow the blog know, Morgan was born via C-Section. It wasn't planned that way - I actually had every intention of attempting natural birth - free of painkillers, even! Alas it was not meant to be.
I covered the details of the operation itself in a previous entry. What I wished to emphasise today is that a C-Section is not something to be taken lightly. A lot of people seem to think of it as a quick fix, or an easy way out. The truth is - a C-Section is MAJOR surgery. One with side-effects that can last until the day you die.

The side-effects I speak of are namely scar tissue, and nerve damage. It has been just over a week since I've been sliced and diced, and my incision feels numb. The numbness starts from just above my belly button, and extends halfway down to my pubic mound. It makes for a very peculiar sensation - almost as if you're wearing something that is too tight which is blocking your circulation. From what I read, the numbness lasts anywhere between a few months, and the day you die. When you're cut open, nerves are cut through too. This causes damages to them that can be beyond repair.

Although from the outside, the scar itself is looking neat, I can feel scar tissue building up on the inside, and this makes it more uncomfortable for me.

I have complained about the lack of independence you have to deal with when you're pregnant in another post, however C-Section recovery is even worse. How? Well.. I have been instructed not to carry anything heavier than Morgan. For about 6 weeks post-operation. She weighs just over 3kg. This means that strictly speaking I should not be carrying a couple of 2 litre water bottles - a restriction I find both ridiculous and extremely irking. I also am to avoid going up and down stairs. Good thing I live on ground floor.

Getting sewn up takes longer than having your baby cut out of your womb does. This means that whereas those who give birth naturally can potentially spend time with their newborn straight away, with a C-Section, you can't. Baby is taken away from you to be seen by the paediatrician and weighed and cleaned up and dressed. This, whilst they sew you up.

Then there is the fact that your guts are handled. Following the operation, there may be numerous issues related to your bowels. The chances of bowel injuries put aside, some women find it painful to poop, suffer constipation, or diarrhoea. This may be temporary, but it might also be long-term.

This link highlights in more detail what the risks are, and gives you links on how to prepare yourself for a C-Section and what not.

If you attend Prenatal Classes, make sure you attend both the sessions about Natural Birth, as well as the C-section. You never know what might happen - my case is a typical example.

Also, inform yourself before going for an Elective C-Section. The pain of natural childbirth might be more desirable to you once you get all your facts and figures.

Regardless of what birthing method you go for, ensure you have plenty of support available to you for the weeks following the birth. You will need every tiny bit of help thrown your way. Do your best not to over-exert yourself or you might suffer its repercussions in the long run.

Now, onto the personal updates which I'm sure a good number of you are wanting. Morgan is enjoying using me as her furniture (see photo) still, and I love it. Having her sleep on top of me is comforting for both. After spending 9 months sharing my body, being in such close proximity decreases any separation anxiety ewe might go through otherwise. She saved a Mega Nappy for my sis today - uber-poopy AND pissy, only to pee on my sister's finger whilst cleaning her up. I found it hilarious!

 Mama' mattress!

She also got given yet another load of pink clothes. Cute warm clothes which I will have to come up with clever combos to balance out the pink overdose. I blame the shops, not the people. Damn shops stock up on too much pink, blue and white, and little else.

Off to snooze with my little Fairy now!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Yo ho ho and a bottle of milk!

Yesterday, I was exhausted beyond measure. Today is a better day. I managed to grab a couple of hours sleep last night, and Morgan's last feed was a breeze.

Her feeding just keeps improving more and more! She's more often than not guzzling down the whole dosage. I think it might soon be time to increase it slightly!

Speaking of bottles. There is a whole science to it!

How to prepare Formula Milk-filled Bottles:

Depending on what country you live in, tap water might be the recommended water to use due to good fluoride levels. Locally, I've been told by midwives that bottled water, or filtered tap water, is best.

Bring water to boil. It is handy to keep a thermostat flask always filled up with boiled water. It'll quicken the process of preparing the next feed, especially if it is a nocturnal one.

Next up, fill the sterilised bottle up to 60ml (2 ounces) with water, and add 2 scoops of powdered formula milk. It is important that you first pour the water, and only then add the powder. Also, make sure you check the water's volume by putting the bottle itself on a flat surface, and bending over to look the water so that it is eye-level. If you peek down at it from above, it will involve an optical illusion of sorts that misleads you into believing a different amount of water is actually being used. Shake well & allow it to cool down at room temperature before refrigerating for later use (if preparing feed in advance).

Whenever it is time for an upgrade in dosage, this would be done in 30ml (1oz) increments. Milk scoops are calculated with 1 scoop per 30ml (1 oz).

Always make sure the scooped powder is levelled so as to make up an accurately measured amount.

ALWAYS sterilise all equipment used after each and every feed. I have covered sterilisation techniques in a previous entry.

On other news, a midwife came over to check up on us and make sure we're both well. The amusing thing about it was - she's Pagan as well and is actually part of my Yahoo! Group that discusses Paganism & related topics. It was a relief being able to talk freely without having to resort to half truths when it comes to explaining Morgan's name choice, or my tattoos. We have friends in common as well, and she happened to be the midwife to go check up on 2 friends of mine of similar faith. When I told my mum, she was impressed with how widespread Paganism really seems to be in Malta. It all is very much still quite underground for fear of prejudice and discrimination, but once you know what to look out for, it becomes as clear as daylight.

For the second day in a row, Morgan and I caused each other to yawn. It is hilarious seeing my lovely 1-week old daughter yawn just because I myself would have yawned.

The weather is quite unforgiving right now - pretty cold and humid. This means Morgan is one gassy baby. It is pretty painful, so we spent most of the day cuddled up in bed. Tonight, she will spend the night in bed with me, either on my chest or next to me in my arms - so that she can make use of my body heat as well as the warmth of the blanket she's swaddled in.

There was one MEGA bottle involved today where she drank 100ml! She was famished it seems! Within a week she tripled the amount of milk she drinks. She's growing up so quickly! I wish she'd slow down a bit so I can enjoy her being a baby.

I also have just been given an awesome gift - Morgan is swaddled and in my arms right now, and I have just finished singing her daily lullabies - Phantom of the Opera, a couple of Franco Battiato tracks, and Who Wants To Live Forever by Queen. She started nodding off, but opened her eyes briefly, glanced up at me, and smiled.

I love her so much - you have to be a mother to understand how such a tiny Creature can have wrapped my heart round her tiny pinky finger so easily.

Monday, 6 February 2012

It Won't Rain All The Time

My fears regarding insomnia not being a baby-friendly thing turned out to be justified. In spite of Morgan being a good sleeper, I still didn't manage to sleep more than half an hour last night. I suppose knowing I had to take her to hospital for a blood sample to be taken for the Genetic Profiling was more stressful than I realised.

A friend of mine picked us up at 8am, and we made our way to hospital. I must say - those car seats are EVIL things. They are bloody heavy! Poor guy ended up carrying Morgan around in her car seat 99% of the time since I am not supposed to carry anything heavier than her until I heal.

The woman who took her blood sample had difficulty in finding Morgan's vein [on the back of her hand] and ended up poking a needle in both hands to get the blood needed. Let me tell you this - it is a very ugly feeling watching your child being hurt, and bleeding, and being unable to make it stop. Even when you know that it is for their own good. Morgan wailed a fair bit - I think this was one of her most heartfelt cries so fair. A fair amount of cuddles later calmed her down, thankfully.

I changed a Uber-Dirty-Nappy in what is possibly the nicest Baby Changing Room I ever came across - and then proceeded on going on a Wild Goose Chase to book an appointment for Morgan as a follow-up with her Head Paediatrician at Hospital. That was sorted and will be happening in March. To my Bmod family who'll be hanging out in the UK in March, enjoy it! Think of us as whilst you'll be getting wasted and worked upon, Morgan and I will be attending to medical stuff (hopefully just of the good kind).

The ride back home was rather uneventful. Morgan pretty much slept most of the time - I'm envious of her ability to sleep so well! We got here minutes before her feed was due - and she fell asleep halfway through it only to wake up an hour and a half later, famished. This means that within a 2-hour timeframe she drank 110ml of milk. Yay for her feeding problems being over and done with!

She seems to be getting a stuffy nose. Tomorrow I'll see if I can go home and get the nasal pump thingy a friend of mine sent me. It is used to aspire snot from a baby's nose.

I was exhausted, and eventually I handed Morgan over to my mum and soon-to-be sis-in-law as I was seconds away from crashing on the spot.

They looked after her for me, and eventually I woke up when her next feed was due. My mum decided she's feed her though. We also gave her her first proper bath! (See blurry photo). Needless to say, Morgan wasn't impressed. She doesn't like being completely buttnaked. Maybe cos it is cold. I'm not sure.

I slept some more as she fell asleep. I just finished feeding her now, and am about to take advantage of
Her sleeping to snooze myself. first, though, I would like to clarify one thing.

When I set up this blog, I called it "The Good, The Bad, and The Stinky". This was intended to highlight the fact that I wouldn't be sugarcoating stuff.

There have been a couple of blog entries recently which may have seemed hurtful and/or downright bitchy. The thing is this - ask any mother whether their motherhood experience has always been positive.. They might not admit it, but you will see it in their eyes, but every mother - old and new - will have wanted to scream her heart out and smash every single thing in sight at one point or another. We're only human - and parenthood is perhaps the rawest human experience ever.

My venting was not meant to be hurtful in anyone's regards. I am thankful for every single bit of help and support I have had from friends and family. I still need a way to unleash my cocktail of negative emotions.

This is a highly stressful time in my life where things keep cropping up, and sometimes I feel like someone, somewhere, doesn't want me to enjoy this new experience. Drama keeps piling up, and so does exhaustion. I need a holiday - just my daughter and I.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Hospital Diaries: Mama I'm Coming Home pt 2

Taxi ride back home was uneventful, and car seat was installed very easily - just like strapping a human in really.

Once at my grandma's, the nightmare began. Well, ok, not a nightmare as such. Allow me to explain myself.

People tend to get enthusiastic around new babies and fail to realise how taxing and stressful a thing it is to be a new parent. This means they disrupt feeds by trying to keep up chit-chat, by talking to Baby, by asking to hold him/her, by asking to feed/burp/change her nappy etc.

I felt like an outright bitch giving instructions on what to do and what not to do to my family. I am very protective of Morgan and I want things to be done in a certain way that everyone else involved in her life needs to stick to.

My grandma was ecstatic to see her and hold her (see photo) and everyone was happy she's home.

I just felt - and still do - like I should be in my own home, not here, as this adds to my stress levels. The fact that it took me all day to finally figure out how to get to hospital and back in the morning, coupled with the fact that these next 2 days are thought to be the coldest ever (with there being mention of possible snow! It NEVER snows in Malta) didn't help at all. Some quite upsetting news also contributed to it all - upsetting in the grand scheme, along with emotional upsetting, kinda way. I won't go into that though as it is way too early to discuss it publicly.

It is now 2:40am, and I changed and fed Morgan, and put her to sleep, not too long ago. Started at midnight, finished at 1:30am. At 3:30am, she is due for another feed and nappy change. I'm beat, but I think I'll stay up til then.

This, was our first day out of hospital. I miss the quiet, trouble-free feel there was at hospital, where no drama crossed the threshold.

The Hospital Diaries: Mama I'm Coming Home

Today, we go home! This morning, a med student came in to weigh Morgan and measure her head's circumference. She asked me to strip her down to her nappy, and I obliged. Morgan wasn't too happy about it though. Which is where she proved to be my daughter.

As I was taking her clothes off and talking to her, she was wriggling and being vocal about it. I then placed her on the weighing scales and took a step back. Med Student opened Morgan's nappy to reveal.. *dun dun dun*... POOP!

I found it rather amusing - she hadn't pooped all day yesterday, as if saving it for her Evil Mastermind of a plan to take revenge on the first Med Staff Member to force her into being naked. *Proud Mama Moment*

We hung out for a wee while (no pun there!) until a paediatrician came to check her up. Satisfied she is well, she discharged Morgan.

My mum came by with the car seat and vanished shortly after to the cafeteria for coffeetimes with my father, until a doc sees me and discharges me as well.

It took a while, but eventually a doc came by, asked me a few questions, and satisfied I was recovering well, told me a midwife/nurse would soon be stopping by to remove my stitches.

After what seemed like an eternity, she showed up - along with Med Student, and her fellow classmate.

We shifted over to the Treatment Room (which I despise as this is where I got told I'd be forced into having a C-Section), and Clueless Med Students took over, under Midwife/Nurse's supervision.

Taking out the stitches wasn't too bad in comparison to having the Drain removed.

Once this was accomplished, I was fine to go - I only needed to be given Morgan's paperwork. By the time all of this was over, it was time for Morgan's feed. I took care of that, and then we finally headed towards my dad's car.

This is where disaster struck. Remember my telling you to try and install the car seat BEFORE Baby is born? Do it. Seriously. I hadn't managed to get my drivers-relatives to give it a shot due to their busy schedules. This meant that my dad failed to realise the clip bit of the seat's buckle was nowhere to be found, thus leading to a complete and utter seatbelt fail.

I got extremely pissed off, and called a cab. I emphasised the importance of working backseat seat belts, and a few moments later, taxi had arrived.
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