Thursday, 30 July 2009

I can't wait to hear the punchline

One of my favorite moments in the day is her early morning feed, the three of us in our pyjamas, Eloise lying like a warm loaf of bread in my lap satiated from her sleepy breakfast with the faint sounds of her father snoring next to us. She smiles the most during this span of 10 or so minutes. Little smiles as if she's remembering a joke someone told her that she doesn't think would be appropriate to share with the current company but can't stop thinking about and is trying desperately to not let her smile turn into a laughing guffaw.

And yes, sometimes it takes every fiber in my body to fight against the urge to suck those plump cheeks in my mouth and snack on them all day long.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Well if you're going to cry...

The clich├ęd overwhelmed new mother moment has happened. I changed her diaper three times in a span of 30 minutes and got peed on and vomited on in the process and had to change both of our outfits since the pee and vomit was not self-contained. Eloise and I were prisoners upstairs because the living-room windows (which I’m too short to close) were open and I was scared the neighbors would hear my crying baby and think I was a terrible mother. And these few hours were all spent with me sobbing uncontrollably, trying to choke out words of comfort to my child and failing to even do that. The Frenchman came home to find Eloise and me sitting in a corner of the nursery, my tears falling on her face as I tried in vain to calm her down. This is what hormones do to you. The Frenchman took control, reminded me that she was probably having another growth spurt, and when I fed her he told me how happy she looked in my arms.

The first few days I felt like I was made to be a mother. It all came so naturally. The breastfeeding, putting her to sleep, changing her, keeping her warm. And then I started reading the books. And the books said she should only sleep 2 or 3 hours at a time. And the books said to wake her if she sleeps more than 4 hours. And they said to never wake a sleeping baby. They say that head movements, sucking fingers, open mouth, yawning etc. etc. are all signs of hunger. They say to be sure not to over feed your baby. And I started to doubt myself. And to mistrust my instincts.

So I’m not opening the books. Not until Eloise and I get to know each other a little bit better. Not until we can fall into a routine that some book will no doubt tell me is all wrong and then and only then we can spend months trying to undo it all.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Week 1

Eloise -

You’ve been with us for 7 whole days now. There is a book that you’re bound to come across at some point in your life that says the entire world was made in only 6 days. I think a true masterpiece takes longer which is why you needed 40 weeks, 1 day, 15 hours and 57 minutes.

Within those 7 days your mother has had sushi for three of her meals. In a row. She has eaten 4 different kinds of unpasteurized cheese. Next week she will attack pate and steak medium rare.

You have pooped on your father and me twice and spit up on us three and two times respectively. I have lost count of the number of times you have farted and no I will not stop laughing at you when you do. They are the loudest, funniest most gratifying sounding farts ever and I’m just so happy that all your bodily functions work. I promise when you get older you can laugh at me when I fart too. Unfortunately when Daddy farts it’s best to quickly leave the room and not look back.

You have the most adorable smile. Sometimes you only smile with half of your mouth and it makes me want to buy you flowers and ask you out on a date. The experts tell me that these smiles are simply the result of gas, but I think you’re a happy genius that just can’t help showing us how content you are at making us a family.

Here’s to many more weeks of pooping and farting together.

Je t’aime,


Thursday, 23 July 2009

You know I will

When I was about 12 years old I started what would become a slightly unhealthy obsession with The Beatles. My mother had put Rocky Raccoon from the Beatles’ White Album on one of our car mixes when we were younger. Intrigued, when I came across the entire album in her CD collection I stowed it away in my room and listened to it on repeat for months. Even Revolution No. 9. It eventually progressed to me crying at night because I wasn’t born in 1948 in order to be a screaming teenager at the height of Beatlemania and carving Paul McCartney’s initials in my forearm with a needle and Bunsen burner during 8th grade Science class. Clearly when I fall for something I fall hard.

While I moved on from The White Album, one song remains to this day my favorite. I Will. Track 8 Side 2. This simple tune made my little adolescent heart swoon. I used to lay awake at night thinking it was the most romantic song I had ever heard and if ever a boy were to serenade me with this song I would marry them in a heartbeat.

No boy has ever sung that song to me. No man has stood under my balcony with a beat-up acoustic and warbled his way through the most romantic lyrics I know. Instead I have sung it to others, people’s weddings, anniversaries – it’s always been improptu. A family member goads me into singing something and "I Will" always seems to fit the occasion. I used to feel slight melancholy that I’ve never heard the song performed just for me in a declaration of love.

Until I became pregnant.

Now I know I was wrong. No one is meant to serenade me with the song “I Will”. The song is not about how much a man loves me or how long he will wait for me. It is not the song that will let me know when I have found my husband. “I Will” is my daughter’s lullaby. “I Will” is for when my own words fail me in letting her know that I never really understood the magnitude of love before the moment she was placed on me at 15:57 July 18th 2009.

I Will
( J. Lennon, P. McCartney )

Who knows how long I've loved you,
You know I love you still.
Will I wait a lonely lifetime,
If you want me to, I will.

For if I ever saw you,
I didn't catch your name.
But it never really mattered,
I will always feel the same.

Love you forever and forever,
Love you with all my heart;
Love you whenever we're together,
Love you when we're apart.

And when at last I find you,
Your song will fill the air.
Sing it loud so I can hear you,
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me,
You know I will,
I will.

Eloise - I promise one day soon I'll be able to sing this song to you without crying. Mama just needs to learn how to live with a heart that has doubled in size.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

How to lose over 8lbs in 13 hours!

First the good news. You no longer have to read posts about how horrible it is to be pregnant. The bad news? I will make you suffer through mushy loved-up posts about how enamored I am with my daughter.

Born on the 18th of July at 15:57 I am beyond proud to introduce Eloise Claire

Eloise likes:
My boobs. A lot.
Sleeping with her head in the crook of our necks while making little pig noises.

Eloise dislikes:
Being naked.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Still just a giant pregnant woman past her due date

Bloody show? Check
Cramps? Check
Contractions? Check
Lower back pain? Check
Screaming, pooping life shooting out of my body? Nope. Still waiting for that one.

The contractions are few and far between (though they've started getting more painful) so established labour is eluding me as of yet.

Had a false alarm three nights ago when I had contractions from 2:30 to 5:30, but they weren't regular.

Trying to strike a balance between the woman who calls the hospital with every twinge she feels mistaking it for labour and the woman who doesn't realize she's in labour until her baby reaches out and pinches her on the thigh to let her know she's ready to come out.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Labour tease

2 days away from my due date and no baby as of yet. I've started the bloody show, so that's a good sign. Woke up on Monday morning to go pee for the hundredth time and let me tell you I have never been so excited to see blood stained underwear in my life - I was like a kid at Christmas dancing around the bathroom. And it wasn't just the excitement of getting one step closer to meeting my child, it was the excitement of knowing this pregnancy is almost over.

I'm sure I'll look back on these nine months fondly, the good will out weigh the bad because at the end of it all it will make me a mother, but right now? Right now I am so done with this creating human life business. Over the course of these 9 months I've gained 25 pounds, had my dainty hands and feet replaced with stuffed sausages and elephant paws respectively and had an organ removed from my body. These last couple of weeks, and especially these last few days have been more than uncomfortable. And keep in mind that uncomfortable is the word people use so as not to frighten other childless women out of procreating one day.

People ask how I'm feeling. The honest answer? I feel exactly as I should. I feel as if I have about a 7lb human in a sac of liquid sitting directly on top of my genitals. If I move a certain way (you know, movements like bending, walking, breathing) it feels like I might crap out a child.

My darling daughter has now manoeuvred herself into a position such that she is often pinching a nerve that runs down my right thigh. I will be walking and suddenly dig my nails into the person next to me, fear and pain etched across my face as what feels like hitting your funny bone combined with stabs from a small dagger take over my leg. This addition to my realm of "uncomfortability" has been going on for three days. The first time it happened I fell on top of the Frenchman life Bambi learning to walk, now I just grimace and keep going. It is amazing how your body integrates pain. Doesn't make me complain about it any less of course. At this stage, where I can't drown my sorrows in cheap wine, stuff my face with sushi to lift my spirits or have a cheeky cigarette to calm my nerves - complaining is all I got. Well, complaining and cake of course.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

While my midwife chases her unpasteurized cheese with a bottle of red and laughs at my expense.

I’ve been given the all clear from the mid-wife to use home remedies to help this baby to come sooner rather than later as she is happy that the kid is of a healthy weight and ready to meet us. She also mentioned that we wouldn’t want this baby to go too far past her due date (the 16th) as for the sake of my poor vagina we don’t want the baby’s weight to get too healthy.

There are a plethora of home remedies that are suggested by doctors and midwives to help encourage labour. The more I speak with other mothers, the more I believe these remedies are the last cruel joke from the maternal health-care providers of the world and that the kid will come out when she’s good and ready.

Go for a long walk, they say. I am not only hot and sweaty just from bending down to make sure my feet haven’t grown barnacles they are so neglected, but I am starting to become a phenomenon in my town. People waiting to see if the whale will emerge for her walk. Boom bada boom bada as I waddle redfaced while people stare and whisper to each other when I shake the ground beneath them.

Eat Spicy food, they say. Because the searing heartburn isn’t enough. The feeling that burning coals have lodged in your throat should have chili flakes and cayenne pepper thrown on it to stoke the flames.

Drench yourself in Clary Sage oil, they say. Just when you’re clutching at straws to try and maintain an ounce of femininity, trying to combat the depression that ensues with a massive stomach, huge swollen feet, and pregnancy farts, this is when they ask you to massage yourself with what is essentially eau de MAN.

So now that you’re covered in hormonal sweat and your face is a lovely shade of scarlet from your walk. Now that your indigestion is at it’s peak, with the stench of last night’s curry filling your mouth and your ass on fire. Now that you smell like a fucking lumberjack.

Go have sex, they say.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I'm hot then I'm cold

Me: Did you read my blog?

Him: Yes.

Me. Really? You read my blog...

Him: Yes.

Me: What did it say then.

Him: You wrote about me having a 70's porno moustache.

Me: And....

Him: And about our first kiss.

Me: And you don't have anything to say about it?

Him: It was really sweet. Thanks (Tries to go in for a kiss)

Me:(Turns lips away from his) That's it? That was the most romantic thing I ever wrote.

Him: Yeah. And it was really nice.

Me: (Pouting) I'm taking it down.

Him: What? No! Why?

Me: Because I don't feel that way anymore.

HIm: (Laughing)

Oh to be in a relationship with a fickle Gemini.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Remind me of this when I am screaming his name between expletives in the delivery suite

My best kiss ever was our first kiss. I’m sure there were other best kisses before that warm April night in Paris, but they are now eclipsed, stricken from memory by our first kiss.

He was a scrawny good-natured Frenchman without pretension who made me feel awkward and comfortable at the same time. A boy whom I never considered as a romantic companion until that fateful night at Place Monge when he walked me to the Metro station and knocked the wind out of me with a kiss that was confident and passionate and utterly unexpected.

And nearly 7 years on from that first kiss, I could travel the world and back again and not find a man that makes my heart warm as much. I could not find a man who loves me so selflessly. I could not find a man who will make a better Father to my child.

My best kiss ever was our first kiss. Only to be surpassed by our last.

Friday, 3 July 2009

You can Rudo me any time

After seeing a friend for lunch in the city, I decided to meander (see: waddle red faced through lunch time crowds) over to the cinema to see if I could find a film to watch to get out of the heat for a few hours. I’m not minding the heat too much – I spent long enough complaining about the two wet, cold, grey non-existent summers we just went through in England to know not to complain when I finally get what I ask for. Plus, it’s never as hot as say Chicago or the south of France (though I am missing having a giant lake or sea to jump into – don’t think I’d take my chances swimming in the river Trent).

I settled on the Mexican film Rudo y Cursi - it was between that and My Sister’s Keeper, and while I have no problem going to the movies by myself, I do have a problem with being a pregnant woman sobbing uncontrollably in a darkened room full of strangers.

Only me and another man had the idea to beat the heat by watching two of Mexican’s finest male specimens duke it out on the football pitch in the cool, dark of the movie house. So I got to sit with my feet up, slurping on my giant sprite and ogling Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal. Y tu Mama Tambien, the movie that launched Diego and Gael’s international career (yes, we’re on a first name basis) is one of my favorites. While Diego was too baby faced for my tastes, I instantly fell for the shocking eyes and lop sided smile of Senor Bernal. I was very excited to see him again on the big screen. And so it was much to my surprise that I found myself lusting over the no-longer baby-faced Diego Luna more than Gael in Rudo Y Cursi. Now I don’t know if it is just down to the fact that our little Diego has grown-up a bit or perhaps it is my pregnancy hormones affecting my attraction (I’ve also had lustful thoughts towards Russell Brand and Samuel L. Jackson recently which is a divergence from the norm) but I think it probably has a lot to do with the ‘70’s ‘stache that Diego sports in this movie. For those of you that know my Frenchman, it will come as no surprise that I have a penchant for facial hair (he is rarely sans beard as per my preference). And lately I’ve found that I’m a big fan of moustaches.

I’ve tried to convince the Frenchman to sport one, but he usually only lasts a day or two until someone makes a 1974 porn film reference and he succumbs to the razor.

A rare picture of him with the moustache. Until I convince him to keep it, there’s always las pelliculas.

NB: The Frenchman is not going to be happy that I am posting this pic, but it serves him right for not reading my blog!