Day 5…

Also known as
– “Oh, did they re-float the Pasha Bulka
– “is it Thursday today?”
– “What do you mean you’re doing a double shift”

Day 2, 4 July: My little jaundice boy…

Day 4, 5 July: First bath for new boys…

and for first time big brothers.

There are two quite different posts I could write today.

The first is in the vein of a “things I never want to forget about this time” post with all things about snuffly, snuggly babies, protective, gentle big brothers and that unsaid strengthening of the bond between you and your partner when you look at this new life you have made.

The other is more typical of my “holy bat crap this is hard” posting penchant in which I discuss
– how Chef went back to work on a double shift today (so it’s just me at the coal face from 10am-11pm),
– how Mum went to lunch w/ friends (at Chef’s) today
– how Chef’s parents have gone away for the weekend
– how I had in my head Chef was only doing dinner so had organised a visit to the GP for Grover for his (standard) heart check-up.
– how just as I was bracing myself to leave the house with four children on my own for the first time (who do I put in first – Jasper or Grover?, how do I get the out at the other end? Do I put Jasper or Grover in the stroller? Would the boys be able to help me w/ Jasper at crossing roads etc if he’s not in the stroller? Maybe I should put the baby in the Baby Bjorn and Jasper in the stroller? What am I going to wear? What fits? Oscar doesn’t have shoes on, oh well, his Ugh boots will do. Fuck, now Jasper’s asleep, so I’m going to wake him. Right, so he’ll have to go in the stroller so I’ll need to Baby Bjorn… who’s that coughing?) Jasper did an almighty vomit in his cot.
– how it actually takes some form of cognitive function to decide what to do when you’re half changing a child covered in spew and running a bath for them and the newborn on the lounge starts to cry.
– how a seven year old child is THE BEST when it comes to negotiating the management of two babies.
– how I’m actually doing OK considering every.single.member (except the baby, which is worrying me because this kind of respiratory illness in a newborn is not good. I’ve been there before w/ Felix) of this family is sick. Oscar and Jasper are the worst affected, Oscar is still pretty out of it, Chef sounds like he’s coughing up a lung but has done nothing to make himself better so its just shitting me w/ him, Felix has been coughing the longest and I feel incredibly negligent in how I’ve just left him to weather it and I developed it on Sunday but am doing so many salt water throat gargles it seems to have plateaued.
– how we had ‘The Unsettled Night’ on Wednesday night but hey! I’m here, I got through it! On only about 2 hours of total sleep scattered across the whole night! I can now realise it’s just one night out of many and so on and so forth. Last night was heading in the same direction but was not as sleep-depriving and I haven’t got cranky, cried or yelled at anyone! (written at around 2pm)
– how tonight I was doing so well, dinner was prepared when Grover was sleeping and boys were playing, kitchen was cleaned, dining table cleared, living area vacuumed. And then Jasper, who is basically (barely) tolerating Grover’s presence, threw Clarabel** at Grover’s head. After kinda thumping him with Hippo. After a few pokes prods thwacks. Which was enough, so I sauntered ran flew across the room, boomed a “no, not acceptable, nice hands, move away, insert other core phrases on high rotation with toddler”, swept grabbed him in my arms, took him to his room, put him in his cot and turned off the light. He didn’t even cry he was so shocked bewildered pissed. I felt so awful, knowing I was handling it all wrong, assuring myself I was establishing all manner of sibling issues and so on, that eventually I went into Jasper, scooped him up and just sat on the bed with him and sobbed. God it felt good. It felt even better when I felt his little hand patting my back as I was patting his. Anyway, I made myself fell better by having a little conversation with him about being gentle with Baby Grover and only cuddles and kisses for the baby. Jasper made himself feel better by holding my face and saying oh so calmly, “No”. Hmmm, what an interesting ride this is going to be.

Now to the soft and snuggly post.
On Thursday, as Chef and I just focused on getting through the day after virtually no sleep, we looked outside to see the three bigger boys playing together outside. Jasper was sitting on the edge of the trampoline garbling away to the other two, who were building tunnels and lands in the sandpit. “Look at that dynamic,” I said. “Yeah, brothers,” said Chef.

Oscar finally asked for a cuddle w/ Grover yesterday.
This means he is recovering from the trauma of seeing Grover on Monday morning when Mum brought him into the room literally less than a minute after he’d been born, despite specific requests not to do so until all the blood, guts and grease on the rod so to speak had been cleared away. The result? Oscar having diarrhea, vomiting and just ‘checking out’* of the whole process.

You know that newborn snuffle? and the little sighs they give? the cross-eyed drunken contentedness? How they just ‘fit’ in that crook of your neck? Yeah…

Grover grunts when he poos, just like Felix used to as a newborn. He also does farts that make your eyes bleed.

The sleep I sleep at the moment is a bizarre blend of intensity that actually makes me wake from sleeping. Seriously. I fall so deeply asleep so quickly I make myself wake up because something internally says “this can’t be good”.

That’s not very snuggly is it? But there you have it.

In other news, the early discharge midwife program has been fantastic. A midwife has visited me at home these past three days and they have been wondrously lovely. Today, I discovered that Grover has inherited my gene for a remarkable ability to gain weight in record time. While not quite back at birthweight, he’s gained something like 250g in the two days. That’s my boy.

In a desperate bid to restore some semblance of health in this household…
the first lemons – ever – off our tree, planted s.e.v.e.n. years ago.

Warmed lemon and honey to ease sore throats
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup of boiling water, slightly cooled
1 tsp of honey or more to taste

– mix together and sip to soothe sore throats and ease harsh coughs.

And because the weight loss program to end all weight loss programs begins next week.

Chocolate sauce
300g chocolate
300ml pouring cream
3 tblsp butter
a dash of brandy

– combine everything in a double boiler
– stir as it all melts into chocolaty goodness
– let it cool slightly
– pour over vanilla ice cream***

and just because

* there is not a doubt in my mind that part of Oscar’s malaise has been related purely to shock in terms of his complete inability to handle hospitals/blood etc as well as the respiratory virus.
** As in Thomas’ carriage.
*** Or, if your mother comes back from shopping with a punnet of glorious raspberries and tells you to eat them all before the boys get back, do so, but dip them into this uncious divineness first.

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  • Alison

    Is it ok to laugh at this, because this was a brilliant post. I think I snortled at Clarabelle.

    Congratulations on the birth of your little one, and a fantastic birth story as well 🙂

  • Emma

    You are fucking awesome. Seriously, you are my new hero, they should build a statue or something. You’re doing it! Just keep that in mind. You are what “I am Woman, Hear me Roar” is all about (must be hard to roar with a sore throat). And when Clarabelle gets thrown and it all goes to hell, well, you’re making us piss ourselves, so there’s some good in that too. Keep going, this is great from the sidelines. Really, you’re clearly doing a great freaking job.

  • Emma

    Oh forgot to say CONGRATULATIONS – I want to eat Grover. He is TOO DAMN GORGEOUS for his own good.

  • Major Bedhead

    I cannot believe you posted all that, what? Five days after giving birth? AND you’re cooking? I am in awe.

    Also, that last picture is making my ovaries ache with its cuteness.

  • Badger

    Dude. You have done more in the first five days after Grover’s birth than I even ATTEMPTED in the entire MONTH after the girl child was born. You are Wonder Woman.

  • Elizabeth

    You are going to publish all this in a book one day right??? You are a legend my dear in so many ways. How you manage to be so goddamn entertaining and erudite amongst the chaos astounds me.


  • BreadBox

    Lovely heartrending post: good luck nursing all four sick kids (I’m including chef here) back to health!

    You know, you really do have a beautiful little boy, even if he has a touch of jaundice!

    A neat tip for making the chocolate sauce: bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan — you don’t need a double boiler. Now turn off the heat, stir in the brandy, throw in the chopped up chocolate, let it sit for a few seconds, throw in the butter, and whisk it all together. The cream will not be hot enough to scorch the chocolate, and it comes together as a really nice ganache: and it is much easier than the double boiler method. And only one pan to wash after!

  • meggie

    My Gosh! Grover is one absolutely gorgeous baby! Lucky lucky you!
    Love that pic of Oscar with his little brother.

  • h&b

    I don’t know .. I love the look of jaundice. Liek a baby that’s been lying on a each in Tahiti or something .. 😉

    As for the rest, I think you’re doing remarkedly well. I hate being told “no”, that’s all I hear ATM .. like his father – deny first, then stick with original plan, despite all evidence against you … grrr…

    Gorgy boys. *mwah*
    ( and your mother with the gooey bubby ? Now my mum’s back in town, if I have another, i’ll simply have to insult her and ask her to stay away )

    Because my favourite family is the one I chose. There’s 3 of us. And a cat.

  • Surfing Free

    You are coping much better than I would! And we are having issues with Miss N and the baby …. gentle, gentle, don’t touch her face, don’t poke her eyes, don’t pull her arms back like that, etc are echoing around our house much more than they should. It’s all about too much love and a toddler’s inability to not go full on into every situation.

    I hope everyone over there gets better soon.

  • Stomper Girl

    Gosh, Grover is absolutely beautiful. And I take my hat off to Jasper – he is obviously going to get through life extremely well due to his large lashings of charm. And it also fantastic to hear about the help and love you get from Felix and Oscar.

    I hope Chef doesn’t do any more doubles for at least a month though. The logistics of 4 kids sound a bit scary.

  • Em

    I’ve been thinking of you… and wow, I’m so impressed to read how well you are doing. Grover sounds like a darling. xxx

  • BabelBabe

    Kim, honey, you surely remember that you can’t hold the baby by his neck while you bathe him in the toilet, don’t you?

    Seriously, you are amazing, and I can’t believe how together you are.

  • Kim

    Breadbox – I like your style and will definitely try it this way next time.

    Stomper – unfortunately it is part of our reality that Chef works 5 nights a week and does 2 double shifts a week. Yeah.

    BB – HILARIOUS – it does look like a toilet doesn’t it! And I do look like I’m strangling him!

  • Major Bedhead

    Hey, Kim. I can’t find your email address on here, so I’m commenting to tell you I’ve given you a Rockin’ Girl Blogger award. Swing by my blog and pick up the button if you want to display it over here.

  • Anthia

    Grover is absolutely divine, a beautiful baby and you are just amazing Kim, what a great birth story and you’re managing so well.

    We just got back from a week away and first thing I’ve done is log on to find out if no. 4 has arrived – so a huge congratulations. Can’t wait to meet the little guy xxx