23 June 2009

So Tired

I am so tired that almost every bit of me aches and I’ve gone past the point of wanting to catch up on my sleep. Tom is thriving even if he appears to have developed colic, he has taken to crying inconsolably for a few hours each day Sunday it was in the afternoon early evening, Monday he was besides himself with tiredness during the morning and cried for a couple of hours and he cried like billio for a while in the evening and today it was the afternoon for about three hours and a bit in the early evening too.

Problem with him crying like that during working hours is that I’m the only one here and I can’t carry him for too long to comfort him because of the c section and it’s distressing for the both of us.

Before that while Simon was still on paternity leave he spent a few days where he would cry miserably for a few hours because he wanted constant feeding which was very hard on me until I bought a book on breastfeeding in self defence Tom Tips for Breast-Feeding by Claire Byam-Cook which didn’t stop Tom from being a bottomless pit of hunger for those hours but the advice in the book did make it a lot easier to deal with while it lasted. I know it was only a few days but at the time and really still now it felt like it was going on for ever.

However I must be doing something right with the feeding as Tom was back to his birth weight by day 13 we also measured him and he was 59 cms long by the reckoning of the health visitor which threw her mighterly as that would put him above the 100th percentile for his age. She was so thrown that she refused to believe her measurement and left the measuring mat behind so that we could measure him during the week at our leisure. I did manage to do it again a couple of days ago and got a measurement of 57 cms and I wasn’t able to get his legs completely straight either so I don’t think that she was that far out. However 57 cms isn’t so bad as it puts him on the 91st percentile which is line with his birth weight. It looks like he’ll be towering over us at some point in the mid 2020s then I can get a cat so that I have something I can look down on.

12 June 2009

Is six hours enough to Compo-cook an egg?

One of my favourite flickrers is Aroid (Jim). He is an excellent photographer of plants and bugs, but at least half the photos are culled from his family's collected photograph albums. I stumbled across him by accident on flickr one day and was fascinated by his family photos from, especially, the 50s and 60s. What I found so interesting was the comparative difference in wealth between the USA and the UK that is shown up by the photos, for instance the number of mod cons available, that would not become common place here until the 70s and 80s.

Occasionally he experiments with compost heaps and eggs.

09 June 2009

Living In The Moment

Tom has been with us only since Friday lunchtime, but it feels like he's been here forever, pre Tom time seems hazy and very far away. Thinking about it there is a good chance that tiredness has a very large part to play in this, I find that when I am shattered time flows very slowly but I think he's exerting his own special effect on the space time continuum although he weighs less than 10lbs and is less than 2 foot tall he's bending time around him.

Not all of this is a good thing, breastfeeding hasn't yet become the easy, joyful thing that it can be, so when the feed isn't easy it can feel like I've been attacked by a thousand minuscule sharp needles for ever, but then it is possible to swallow up hours just staring at him.

The forces of BST will reassert themselves tomorrow as we have to register his birth and we have to have an appointment to do so. We might also risk a quick trip to the supermarket as well, life does not get much more cosmopolitan than this at the moment.


06 June 2009


Thomas was born yesterday at 12:25 by an emergency c section. He is utterly fantastic 9lbs 4oz or 4.120 kg for those working in new money roughly 48 cm long. We are both still in hospital I'm not likely to be released until Monday Tuesday.

04 June 2009

Action Stations

I was woken up by painful contractions a wee bit before 3, surprisingly enough it took me a wee while to work out that the contractions were fairly regular and worthy of timing. I was a bit discombobulated I suppose. Half an hour of timing later and I was on the phone to the delivery suite as I've hit the magic 5 minutes apart.

As you can probably guess if you are up at this unflyingspaghettimonster hour that I'm not in hospital. I'm to tough it out at home, with the help of a couple paracetamol and hot water bottle/warm bath until either it becomes unbearable, the baby arrives cos I'm that hard and miscalculate how long I've got before the baby arrives, or it's time to go in anyways because the plan was to induce me if I hadn't started labour.

Early morning TV is just as rubbish as when I was a student, the only difference is that there are now more channels showing rubbish and Hitman and Her is no longer running. Thank goodness for laptops and the internets, that's all I can say as I can't get back to sleep.

03 June 2009

Stand At Ease

The contractions have subsided and seem to have gone back to being irregular so I don't think we'll be seeing any baby action in the immediate future.

A few hours later

I've been having regular contractions since about 10 am, they've gone from being about 25 to 30 minutes apart to about 15 to 20 minutes apart and still quite bearable. But rather than be a martyr I've taken a couple of paracetamol which have taken the edge off them. I had my last midwife's appointment today, I was supposed to get my membranes swept it in order to get things going but, obviously there is no real need.

Depending on how long it takes for the contractions to get being 5 minutes apart I will either be going in to hospital at some point tonight (when the magic five minutes has been hit) or sometime tomorrow morning to be checked over and if necessary be given something like syntocinon to speed up the dilation. I'm hoping that nature is speedy enough because being on a drip will reduce the number of options for staying active, however the main thing is that we have a baby at the minimum of risk to the both of us so if that means a drip and stuck on a bed then so be it.

Right now I'm a bit bored, we had a mad couple of hours this morning, changing bedding, cleaning things, doing more clothes washing to empty out the basket and the like, all that is left to do now is wait until things get a bit more painful.

The Inevitable Happens

V quick post as it's 1:33 am and I'm a bit knackered.

My waters broke sometime today but as it wasn't even a proper trickle I was very good at rationalising it away until about 11:30 pm yesterday. I ran up the Delivery Suite they said come in so we did.

I was checked over, an internal examination was done to confirm the membrane had ruptured and to see if I was at all dilated.

If I am dilated it's not very much at all so I am home again. If labour doesn't get established by Thursday morning I have to go in to be induced, so it is possibly all go. I will definitely have a baby by the weekend. Which is nice.

02 June 2009

Today Is My Bloggiversery

Four years ago today I started blogging. In my first blog I finished up by saying.
...the chance I might meet or at least talk to suitable chaps who read the Guardian, scrub up nice and like real ale.
Who'd have thunk that I would have ended up marrying the person who inspired me to start blogging and I would be imminently expecting our first child?

As for the real ale? well two out of three ain't bad.

01 June 2009

Reality TV Bullshit

Simon Mayo had an apologist (I didn't catch his name) for Britain's Got Talent on his show just now (I started writing this at about 2pm). The apologist was there to defend the programme against cries of the exploitation of children and of Susan Boyle. Now I have watched exactly zero minutes of Britain's Got Talent since the programme started running so I can not comment on whether children were mentally harmed in the making of the series or really say whether that dance troupe should have won or not. No what I did, which I think is like many people in my position did, is accidentally* read articles about what is going on in the broadsheets** or on an online new service.

I hope Susan Boyle bounces back very quickly from the stress that she apparently suffered towards the end of Britain's Got Talent and I hope that she is able to translate her success, for all that she didn't win she did have a great success, into a way of making money that she is comfortable with and can manage.

We all know as some level that the "reality" in these shows is highly manipulated and controlled. Loosing Big Brother contestants routinely complain that the programmes shown were edited either to show them in an unfairly bad light or to make the winner look good. In Susan Boyle's case the only people who did not know that she had a good voice before she started singing were the audience in the studio. Those looks of surprise and amazement that judges had on their faces were well practised and fake as a 3 pound coin. The producers will defend themselves by saying that they've got to create something that is interesting with a narrative thread throughout the series in order to get the viewers interested, and that's fair enough. No one objects apart from the person who feels they've been stitched up but there is a difference between creating a narrative thread and exposing someone to a huge amount of intrusive interest all in the name of publicising your programme.

Susan Boyle was presented to the public as a freak. She had the "Voice of an Angel, Face of a Minger" with a sweet back story of a quiet shy retiring life, a spinster who looked after her old mum and sang in the church choir. Added bonus she has a disability, not one that would be unsightly and put the viewing public off their dinner, but a little bit of learning difficulties caused by oxygen deprivation at birth so ready made sob story. I want to be clear here, I am not accusing Susan Boyle of exploiting her life history or do I think she's a minger come to that, but the producers must have started mentally counting viewing figures when they first heard about her.

Now they could have presented Ms Boyle to the public in many ways but they appeared to choose the method that maximised the public impact and crucially the media's interest too. Once going it was a juggernaut, I'd no interest in the programme but it was impossible to escape, even a cultural pseud like myself didn't stand a chance, the Guardian had features about how the Americans went bonkers for her and in the media/IT sections about how ITV were missing out on millions of revenue because of a dispute with You Tube. Radio 4 did its usual disingenuous thing of "reporting on the media coverage" as a fig leaf for reporting on Susan Boyle and the competition. The bloggisphere and twitterverse appeared to hang on every word. Even I cracked watching the You Tube video.

So when she didn't win and the unfortunate events of yesterday happened it was was not surprising that the parties who created the publicity monster in the first place were busy today distancing themselves from the carnage. I think the statement that made me angry came from the producer's apologist (remember him from the first para?) he said that there was no way that they could have expected the media feeding frenzy that descended on Ms Boyle.

I call this complete and utter bullshit.

We've had roughly ten years of the modern reality TV show with Big Brother being the big daddy of them all. All these programmes have relied on media hype for their publicity and the feeding frenzies that fell upon certain contestants, Jade Goody being the most famous case. It's not as if it's a new phenomenon. They should have had some idea as to what could happen so to claim it was unexpected is, in my book a sign that you're not fit to do your job.

*"accidentally" ranging from - your eye is drawn to the headline like it is to a zit in the middle of a beautiful face to "Oh whoops did I click on the article about Britain's Got Talent? I meant to click on the 10 thousand word essay about the renaissance of Bulgarian opera."

** Broadsheets - papers that pretend to have aspirations serious news reporting. Now mostly found in tabloid or Berliner sizes.