My little guy is now two weeks old. And I must say - I am quite enamoured with him. He is surprisingly tiny - his toes are particularly remarkable. He is perfectly formed - just miniature. He smells of safe and warm and his eyes are like two giant pools of chocolate sauce. I am probably slightly biased - but I would say that, as far as babies go, he is unusually attractive. His father and I are particularly confused about how handsome he is - especially as we were horrendously unattractive children (I had a lazy eye and an under bite).
The three of us have been living together in a sort of time warp where the days and nights have blended into one block, fourteen days separated only by small flashes of memory or documented appointments.
The time spent at hospital I am unable to section into days. I remember faces of various medical professionals, I remember a couple of the meals (surprisingly tasty) and I remember walking around the corridors looking like an extra from 'Dawn of the Dead' dragging my ginormous swollen legs behind me in a blood stained nightie, pale faced, with black suitcases under my eyes, all the time attached to a bag of my own urine.
When we got home I didn't sleep for a substantial amount of time. I hadn't really slept at the hospital either. I felt a bit like someone who had won Big Brother. I expect everyone tells them that they should get some rest - but all they want to do is go to the after party and do 1000 interviews and watch their old episodes and stay in that ecstasy, in that big bubble for as long as they can.
Some time later my bubble burst. I came flying down from the vertigo causing high I was on with an almighty Thwack! I spent a good two days hysterically sobbing. Like a come down from the baby drug. Everyone suggested I get some sleep. I refused. I sat up in the small nursery we had designed night after night eating sweets and drinking milkshake struggling with breastfeeding. My partner and I soon realised that our little nursery was completely impractical - this realisation came soon after the Maternity Support Officer said "But, where will you sleep?"
"Sleep? I won't sleep! I don't need sleep. No sleep for me. No sleep needed. No sleep!" I answered. I imagine now I must have looked utterly frightful.
She joined the queue of people suggesting I get some sleep. And an hour after her visit I surrendered, I stopped maniacally watching my baby's every breath and simply passed out.
If you have read one of my favourite books 'A Little Princess' by Frances Hodgson Burnett you may know of the moment when the girl, who has been locked in the attic of the children's school and treated as a slave (starved, abused and overworked) by the headmistress awakes to find that the kind Indian man from next door has adorned her with food and luxuries. Much in the same way I awoke a few hours later to find that my partner had transported the entire nursery from the tiny impractical spare room to the huge master bedroom of the house - which now contains a comfy double bed, the baby's moses basket, my nursing chair and TV. Along one wall are three tables pulled together arranged in a nappy changing and dressing factory conveyor belt. And finally in the corner of the room is a small kettle, a mini fridge and water filter jug with an array of tea, biscuits and snacks. It might have been a week after my son was born - but thanks to my own kind saviour - we were finally prepared.
In the time warp, in between a jump to the left, and then a step to the right - was Mother's day. My first ever Mother's day. I received a card addressed to 'Boob Lady' - as I suppose that is what I am at this stage in his Salad days.
Never have I felt such a pick a mix of emotions in such a short amount of time than over these two weeks. I have gone from terror to euphoria to devastation to terror again - fear that I am not up to scratch - and slowly but surely back up and over to an even ledge of 'happiness'. I feel ... content. As the days have gone on more confidence is trickling into me and my capabilities in looking after my little man. Our relationship has blossomed - like my bosom - and I am truthfully loving my new role. I sit at night, in my perfect environment, with my guy and I really have no complaints. Even if he wakes up several times in the night - it can hardly be seen as a hardship. If you do hear me whinge, you have permission to slap me rightfully across my face.
Mammaries ... Like the corners of my mind. Misty water coloured Mammaries - of the way we were... Scattered Nipples ... like the smiles we left behind...
My life is still mostly about breast feeding and some days are better than others. I am still surprised, daily, by how difficult the process is - but I am proud of myself for persevering and a large tub of formula remains on my factory conveyor belt unopened - and a breast pump sits in the corner, the instructions unread.
My partner and I have our first social outing at the end of the month and we are beyond excited. As far as the breastfeeding goes - I am going to follow Madonna's advice and 'Express myself'. I intend on having, for the first time in ten months, an exceedingly generous cocktail. The idea of this is, I am ashamed to say, almost as exciting as the idea of winning the lottery. I am a little concerned the mere whiff of it will put me in a coma - but that's a chance I am willing to take. I am getting excited about doing my hair, putting on a little (ish) black dress and making an effort with myself - It is time for Stella to get her groove back!
But that is days away - and days mean nothing in this house - days are merely marked, as they are at the zoo, by feeding times. And manure! So, for now, it's time to get back to my little guy. Nothing you can say, can take me away, from my guy. (My guy).
Mammary... all alone in the moonlight, I can smile at the old days, I was beautiful then, I remember the time I knew what happiness was, Let the mammary - live again...