Saturday 23 February 2013

Baby Brain

Based on diary extract 23.2.11

'Baby Brain': a phrase that is banded about the place that implies all parents are stupid - or it seems that way before you become one. Either that or just an excuse to be forgetful and make the world believe it's not your fault, like people are supposed to believe that when you begot another human being a chemical reaction happened in your brain and that, in turn, made your brain cells deteriorate at a rapid rate. Load of rubbish.
Today started pretty well to be honest, I seemed on top of things - even so organised as to sterilise my breast pump in time for the next feed (I've decided expressing and bottle feeding my own milk is actually easier and quicker than feeding him myself because he is such a nightmare to feed). I didn't, however, do the sensible thing of using an actual steriliser. No. Instead, I thought it would be quicker to just boil a pan of hot water whilst I was milling around the kitchen, under strict supervision. Of course you will know if you are a parent, that if you plan to do anything at all your baby instinctively knows to interrupt and Albie started screaming for a feed right on queue. Thirty minutes into the feed and I smelt the distinct smell of burnt plastic. I shot up and ran into the kitchen to find the whole pan in flames and the whole kitchen in smoke. I rushed back into the lounge to put Albie in his chair whilst I tackled the fire with a wet tea towel. Why I went towards the smell of burning with a baby in my hands I'll never know; Why the smoke alarms didn't go off either is another mystery.
You will probably be thinking 'what an idiot', as though I am not a rational human being and I have no sense of safety or logic. You and me both. My neighbour even checked everything was alright due to the fumes escaping into her house and then a friend popped round to find all the windows open and me nearly in tears over the fact I nearly burnt down my house, nearly killed my child and destroyed a £100 breast pump.
And there you have it: baby brain. I have no excuse, other than I'd like to see you try to function in a new job after 4 hours sleep, thinking for two people 24/7 when your whole life has been thinking for yourself. People will tell you baby brain doesn't exist. It doesn't. Being pushed to human limits, however, will do a whole manner of things to your brain. I hope it's reversible.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Wanted: Wet nurse

Based on diary extract 22.2.11

A great part of being at home with a baby is the opportunity for meeting up with friends - and although I've not been brave enough for a trip to Costa yet, I have consumed bucket loads of tea and cake with friends in the comfort of my own home (complete with background accompaniment of screaming baby). I can't imagine taking him anywhere where I'd have to think about feeding him in public or risk him screaming for apparently no reason whatsoever.
There are some friends, however, who can be more of a hindrance than a help - either because they bombard you with advice or because they come at lunch and want feeding (when the only food I have in my cupboard is a bag of haribo and an over-ripe banana). There are also the other type of friends who are well-wishers but leave me feeling totally perplexed.
One such friend came round today to meet Albie. We discussed matters of breastfeeding, mainly due to the fact that I couldn't make her a cup of tea because Albie was stuck to me like a leech the whole time. In fact I'm beginning to feel like he has become more a part of me than I ever imagined; the preconception of that is that he is so intrinsically part of my life that I can't imagine life without him and the reality is feeling like I have actually developed some sort of benign growth on my chest. My friend decided to tell me how beautiful she found breastfeeding, how she loved to wake in the night and feed, and how she could quite easily become a wet nurse. I offered her a job on the spot but she didn't seem to take me up on it. If anyone tells you they enjoy waking several times a night to feed a baby, they're either a very special sort of person (and I do believe they exist!) or they're talking complete and utter bollocks. It's basically like seeing this job advert in a paper and ripping it out in sheer excitement at the prospect of it: