The past 10 weeks have been intense, full-on, crying-inducing hard and crying-inducing amazing. Being a second child and born in the depth of the winter has meant that Baby Roo has had to deal with a fair few bugs and colds, but I am hoping that Spring will come soon and with it a whole new lease of life made of long, warm and sunny days. I'm also hoping for my brain to start shedding the baby daze* and for my body to start shedding the baby weight.
*Baby Daze: permanent state of tiredness often associated with emotional high and lows. Typical sign of person afflicted by baby daze is the fact that said person goes to sleep exhausted, feeling as if she has done a million and one things that day, especially a lot of heavy lifting and rocking as her back is in agony. Despite this extreme tired mental and physical state, said person's home is a mess, there is no food to eat and often no essentials in the house whatsoever. Emails remain unanswered and to-do lists are now the length of the Earth circumference. Times 24.
Week 1 to 5: Deep in the Daze
Week 1: Mr H and Miss G were at home on paternity leave and school holidays respectively and Baby Roo had no choice but to quietly slot in into family life, meals out and 4 year old birthday parties included. None of these daily activities phased him in the slightest as he was born adamant that the day was for sleeping and the night for being half awake and squirming on his parents' chest. Oh joy!
Week 2: With Mr H and Miss G back at work and school respectively, Baby Roo found a new unsuspecting victim to his 'do-not-dare-to-put-me-down' antics. The Mothership arrived from Italy bringing inevitable stress and much needed help since I had a terrible gastric flu that saw me totally wiped out of action for day 10 and 11 of Baby Roo's life.
Week 3: The original plan was for the Mothership to stay in London for a week to help me with Miss G's school run, but we had to ask her to stay longer as the germs invaded us again, this time in the form of Miss G's tonsillitis. I will never forget one night when Mr H stayed with Miss G who kept vomiting everywhere, whilst I was up all night with Baby Roo who had pretty much an exploding poo every hour. Oh, how we regretted having kids at 4:30am when Mr H and I met in the laundry room whilst trying to start yet another wash!
Week 4: The real test. The school run with a baby who had no feeding schedule and a 4 years old who was still adjusting to having a brother and who wanted to stay at home with him rather than go to school. There has been screams. Mostly mine, some Miss G's, hardly any by Baby Roo. Thank God he is as chilled as a baby can be.
Week 5: My brother and his wife visit from Italy. Both Baby Roo and Miss G were real show offs behaving impeccably for their visitors. Baby Roo also finally started to understand that nights are for sleeping and not for pooing. All the tourist activities during the day plus the sleep deprivation at night made me very close to collapse out of exhaustion, but I endured it all dreaming of Half Term and a slow down in pace of our weekly schedule.
Week 6 to 10: Lifting myself out of the Daze
Week 6: Calling for divorce! Baby Roo remained remarkably good natured and mostly happy, but with a strong Koala-bear attitude to life. He would scream and protest the very moment he was not living and sleeping on me or Mr H, so when Mr H sprang 4 nights out for work I very nearly called a solicitor asking for divorce! Putting an overtired 4 year old to bed plus keeping an exhausted baby up past his bedtime so that his sister could have a bedtime story was hellish. Times 4!
Week 7: Mr H used the week of Half Term as his second week of paternity leave and we spent it as a family of four, with Miss G totally and utterly relishing our time together. Baby Roo kept his trademark of being a very relaxed baby and made no fuss of our trip to the theatre to watch Charlie and Lola, nor he minded going for lunch at Miss G's favourite sushi restaurant. He endured countless hours of his sister squeezing and holding him and totally loved it! When he started to say "Ggggoo" she convinced herself that he was trying to learn her name and she couldn't be more impressed with him if he tried.
Week 8: The germs came back! Baby Roo caught his first cold and he was very frustrated with it. He couldn't feed properly for a week and he was up hourly at night trying to eat. I got exhausted of it all pretty quickly and ended up with a very high fever for three days and night, plus a horrid cold and cough. I didn't remember feeling that hot and shivery since being a child and the daily limit of 8 paracetamols that a breastfeeding mother can take did not even scratch the surface. Miss G caught the high fever from me and was home from school for a whole 3 days which were utter hell as I wasn't well whilst she would be bouncing on the wall after each dose of medication.
Week 9: Everyone is back to health, but our nanny is going away for a couple of months and it downs on me that life is about to get a lot harder without nanny M who has been helping me with the kids a couple of afternoons a week. Rather than dwell in my misery I have decided to join a new gym so that I can get back to swimming whilst Miss G is in school and Baby Roo is at the gym creche. Fingers crossed this plan will work as I need at least one or two hours a day when I don't have a baby or/and a child with me. And with this very realisation I think that I am finally out of the baby daze and committed to find a space to be just me, not pregnant me nor mother-of-a-newborn me. Just me, undefined by my kids. Wish me luck.