Thursday, August 31, 2006

Eleanor is now nearly two weeks old. Matthew seems fine with the new baby, no signs of jealousy at all. The thing about Mattie is that his whole world revolves around having fun and playing with toys. He's never been particularly clingy, he'd much rather been on the floor playing with something than having a cuddle. Eleanor is just another interesting thing in his interesting world, something else to gawk at and play with. He's quite sweet actually, he always wants to hold her hand or give her a kiss. He doesn't mind in the slightest that she's in the arms of his mum so much because he's too busy.

Which is not to say he hasn't been naughty, he's always pushing the boundaries these days, just no more than usual. Yesterday morning we had a horrendous start to the day. Tina had been up much of the night feeding Eleanor and then Mattie woke up at 5.30. Must have been a bad dream or something because he was beside himself and wanted to come into our bed. Now this is one of Tina's absolute no-no's and she's right that there's no way we'd all settle and sleep - in the past Mattie will just start bouncing around. So we tried and tried to comfort him and get him to go back to his own bed. Eventually resorted to shutting him in but his screams and sobbing wore us down and I ended up getting up with him at 7.30.

Today he was better, stayed in bed until I went in at 7.30 but we still had three time-outs before I took him to nursery. Once when he threw his cup on the floor at breakfast. (He's always throwing food on the floor at the moment. Not in a bad tempered way, in fact he looks angelic and smiling after he's done it. But he knows it winds us up. I think he's experimenting :) Once when he refused to open his mouth to have his teeth brushed. (Again he has such a knowing look, it's all deliberate). And once when he threw a cassette box with the baby around. This latter preceded by him saying "don't throw!".

So anyway Mattie is certainly still getting plenty of attention. You do worry having two that you will no longer be able to devote so much time to either one and it's certainly true that our world doesn't revolve around Eleanor in quite the same way it did when Mattie first arrived. Partly because you're more relaxed second time around and partly because Mattie is like a whirlwind and just demands his slice of the pie. (It will be interesting to see how relaxed he is when Ellie is old enough to start playing with his toys!) That's the first time I've called her Ellie. Tina calls her Flossy for some reason.

Anyway, she's just started crying and Tina's having a sleep, so here are some pics from a few days ago:

Thursday, August 24, 2006

In light of my previous posting, I'm tempted to limit this post to just the facts: Eleanor Annie Griffiths was born on Saturday 19 August 2006 at 10.35pm weighing 8lb and 1oz. But facts are dull, lets get to the juicy bits!

At 9.45pm we were still at home recording the time between contractions. I still have the piece of paper here:
  • 9.35 - 45 secs
  • 9.38 - 45 secs
  • 9.41 - 45 secs
  • 9.43 - 50 secs
  • 9.45 - 40 secs
at this point Trish and I finally persuaded Tina to phone the hospital. She hadn't wanted to bother them yet because she didn't think the contractions were long enough. We'd only asked her friend Trish to come round half an hour earlier just on the off chance that things really did kick off overnight. Anyway whilst she was on the phone to them she had an almighty contraction that made her gasp "I think I want to come in now please!". I was still pretty relaxed at this point - it took hours for Mattie to arrive - and I thought Trish was panicking slightly when she insisted "you need to go straight there" (maybe she thought I was going to stop for a beer on the way?). But Trish was right to be concerned!

We got to the hospital at 10.10pm and as we entered the labour ward Tina's waters broke. Some poor bloke who was holding the door open got splattered as Tina shouted "I WANT TO PUSH!" . I left her propped against the door with the bloke still there holding the door and dashed in looking for someone to come help. They grabbed a wheelchair and wheeled her into the delivery room with Tina moaning "my shoe, I've lost my shoe...".

The delivery itself was so different from Mattie's. This time there was just one (very calm, very capable) midwife armed with nothing more than a stethoscope. When she said at twenty past that the baby would be here in a few more pushes I remember thinking "yeah, right". Matthew took hours and hours to arrive, but true to her word at 10.35 there was Eleanor slithering out and the midwife - Rolf Harris style - asking "can you tell what it is yet?".

Once again Tina had no pain killers, just her Tens machine set on the minimum setting. She's a toughie, my wife.

By about 10.45 Eleanor had been cleaned up, deposited in my lap and the midwife had disappeared! We just sat there dazed, the three of us. Tina was still in some pain and utterly exhausted and I was just apprehensive because the baby was gurning like mad and making strange noises and I didn't know if it was normal and just wanted someone to come and take over. With Mattie we had half the maternity ward there with various midwives and Doctor Hurd ("assisting, not intervening") and a trainee and various machines that go bleep. When the midwife had finished stitching up Tina and finally took the baby off my lap we discovered that she'd given me a special gift to help with the bonding process - a nice layer of sticky black treacly poo all over my jeans!

Eleanor is beautiful though, with a full head of black hair (Mattie was bald). 55 cm long which the midwife said was "average", but she seems quite long and Tina is sure that she fills more of some of the baby clothes than Matthew did.

By 1am we were on the ward and the baby was asleep. Tina just looked lovely then, finally relaxed and smiling and in soft focus. I kissed her good night, went home and had a beer!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Yikes, first ever public blog post and I've got writer's block! Big blank screen to fill, but with what and why and most of all for whom? Aren't there enough idiots whittering away in cyberspace already without me adding to the noise? Part of me thinks I'd quite like to have some kind of record of my thoughts, it might be of some kind of vague interest to my kids. When my father died he left no trace other than our fading memories. We've recently been researching our family tree and interesting though it is, you're still left with the thought "I know nothing whatsoever about these people other than when they were born, married, had kids and died".

But another part of me thinks maybe that's how it should be. If we keep recording stuff about the past then sooner or later we're going to need a new planet just to store all the data!