Friday, June 24, 2011

Three months on and we've a flight to catch

Since Leo's arrival we've been enveloped with enormous love.  We received over 100 cards, cherished emails have filled the inbox, long phone calls continue to be taken and texts have been read and saved. many beautiful outfits can one baby wear?  His wardrobe exploded within minutes of his arrival and his tiny frame now stretches the seams of anything with a 0-3 month old label.  Cuddly toys hang from the end of my bed guarding over the moses basket.  Books are in a pile by our cases.  I received a gift from a cherished friend, a necklace with a sapphire taken from her bracelet.   Friends have driven from near and far to grab a cuddle with the baby that's brought such joy and to drink cups of steaming tea as we laugh and cry at the adventure that's still so new, parenthood. 

With just 3 days left we're squeezing in those final goodbyes and I wish on a big, fat star that we had longer.  For starters the packing of those bloody bags continues to dominate the horizon and if we didn't have a departure date, well it goes without saying my mum would make sure there was one.  Chris has commandeered the role of 'Lead Packer' and is carrying out the process with military precision - he wont let me shove in a top here or a tooth brush there for fear that I'll upset the digital scales.  Leo's clothes and Amazon purchases litter the floor and my tolerance is being tested.  Normally I would pack regardless, but I'm of the understanding that if we're a single hair in weight over our luggage allowance British Airways will charge us the cost of a kidney!  I currently need both of mine.

The past three months are like a hazy dream.  I can barely remember the first fragile weeks of being a mother as long nights dramatically merged with long days.  There was lots of fiddling with nappies, dodgy breast pads, midwife advice (consisting of a knitted boob and a plastic doll called Ken) sick, a simple walk in the country lane with a baby in a sling, big pants over a smiling c-section scar, hormones with horns, hot showers, my sister turning up to tell me it's all ok, laughter and a tsunami of emotion that made me question my ability as a mother let alone wife.  Easter Sunday will be remembered as the hottest one on record and for Leo meeting his aunts and uncles.  Chris knocked on the door of the big 4-0 and charged straight through it celebrating with a barrel of cider and a group of our happy drunken friends. Presents were irrelevant he said, he now had everything he could ever have wished for (bar the pokey monster skull splitting hangover).  Love for his son conquers all.

The second month saw us balance on the deck of our new life and look out to a future that was bright and charged with hope.  I visited my consultant for a post baby check up and she told us things we knew and things we didn't.  My niece asking if Leo was busy 'feeding on my nippers'.  We discussed living abroad with a baby and Leo received vaccines that saw Chris and I reel in horror at the length of needles sticking into tiny thighs.  My cousin's little girl, Evie, tip toed into this world so small and so perfect - Leo looked like he'd eat her.  Friends stayed and we soaked up their brilliant and funny parenting skills - expressing milk for a baby and nothing quite like an 'excitment drink' at the pub to keep a 3 year old happy!  A general 8 week check-up confirmed Leo strong and healthy but his eyes were to be given the once over at the hospital's eye department.  The opthamologist in charge promised his vision is spot on and we exhaled with relief.  My birthday was spent eating fish and chips on the beach in the sunshine.  Presents?  I too now have everything I could have wished for and a necklace from Chris containing a tag with Leo's name on it and a butterfly in memory of Ella.

Right this minute we're kicking the third month into touch with such speed it's frightening.  A baby born, a pregnancy announced and a magical day spent with friends who are expecting their hoped for baby in early July.  At 10 weeks I took Leo to be weighed and watched the numbers click up to 12lbs 4oz - my lusty baby's doing good.  We had a wicked night out with friends and crossed a county and visited my sister and her family as they holidayed in Norfolk.  It was Leo's first beach experience and we built a sandcity, went crab fishing and ate ice cream.  I drank a pint of lager shandy and had to lie down on the back seat of the car!  We've chosen a logo for the lodge, have applied for family travel insurance, opened a bank account for Leo, set up skype, paid a speeding fine and moved from our rented accommodation with a hundred bags to my parents house for one last week.  And today as I look up through the skylight the bright day holds the hands of my cousin who died earlier this month at the tender age of 34.  We're going to miss his funeral by 2 short days, but from Uganda we'll toast his life with a cold beer and the sound of Queen will rock from the speakers.  Phil we love you.

Month four is here and come Sunday those heavy bags will be packed and we'll board the plane back to Africa-ca-ca as one united family.  We can't thank everyone whose been on this journey with us enough, you rock, especially my parents for their unrelenting support and humour ;)  To those I'm leaving behind and to those I'm about to meet up with again, 'see you very soon'.


Amelia said...

One of the best summeries of a baby's first 3 months ever!
"midwife advice (consisting of a knitted boob and a plastic doll called Ken)" Did give me pause though!
Safe travels on your journey.

Ggirl said...

Thanks Amelia and yes, the larger than life plastic baby was certainly an eye opener.....!!