Wednesday, July 20, 2011

16 weeks and an avocado of note

Today Leo turned 16 weeks old and I ate an avocado the size of my head - two achievements I never thought possible in one lifetime.

I write this post whilst Chris is away in Murchison overseeing the construction of the lodge.  I've seen photos from his last trip - it's looking amazing and he's absolutely thrilled at the progress, but it remains hard work with him being up north and Leo and I being down south.  We knew it would be tough, but I'm not sure we anticipated it being so emotionally tough.  Little things that he'd help me with now seem tricky on my own and the ever present malaria remains a niggling thorn in my side. 

For example this evening I struggled getting Leo to sleep and found myself rocking, swaying and whispering to him as he shouted in my arms.  He received legs full of injections earlier today and squealed momentarily before nursing himself into a deep slumber as I held him on the sofa with my legs criss-crossed.  We remained like this for much of the afternoon as I gently stroked his face and drank pint after pint of ribena. 

In anticipation of any post-vaccine fever creeping up on him tonight I gave him a syringe of calpol just before bedtime.  In hindsight I realise I should have given him the medicine and then waited a while before feeding.  As it was I squirted the syringe of strawberry flavoured syrup into his mouth, watched as half of it slid down his chin and then attempted to feed him. 

Moments later he squirmed and writhed and I recognised the possible signs as trapped wind - I patted his tiny back, I walked with him over my shoulder, I tried soothing him, I jiggled him on my knee, I shhhhhhhhed him and as he stiffened his back and straightened his legs I cried.  I cried because I couldn't take his pain away, I couldn't stop his sobs, I physically couldn't reply to my sister's text asking how he was, Chris had tried calling but we couldn't hear one another and I was angry that I'd been the cause of my little boy's hurt. 

Fifteen minutes later as I sat in a sweaty heap with him propped on my knee and rubbing his back I felt something wet fall onto my foot.  Lumpy sick.  The crying stopped, he fed hungrily and then crashed out into the 'stick em up' pose across my arms.  I carefully carried him to our bedroom, lifted the mosquito net and gently placed him, asleep, on our bed.  Leo sharing our bed makes me whole and lessens the fact that Chris is away, because it is hard being here and tacking out a new path, but with every new dawn brings another round of strength and after a piping hot shower the day to day stuff now seems possible again.

Even when it comes to eating a mammoth-sized avocado I'll have you know.


Amelia said...

I can't imagine being alone with G at 16 weeks. As condescending as it may sound, the hormones the hormones!! They turned me into someone else completely, and that's not even taking into account the NEW BEING you're in charge of. I'm sure you're doing wonderful! (Even if it doesn't always feel like it.)

Ggirl said...

Thanks Ameila. I'm fortunate to be surrounded by great friends who can step in when I feel like I'm being swallowed whole by the responsibility of looking after one so tiny...I'm hoping by the time Leo's 15 I'll be much braver ;)