Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Boys

Today was a special day, one that has been a long time coming and one that enveloped my heart with sunshine and warmth. 

My great friend Fi drove down from London to visit Leo and I with her baby son, Ru.  I hugged her hard and touched the cheek of her beautiful angel, he smiled a gummy smile in return.  Our boys reached out for one another as they twisted and turned on the sitting room floor.  Leo grabbed Ru's arm, Ru grabbed a toy.  Ru squealed, Leo grunted.  We are excited about the lives they will lead, the adventures they will have and the absolute mischief they will cause together.

Through the laughter we spoke gently of the loss of our first beloved babies, Ella and Innes.  When the lights went out, when darkness fell and when the sky closed in we understood each other's pain - words were no longer necessary.  We supported one another when the whisper of a new life began to flutter inside our broken bodies and when celebrating such a miracle seemed impossible.   

Chris and I were honoured to introduce Leo to Fi and her husband Rich when he was 6 weeks meet Ru today completed the circle.

Ru, 4.5 months old & Leo who turned 8 months old today

Fi and I with 'our boys'

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Malaria or Ebola....nothing as fancy

Good god, I've had the lurgy for a week.

Last Tuesday night I crashed into bed with a headache that was shoving my right eye out of my skull.  I had a temperature, threw up and gnashed my jaws for 2 hours.  Was it malaria?  Ever so likely.  Eventually I could stand it no more and crawled across the carpeted floor to where my suitcase lay and scratched around for a malaria testing kit.  It was 1am.  It was also Leo's second night of being in a cot - EVER.  Being sick was not on my agenda, especially when attempting the 'cry down' method of getting him to sleep through the night after co-sharing for the past 4 months.  I had hoped that being away from Africa would enable me to get our baby not only to sleep in a cot, but to sleep in cot in a separate room.  In my mind's painful eye this was about to backfire with bells on.

I pricked my thumb, carried out the test and lay on the floor in the semi-darkness using my phone as a torch.  After 10 minutes the negative result showed.  I'm not sure if I was relieved or pissed off.  So the last week has seen us sniff, cough, bark and whinge at being poorly (to be honest most of those adjectives apply to me, Leo's still too young to be able to string one word together).  It's a given that living in the tropics can be horribly tough on your health, especially for babies and the elderly.....OH and for anyone else who happens to be breathing in the air, but ironically returning to British shores during the winter months can be equally as dangerous - there are bugs, viruses, short dark days and everyone's wacky central heating to contend with.

Thankfully we've managed to compensate having Ebola (or it's equivalent) by seeing family (Chris's included), beautiful friends and eating my fill of custard danish pastries. 

And my biggest coup of all?  Leo loves his cot!

*** I've realised that there is nothing worse than parents who talk smugly of their kid/s not only liking a cot but sleeping in one to make sleep deprived parents go slightly c-r-a-z-y.  Over a week ago I'd have wanted to punch me ***

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Forget the sunnies, this is England in November

The last month or so has flown by and I've been lame at typing.  No excuses apart from my mum's visited, the country's power supply is rubbish so during the evening I wear a head torch and read by candle light.  Chris continues to live like Stig of the Dump in Murchison - he remains all hairy and wild having recovered from a bout of malaria - but the lodge development is close to being finished and he's breaking balls to get it done before Christmas.  One of our dogs was about to cark it with sleeping sickness but she made a miraculous recovery, the chatty cat crazes my arse with his squeaking and I'm tempted to drop him from the car 10 miles away....frustratingly we know he'd find his way back.  Leo and I continue to co-share the double bed (which is becoming a problem seeing that he wakes every 3 seconds to use me as a dummy) and he's growing like a heavy weight - now tipping the scales at 10.8kg.  Excitedly on Tuesday night the baby and I boarded a BA flight bound for the UK - my great friend Lesley showered us with air miles and made us an offer we couldn't refuse (we love her to the moon and back).  We're home for a 3 week visit and are ensconced at my parents house in Suffolk.  Stupidly I'd forgotten how cold the UK can be in November and it feels like I'm about to fall over with flu, but with a glass of wine in one hand and a bowl of crisps in the other I seem to be coping brilliantly.

Hmmmmmm, sunglasses are not essential eyeware in England during November.