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8 weeks - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
8 weeks
Imogen is 8 weeks old today. I thought I'd be posting a lot more here about what was happening day to day, but it's all been so difficult that I've not really managed to do very much except survive. Those of you who follow me on Twitter will have seen more of the emotional rollercoaster in action (and I've been very grateful for both the personal support from individuals and the general trickle of human interaction that Twitter provides -- I'd have gone mad by now without it). addedentry has been wonderful (the role of Dad definitely suits him), and my mum has been an absolute lifesaver, staying over for days on end and helping us through the endless nights of inconsolable wailing (from not just baby but me as well).

It's amazing just how much Imogen's changed already in those 8 weeks. She's gone from being a very tiny waily animal (when she cried at first she looked just like a spider monkey) who did nothing but cry and feed and sleep and poo and wee, to being a tiny person with facial expressions (including smiles!) and quite a little vocabulary of noises. When she's not wailing and kicking and screaming, she's wonderfully cuddly; there are few things as lovely as letting her fall asleep in my arms. (Admittedly she still doesn't do very much. Everybody says this time is magical and I shouldn't wish it away, but I'm very much looking forward to a time when she can interact a bit more.)

There are loads of things I want to write about -- from specific things like breastfeeding (though Juliette has written an excellent post that says a lot of what I'd want to say) and nappies (honestly, what is all the fuss about?) to the more general issues of guilt, joy, tiredness, panic, confusion, and love -- but I'm too tired to put words into sentences. I'll write more when I'm next awake and have both my hands free. So, see you all some time in 2012...

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Comments
juggzy From: juggzy Date: June 2nd, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd be interested to hear how what you actually feel compares with what you imagined you'd feel, if you ever have the time.
j4 From: j4 Date: June 3rd, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's an interesting angle on it -- thank you. I will try to compose something coherent.

The main thing that occurs to me is that I thought it'd take a conscious effort to love something that's basically a wailing animal, but it's a totally different sort of love & it kind of overwhelmed me.

I also thought I was prepared for all the negative emotions, & that I had coping strategies for depression, & it turns out I wasn't prepared & my coping strategies all require me to be able to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time. :-(

I am pleased to note that despite all the people who said "you'll totally stop being interested in [everything I was interested in before]", I haven't stopped being interested in other things at all -- I just have very little time/energy to do anything about most other interests (so, to try to give people the benefit of the doubt, maybe that's sort of what they meant...).
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: June 3rd, 2011 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)
OK, I've broken down - have joined Twitter. I'm sorry I haven't been able to be more supportive.

Gaze, it's all in the gaze :-)
j4 From: j4 Date: June 3rd, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
You've been incredibly supportive! I'm sorry I haven't been very supportive of you when you've been having problems of your own.

Look forward to seeing you on Twitter (assuming you're the same username there, I've just 'followed' you) and hopefully in real life some time soon as well...? Are you around next Weds?

The gaze is amazing. I still can't quite believe it when she looks at me and smiles. :) :) :)
jinty From: jinty Date: June 3rd, 2011 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
That article of Juliette's is interesting. One thing though: it doesn't have a date on it but the statement that the growth charts are based on formula-fed babies is not true any more, as the current red books have bf charts. This is something that gets repeated a lot, presumably because it was true until fairly recently, but isn't any more, or not here anyway (I think that someone on Mumnet who also had a baby at the same time as A might have had ff charts).

What's the fuss about nappies? I think that when you get to weaning and the poos change from bf type to more adult type then it matter, or if there's not enough poo or wee and you start to get worried. Was it something other than that?
jvvw From: jvvw Date: June 3rd, 2011 12:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Will put a date on, sorry, was written rather hastily and mostly one-handed between nappy changes and feeds! Must be pretty recent as was told that our red book (Nov 2010) had the ff charts. It's so hard getting accurate info about this sort of stuff, which is one of the things I found frustrating about the whole process. I'll update the article too when I get a chance to clarify.
emperor From: emperor Date: June 3rd, 2011 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Good to hear from you! I hope things get easier for you soon.
geekette8 From: geekette8 Date: June 3rd, 2011 07:15 am (UTC) (Link)
*waves* I'm not on Twitter so just thought you'd gone generally silent, which I think is very understandable in these early days. Glad to hear you're surviving, at least.

I know what you mean about "not wishing away these magical days" (ptooey). To be perfectly honest I've liked Matthew more and more as he's got older; every age has been better than the previous, so far. The interaction does very soon move on in leaps and bounds from where you're at now!
jvvw From: jvvw Date: June 3rd, 2011 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
What I find magical about Owen is watching him learn new things - don't really miss those first couple of months, although I loved him to him bits (and still do of course).
rmc28 From: rmc28 Date: June 3rd, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like other people's very small babies very much, and I loved my own too, but he's far more interesting the older he gets. There was a big shift as he learned to talk and there's another one going on at the moment as he starts to express fairly complex ideas.

http://pomes.dreamwidth.org/50547.htm says it quite well for me.
nja From: nja Date: June 3rd, 2011 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hellooo! I've gone silent on Twitter, really ought to start up again. I'll be in Oxford Monday night to Thursday evening, if you want to meet (union training course again, Tues-Thurs). Seeing my brother and his partner on Tuesday night and obv. busy during the days, but let me know if you're free to do something (even if just briefly - it would be lovely to see all three of you).
j4 From: j4 Date: June 3rd, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hello! Would love to see you when you're in Oxford -- you'd be very welcome to come here (with the usual caveat that it might have to be a very short visit if things are going badly...) or, if that's not do-able, we can try to get into town to meet you (with the same caveat only more so). Let me know -- we can arrange something by txt nearer the time (you've got my mobile number, yes? if not, DM me on twitter).
jackiesjottings From: jackiesjottings Date: June 3rd, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
See you soon I hope :) Stu's wife Raquel had a baby boy, Daniel, yesterday :)
j4 From: j4 Date: June 3rd, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hurrah! Please pass on my congratulations to Stu & family. :)

I will try to come into work to show Imogen off before too long! :)
annajaneclare From: annajaneclare Date: June 3rd, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's filthy cute, isn't she? Just want to pinch those little cheeks!

(Admittedly she still doesn't do very much. Everybody says this time is magical and I shouldn't wish it away, but I'm very much looking forward to a time when she can interact a bit more.)

Be careful what you wish for. It'll feel like five minutes before she's fifteen, slamming doors and wailing "Muuuuuuum!" every time you have an embarrassing opinion.

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