Blog Love: Boring Baby Drones


I hadn't expected early motherhood to involve so much spare time. Not free time; I am chained to that hungry little monkey almost constantly and don't expect to be liberated any time soon. Fortunately, I have a severe case of Stockholm syndrome when it comes to my tiny captor, so I don't mind. But I'm spending many, many hours cradling either a baby or a breast pump, neither of which provides me with much in the way of sparkling conversation. Inevitably, at some point I will find myself gazing blearily into the glow of a laptop or phone hoping to fill some of those quiet hours with companionship, consolation or distraction, depending on my mood.

Pretty much anything will do for distraction - working my way through fifteen seasons of ER, pinning pictures of trendy haircuts that I don't have time to get, rearranging the baby's adorable outfits for the tenth time - but companionship and consolation are more elusive, particularly when you only have one hand and can't move from the couch. So it's the internet to the rescue, once again.

If you have no interest in children, you will probably have no interest in what I'm about to share with you. If, like me, you just want to know that You're Not The Only One, you should bookmark these links immediately.

Please note: as if to prove my point, I am sitting on a couch cradling a baby and typing this with one hand. I don't have the time or the energy to write long, heartfelt pitches as in previous Blog Love posts. You'll just have to take my word for it. This is the good stuff.

TEA & ORANGES


Tea & Oranges is the blog of a woman from New Zealand who is currently on maternity leave. I know no more about her than that, but I know that if I ever ran into her (admittedly not likely) I would give her a hug then give her a high five. Her blog is a combination of thoughts on parenting and society, snippets of her own personal experience, and well-informed rants about New Zealand's parental benefits system, the last of which is surprisingly interesting despite being of no direct relevance to me whatsoever.

I particularly loved this post about being a child of a high-flying career mother. There's a lot of discussion on this topic from a working mother's perspective, but not much from that of the child, I guess because today's children haven't developed the self-awareness or fine motor skills to write about it yet. Slackers.

FLORENCE FINDS


I've mentioned Florence Finds before, back when we were both young and fresh and could sleep for 8 hours in a row. My, how times have changed, eh Rebecca?

Rebecca's beautiful baby Bea was born just a few days after our bairn made her appearance, so Florence Finds is really resonating with me at the moment. From practical posts about slings and nursing bras (in both cases, it's all about the support) to thoughts on body image and the emotional impact of becoming a mother, Rebecca's opinions are always well thought out. I really enjoy hearing her perspective, even if - especially if - my own experience has been different. Her recommendations are also excellent, be they tense BBC dramas or maternity dresses.

In short, she's like a cool mum friend with great taste that you wish lived round the corner. In fact, she's exactly that.

ONE BAD MOTHER


Technically this is cheating, because One Bad Mother isn't a blog; it's a podcast. Sometime I don't have a free hand or even a free pair of eyes ("La la la, looking at my phone, reading a blog, la la la, this is so easy oh whoops the baby threw up all over herself and I didn't notice") so something that just requires my ears is perfect. Bonus points for being sarcastic, honest, informative and highly amusing. 

One Bad Mother takes the form of a conversation between the two hosts, both mothers of small children, on topics including parenting triumphs and failures, the horrors of pregnancy, and why a glass of wine for mommy is not only justified but necessary. Fin can't listen to it on the grounds that they're "screechy," and he may have a point, but they've become my late-night sanity-maintaining feeding buddies so I'll forgive them anything.


So. There are three things that make me feel marginally less alone in this crazy endeavour called parenthood. Fellow caretakers of tiny humans, what else should I be reading/listening to/gobbling up at four in the morning?


SEE ALSO:


Images: 1. Mama Watters 2. Top with Cinnamon 3. Rebecca's Instagram 4. One Bad Mother

Signs of Sleep Deprivation


Leaving the hob on all afternoon.

Then putting a plastic tupperware box down. On the hob.

I have no idea how to clean melted plastic. Maybe I'll just stop using that hob.



Waking from a thick, black, unplanned sleep to find the baby lying where I'd left her on my chest, her fat cheeks cold to the touch. I've never felt panic like it. Seeing her wriggle, then realising that Fin had been awake and alert and watching over us the whole time, did nothing to stop my hands shaking.

Falling asleep at the wrong moment has never been so terrifyingly easy.



Watching a High School Musical spin-off from start to finish because I couldn't summon the energy to change the channel.

Secretly enjoying it.



Image: Natalia on Flickr

What I gave Fin for our anniversary


I think Fin likes his anniversary present. Funnily enough, he gave me exactly the same thing.

Our baby girl arrived on Friday morning, just over six weeks early thanks to complications from the appendicitis. She's still being cared for in hospital but doing so well. I'm home and healing.

When Fin and I got married, my heart was light as air. Today it is full, heavy, bound completely to another tiny fluttering heart that is beating a couple of miles away from me. The last few weeks and days have been overwhelming in every way and I have no doubt I would have crumbled long ago if it weren't for Fin. After exactly four years of marriage, I have never felt as grateful to have him as my husband as I do at this moment. My daughter and I are two lucky girls.


MY DAUGHTER.


I think my heart just popped.

Ouch


You know what's more fun than a kidney infection? A kidney infection that is not, in fact, a kidney infection but actually secret appendicitis! Wheee!

By the time I was rushed in for emergency surgery, after a month of feeling increasingly not so hot, my appendix was officially "obliterated". That's the word the consultant used in my notes. It was so far gone, he couldn't even find any bits of appendix left, just rampant infection as far as the eye could see. Of course, being a day shy of 31 weeks pregnant added a layer of spice to proceedings. The moment the doctor told us there was a significant risk the baby would need to be delivered while I was being operated on was memorable.

And yet, here we are, nearly two weeks later. One appendix out, one baby still in. It's a sturdy little thing, it seems. Its mother, not so much.

I'm beginning to feel like the punchline of some great cosmic joke. Losing a parent in pregnancy isn't enough, I have to lose a random internal organ as well? Can't I just get fat ankles and haemorrhoids like any normal pregnant person?

Hopefully this will be my last unsolicited medical update for you, and normal service consisting of meandering rants, impractical shoes and dogs in silly hats will resume shortly. At some point, there may even be a baby. There bloody better be, after all this.


Panni Malekzadeh, 'Feelings', 2012 via The Morning News

#bourgeoismiddleclassdouchebagblogpost


The second most middle-class moment of my life occurred last night.

My pregnancy yoga instructor, in attempting to help us to calm our swirling thoughts, encouraged us to picture ourselves as "coffee grounds slowly settling to the bottom of a cafetière."

PREGNANCY YOGA. CAFETIÈRE METAPHORS. Good grief.


In case you were wondering, the number one most middle-class moment of my life was the time I googled "Can dogs eat quinoa?"

(They can.)


Karolina Kurkova shot by Norman Jean Roy for Tatler Russia May 2014. Title inspired by this post of yore, which I really should repost over here sometime.
 

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