Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Now we are four

On Sunday 8th April 2007, B gave birth to L, our first daughter. As when H was born, I'm not sure how much my presence helped B get through the event. Despite my squeamish constitution I managed to be largely present throughout, at times playing an active role in proceedings, without resorting to pain relief: during H's delivery I developed a dependency for gas and air but unfortunately the attending midwife on this occasion was much less liberal minded.

At birth, L weighed 6lb 8oz and has since rapidly gained weight, an ability inherited from her father's side of the family. As a newborn, she is proving marginally less noisy than her brother and has taken to feeding more easily (and more often). "All babies are different," goes the standard midwifery disclaimer. I can't help thinking that L is more at ease because we are.

H has thus far reacted well to his baby sister. His affection is expressed in a number of ways: crushing, poking, licking, squashing, tickling and nose wiping (his, on her). We're not sure whether he has acknowledged her as a permanent family feature as yet, but she generally seems to meet with his approval. He has welcomed the gifts and attention, showered upon him as facilitation payments to ease his suffering, like a corrupt government official in some developing country. The Rubicon crossed, future behavioural compliance will no doubt require equivalent or bettered levels of compensation.

Sleepless nights, semi-permanent exhaustion, frayed nerves and social isolation are once again lodgers in our home. Having, over the last few months, wrestled a degree of control back into our lives, B and I are now passengers once more aboard the new parent bus: where we are headed and how long it will take to get there remain, for the time being, unanswered questions. What will make this trip more enjoyable however is the knowledge that it's OK to feel like a passenger. Moreover, when you're not the one driving, you can sit back and enjoy the ride.

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