Thursday, 19 July 2007

beginnings and endings

Sofia Isobel began her life on the 19th of May, a week ahead of schedule. I had seen the consultant the day before and he said that I was already two centimetres dilated. Nevertheless, Simon and I chose to believe that the baby wouldn't come out until after his exam, so we went on with our normal routine.

I woke up from a nap at 4.30 p.m. on the 19th with a strong abdominal pain, which I attributed to my pelvic disorder. By 5 o'clock, though, there was no denying that I was having contractions. Simon phoned our friend Graeme, who came at around 6.30 to pick Lucas up and take him to spend the night at his house in Needingworth. We booked into the delivery ward of the hospital at 7 o'clock and by 7.31, Sofia was out. The equilibrium of my life has shifted once again.

Sleepless nights, tiredness, the dizzying speed at which both my children seem to be growing—I can hardly breathe sometimes. And sometimes it's hard to appreciate what I have so I just reminisce about what used to be before I got pregnant again. The freedom, the possibilities. I haven't done any crochet since she was born, but at least I have managed to squeeze in the time to do some baking and reading.

Sofia suffers from reflux, so feeding her is not as straightforward as it should be. I feel like I'm waging a war against her tummy every time she goes on my breast, willing the milk to stay down and feeling utterly disappointed when she throws it up. Every time she grunts, I feel my stress level go up because I know that the grunting is a prelude to either a bowel movement or vomitting, and I pray silently that it's the former that's about to happen.

Still, there are things to be happy about. She is gaining weight and despite the fact that we seem to spend most of our time together feeding, she is learning to respond to me and Simon and Lucas. She especially gets excited when she hears Lucas's voice and strains her neck to look for him. He likes her as well, and loves giving her a bath and helping me change her nappy. I do have a feeling that they will get along famously when they can start playing with each other properly.

Tomorrow is Lucas's last day at nursery and at his childminders'. I feel a bit sad for him as he won't be seeing his friends and teachers anymore, and he will now have to adjust to days spent mostly with Sofia and me. I will try and plan some special activity that we can do each day, but it's going to be a struggle with a demanding baby to look after as well. There are probably playgroups we can go to, and Simon could always take him swimming on weekends.

We received his school report from his teacher last week, and it said that Lucas is very good at maths and the arts. He also has an extensive vocabulary and is physically active. He tends to be very quiet, though, and won't speak out of turn in a large group. Hmmm, kinda reminds me of how I am when I'm with a group of people I don't know very well. I told my friend Emmily about this comment, and she said not to worry, as a lot of people are like that anyway.

September will see Lucas going to primary school, where he'll be spending six hours each day. My little boy has grown up—he's clever enough to work a lot of things out for himself that he hardly needs my help. I'm pleased at his progress, but sometimes I'm scared that I'm letting him go too soon, insisting on him being independent for my own convenience. When I ask him to do a certain thing by himself, could it be that I am letting a precious little moment slip by, a chance for us to become even closer? What if before I know it, my little boy has turned into a young man, who will brush off my attempts to guide and help him?

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