I think Robert and I are beginning to work out the kinks in this breastfeeding saga. Every time we changed his diaper today there was a mighty big package, and he is a much happier baby. He is also latching at the breast correctly with much less fussing and moaning, I am starting to feel a little more confident about this.
Today is a spring day in South Africa , but there is no sign of the season yet in Cape Town . It is raining and cold, and I am still wearing my sweater, fluffy slippers and fluffy socks around the house. The feeding at night is complicated because I have to put on many layers of clothes before I answer Robert’s calls.
At midday we decided that it was time to give Robert his first bath. There was nothing against it since his weenie is now fully healed. His umbilical stump hasn’t fallen off yet, but according to the modern literature we read, there is no harm in bathing baby with the stump still intact. The bathtub I got from my friend Britt makes bathing the baby a little less intimidating, as it has support for the body and the neck. The baby sits in a kind of reclining chair, formed around his body, so there is little danger of slipping under the water. Still, it was somewhat of a challenge for both of us, and Ron got a little impatient with my slowness. “You have to work quickly with the baby” he always says. My rationale is that if I work slowly there is less chance of mistakes or accidents. Well, two people can have different approaches even when they are a married couple. In the end we did not break baby, and the bath was completed. However, it was too close to call whether it was baby or his parents who found the episode more unnerving.
This morning Ron and I also took turns waiting in a telephone queue. Yes, we had an unresolved query with our ISP, and had to contend with listening to their recorded message: “We are experiencing a high volume of phone calls, please hold. Your call is important to us”. It carried on endlessly, and unfortunately every time we got through to a “human being” on the other end of the line, we were transferred somewhere else, and we had to repeat the whole story all over again. In the end Ron managed to resolve the issue. Apart from waiting on endless phone queues, there was the added stress, because Ron had to reconfigure the internet access on the hardware and software side. He wore his IT guru hat for a few minutes and got it all done without difficulty, but before that he had to behave like an IT guru for a while and get us all very nervous and apprehensive of the gargantuan task.
In the afternoon I got a phone call and a greeting from my friend Britt. She was on her way to the Cape Winelands with her husband and the two little girls. I had a vision of them in the big car, with baby car seats and bags bulging with diapers, formula, and everything else. I thought to myself it will be a while before we have the nerve to venture anywhere outside the city. Heck, at the moment I still had to find it in me to venture outside the house.
As it happened, today was the day when I actually did venture outside the door for a few minutes. In the evening I went to the 7/11 at the bottom of our street and bought the Saturday Paper. At about six in the evening I had just put baby to bed and Ron was preparing dinner. I am starting to learn now that I have to move quickly when baby is resting, because their time of shut-eye is the one small window of opportunity for me to sleep, eat, shower, or escape. I put on my raincoat, which I could easily zip around my waist this time- and went into the wet and darkening evening breathing my freedom for the first time. I skipped down the steps unburdened by a pregnant belly, and bounced down the hill. Ron and I rarely buy the Saturday Argus because it is big and bulky and has three huge sections of property ads, which we have no use for. Today however we had to buy it because it has Robert’s birth announcement. It was one of the free services offered by Cape Town Medi-Clinic which we took advantage of.
My outing lasted for only ten minutes, and I was back at home after that. The walk up the hill was a little laboured, I would have thought that I would be able to run up the hill as soon as I gave birth, but it looks like I have to give myself more time to recover and get fit. Ron and I had our first quiet dinner together. It was a delicious chicken curry with spinach, coconut rice, and carrot salad with ginger and sweet chilli sauce. We enjoyed every bite. If baby is going to carry on this pattern, then we are very lucky. He is a very good baby.
Pocahontas was the early Saturday night movie and for once we were both interested enough to watch. I always thought Disney movies were great fun, but Ron usually has hardly any patience for kiddies stuff. I cannot help but think that having a little baby in the house is already changing our personalities. I had to smile when Ron said that Disney movies were educational. The tiny fingers of baby Robert are casting their spell on our hearts.