Sunday, 29 September 2013

A week in the life (through bleary eyes)

Tomatoes as big as Holly :)
Nothing will ever be the same - we know that now. The days pass in a blur of early morning moving swiftly into midday, afternoon and back to night and morning that comes again all too quickly and abruptly. There is no night anymore - no designated sleep time, no designated holy rest for a weary body. Night time becomes morning very soon after midnight and so too does the cue for the 2am feed that is barely finished before the 5am feed, that demands the 7.30am feed that leads to the 8.30am feed to get the picture. There is only one guaranteed sacred quiet time that remains - and that is the time between the grown-ups' dinner time (just about 9pm - more Mediterranean than Irish I know - I blame the Bajan in him ;) ) and the last feed of the 24 hour clock before she is packed up in bundles of pink blankets and lain down through fits and starts for the one three hour of session sleep that she has gifted to us everyday so far in all of the first three weeks of her life. 

These days, instead of having lists of 'things to do' and realistic ambitions of a suite of tasks that must be done for the world to go on (as I previously knew it) - I have basically reduced my expectations to 'getting one thing done in any given day' and that makes me feel like I am still even slightly my own person and therefore not totally and utterly surrendered to the needs of our beautiful daughter, Alannah. One thing every day. And you know what, I am glad to get that one thing done even if I don't get it completely done, if I at least get it started or if I manage to get a thought of it (which is a start in itself if you recount that all of the greatest achievements in life begin with a thought?). Let me give you some examples of the 'one thing' - successfully making dinner from start to end despite having to rock Alannah with one left foot while chopping onions (Monday); baking bread from a start of getting the dry ingredients together early in the day to baking it later that night along with the head chef's dinner creation (Tuesday)....

Chocolate beetroot cake, oh my!
Light and fluffy and chocolatey divine
....complete execution of divine chocolate beetroot cake - it was a push! (Wednesday); hoovering and dusting the first time in four weeks and an article for the Yoga Therapy Ireland magazine (Thursday); helping with the shopping with her in a cosy sling (Friday) and (finally) enjoying the sunshine yesterday and getting around to picking very ripe tomatoes and those nasty weeds along the garden path that have been jeering me for the last two weeks (Saturday). Sunday will be publishing this post - I hope (I think). That is 'one thing' on top of at least twelve feeding sessions, between ten and twelve nappy changes, a wash for Alannah, one shower for me - usually lasting 2 minutes - a short walk with Holly dog and a few cold cups of tea in between (forget about actually finishing a cup of tea while it is still hot). 

And that is how it has been for the first three weeks. What a learning curve and what a dramatic change in existence. We've all been experiencing the change - not least Alannah herself. What must it be like in a world where everything is blurred and you must rely on others around you entirely for your life support. How helpless she is, and how humbling it is to be the ones that are keeping her warm and dry and fed and safe and contented and secure. For that is the most important of all things now and that is the 'one thing' that has engulfed and overshadowed all other seemingly important 'things' that pre-dated Alannah's arrival in the Holly Cottage.  

Muse in pink 
And so, through bleary eyes I draft this on a Saturday night before the last feed and the collapse into warm and cosy bed for three precious hours of dreamtime. Holly is curled up sleeping in her bed, head chef has hung up his apron for the night, and Alannah - like Holly - is lost in her own dreams of who knows what. For how can they be dreams as we know them without colour or shape or form or name or direction? If only she could tell us. But she is giving us a smile every now and then, and that in itself is more than enough reward...

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