Saturday, March 31, 2012

dot com

I must be the last person in the blogging world to do this but I finally pulled the pin on the 45,000 letter blogspot URL I've been working with and have gracefully (ahem) glided over to the sleeker, somewhat more profesh-looking dot com abode.

So now, this is me:

Slick eh?

At a time when I feel like I spend the day smelling of vomit, wiping bottoms and feeling anything but sharp, or trendy, or anywhere close to cool, I'm now getting my kicks from my slick URL.

Sad? Yes.

But who cares, because all of a sudden I feel all kinds of fancy.
And that'll do for me.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breath check

Two or three times a night, every night, I wake up, remembering that our precious little creature is sleeping next door. I'm instantly filled with an incredible sense of love, an incredible sense of pride, an incredible sense of peace. And then I worry. Worry that it could all be taken away if anything were to happen to that little boy. That my heart would be broken. That I would be broken, forever. No rational thought can reassure me. The only comfort is him. Seeing him in his cot. Seeing the rise and fall of his chest. Laying my hand on his tummy to make sure it's moving. That he is ok. That we are all ok for another day.

Two or three times a night. Every night.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fletcher: 8 weeks

Smiles, lots of smiles. 

That's what our days are filled with at the moment. He cracked his first one at about 6 weeks and just hasn't stopped since. I even got greeted with one the other morning when I went to pick him up from his cot! Now that, THAT had to be one of the best moments of motherhood so far. Talk about heart melting stuff.

Fletch has been sleeping like a champion. He's been managing all-nighters for about two weeks now which has been heaven. That first night when he didn't wake up for a feed and I got more than 2 hours of sleep in a row was something close to orgasmic. Seriously. So damn good. He started sleeping a stretch of 5 hours, then 6, then 7 and somehow now he manages about 11. Result. I wish I could say I knew how it happened so I can make sure it happens again should we be so lucky as to have another baby, but alas, I have NFI. We've been loosely following a routine (guided by Tizzy & Gina - more on that in another post), mostly based on the feed-play-sleep idea so that may have helped. 

It's also highly possible we just got lucky. Got ourselves a good sleeper. Phil could fall asleep standing up in a crowded nightclub while being slapped with a wet fish, so I'm guessing Fletch takes after him. However it happened, and whatever the reason, I'm just grateful we're all getting some sleep. For now, anyway.

It's amazing to watch a little baby grow and develop. I know everyone tells you so, but it really is incredible and it happens so quickly. Our little  baby boy has gone from being a curled up bundle of cute to a moving, curious, bright-eyed, laughing little-bit-bigger baby boy. One of the best bits so far? He's started chatting to us. Coo-ing and grrr-ing and ahhh-ing like it's no one's business. It's so cute I can't bear it.

We're taking it easy over the next week and a half before taking Fletch on his first overseas adventure. We're off to Taiwan over Easter for the wedding of some great friends and then Easter Monday we're off to Sydney for 3 weeks. The logistics of travelling with a baby are scaring the bejeesus out of me, but we've got to do it sometime, so why not be ambitious and travel to 3 countries in two consecutive days?!

Are we mental? I think the answer is yes. But it will be so worth it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A very important milestone for a new mother

Last Friday 16th March, 2012 was a momentous day. Excitement on SO many levels.

Not only was I a witness as two of my great friends officially tied-the-knot at City Hall in HK, but I then went out for a celebratory lunch with them to a fancy restaurant with an amazing view and champagne and menus and everything. Something I haven't done in I can't even remember how long.

To top off this superb day, I, wait for it, this is the best bit...

I... I wore a belt!!

Calm down.
Exciting, I know.

I love a belt. The waist-belt variety in particular. And a waist is something I haven't had in 12 months. 12 bloody months of wearing a variety of sacks in all shades of grey and black and boring. But now that the baby is out, the bump is gone and the residual flab is well, still there, I can once again don the belt.

I may not be able to breathe while wearing it. But who needs to breathe, really. It's a detail I'm willing to overlook.

Because people, the belt, is back.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Those lips

Those lips are heaven...

I may be bias but everything about this little guy is heaven. I feel like I'd give up the world for him. Including the offer to get my career back on track. Jobs come and go but these early days with Fletch are only here once. And so I'm saying thanks but no thanks to the job. I know how lucky I am to be able to stay at home so I plan on soaking up every minute, every smile, every laugh while I can.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

That old chestnut

About a year ago, I met with the Medical Director at a huge pharma company. I was at the pinnacle of my job hunting escapade, feeling pretty delirious from all the knock backs, and just about ready to give up. I'd been put in touch with this guy through someone I'd met who knew someone who knew this guy. Typical Hong Kong. All about networks. The MD was great. Dynamic, articulate, interesting, and in the position to hire and fire. He was a man I needed to know. He wasn't trying to fill any roles at the time but he was happy to share his time and knowledge with me. I walked away from our meeting all those months ago feeling positive, inspired. Like I'd learnt some precious information about the local job market and the pharma industry. But a great chat was all I thought it was. I never expected to hear from him again.

When Fletch was two weeks old, he called me.

"We've got this role. Actually, we've got three. And I think you'd be great. Interested?".

Right. Okaaaaaaaay.

"I was desperately searching for a job for 12 bloody months and you decide to dangle one in front of me two weeks, TWO WEEKS after I've had a baby? You've got to be kidding! Could your timing be any worse?!!"

Clearly I didn't say this to him but sweet jesus I was shouting it on the inside. Loudly, I might add. Lo' and behold I thought it might be wise to explore the opportunity further. You know, keep all my options open. And so I did. It couldn't hurt, surely. He emailed me the job spec, we talked some more, emailed some more, and today we met to talk it through.

And this is what I've now got in front of me....

The almost offer of a really good full-time job, with career progression opportunities, in a global company, learning about cutting edge, life changing products. And all with a great manager. Basically everything I wanted out of life, a career, 3 months ago. But now? Now, I've got Fletch. My heart, my soul, my life. All wrapped up in one little baby who I adore spending every single minute of every single day with. He has changed EVERYTHING.

And now I find myself contemplating that old chestnut. You know the one I'm sure all you mums out there have contemplated and agonised over a thousand times before. Do I work, and satisfy my desire for a career, an income, independence? For working towards my own career goals I've had simmering in my slowly deteriorating mind, for years now? Or, do I relish the time I have to stay at home with my first born son? Time I know I'll never have again. Giving him all the love, affection and time he so deserves? Watching him grow, change, learn, smile?

You see, it's one or the other. I just know that I can't do both. I can't work full time, and be with my son in these early days, watching him evolve. And I can't stay at home, and still get the career satisfaction I thought I so desperately wanted.

So.... I have a choice to make.

And although it's bloody hard, it's pretty clear to me which one I'm going to take. But it doesn't make the decision or the sacrifice any easier.

But, it is a choice. And I'm grateful that at least I've got one.

Have you had to decide between working or staying at home to care for your kids? 
What did you choose? How did you decide?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The test

Fletch isn't much of a crier. Yes, he lets it rip when he's hungry or tired, but I 100% get that. Hell, I've been known to crack it in a similar fashion when I'm hungry or tired. Maybe not quite as loudly or overtly or profoundly, but I definitely crack it. And people (mainly Phil) tend to know about it. So hungry, tired cries I can definitely handle. During the day, that is.

It's the crying at night that I'm not so good at dealing with. All in all, Fletch is pretty good and will often settle back down to sleep after a feed without much crying and after 10 minutes or so of grunting and cooing and kicking about. But there are times, only a few, when he's decided that actually he's not all that keen on going back to sleep and come to think of it damn you for making me try. It's then, in those moments, in the quiet, eery darkness that is night, pacing up and down the hallway, feeling so alone in an attempt to let your other bread-winning half sleep, holding your squirming, screaming, innocent, beautiful little baby that your world starts to fall apart. Which mine well and truly did the other night.

It's only really happened once or twice, which in the scheme of things, 6 weeks on, is pretty damn good. Sure, he cries at night but not really, truly crying. You know the crying I mean. The 'testing' crying.

The other night, I was plain exhausted. Up for what felt like hours for the second time that night, running on next to no sleep, trying to deal with the second vomit, the third change of clothes, the darkness, the endless darkness, when it all just felt like too much. Fletch and I shared our tears that night. Of course, we both eventually got to sleep and the memory of the night melted into oblivion the minute I saw his precious little face when we woke. But that moment, when you feel so helpless and guilty for not being able to soothe your baby's soul, does nothing short of tearing your heart apart.  

I know how good we've got it, having only experienced this a few times, so I'm not remotely complaining. I'm just coming to appreciate that motherhood really tests you. Tests your strength, your resolve, your patience, your marriage, your heart

And we've only just begun...