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Catching up

Where to start? A few things to catch up on.

Babyice went to his day mother for the first time last week Thursday. I forced myself not to phone her. I knew that if he was crying at the time that I did I would want to rush over there and get him. When we did go pick him up just after 1pm, he was happily sitting on her lap after having had his vegetables. He barely noticed that I had walked in. Little shit. We stayed for coffee and pancakes to hear about his first day. It was like he didn’t even leave home. On the one hand I was relieved that he was so happy there, but I did feel slightly betrayed. It was like he hadn’t even missed me. When I picked him up on the Friday though, he looked happy to see me at least. I’m glad that I can feel so comfortable leaving him there.

On Saturday we invited the couple from antenatal class over for a braai. They bought Babyice the cutest little gift! It’s a plush giraffe (the neck and head of a giraffe) with a rattle built into it. Babyice immediately stuck it in his mouth. Seemed he liked it 🙂 As they arrived my phone rang. It was my grandmother. She was sobbing her heart out. My grandfather wasn’t feeling well and he was talking about dying. Feeling like he was dying. She put my grandfather on the phone. He was also crying. My poor heart! We had just received guests and my grandfather wanted me to come there immediately. He ‘needed’ me there. I told him to calm down and that our guests would be there till the evening, but that I would make a turn there afterwards. We enjoyed our braai with our friends, we played a game of 30 seconds which was lots of fun. Predictably, my team won. I think we’ll swap partners next time to make it more interesting. We did pick partners fairly though, by throwing the dice to decide. Our guests left before seven. I wanted to get to my grandfather as quickly as possible, but it was time for Babyice’s porridge, bath and bottle. Rudi assured me he could cope and I was on my way.

My grandfather was feeling better when I arrived. He’d taken his anti depressant medication and tablets to calm him. Medication he seems to take only when he thinks he needs it. He is eating very poorly as well. For quite some time now. He woke up feeling very weak and tired. He has no appetite and he has pain in his abdomen. He isn’t sure what the pain is, but he assumes it is the cancer. When he is feeling this way, which is quite often lately, he gets extremely depressed. My grandmother tries to get him to eat. She’s a comfort eater. Eating makes her feel better and she feeds people when they are not well. The fact that my grandfather doesn’t want to eat makes her feel helpless.

I can really relate to how my grandfather is feeling. When I was pregnant with Jamie I was sick every single day for four straight months. I felt so terrible that thoughts of suicide crossed my mind. I know it sounds terrible, but you really cannot judge until you’ve been there yourself. I have the greatest empathy for my grandfather because I know exactly how he must feel. He sees no end in sight. No end to the pain, the nausea, the weakness and fatigue. Of course, when he gets this way and my grandmother can’t ‘fix’ him, she is struck by his mortality and becomes inconsolable herself. I went over there and spoke to them. I insisted that he takes his anti depressants every day. I also tried to encourage him to eat more. I know how difficult it is to eat when you feel like crap, but he can’t expect to have energy if he doesn’t eat. I calculated his BMI and he isn’t underweight (this mostly to comfort my grandmother). I lay in his arms for a while and shed a few tears myself. It’s horrible to see them like this and he isn’t even at the worst stage. I’m afraid he will suffer. I keep telling my grandmother to contact Hospice and find out what services they can offer for them. My grandfather really wants to die at home. He said if he slips into a coma or something he is happy to go to hospital, but barring that he wants to be at home. My grandmother can’t care for him by herself should he become completely immobile. It’s going to be so hard. He is going for another check up today to see what exactly the cancer is doing. He probably won’t go for his scan today, but he is starting the process.

On Sunday Babyice was very miserable. He ate, drank and slept, but when he was awake he wasn’t himself. We put him to bed after his regular routine and so the trouble began. He went to bed around 7pm and started waking up at 10:30pm. I kept putting him back to sleep and noticed he felt quite hot. Around midnight I took his temperature which was 38.3 degrees. I gave him some Panado syrup and put him back down. He woke up a half an hour later. I took his temperature again and it had come down to 37.5 degrees which was a big relief. He still felt very warm so I removed his sleeping bag, covered him in a light blanket and put him back to sleep. He woke up again a few minutes later, so I decided to take him to bed with me. He was quite restless and woke up a few times there too. We gave him two feeds during the night in case he was thirsty and to soothe him, so he definitely wasn’t hungry. Monday morning his temperature had dropped to 37 degrees. He only had a runny nose (clear liquid) and I felt okay sending him to his day mother. I sent along some Panado and Salex for him in case, but she said he didn’t need it during the day. He was a little cranky with her the morning, but he ate and managed to sleep. When I brought him home he still felt hot to me, but his temperature was below 37.7 degrees, so I didn’t give him any meds. He was also smiling a bit so I didn’t worry too much. Perhaps I was a little paranoid because of the fever the previous night. He slept some more after he came home. Last night we bathed him in lukewarm water, dressed him in a babygro and vest and put him in his summer sleeping bag. He slept very well. He woke up about 3 times in need of his dummy and only woke up for a feed at 5am this morning. He felt cool to the touch and his temperature was below 37 degrees. He seems to be feeling better and I’m glad it was over so quickly. He is probably starting to teethe. Fun.

There is some good news in this post! Last week I used my eBucks to order some things for Babyice. I ordered him the Baby Sense winter and summer sleeping bags. I love baby sleeping bags. He can’t kick them off and he seems to sleep really well in them. What’s awesome about the Baby Sense sleeping bags is that they have a hole for the car seat buckle to go through so that you don’t have to remove the baby from the sleeping bag to take him out. The other sleeping bag that I have is like a quilted sleeping bag and doesn’t have this hole. You can view the winter sleeping bag on their site here. I don’t see a picture for the summer one on the site, but it has a polka dot print. I was really glad to have the summer one last night. Perfect for a baby that is too warm, even in winter! I ordered them both in the ‘stone’ colour. Can always use them again for the second baba 😉 I also ordered him an educational toy from Tolo toys. You can see the ball here.

Other than that my maternity leave is running out faster than the sands in the hourglass of 30 seconds. Soon my life will consist mostly of work. It makes me sad. I will have precious little time with my son. I wish I could afford to take a half day job somewhere so that I could spend more time with him, but I guess this is the fate of most mothers. At least I will appreciate every second I do get to spend with him!