It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

You wait until Edgbaston, me old cobber

All good here. In fact, we’ve had a lovely week or so if you ignore the cricket, which I will.

My old Brentwood mate Nick arrived in town on Thursday for the term of his natural life, as they used to say here. We caught up with him on Friday for dinner and drinks and a gig in town (Bloc Party at the Metro – excellent). M&B had to duck out on the last bit but otherwise it was an all-round good night. Nick headed up to Brisbane the next day but not for long if he has any sense.

Saturday we headed up to Avoca for Beth’s first taste of the Central Coast. It was great to have a relaxing time up there, eating Thai takeaway, watching movies and strolling along the beach. The real magic moment came on Sunday afternoon when we were able to sit on the sand as a pod of dolphins splashed around just a few metres away. Amazing.

The other big fillip came in the form of a text message from faraway North London, announcing the arrival of Frances & Simon’s baby Maya Grace. Huzzah!

The rest of the week has had me back at work (booooring) and Michelle looking after a somewhat unsettled Beth at home. The 6-week growth spurt is on, and apparently it’s usually a bad time sleep-wise. On the other hand, we had a very definite (well, very possible) smile yesterday, which got both me and M feeling very excited and sooky. Call me biased, but Beth really is a very cute baby.

Zipadeedoodah xx

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Who's the wazzock?

Some kindly soul has sent Beth a marvellous present including some very amusing Feet Finders (kind of socks with rattles and toys attached). What a generous and imaginative soul! Unfortunately the same person failed to attach a "from" tag, thus they remain anonymous. Let me know who you are please, you generous, imaginative wazzock.

(Watch "the Lavender Hill Mob" last night. just brilliant). xx

Monday, July 18, 2005

Michelle: the Tiger Woods of mothering

Apologies, apologies, apologies for the break in coverage. There have been some local difficulties and M did not want to update until the problems had been sorted out, so as not to give the impression that things were going badly. Basically, Michelle has been suffering from an ongoing bout of mastitis. It’s not too major a problem but it has been both painful and emotionally draining. The problem is all on the right side so Beth is still feeding on the left and seems blissfully unconcerned by her mother’s difficulties.

Beth is just reaching the stage where she is engaging visually, and I reckon I’ve seen a hint of a smile from her even though it’s way too early for that. In short, she’s transmogrifying from an out-of-body foetus to a little person. It’s all so exciting; we’re absolutely loving it.

We’re also trying to involve ourselves in what used to be known as real life. We had our first night out without bubba on Friday to see our friends Kat & Eddie before they go off to Russia for the year. We didn’t stay too long but it was a good first taster, and I’m sure Beth was fine in the sock drawer. Nick & Lou arrive in Oz tomorrow, which will presumably spark another round of socialising, and M is staying in while I head out to see Bloc Party on Friday. Otherwise, it’s all golf, cricket and DVDs round our way. Roll on the Ashes.

I ask you, what am I? I'm one of the undeserving poor, that's what I am. Now think what that means to a man. It means that he's up against middle-class morality for all of time. If there's anything going, and I puts in for a bit of it, it's always the same story: "you're undeserving, so you can't have it." But my needs is as great as the most deserving widows that ever got money out of six different charities in one week for the death of the same 'usband. I don't need less than a deserving man, I need more! I don't eat less 'earty than 'e does, and I drink, oh, a lot more. I'm playin' straight with you. I ain't pretendin' to be deserving. No, I'm undeserving. And I mean to go on being undeserving. - My Fair Lady

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Michelle Speaks!

(Note from Tom: M&B are in hospital tonight. M's mastitis has flared up so she needs to be on an IV antibiotic. Not the best thing to happen but not the worst either. Most drastic outcome: B switches to formula from now on - so no drama. Meanwhile, here's the first instalment from M's baby diary that she wrote earlier, and we'll keep adding photos at

We mainly want to write this blog so that our memories of Beth’s birth and growing up don’t fade too quickly. She’s 17 days old now and the past two weeks seem to have melded together into one very long day of feeding, settling and sleeping. Tom’s trying to settle her upstairs now while I write this.

So… from the beginning, my pregnancy with Beth was really, really good. No morning sickness, just a bit of tiredness in the first trimester. I felt her first kick at around the 17 week mark of the pregnancy. Started to show around 22 weeks or so and put on about 15 kilos total. I remember the midwife at Hornsby Hospital showing me how to work out where Beth’s head was by feeling for the hard skull at the 32-week check-up. Beth was in transverse position at that appointment – head diagonally down toward the pelvis. After that, I kept feeling her head at the top of my belly. Wasn’t too worried as there was still plenty of time for her to turn but by the 36-week check-up she still hadn’t and we began to prepare for her being a breech baby. One of the hospital consultants, Dr Keogh, told us her bum was engaged in the pelvic area and he didn’t recommend trying to externally turn the baby. We knew this meant she’d be born by caesarean section. The doctors scheduled us for weekly appointments at the hospital to check her position. Three weeks before her due date we were booked in for an elective caesarean on the 16th June. By this stage Tom and I had emotionally accepted that I wouldn’t go into natural labour and we were only concerned about Beth’s well being. It felt good to have a date and the consultants were really supportive and answered all our questions about her birth by C-section. We were happy that we knew the C-section was planned rather than needing to be an emergency.

The night before Beth was to be born, Tom and I slept really well. We got up at 6am for me to have some brekkie and then went back to bed for a few more hours. We were both feeling pretty relaxed and prepared. We still weren’t fully aware of what to expect. We arrived at the hospital just after 11.30am and checked in to the day unit of the operating theatre wing. A nurse met with us first and got us dressed in the theatre gear. Then we waited till the staff were ready to take us through for prep. Tried to read our books but it all felt quite strange and surreal. We met a lovely anaesthetist nurse, Neville, who was from Manchester. He was brilliant at putting us at ease and did a lovely job of putting in my drip (my least anticipated favourite part). Then the anaesthetist chatted to us and decided on using a spinal blocker for numbing me from the waist down. Tom got to hold my hands as I leaned forward for this to be done. It took a while but didn’t hurt. From then on I could feel my legs gradually starting to numb. After about 10 minutes I couldn’t feel a thing. Now we were ready for Beth to be born. Dr Keogh and the registrar Tanya performed the operation. They talked us through what was happening. Our lovely Beth was born bum first at 2.27pm. Her head was quite big and put up a bit of struggle before being willing to emerge from my womb. She gave a big cry before Vicky, the midwife, took her over to the cot to clean her up and get her warm. Tom got some great photos of Beth being born. Then we were able to touch her and see her up close whilst they started to sew up the wound. She was just beautiful. It was just amazing that she’d been inside me for the previous nine months and now, finally, she was our baby to care for.