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You're Kidding, Right?

You're Kidding, Right?

Zoe and baby are still in the hospital at time of writing (not for anything serious, just a little jaundice which is pretty common). The good news is it looks like they'll be able to come home tomorrow!

Remember how in my post about the birth I said nothing went very wrong but nothing went right? Hah. Hahahaha. Yeah.

I just got home from the hospital after visiting with them and the only reason I made it home is that my car has run-flat tyres. And if you own a BMW with tyre pressure sensors you'll recognise the image attached to this post. Flat tyre. Now. Today. When I need to get to the hospital to pick up my partner and child tomorrow.

First thought? I'll get an Uber. Only... no, I need to have the car seat in and they're not going to do that are they? Well maybe I can hire a car, sure I'll have to uninstall the car seat from the car and swap it over but I could- wait, I have RAC breakdown cover through my insurance don't I?

So hopefully, though let's not count any chickens that haven't hatched here, they'll be able to get me up and running tomorrow morning. If they do it'll be another example of nothing going very wrong but nothing going quite right. Which, honestly, is just how parental life is going so far.

I did a thing

Me in the delivery room with my new daughter

OK, Zoe did most of the work, but I contributed.

Our birth story is not remarkable, probably not very different to many other peoples' but it's special to me and it was the most terrifying few days of my life. Which is weird because nothing really went wrong it's just that nothing went particularly right.

We had a plan. Most couples have a plan for how they expect the birth to go, it's encouraged, it's even in the badger app. [1] We wanted a water birth, we did not get one. Luckily step one of our plan was 'be flexible' because oh boy did we flex.

I'm writing this on the 23rd of February 2024 and my daughter was born on the 22nd. She was due on the 7th of March. In one of our last scans it was noticed that our girl's growth had fallen below the expected curve by an amount that had them worried. They decided she'd need to be delivered early. Not overly early, she was already at 37 weeks which is considered 'term' so it wasn't scary it was just ... unexpected.

We were due to be admitted onto the ward for an induction on what turned out to be our daughter's birthday but last weekend she gave us another scare. This time by not moving all day. That had us in the hospital getting things checked right away because that's a scary moment. She was fine (and went back to her normal wriggling at 1am that morning) but the doctor said 'we wanted to induce because there was one thing that worried us, now there's two, so we're just going to admit you today'.

Just like that Zoe was on the ward and we'd started induction but that takes a long, long time. It's also subject to the whim of emergencies cutting the queue infront of you because they can somewhat manage it. A few days of hanging out in the ward followed. Zoe's sister came and visited which was honestly a god send. She's a mother of two herself and a nurse so she was in her element. She basically stayed with Zoe the whole time. With the notable exception of the day we gave her keys to our home and sent her to our place to get some goddamn sleep! The ward stay was uneventful but hardly relaxing. Then, things began to happen.

On Wednesday about 11pm we were moved from the ward to the delivery suite. Because of the reasons we were there the midwives wanted to monitor baby throughout so monitors were wired up to Zoe. She was also put on a hormone drip. And another drip for the pain management drugs. Oh and a nasal canular for oxygen as her saturation dropped a bit. If you've ever been present for a woman's labour you'll know that if your ideal vision is a water birth and your reality is being wired to a monitor, a drip in each hand, a tube up your nose and machines beeping and rumbling all around you then that's pretty much the exact opposite.

I won't take you through all the gory details of what happened for the next eight hours but suffice it to say I hated it. I don't do great with seeing people I love in pain and that's what I was seeing. Pain for a good reason but pain nontheless. It didn't help that I hadn't slept well the night before, or any night this week.

It wasn't all bad though. There were moments of amusement that will live with me forever. The drugs were good drugs. Zoe on occasion would burble the kinds of things only someone very, very high would say. I'll never forget the way the midwife would lean in listening intently when she heard her start to speak, her face contorted in concentration as she tried to decipher what was being said and then morphing into a look of utter confusion when she heard what it was. For example I distinctly remember Zoe saying, slurred and soft, how glad she was our bathroom lights didn't work. [2] When the midwife would hear these things she'd unfailingly look to me and baby's auntie to see if we could make any sense of it. We couldn't.

Hours later, with everyone in the room exhausted, we had a daughter. There was screaming, tears, blood, tense moments and laughs and in the end there was a baby girl.

For her first hour our daughter lay on Zoe, skin to skin. [3] This is an important bonding moment between mother and daughter. After that 'golden hour' though the midwives really needed to see to my partner who had undergone the kinds of physical trauma you might expect when a whole human being emerges from inside you. So the baby was put on me.

Confession time. While there's a lot about being a parent that scares me my biggest fear was at all times that I wouldn't ... want to be. If that makes sense? I mean I wanted to be a parent but I don't like babies. I'm uncomfortable around them. People coo and I am unmoved. I just didn't 'get it' when people talk about babies. So when they put this tiny, fragile, purple blob of person on me I was filled with fear that I wouldn't feel anything.

Reader, if you feel like I did you'll also react like I did when someone tells you 'it's different when it's yours' but, well, it is.

Within three hours of being alive my daughter freely urinated all over me and within three hours of her being alive I didn't care.

  1. if you know, you know, if you don't know then you're probably wondering what the fuck badgers have to do with this. I'm not telling you. ↩︎

  2. They do, I don't make her piss in the dark ↩︎

  3. Another thing I'll never forget was Zoe looking at our daughter as she was put on her chest and saying 'how are you real?' ↩︎

Be a Dog, Empty Head

Be a Dog, Empty Head
A 60s style poster art image (AI generated) of a golden retriever in a field of flowers.

I know what this means. Zoe knows what this means. That's all that matters. 😄

Glorious Near-Victory

Glorious Near-Victory
An Imperial Fist army on a gaming table, mid-game of Warhammer 40k

I haven't had access to my Thursday nights for a while. There's a pretty good reason for that (antenatal classes) but it does mean I've been unable to get to Crossfire Gaming for a while. Today, that changed. I have a precious window of opportunity between the end of the antenatal classes and the start of, well, having a child.

As such I was able to get over to the village hall and do tiny battle, fighting my way to another glorious near-victory. I hear what you're saying, you're saying "near-victory sure sounds like a euphamism for defeat" and to that I say yeah, obviously.

I also say "bloody Tau". I haven't beaten the Tau once. Not once, I tell you. Of course part of that is because I play fluffy lists and I don't give a damn about mathshammering or scouring tournament lists for strategic tips. I just like putting tiny men on a table and rolling dice for an evening.

That said, I think if we counted up the victory points I'd have done better than either I or my opponent think I did from objective play. Thing is, when you get utterly tabled it doesn't matter much how you played the objectives. Still, it feels thematically 'space marine' to play the objective and take catastrophic losses. I'll console myself with that.

Rule of cool, friend, rule of cool.

A long time and a little different

A long time and a little different
A bathroom completely gutted of fixtures and with unfinished floor and walls.

It's been a while since I wrote anything here, huh? Yeah. It's been a lot.

So the headline is we still haven't moved in to the new flat despite owning it for a few months. On the other hand the kitchen is almost entirely re-done. It would be finished but on removing the fibreglass ceiling tiles we discovered the ceiling was... in a state you might expect from a Glasgow tenement building. So the ceiling needs rebuilding.

Also, given the state of the bathroom in the last post, you might not be surprised to learn we deiced to move forward the bathroom renovation to before we moved. We happened to be able to and it's certainly easier than living there without a bathroom. And without a bathroom is certainly where we're at.

That's not the only big news but this headline is basically "no news".

Not how I'd choose to meet the neighbours

Not how I'd choose to meet the neighbours

No, that's not a particularly shiny floor in my bathroom. That's a centimeter of water spilling in from the flat above. That's what I found when I turned up at the new flat today to meet a kitchen fitter. The kitchen fitter didn't turn up, but that's a whole other story.

So the first time I meet my upstairs neighbour is by knocking on his door to tell him water is pouring into my bathroom and ask if he has a leak. And I mean pouring. It was like it was raining indoors. The neighbour's bathroom is bone dry though.

The uninteresting part is that we got plumbers out and they did find the problem the more interesting part is that as a result, I was running up and down the stairs trying to coordinate things with my upstairs neighbour, at the end of the day when everyone was coming home from work. Which is how I met most of my new neighbours.

The good news is they all seem very nice and I now have names and phone numbers, I'm even in the whatsapp chat for the owners group repairs discussion. That happened a bit faster than anticipated but at least it's out of the way!

The less great part is that the water was flowing through the light fixture of the bathroom and the circuit breaker had tripped. Ok, the circuit breaker tripping is probably a good thing actually but it wouldn't reset. That's less good. On the other hand, the flat's being rewired in a week anyway so it could be worse.

Still, it turns out the saga of this flat purchase is not quite over yet!

It is done. Now, we begin.

By which I mean we bought the flat. Like I have keys and everything.

Which means the journey of sorting out changing addresses on every account I have or have ever had, getting new IDs issued and the small matter of repairs, rewiring and redecoration begins now.

One day... one day I'll relax.