Just back from eight days in the Vegas. E and I travelled over on our own and K joined us after four days - our first real time apart with E around. A few minor travel stresses - eg, scrambling to connect the car battery while the babe screameth in the blazing sun, shoehorning him into a too-small capsule in a hot car, a non-sleeping baby for the first few days - but on the whole, really positive.
I got a badly needed massage, haircut and counselling (useful but I nearly swallowed my tongue when I paid the bill), a visit to the craniosacral therapist for E, and some bricks-and-mortar retail therapy. (My online procurement now verges on embarrassing and is the butt of jokes amongst the rangers who collect our mail... though is totally reasonable given I did not shop for E when pregnant. And, hello, live on an island. But I digress.)
The city. We stayed with friends R + J and little M for three days. We walked every day and clocked up quite a few clicks to and from the local Fountain Lakes. I even had mini-conversations with other peeps-with-prams. I procured the boy some decent bibs (why oh why are they mostly all crap? and velcro, bane of my laundering life), more clothes (hello size one!), toys (sounding the death knell to our boycott of plastic toys) and a cute owl moneybox and even cuter fairtrade owl backpack. We borrowed a playmat - one of those types with the arches which you can dangle stuff from - and an activity station that he can sit upright in. Both of which he LOVES. Why I did not get these types of things sooner... *Bats head* Other purchases: a second carseat to follow the other recently acquired one, and a cot.
Some interesting stuff. The craniosacral therapist felt inside E's mouth and knew he didn't take a dummy. Huh. She said he had a very high palate. And because of that, probably wasn't drawing so well during breastfeeding. Huh. And that would affect my supply. Huh. Wow. She also said his gums were very inflamed. Which we knew. But at the back too. Hmm. Odd. This week molars, next week puberty? She also thinks he should have some relief soon from his reflux. We live in hope.
Our craniosacral visit was followed by a very satisfactory hour of book browsing and purchases at Riverbend and Lifeline in Bulimba, punctuated with caffeine and facilitated by a long-sleeping baby.
I also met up with a girl who was interested in donating breastmilk. At my fave cafe in Paddington, from the days when I lived down the street and around the corner. She had a little boy, the same age as E, and it was so good to chat about baby stuff with someone of similar ilk. We traded birth stories and ate breakfasts in the early afternoon. And the boy? Surprisingly OK - even smiling across the table at the other baby. Not sleep deprived/crying/a vomiting volcano/crazed with hunger/cranky/high maintenance as I'd feared. Holy crap! I felt human! And walked away with just over a full feed of milk for E. Happy!
What else? We had a visit to premmie playgroup at the hospital, which I've never been convinced we learn anything from, but we go anyway just in case. Got the boy registered with Medicare, FINALLY, after months of dodging inquisitions at the doctor's/hospital ("uh, we've just lodged the form..."). But most exciting, E had his first food - watermelon. Did his eyes pop out of his head or what? Totally not what I had planned but it just sort of unfolded at R + J's. Probably nice for him in the stupendous heat anyway.
And. Underscoring my reconnection with civiliation, the girls who were in my midwifery group are planning their first meet up. And kindly scheduled it to coincide with our next trip over! Will be my first official 'mothers group'.
And the learnings. Yes, I realised I have been way too isolated. That I can do this trip on my own. That it's hard work, alone or not. That I have a couple of willing babysitters that I totally need to call on. That the boy will refuse to sleep, and cry, and cry, and cry. And though I will also miss out on sleep, this is not too dissimilar to being at home. And EVERYTHING WILL BE OK. And I LOVE living on an island, at a lighthouse, away from people and the crazy, concreted, smelly, loud, shopping-malled world, but I also need people and the crazy, concreted, smelly, loud, shopping-malled world, sometimes. (But not too often.) And E does too. For all the non-sleeping, he thrived in new environments. He charmed people wherever we went with his huge cheeky grin and screechy giggles. And got to spend time with his Nana and other little people.