...Sammy. We've taken to calling Rufus Sammy - just because at times he bears a startling resemblance to the Samiad from Five Children and It. If you weren't born in the early 80s this will mean nothing to you.
So at the time of writing he's actually five weeks old - but I just haven't had a spare five minutes in the past week. It's been a tough one. There has been a lot of crying! Mr Jones went away and despite the very welcome and generous help of my sister it was hard work without his support - especially at night. The grunting and groaning continues and I've just decided that it's easier to let the little monkey sleep with me for that portion of the night than to make us all suffer. I'm still trying to settle him in his own bed just in the vain hope that one day he might stay there, like he does for all his other sleeps - fingers crossed.
By Wednesday I was a bit of an emotional wreck. The health visitor came. Master Jones now weighs in at 10lb 12oz - porker! When she asked how I was I fought back the tears and failed. She said lots of reassuring things and then asked - "have you ever had depression?" Blimey - I didn't think I was that bad - it was just a "moment".
Then she proceeded to put the wind well and truly up me by saying that I needed to take Rufus to the hospital for a jaundice test because he still looks a bit yellowy. (I bit my tongue and stopped myself from saying that I had pointed that out on the last visit and she'd told me he was fine!). Then she proceeded to tell me that if he was still jaundiced after he was six weeks old he'd have to have a liver transplant. Not news you want to hear when you've had two hours sleep and have a baby who has what appears to be chronic wind and keeps spitting gripe water at you.
So on Friday Mr Jones and I took Rufus to Peterborough Hospital (oh so grim). We were handed a bottle and told to "collect some urine"
"er - how?"
"You just have to hold the bottle on his willy and wait until he pees"
"Riiiight! How long is that going to take?"
"It depends - some people are here for four hours"(!)
So in the waiting room we sit. Poor Rufus is naked from the waist down on a changing mat - his nethers on display to anyone who wants to look - while Mr Jones holds the bottle on his willy and we both make water noises, blow on him and generally will him to pee.
After 30 minutes I decide that perhaps I need to put something in to get something out. But of course we need to keep the bottle on his willy to ensure we don't miss any wee that might appear. This means that I can't pick him up and feed him as usual. So I end up leaning over him while he lies on the mat - in the waiting room(!) - and dangle my boob into his mouth so that he can eat. Not the most comfortable of feeding positions nor the most glamorous. (I add this one to the list of "things I never thought I'd do" along with going to the loo in the middle of the night while hoiding my baby, and singing nursery rhymes in the street). Thankfully no one comes into the waiting room to witness this spectacle.
In the end the nurses decide to scare the pee out of him by doing his blood tests. They viciously extract blood from his little hands and he screams until his face is a horrid shade of puce. I try hard not to get angry with them for faffing about (why is there always a "I haven't done many of these before" person around when you just want the most skilled professional to get the job done without causing your baby undue trauma??!!). The fear brings forth the wee and we are free to go - until next Wednesday when we go back for the results. Fingers crossed all will be well and he won't need treatment.
In happier news he's started to smile at us properly - and he looks gorgeous - but unfortunately he doesn't smile at the camera. And today he is wearing his first little boy outift and he looks very cute - I'm sure you'll agree. And finally Boots Gripe Mixture appears to be a winner - he takes it off the spoon with out spitting it at me or choking and it has produced some very impressive burps - hurrah.
Getting a wee bit tired now. On the whole Rufus is pretty good - he has his days - like yesterday when we miss the window for a nap and he gets very overtired and then won't settle despite all our efforts - but that's our fault and we have to pay the price.
But we are a bit perplexed by his nighttime shenanigans. He wakes up every two-three hours (depending on the day or night should I say) to feed - nothing too unusual there given his age. However after the 1.30/2am feed he settles back to sleep fine and then all of a sudden it starts. He roars and grunts and groans and chunters so I end up getting in and out of bed to check him. The thing is he seems to be asleep. He won't have his dummy and if I get him up to feed him he'll take a few minutes and then drop off again. It's very odd - and not at all conducive to sleep.
I resorted to bringing him into bed with me - something I really didn't want to do - but it seems to work. Snuggled up next to me he doesn't seem to feel the need to grunt. The thing is that I find it hard to sleep because I'm worried about squashing him or waking him up if I move too much.
I have googled in vain - nothing official seems to explain it. There are lots of mums on chat rooms complaining that their baby is rather adept at pig impressions too - but no one seems to have an answer for it. Maybe he'll grow out of it, maybe it's because he's a bit chilly in his own bed (he's in a grobag and a sleep suit as per the instructions - but maybe he's a baby that need to be warmer?), maybe I'll learn to sleep through it (I doubt it - it's REALLT loud). SO does anyone have any advice - any tricks to make him sleep peacefully - as he does during the day when he doesn't make a sound, or any suggestions for helping me sleep through it? Help!
He's three weeks old and I think he's starting to recognise me. There are times when he looks at me with what amounts to pure disgust - usually when he's just woken up. And there are times when he looks like he actually might love me - or at least like me a little bit.
If you're ever planning on being a parent I would suggest never reading We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Mr Jones keeps reminding me that it is just a novel - but it sticks in the back of my mind and niggles at me time and again.
Everytime he gives me one of his nasty looks I wonder if he's going to turn into a Kevin and end up trying to kill Mr Jones and any future siblings he might have just to spite me - then I remember that it's just a book - and then he smiles and even if it is just because he's got wind, I think - "no you aren't evil - even if you do keep waking me in the middle of the night and insist on starting the day at 5am"
I will admit that the tiredness is kicking in. The initial post birth adrenalin has gone and the lack of sleep is taking it's toll. There have been fractious exchanges between me and Mr Jones - but we're still talking and with a bit of planning and organisation - and the realisation that sacrifices have to be made - we're getting on better.
We're learning how he works and how to make him feel better. He loves cuddles, but he also likes time on his own. Somedays he loves his bath, other days he hates it. He's a typical male and can't multi-task - breast feeding anywhere with any distractions really doesn't work.
Perhaps the best milestone achieved this week is that Rufus has his first piece of Boden! A pair of blue ticking dungerees - which won't fit him for ages - but I love them and everyone needs a bit of Johnny in their wardrobe. Plus when they arrived there just happened to be two mummy sized tops in the bag too - ooops!
There is an interloper in my house. It smells funny, makes odd noises and seems to be demanding all of the attention of my formerly doting parents.
I tried demonstrating my displeasure by disappearing for four days (well I snuck in at night to eat - I'm not about to go without food - or heaven forbid try to catch my own dinner)- but when I finally came home the creature was still in residence.
I suppose it's going to be one of those things that I just have to get used to - like the fluffy thing that appeared three years ago - I moved out for a good month that time, but alas she's still here and I will admit she's grown on me.
In an attempt to garner some attention I've taken to trying to sleep in what is known as "the cot" which is in what was my old bedroom and is now referred to as "the nursery". It seems to belong to the interloper - although appears not to be in use currently. It's been in there for months - but I've only just noticed how comfortable it is. Anyway - everytime I get myself settled mummy comes in and turfs me out. She hasn't shouted yet - I think she's worried about upsetting my equilibrium - you see I'm a sensitive soul.
We're two weeks in, he's still alive, and we still love each other - so I'd say it's going quite well! We're a mite tired - and the 4-5hour stretches at night seem to be a thing of the past, but he's still gorgeous. He's put on nearly a pound in a week and now has a little double chin. Bless.
We've given in to the lure of the dummy. I was always of the "my child isn't having a dummy camp" - but after several nights with an agitated baby who can only be calmed by sucking on your little finger, we gave in for his sake as much as our sanity. I'm sure my mother (and countless other people) disapproves - but we're doing what works for us and lovely Rufus.
Mrs Jones is a far from yummy mummy with a penchant for M&S fudge bars and a mojito on a Friday night. She became Mrs Jones in 2009 and a mummy in 2010. In 2011 she is attempting to remember her own name and not put washing powder in the dishwasher....