Sunday, January 15, 2012

Back in the game ... sort of

No, this isn't promotion or endorsement of a cake mix product.

It's been a long time between drinks, folks.  On 23 November, a little cherub joined the fold and turned our lives upside down.

Needless to say, my life for the past 8 weeks has involved many sleepless nights, dirty nappies, tears (mine and hers) and uncertainty.  It's also been a time of wonder, learning, growth and the most intense emotions I think I'll ever experience in this lifetime.

It was a bumpy start for our little monster.  She was born 11 days overdue, after an incredibly long and tiring labour: robust and strong, with a clean bill of health.  But within a week her temperature soared and suddenly we were back in hospital for an unknown infection.  I watched with horror as she endured various invasive tests and procedures - including a spinal tap - not knowing the cause or what the outcome would be.  As it turned out, she had developed mastitis - an extremely rare condition in newborn babies and "just one of those things".  She was treated with several courses of antibiotics and ended up with some minor surgery to eliminate the abcess that had formed on her tiny chest, and then finally was home with us at three weeks of age.

We've had our ups and downs since then:  colic and overtiredness, Christmas and family, countless visitors all wanting a cuddle and nights when I have cried at her crib, not knowing what to do next.  We've also recently experienced the firsts:  her head turning eagerly toward our talking, legs kicking happily in the bath, bright and aware blue eyes focusing on our faces, and the most amazing smiles and baby chatter in her new little voice; the beginnings of her communications with us.

I haven't kept up to my usual culinary standards.  It's been all grilled sausages and salad, or re-heated meals from the freezer from generous friends - all wolfed down quickly in between her feeding and sleeping.  But today, today - I baked.  And I felt, almost, human again.

Thanks Mum, for subtly placing the cake mix in my pantry the last time you visited.