Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nativity Play Version 2

Well, we had a slightly improved version today, athough I'm jumping ahead of myself. First, let me tell you about last night. It was a fantastic night for Amelia - she didn't wake at all. I must say, that once she is off, this formula business does seem to have removed the need for a midnight snack... Anyway, a good night for Amelia, but Barnbay woke. I went into him, as Sheep was fast asleep, and Barnaby was quite upset. I lay down beside him and started telling him a story, and before I knew it, I'd drifted off in his bed. And so, I spent most of the night, curled up with him. However, I kept waking up because of a growing awareness that my breasts (and my right breast in particular) were getting more and more painful. By the time Barnaby woke at 7:30, I was in agony. I begged Sheep to take Barnaby and Amelia to nursery and stayed in bed with a heat-pack applied to the most painful areas. Sheep persuaded me that I should see the doctor and so I rang and made an appointment for the afternoon. By the time Nanny arrived at 2:30, to come to the nativity play, I was still in my pyjamas, having rested, applied hot/cold compresses and massaged the 'hard lumps'. Ow - I didn't remember it being this painful last time.

We went to the play, and yes, Barnaby did deign to put in an appearance this time - BUT, only with me in attendance! When he first came in, he'd had a sheep attached to one of his belt-loops, which had come loose and he was on the point of tears; it had fallen in the dirt and had a dirty face. Compelte meltdown was imminent. I came to the front to reassure Barnaby and reattach the stray lamb, but once I had done so, I wasn't getting away that easily! He did participate, but only because I was holding his hand and when the shepherds had to go to the innkeepers door, I sort of shuffled along behind him, holding his hand and pretending to be invisible in japanese kabuki theatre, kuroko-style (where black-clothed prop handlers are ignored as 'invisible'). Anyway, he stayed the course - almost...

While the grown-ups were having tea and mince-pies afterwards, I snuck off to see the doctor, only to find out that, yes, I have mastitis again. Sigh. The doctor said that I'd caught it in the early stages and had I waited another 24 hours (big thanks to Sheep), I would be in agony... So, now I'm on another course of antibiotics, still tender as anything and feeling rather tearful. Of course, I don't know if I'm feeling tearful because of the mastitis or because of the breastfeeding generally.

I was looking at La Leche League advice pages about weaning (my question was, how long should the hurting engorgement last and is a week normal: I now know the answer is that it isn't!) when I came across part of this poem, that almost had me burst into tears. It's by someone called Mary Romskog.

"Stop, please. I'm trying to freeze this moment in time
write it in my memory bank in indelible ink
for this could be the last time.
This could be the last time my baby nurses.
Well, he's hardly a baby but he's my last baby
and I want to recall the scent of his warm hair,
his sweetly closed eyes, relaxed body curved into mine.
I don't want to forget the cool breeze or quiet sunset,
the sound of my older children climbing into bed,
Dad set to read stories...

...Is this it? The last time I will nurse a babe?


Anyway, I must stop getting maudlin, because I will start crying. After I returned from the doctors, we collected Barnaby and Amelia from nursery and came home (only pausing at the pharmacy to collect my prescription) and en route, Barnaby fell asleep. Clearly the stress and pressure of being a shepherd had been too much for him! When we arrived home and Sheep carried him from the car, he was quite dead to the world, and so we just tucked him up in bed. Meanwhile, Nanny stayed for dinner, I bathed Amelia and we got her off to sleep. All seemed set for a calm evening.

I was due to go out this evening (Yeah! Me! Night out! Wayhey!) with the other mothers from my NCT group for our Christmas dinner. The taxi was due to collect me at 7:50 and at 7:30 Barnaby awoke. Why am I in bed? Can I have some milk? I missed my tea! Can I have a wee? Read me a story! Where's Daddy? More milk please? Can you tell me the story of... ? etc. etc. Poor Sheep. In the end, my taxi arrived and I left him only to return at 11:30 to find that Barnaby had been awake most of the evening, bright-eyed and busy-tailed. Poor, poor Sheep. (I must confess though, it was lovely to have a night out... sore breasts and all!)

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