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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Norovirus for New Year and other vignettes [20130107|10:41]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Norovirus in Norfolk for New Year
As wonderfully alliterative as that sounds, the reality was a lot less pleasant. We were squirreled away in the bloke's old room at his parents' house, or as I renamed it, the Parlour of Puke and Poop, for a miserable 24 hours. Poor Humuhumu scarcely got to see her grandparents.

The Parentals
My parents and I have been together for nearly three weeks (minus the 2.5 days we spent in Norfolk) and we haven't had a single argument. Truly it is a Christmas miracle.

The Parentals II
My dad is the most enthusiastic babysitter ever. I scarcely get to hold the little lady except to feed her when he's around. He sings to her in Tagalog. I must remember to video this before they leave.

My mum is less hands-on because of her arthritis, but every action of Humuhumu's is given full attention and subjected to analysis which invariably leads to the conclusion that the little lady is a burgeoning genius.

A friend of mine recommended a book called Breastfeeding Made Simple which I read on my Kindle during Humuhumu's first few weeks. I couldn't tell you anything that was in it except for one graph, which plotted the ease of feeding against time. (I find graphs soothing in general.) Breastfeeding is shown to be significantly more difficult up until the baby is six weeks old, at which point the curves cross over and then level off, leaving breastfeeding significantly easier. I desperately wanted to believe the graph. For the first two weeks, I struggled daily not to give up. It was painful, difficult and I felt like I was doing it all the time.

Humuhumu is 10.5 weeks old. I'm so glad I had good support from my partner & health visitor and was able to stick with breastfeeding. It's painless and easy. (I've no idea whether or not it's easier than bottlefeeding. Frankly I'm not sure I care. If I were more anxious to resume an approximation of my previous pub-based lifestyle, I might care more.) I have a big scarf for cover and I don't feel embarrassed feeding her in public. She's such an efficient feeder now that it only takes her about twenty minutes to fill up. She sleeps through the night (typically 11 PM to 7 AM). This last week she stopped doing anything other than weeing in her nappy at night. She's finally started smiling more, and she no longer howls her lungs out on the changing mat, just lies there making "Mmm" noises and waving her fat little Michelin Man legs in the air.

Also, her daddy got her to reply to him repeatedly saying the word "Hello". She looked at him thoughtfully and said "Haaoooow". She did it twice more in response to him, to our delight. We've only managed to get her to repeat the feat once since then, but perhaps she's just letting us know that she's not a performing monkey.

Sqeakleberry, Squeaklepops, Squeakleberry Crankypops, Stinkypops, Squirtypops, Burpypops, Little Tinker, Little Wriggler, Sweet Pea, Lani-girl (the closest I get to her actual name). She might have difficulty learning her name in future.

[User Picture]From: impix
2013-01-07 12:05 (UTC)
Those nicknames - squee!

Glad everything is getting easier for you, the whole thing sounds somewhat terrifying! (not from your accounts, but a lot of people around me are having babies right now and its a bit arrgh inducing!)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-01-07 14:22 (UTC)
It can't be helped - the nicknames proliferate like mad.

Yes, being a new parent is scary. We read books and other information beforehand and we had most of the necessary supplies before Humuhumu was born. But getting to know and understand her is a monumental task. I'm grateful to have maternity leave and I can't quite believe how quickly it's going.
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[User Picture]From: againstathorn
2013-01-07 13:49 (UTC)
She's sleeping through the night from 11pm to 7am? Wow! Consider yourself lucky!

Cute nicknames! We call ours "The Squirm."

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-01-07 14:18 (UTC)
Yes, I don't talk about the sleeping through the night with other new mums!

It's funny - even if you tell yourself you're not going to be cutesy when talking to the baby and most of the time you manage it, it seems to be inevitable when it comes to nicknames...
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[User Picture]From: saltdawg
2013-01-07 19:13 (UTC)
Man, when I was on that small cruise ship, the entire ship got norovirus. It wasn't pretty. We had to condemn a few cabins for a few months because of the stench.

My condolences. </p>

(everybody on the ship got a free cruise out of the deal. It was that bad...)

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-01-11 11:08 (UTC)
Yeah, it's pretty horrible - especially when you get it again a week later. UGH.

I've used a lot of bleach in the last few days.
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[User Picture]From: feylike
2013-01-08 02:59 (UTC)
sympathies about the norovirus (been there, done that, fortunately not so far this season), but i'm pleased to hear how well the rest is going. i could only hope to have the wealth of nicknames that your little one has.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-01-11 11:09 (UTC)
I hope you can carry on avoiding it. And thank you! I'm making an effort to call her by her actual name at least once a day.
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[User Picture]From: seismic
2013-01-08 05:05 (UTC)
Yay on many counts! Though not the norovirus. I made a little involuntary squeak when you talked about your dad. If he's keen with it, I would love to see that.

Adorable nicknames! I never got much past Boo and Bugs, neither of which have anything resembling meaning or a backstory and both of which I still use.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-01-11 11:11 (UTC)
Unfortunately I came down with norovirus again, just before they left. So I didn't get to take a video of him singing.

Some of the nicknames have come from the bloke and some from me, and they mutate on a daily basis. I imagine they'll narrow down a bit as her personality develops.
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[User Picture]From: sanat
2013-01-09 18:41 (UTC)
He sings to her in Tagalog. I must remember to video this before they leave.

Awwww! Please do?

Sleeping through the night, that IS a blessing. I've been gathering intel from the last three births and there's definitely a percentage of book-learning versus just being prepared for those early months. Glad to hear it's gotten less difficult and more baby-blissful. :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-01-11 11:16 (UTC)
I didn't get a chance. :( But we'll see them again later this year, so I'll be sure to do it then.

I think for me the biggest mental challenge has been scaling back expectations of how much I can get done in a day, and not feeling bad if that's simply feeding myself and the baby and keeping her clean.
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