One fine day a little stork who was up to no good decided to drop a little bundle of joy on two people who were still in the throes of finding out what they were doing to with each other. My ex, He who used to be, and I were probably not a perfect match, but to this day we remain good friends, and I know if we were to ever need the other, there would be a helping or supportive hand. As long as it didn’t cost too much, or require him to move an inch!! Ha ha, but really, this story is not about us, but about a young man, and his incredible journey through life so far….

5!! Where do I start dear child? You are a star among stars. Your imagination and sensitivity inspired me when you were only a tiny boy of 2! But let’s go back further than that, I know you don’t want me to, but I think it’s important. It’s made you who you are my boy….

It started with a phone call to Magoo. There I was 9 and a half months pregnant waddling around with the phone pressed to my ear trying to hear, (over the song and dance that is “Playschool”), what Magoo was trying to say to me.

“I said OF COURSE YOU’RE IN BLOODY LABOR, WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE!!??” she said.

“Oh, yeah I s’pose Ma, hang on a minute while I turn this telly down……3, you are going to make mummy deaf! Big Ted can’t hear you screaming a song at him you know?”

I had rung mother in confusion. Having been induced with 3, I really wasn’t sure how labor felt when it didn’t begin at 100 miles and hour like a Mac Truck driving through my middle. (Yep, that’s what 3’s labor was like! And it went on for days….)

So, as I said I had rung mother to say I had been having little twinges about 20 minutes apart for a couple of hours, did she think it meant anything? Having had her confirm that I was in fact in labor, I went about organizing myself to be trotted off to the hospital. As 3, (my first baby), had been an engineered experience from start to finish and I had spent days in hospital before giving birth to an actual baby, I decided to labor as much as I could at home.

He who used to be, arrived home from work to find me alternately panting and crouching at the stove, cooking an easy dinner for us. “Here we go!” was about all he had to say at this point. I agreed between gritted teeth.

Long story short I ended up at home all through that long night, in and out of the bath, in and out of bed. Sobbing devastatingly beside the sprung mouse trap as it caught it’s first victim. A baby mouse!! How could I possibly be so heartless! Poor baby…

I’ll never forget at one point as I grappled and pinched at the flesh on He who used to be’s hip, him saying to me, “what’s up dear? Do you need to go to the Hospital now?” My response being negative, he then asked, “well could you please stop clawing at my hip so I can get some sleep?” Like I said, it was a looong night.

We finally arrived at the hospital around 6am, whereupon I instantly dropped my bundle, of water that is. Little 5 was born screaming just over an hour later..

3 meets his little brother for the first time, just a few hours after his birth.

3 meets his little brother for the first time, just a few hours after his birth.

Little 5 was big, huge in fact! A whopping 8lb’s and 9oz of gorgeous fat little china-man. (His little eyes pushed up like slits to make room for his chubby cheeks). He was adorable, the sweetest baby. But. He. Didn’t. Stop. Screaming……Ever!

Really he didn’t. Only for 5 hours on Christmas Day, days after his birth. That was the only sleep poor 5 ever had. He only ever napped, for 10 or 15 minutes at a time.

Finally at around 3 weeks, we had a diagnosis. My poor baby had reflux, and was born with double inguinal hernias. The hernias are common in boys and simply mean the passage the testicles take when “dropping” haven’t quite closed properly and may need surgery to close them. The reflux was a different story.

About 12 weeks old and you can already see he is sleep deprived!

Just 9 weeks old and you can already see he is sleep deprived!

One by one my friends stopped dropping by. They just couldn’t stand the screaming, and the baby crying bothered them as well…. I learned to do everything with one hand. He only wanted to feed. He needed to constantly swallow in order to stop the contents of his stomach rising up into his mouth, the stomach acid burning his throat being the reason for his pain. That and the hernias!

At 8 weeks old he was operated on for his hernias, and I expected a somewhat more settled baby. Nope! No change at all. He continued to scream and feed on an almost constant basis.

I honestly don’t know how we coped, He who used to be spent a lot more time at the pub, and I spent a lot of time crying and at the doctors. By the time he was 12 weeks old my baby had been given Zantac, (an ulcer medication), and Mylanta, as well as Gripe Water, nothing made any difference except constantly holding and feeding him.

It’s important for me to say that although he drove me insane, and caused a lot of craziness in the household, I loved 5 more than anything! He was my beautiful boy, and I felt so sorry for him. I would have done anything to help him.

I never had a choice about sleeping with 5, I just had to.  And I had to do it sitting upright, with him in my arms, feeding. All night long he would feed and nap, waking me with his cries to change sides. I would awaken to massive hiccies on my chest, where he had tried to latch on in the dark!

Slowly, as he began to move around and learn to crawl, he became less dependent on me for comfort, and I was able to sleep in the night for longer than an hour or so at a time.

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