It is Connor’s birthday tomorrow – he is turning nine years old.
I cannot believe that nine years ago today he will still firmly incubated where my spleen, liver and large intestines are now resident.
I recall how afraid I was when I was pregnant.
Well, not afraid in it’s true sense, more in the “well, if I do not think about that then it will not occur” – so it was more a denial type of afraid.
I was fine with the pregnancy, and was lucky enough to experience a really easy pregnancy (if it is any consolation I will have two subsequent pregnancies that definitely showed me the ying and yang in life.) The pregnancy part with Connor brought very little change to my normal life.
I did not experience morning sickness, nor much in the way of aches and pains. I gained very little weight (oh we laugh now, we do), and it was all quite jolly. It sort of just ticked by with it’s own time clock – as things if you ignore then tend to do.
I was not terribly opinionated about what I wanted, and was happy to go with the flow (to a large degree).
The one problem I had with the pregnancy, is that my mind’s eye could not (or would not) see past when I was not pregnant any more. Pregnancy fine, seeing me with baby, not so much.
I was good with picturing the pregnancy. Not so good with what would happen when I was not pregnant anymore. I just had no idea. My mind was using a super coping mechanism of “well, let’s ignore it totally shall we!”
I was really happy with the pregnancy, but had not spent a moment picturing how they were going to get the baby out. (Notice how I had outsourced that problem to someone else, and deemed myself the innocent unconcerned bystander)
I had not pictured cuddling my baby and bonding with him – I had nothing, and I was sort of comfortable with that.
People kept saying “You must be really excited that it is nearly over hey?” And of course I would raise an eyebrow and go: “Not really hey. Much easier in that out I am thinking.” Which would leave them confused and they would shuffle off.
I was not panicking about the “after pregnancy” because I had not given it any thought what so ever, I had not allowed it to come into my head.
Connor did arrive, and I think because I had no clue, I worried and panicked less.
When they did hand him over to me. I then felt the panic start to creep in, as I really had no idea what to do with him – I had not really held a baby before him.
The fact that all the nurses at Panorama Medi Clinic appeared so efficient made me really panic. They were more from the Gestapo-school-of-nurse training that the Elizabeth Anne school, so they made me a little scared, feel very insecure, and well cry a bit (a lot.)
I realized as I watched them handle him with confidence, that I was well and truly out of my depth. It took me about 30 minutes to change his nappy – and that was using about 4 nappies as I kept mucking them up, and there would be bum cream pretty much all over him, me, the bedding, the nappy bag, the nurse’s button!
I did not struggle with breastfeeding, but had no clue what I was doing, and that might have helped it just go better. I stuck him on and then left him. Great, but the bleeding nipples, not so much.
As the day drew near where I had to leave the hospital, I realized that now I was going to have a full fledged panic. I called the nurse over and asked in my “you might have overlooked this detail” customer voice: “Er, when will you be giving me the manual. There is one available right?”
Oh she laughed. Bless her. Of course I then had a bit of a cry as I realized there was actually no manual. Which does appear like a huge oversight.
I received an instruction manual when I purchased a George Foreman Grill for goodness sake, but nothing when I expel a baby from my uterus. Seems like “someone” is not realizing what a big deal this actually is.
The problem is that when you start crying after you have had a baby, well you actually never stop. I proceeded to cry for about three months, and then some.
Ah good times.
So today I reflect on all that and the distance I have travelled (in my head) since December 2001.
I was not sure I wanted any children. However of course when I was pregnant and had Connor it was clear that we were going to be joined for life through this connection of mother and child/son. Since then I have had two more, and would have another tomorrow if Kennith would just think it was a good idea.
Connor isn’t a baby anymore and probably has not been for some time. It is difficult to look at him and see that he is on his way to being a gangly lanky boy-man who will throw a pre-pubescent fit about something and go around slamming his door.
I look at him physically and his development and I think that there is not much time between now and when he starts to sprout wiry hair on his body, and starts to do strange things in his room with his door closed.
I like that he still likes to come and get a cuddle from me – albeit when his friends are far away from him and don’t see him.
Last night when I asked him something he answered by going “WORD!” in an American slang accent, I was not sure whether to laugh or smack him against the side of his head.
Last night I caught Georgia out doing something wrong, and I heard him comment in a low voice “busted!” and that made me laugh.
Connor has grown into a sweet, soft-hearted loving child, who is a bit OCD about fishing. He is friendly and caring about others, and really has such a genuine pleasant nature.
Wow what an incredible nine years! It is hard to fathom that in another 9 years he will be 18 and then might retract his statement about “I am never going to have a girl friend, girls are yuck!”
So humour me this little pictorial meander down the road that is Connor.
Connor being born – 10 December 2001.
All red lipped and puckered in the incubator …. he really was a beautiful baby …..
Connor 6 months old …. he dribbled from birth …..
3rd Birthday … notice how long his hair is …. people kept saying things like: “what a beautiful girl…” and then Kennith went to cut his hair, about a week after this photo.
Connor 4 years and 6 months (his sister had just arrived on the scene)
Nearly 5. He had just cut his own fringe, and the only solution was to cut all his hair off really short to try to make it look like we really wanted a hairstyle with big chunks of hair missing from the front.
5th Birthday – we always open presents after everyone has gone or even some days the day after.
Connor 5 1/2 at Zevenwacht with Georgia ….
Connor 5 years and 10 months ….
6th Birthday party … a boy on a boat with his mates, what could be better?
Connor 6 and a half ….
Connor turns 7 – this is the school party at his Pre-Primary ….. (and the teeth starting leaving the scene)
Connor’s first day of school …. I have no idea what is going on with the pose ….
Connor’s 8th birthday party …. as you can tell wildlife, snakes and so on feature quite heavily in our lives due to Connor’s little obsessions (I think we all go through the stage of two HUGE front teeth)
Connor 8 and a half … sort of starting to lose that gangly little boy thing and the little man is starting to show through.
Nearly nine ….