And then, we were four

I write this on a foggy winter’s afternoon at my kitchen table. I’m not entirely sure, even when I stop to think, what day it is. I am wearing  – still, sadly – maternity jeans and shirt, not because I remain pregnant but because disappointingly I have not instantly lost the twenty odd kilos I gained over the last nine months. I am also, bizarrely and humiliatingly (and admittedly amusingly), wearing a pair of hospital issue stretchy white underpants with the crotch cut out of them, my arms thrust through the leg holes, as a crop top of sorts. Into this I’ve shoved two ice packs that are regularly swapped out – at my midwife’s instance – with cabbage leaves and this weird tigerbalm-scented paste called Pasta Boli (not the kind you eat, she helpfully advised). Birth itself is of course undignified, but it feels like it’s nothing on these early weeks of motherhood.

However! Our boy is here! Little Theodore Winton arrived precisely on his due date, endearing him forever to his prompt mother’s heart. His birth was almost the opposite of my experience with his sister; gory details aside, this time was far easier and much less traumatic. The most surprising aspect of the birthing procedure was the mingling of alternative medical practices with the more standard delivery process. At various times I was fed different homeopathic concoctions, assorted aromatherapy treatment was pumped through the room depending on my current state, and I was given acupuncture towards the end of labour itself. I’m finding the same with my midwife – there’s a surprising focus on alternate options and traditional practices; and to be fair, they appear to have worked. I had assumed that the seemingly clinical, straight-and-narrow Swiss would not be so into alternate treatment options, but on reflection maybe it makes more sense that a comprehensive and thorough approach to healthcare is taken rather than the more linear one we have at home.

We left the hospital six hours after little Teddy was born. I’d not even contemplated doing this prior, but in the absence of a family room and due to the smoothness of the birth we decided we’d be happier heading home. We were back in time for a patchy night’s sleep and to wake our little miss on her birthday, the highlight of which was hearing her say ‘niiiiiiice’ when she saw her new brother.

We hosted Swissmas again this year, with the life savers that are my bestie and Tim’s sister and bro-in-law, who kept us not only alive but alarmingly well fed and watered during our first week as parents of two. I’d thoroughly recommend recruiting them if you ever wish to extend your family and still feel like a human being. There was raclette, a life-threatening glühwein maker, a ridiculous amount of gifts (Ads went from not knowing what a present was to demanding to open all of them in about two minutes flat), lots of champagne, many tasty treats from home, and a few not-so-silent nights.

Now, we’re in that no-man’s-land between Christmas and New Year, which is only compounded with the haziness of a newborn (and the sick resident two year old, just to keep us on our toes). We’ve a week or so before Tim’s mum arrives, during which we’re tentatively feeling our way as a family of four (or eight, if you include Peppa Pig and her fambam, who I confess are making fairly regular visits to the Purler household), capitalising on the frozen meals I feverishly prepared prior to his arrival, and enjoying being wrapped in the newborn cocoon. Right now, though, both bambinis are asleep, so we’re indulging in a cheeky wine and leftover Christmas cheese platter (possibly with a mint slice chaser). And cabbage leaves.

10 thoughts on “And then, we were four

  1. Aaawww, congratulations on your cute little baby boy! He’s so precious ♥
    Glad to hear the birth went well, sorry about cabbage leaves and other inconveniences. This shall pass, too, though.
    Love your pictures, especially the one that includes the whole family in festive winter sweaters.
    Happy New Year!

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    • Thank you, and a happy festive season to you too! As depressing as the cabbage situation is it seems to be working so I’ll suck it up and chalk it down to one of the many odd/unglamorous parenting experiences!

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  2. It looks and feels magical, what a good post 🙂 We were there one and a half years ago, coping with the postpartum mess, raising a toddler while looking after a newborn and coping with a sore body (btw, frozen bags of peas is another for the list :)), the lack of sleep, the confusion, it is a lot. On the other hand, we found the second time it was so much easier, we were more relaxed, knew what we were doing and maybe out of luck or maybe as a result, baby 2 was so much easier and chilled than baby 1! Enjoy the magic, it is great that your kids are so close in age. M.

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    • We’re hoping our experience counts for something too! It’s certainly nowhere near as daunting as the first time around and although the boy is already showing differences to his sister, it’s much, much easier having done it before. Thanks for your message – good to know we’ll make it out the other side!

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  3. Aw I got a bit teary reading this. Love to you all. Glad things are going OK (I’ve done the cabbage leaves thing!!) can’t wait to meet the little guy (er – and Adelaide too!) Happy New Year! x

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  4. What a nice piece of honest writing, it feels like it came straight from the heart, no editing 😉
    Also, interesting to hear about the alternative medicine complementing standard procedures – when the day comes, I might get back to you with questions on that 🙂

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  5. Wow, first of all, congratulations to your son! The pictures are so cute! You are such a brave woman in my eyes to leave the hospital 6 hours after the delivery! And then celebrating Christmas with the whole family! I wouldn´t have known where my head is (with all the hormones doses). Once again, congratulations!

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  6. Congrats!! We are a family of 4 as well and it’s a great number 🙂 Loved the post. I thought cabbage leaves were to dry up milk (?) but it’s all a bit fuzzy now! 😉 I can’t believe they let you leave the hospital after 6 hours! I left after 4 days with both babies, and I had to fight them for that! (I was meant to stay 7 both times, and I would have, but sharing a room got a bit old) I still wistfully think back on all those delicious meals, delivered to me at regular intervals…all while I did not thing but sit in bed and hold the baby… 😉 Those were the days, haha!!

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  7. Congratulations! I totally missed all this exciting news! I’m so happy that the birth went so smoothly. And home in 6 hours. That must be a record time. I hope you are getting some sleep and enjoying your new little family of four.

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