Saturday, January 23, 2010

Blue genes

I love genetics. According to basic Mendelian principles, Tareka and I have a 1 in 4 chance of having a child with blonde hair or blue eyes, despite us both being brown-eyed brunettes. Tareka's father has both blonde hair and blue eyes, so Tareka has a gene for both characteristics. My mother has blue eyes, and her mother had blonde hair and blue eyes so I should be carrying the gene for blue eyes, and possibly the one for blonde hair too.
As both blonde hair and blue eyes are the recessive gene, I was not surprised to have 2 daughters with both dark hair and eyes - like their parents - but I always joked that we had a chance of having a baby that didn't look like it came from us!

Now we have him.

Our little boy was distinctly fairer than his 2 sisters were at birth, and although we won't know for sure for about a month or so, he is looking like he may well have blue eyes. I love the fact that my 2 daughters have different characteristics - one has straight hair, the other curls - and now our little man is going to be different again!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hormone horrors

I had conveniently forgotten how the post-baby hormones can make me feel. I remembered the pain of birth and prepared myself accordingly; I remembered the sleeplessness and rested when I could in preparation; I remembered the nappy changes and organized supplies but I forgot about this:

Fear of the unknown, fear that someone will steal away my children when I am not looking, fear that they will get knocked down on the road, or even the driveway, fear that they will drown in the bath, fear that they will die in a car accident, fear that they will get lost, fear that they will get involved in drugs, fear that they will develop an incurable illness, fear that they will suffer with mental problems, fear that they will leave and never come back, fear that they will grow up to be psychos, fear that they will hurt each other, fear that they will fall out with their siblings and never speak to them again, fear that one of them will die if I go overseas, fear that one of them will feel abandoned if I do something with the other one, fear that they will just simply not wake up in the morning, fear that the world they are growing up into is too violent, too heartless, too dangerous, fear fear fear fear.

I know it is all completely irrational and that the chances of tragedy befalling my family are small, but I am trapped in this hormone-riddled body, watching my loving family help me out as much as they can by getting the kids out from under my feet, and all I feel is fear that they won’t come back.

In addition, I am tired and grumpy and I lose patience with my kids all too quickly when I am like this, which also makes me feel guilty and sad. This adds to the fears that I am doing them permanent damage and that they will grow up hating me and run far away as soon as they are capable of leaving home.

My mother told me that I would not understand how much she loved me until I had children of my own, and since the birth of my first child I have willingly admitted how right she was. I also understand why my Mother-in-law gladly looks after her adult children who have chosen not to leave home. I just hope this really is hormone-driven and that it will fade in time, my heart cannot cope with the ache for long.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Our new addition

Our baby boy was born on Monday 11th January 2010 at about 5.45 in the evening. He arrived quickly and easily (relatively speaking!) and cried straight away. We stayed at the maternity unit for a couple of nights, then came home to a grand welcome from his big sisters.

The house is finally feeling like a real home, as we have unpacked the last of the boxes and hung pictures and art up on the walls. We have a spell of glorious weather and the girls are outside all day, every day.

I had a little bout of the baby blues yesterday, but I also had that amazing "rush of love" feeling when my little boy looked at me this morning. I think my family may well be complete with my amazing girls and my beautiful boy, but I promised to give myself 12 months before making any final decisions.

The girls love their little brother very much and are adjusting very well to having him around. I devised a few methods to prevent any jealousy before he came home, and they seem to be working. The girls get to choose a "new" book from a special bag whenever I have to feed Hakopa, and they also help when I change his nappies. They are getting a lot of attention from Daddy and the grandparents too, which helps a great deal.

Mapera is going on a trip with Omi and Opi next week, and it will be the first time she has been away from home for more than one night. Kaitereo has been promised the same trip when she is 4, but she seems happy to be staying home with "that baby" this time round.

Mapera starts kindy in a couple of weeks too, and we will have to visit the school we hope to send her to. My first baby is growing up so fast and I am so proud of her. Kaitereo will be off to kindy towards the end of this year too, hopefully, so I may well be home with one baby by the end of the year!

My next plan for the house (now we've unpacked) is to get a lawn planted out the front and start digging over the ground for the veg garden. The aim is to have this done by the time winter sets in, so I am giving myself a realistic 6 months to get done.

Looking forward to life as a family of 5, and the changing dynamic a boy will bring. Life is exciting!