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A new journey November 10, 2010

Posted by Amanda in Blogs, Observations, Personal.
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“Carry the bags” was a phrase that Chris used when we were headed overseas for six months of travelling. Sometime he’s a reluctant traveller until he is actually on his way so he complained one day that the mammoth journey wasn’t for his benefit, he was just going to carry the bags. It became a bit of a joke between us, but really the phrase has a lot more weight than just a flippant comment.

There are lots of journeys in life and we have just embarked on one from which we can never return – parenthood.

Of course the phrase ‘carry the bags’ is one that’s very applicable to any western parent because all of a sudden it seems our life has been invaded by more ‘stuff’ and more ‘bags’ than we’ve ever had before. We’re the type who travel for six months with 15 kilo backpacks and yet now we’re lucky if we can leave the house with equipment that weighs less than that.

And yet of course the blog title is also apt considering we really are on our way to destination unknown – does parenthood even have a destination? Or is that just the desperate hope that you will live to old age and die before your offspring?

Perhaps now this blog can be an occasional drop-in point for my thoughts on this trip of a lifetime.

Many of our friends were surprised, if not shocked, when we said we were having a baby. We’d managed to cultivate the impression that we were quite happy with our two cats and yearly overseas jaunts. The truth was that although there wasn’t the desperate need to have children that some people experience, it is something we had long hoped for, but for a while it didn’t seem like it would happen and we were in the process of accepting that perhaps it wasn’t meant to be.

I found out I was pregnant in February and it was a big surprise to both of us –  a pleasant one, but it was hard to believe. In fact I stayed in denial until the day our daughter Freya was born one week ago.

I had meant to blog throughout the pregnancy, but it just never happened. I was fortunate to have the easiest pregnancy of anyone I know – no sickness, no cravings, no real exhaustion. Even though I ended up having an emergency caesarean after about 24 hours of labour, I can’t even say the birth was something I look back on as being particularly eventful until the last hour or so. It was frightening when the baby’s heartbeat dropped low enough to warrant the emergency button being pushed and being rushed in to surgery but maybe the drugs have made the rest a bit of a blur.

Having never been a ‘baby’ person, I was a little concerned about how I would relate to my own child. I can’t say I’ve felt the overwhelming rush of love for my child that many seem to experience in the delivery room but it’s certainly something different and deeper than I’ve felt before. There is something special about holding this little warm bundle who is totally reliant on me.

I thought I was having that moment of ‘falling in love’ with Freya late one night when I was in hospital. I had just fed her and she was sitting in my arms looking into my eyes for what seemed like a very long time. I really was overcome with wonder that this small child was mine and she was staring into my soul. Then I realised she was actually concentrating on the enormous green production in her pants. But perhaps that’s the first lesson in how children keep you grounded.

She’s asleep now and will soon wake up needing to be fed. This isn’t the post I sat down to write but it’s an introduction to how I might use this blog from now on. I have no intention of becoming one of the myriad mummy bloggers and it’s more of a place to sort my own thoughts and make some sense of what’s happening to us.

I’m glad I called this space “Carry the Bags” so long ago. It might just be a place to dump all my mental luggage as well.

 

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