Day Eighteen: Milo the Destroyer Part 1 – Tuesday 14 July 2015

As positive as Milo has been for our happiness quotient, life fulfillment index, joy ratio and perspective computation, he has not been good for our bodies.

In 2012 Kuepps developed Sacroiliac Joint pain due to her exuberant yoga exploits and hyper-mobile joints. This was compounded by our decision to hike the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu shortly after, and then the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia shortly after that. After a procession of medical professionals and some quacks had pored over her Sacrum, Kuepps attained some relief which lasted, of course, until in mid 2014 tiny in-utero Milo started playing havoc with poor Kuepps’ joints.

Of course we knew nothing of the dastardly but evocatively named hormone ‘Relaxin’ until we began preparing for the growing of Milo, but now we are well acquainted. Relaxin, of course, just thinks it is being helpful; loosening up the ligaments and joints to help with Milo’s eventual passage to the world. Why this needs to occur 7 weeks into pregnancy suggests to me evolution has still got some work to do.

So, for a normally jointed individual the Relaxin can be shot into the system and then eventually removed once the business of birthing is complete, with the mother none-the-wiser, possibly making casual statements such as “wow, the miracle of birth, I guess we’ll never know how that  surprisingly large human baby got out of me with such little fuss”. However, for the ‘hyper-mobile’ among us, and my wife is one of these, Relaxin is an unwanted guest; early to the party, trying to help in the kitchen but only managing to burn the toast, chop the carrot batons way too big and smash the good china.

Kuepps’ left and right hips sequentially fell out for half of her pregnancy, rendering her immobile at times and in pain all of the rest of the time. The cruel trick here of course is that anti-inflams and any sort of useful pain killers are on the ‘take these if you never want your child to amount to anything’ list. So for Kuepps it was Panadol and regular visits to variously expensive physios to have the hip (temporarily) returned to its rightful spot.

Conceptually it is possible to understand Relaxin’s purpose and therefore one would reasonably conclude that once the child is out Relaxin would quickly grab its jacket and disappear out the front door, profusely apologising about the toast. Not so. Relaxin persistently hangs around during breast feeding, swaying a little on its own in the corner, leaving rings on your furniture with the bottom of its red wine glass, taking charge of your i-Tunes playlist, playing 5 seconds of each track as it searches for ‘I would walk 500 miles by the Proclaimers’ all the while offering, with no great sincerity, to help with the dishes.

Kuepps’ hip continues to periodically fall out and although she is now very brave about it, very practised in the necessary remediation and very positive about future treatments (now that the Relaxin has finally been ushered into a taxi with the driver paid in advance) lifting, carrying, changing and settling Milo continues to cause her pain and difficulty. Milo is the wriggliest child I have ever seen. I have never attempted to put a nappy and then a onesie on a piglet but I know exactly what it would be like. Not the piglet from Babe either, a really wild one, possibly this one from ‘baby monkey riding on a pig’.

This morning I had my third appointment with my current physio, who is the fifth professional I have seen about my back ailment which sprang up early on in my full time stint with Milo. This post is already getting rather lengthy so perhaps I will record my Milo related ailments at a later date, ‘Milo the Destroyer Part 2’.

Kuepps worked from home in the morning until I got home from the physio (around 9) and then dashed off to work. Milo was already asleep so I pottered around until he awoke at around 1030. We then set a Milo record for most successful number of pram/ car seat transfers; into the pram to get to the car, into the car, into the pram to go to Harvey Norman to buy a router (we purchased the one in the gold box which must clearly be the best), back into the car, out of the car at Bunnings to buy wire to train our grape vine which will be planted in Spring, back into the car, back into the pram at the supermarket primarily to buy strawberries and bananas for smoothie construction, then back into the car, THEN back into the pram. No, not quite. Milo drew a line under this last transfer and executed the ‘ramrod’ manoeuvre (as a friend of mine calls it), rendering his body arrow straight and rock hard such that he could be carried in a reasonably wide document tube, but certainly not a pram. So I carried him upstairs, but not before smashing the old record with 8 successful transfers.

We then shared a varied lunch before crawling around on the balcony for around an hour, Milo supplementing his lunch with soil, being careful to sample the various flavours from each of the pots and planter boxes. Kuepps and I are currently operating on the mantra that if Milo’s body is not happy with what he is eating he will throw it up again.

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Soil eating

After being hosed off Milo had his afternoon nap and awoke just before his mum arrived home. We all enjoyed our evening together, particularly the banana and strawberry smoothie which Milo inhaled with dangerous enthusiasm. Milo perhaps enjoyed his evening a little too much as he emerged with a big grin on his face, mid-West Wing, when he should have been quite asleep.

Eventually I lay with him until he decided sleep might be a reasonable idea. Of course this is not a very peaceful process; he flops about like an 8kg salmon that has just been landed on the rocks, lolloping back and forth, slapping himself in the face, jamming his dummy in his eye, grabbing my mouth and nostrils until he finally passes out and sleeps wherever he happens to be.

On this occasion we were in a reverse spoon position with his forehead just about touching my knee and his feet in my face. I was afforded about 6 inches of bed in which to fit my body, with my arm jammed underneath my torso, steadily growing tingly and limp. I didn’t sleep at all but that is beside the point. It is quite lovely listening to him snort gently and watching his little body rise and fall peacefully. Eventually I peeled myself off the bed and onto the floor, rather like one of Salvador Dali’s clocks, scooped Milo up and placed him in his cot before he awoke. It was now about 10, Kuepps had finished her work and it was time for bed. Hence this blog has fallen behind by about 24 hours. We will endeavour to catch up tonight.

  • Number of aerials on our new router for optimum routering – 6
  • Seconds before Suu Kyi attempted to sit on the new router for warmth – 10
  • Number of total West Wing episodes now watched – 7
  • Minutes of Tour de France watched in bed – 20
  • Weeks of Daddy Daycare to go – 6.5
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