Thankyou for giving Jessie such a wonderful welcome

Dearest friends

027Thank you all so much, from Isabella, Ryno and me, for your supportive messages, thoughts and gifts. Jessie Rose has had such a warm and loving welcome into the world. I’m not going to be able to respond to everyone individually for some time, so this post serves to give you all the deets.

Jessie was due on Sunday 21 July but didn’t surprise anyone by not making an appearance, despite rapidly putting on weight and making her mother extremely uncomfortable. Isabella’s doctor said that if nothing had happened by Thursday morning, he would induce her.

Isabella had a craving for pizza on Wednesday night but wasn’t allowed to eat anything after 10pm (in case she needed a caesar the next day), so the cramps she felt early on Thursday morning were, she assumed, hunger pangs. They weren’t – she was in labour and had been for some time, so her doctor prescribed some meds to hurry things along. He broke her water at about 11.30am, and she had an epidural at around 1pm. Her few hours of labour were enough to convince her that she’s a huge fan of pain relief.

Bella and JessJessie was born at 6.30pm, after only about 15 minutes of pushing. (The monitor showed that she had slept almost all the way through the labour.) She weighed 3.890kg.

Isabella recovered well from the delivery, and she brought Jessie home on Saturday afternoon. (They’ll both be staying with me in Riebeek Kasteel for a while.) And on Saturday night, she finally got the pizza she’d so craved – Ryno fetched one for her from Debonair’s in Malmesbury.

Jessie looks very like Kean, Ryno’s 6-year-old son – who is a gorgeous boy. She also looks very like Isabella did as a newborn. (Isabella, now an expert on brand-new humans, says the world of newborns is divided into ‘potato babies’ and ‘monkey babies’. Jessie is, she’s happy to report, a ‘monkey baby’. Prince George is, by comparison, a ‘potato baby’.)

042Jessie is feeding well. So far, she seems to be a very content baby, crying only when she’s hungry (although that’s quite often!) or tired. She’s sleeping several hours at a stretch at night – long may that last!

Isabella says she’s not going to post regular baby pics on Facebook (although she may not be able to resist…), so I’ve included a few in this post. As is evident, Jessie is one of the cutest little monkey-babies the world has ever seen!

Left: Isabella and Jessie with Rose, Isabella’s oldest and best friend, and the source of Jessie’s middle name. (Jessie was my mother’s name.)

Do you like babies? Yes, but I couldn’t eat a whole one

cake babies detailIt’s perhaps because I live in an irony-free zone that my initial reaction to these edible babies was ‘aaaah, cute!’. When I showed them to my son, he said, ‘Ugh, creepy!’ but I thought he was just being a man. But then I started showing them to other people whose reactions, although varied in their intensity, were largely of the ‘surprised recoil’ variety.

Bubs with cake babiesNo matter. My friend Mandy, who had carefully parcelled them up and posted them down from Joburg, asked me to place each of the 10 edible babies atop a cupcake, as a ‘mommy’ present for my daughter, who’s a few weeks away from having her first child. The cupcakes, red velvet ones from Wicked Treats, were fabulous as always. The cake babies, on the other hand, elicited even more horrified reactions when in situ – because then it became inescapably obvious that they were, in fact, intended to be eaten.

It’s not unusual for expectant mothers to have very vivid dreams, and one from my first pregnancy that frightened me so much that I remember it clearly almost a quarter of a century later involved my cooking my new baby for dinner and eating him. So it was truly awful to watch my daughter put the teeny-tiny little toes of one of the cake babies into her mouth and nibble them off. Fortunately, the substance the babies is made of doesn’t taste nice, so the other nine babies will remain intact.

* While trolling the Internet to find a site address for the maker of the cake babies (she doesn’t have a website but can be contacted on 082 8646 700), I came across this terrifically gruesome video.