Friday, November 16, 2012

Introducing . . .

Wee Hector - 1 day old

Our very own sweet little son. Arrived into this world on October 5th, 2012 at 4:05am at Christchurch Womens Hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was a perfect 7lbs 4oz and had a full head of luscious browny-blond hair. After a few days of getting to know one another in hospital we returned home to learn more about each other and grow as a family.

Family photo
Now, six weeks on we are slowly getting the hang of things. While we are constantly on our toes with the wee guy, we are gaining confidence in ourselves as parents - which I have learned is really all that matters. Hector and I struggled with breastfeeding for five weeks and are only now getting the hang of things. Between getting his tongue tie snipped and simply growing a larger mouth, we now have it figured out. But not without much stress, many tears, and lots of hard work. I will say here and now, whosoever might tell you that breastfeeding is a natural and easy process is lying. It has to be learned and sometimes there are mechanical challenges, which left unidentified and dealt with, can lead to many difficulties and complications (mastitis is NOT fun). But with perseverance and lots of help one can usually sort it out - but not always and that's okay too.

Getting ready to go out
Anyhow, life beyond the breast has been much less challenging and a whole lot of fun. Just yesterday we managed to get out on the water with our brand new (used) canoe. Despite waking at 6am, it took us 3 hours to get out of the house (probably not a big surprise for some of you), but we did get out and drove up to the beach by 9:30. Stephen managed to wrangle the canoe down to the water as I gathered the various bits and pieces for Hector. Getting down to the water, we established it would be best to feed a moderately hungry Hector now rather than load up and find he REALLY wanted to eat once out in the boat. So we set down on the grassy bank, fed Hector some breakfast and watched a paddle boarding lesson get under way. Soon he was done and settling into a nap, so we clipped him into his life jacket and got out onto the water.

Both Stephen and I were absolutely thrilled to be there. Dipping our paddles into the calm sea and pulling our way along. We both felt more at home and settled through the simple, familiar act of paddling and seeing the world from the surface of the water. I'm not sure either of us realized we had missed it this much. And it was even more wonderful to be sharing it with our sweet wee son, Hector - who was fast asleep.

Out paddling with dad
First we paddled over to Corsair Bay, then back to Cass Bay and beyond to Rapaki. All of a sudden Hector woke up screaming just one octave down from melt down. I quickly (and very carefully) turned around and picked him up. Despite not really being able to cuddle him close due to both our life jackets, this calmed him down until we could ram into a nearby beach and breastfeed. With food in his belly happy Hector returned to us and we took a look around the beach. But our explore was short lived as the wind was picking up and we had to get back to the beach with our car. So we loaded up and crashed our way out into the seemingly humongous waves (which were in reality only about 15-30cm). I glanced behind me at Hector to see him cozily tucked away, happily sleeping in the rocking boat. Ah, to not have a fear in the world. We were of course perfectly fine, but it amazed me just how much your perception of risk and danger changes when you are caring for your own wee infant.

Hector - 1 month old
We quickly returned to Cass Bay and unloaded back into the car. It had been a fantastic outing and Stephen and I were both so happy to have gotten out on the water with Hector (and not have him scream the whole time). We celebrated with scones and cookies on the beach before heading home to clean up and nap.

Life with Hector is wonderful. It is slower and a little less organized than before, but it is full of delight and joy (also a fair amount of stress and worry). Stephen and I are absolutely taken with the wee man and cannot wait to introduce him to our overseas family when we can.


  1. Congratulations Erin and Stephen! I am amazed you have already taken him canoeing (although at the same time I am not surprised -- if anyone will have an outdoorsy baby it is you!). I am glad to hear things are settling down and you are so smitten. So happy for you both :)


  2. Great to see the blog coming back with a whole new perspective. Hope you all have a good two weeks coming up.