Archive for August, 2011

In this installment I plan to write about the actual process of having a baby from a dad’s perspective.

I’ll open with a disclaimer “Ladies and Mrs Bunny Chow you may read on under the understanding that I wholeheartedly agree that you got the worst part of this deal and have it a lot tougher than us, we are soft and simple creatures and just wanted to put my perspective out there as I saw it through my eyes.”

Disclaimer two. “Do not read on if you are squeamish”

Phew with that out of the way, I mentioned in my earlier essay that as a simple and caring creature, I tend to panic and worry about the well being of Mrs Bunny Chow, this I freely admit did cause some tension whilst waiting for the arrival of Monkey Boy. The amount of snow and the fact that our chosen hospital was on the other side of London didn’t help, but looking back I should have trusted Mrs Bunny Chow’s intuition and not insisted that we visit the hospital every time she started having contractions.

Speaking of contractions nobody warns you that they can come and go for weeks in advance of the main event, years of badly made television and films have been based around the premise of, Oh dear she’s having a baby it’s now time for the big race to get her to a doctor in time. Antenatal lessons and some of your reading materials will point out that in most cases and certainly ours there is plenty of time between the start of the process and the wailing little bundle of joy at the end of the process.

It’s hard to brake those preconceptions that the media has foisted on us though so I urge you not to be like I was and panic at every twinge, trust your beloveds intuition and if necessary remove yourself, play with your PlayStation, go to church, go shopping, actually don’t go shopping, you will be emotional and come home with cuddly toys that you don’t need, I did. Just get yourself somewhere where you can calm down and even if it doesn’t calm your anxiety at least you won’t be increasing hers.

When the time came for us to eventually go to the hospital, Mrs Bunny Chow had already been having strong contractions for nearly twenty hours, she was using a TENS machine which I’d heartily recommend, but our initial plan had been for us to try a water birth and if possible avoid drugs even though we were open to them if needed so we presented ourselves to the birthing unit of St Georges Hospital in the middle of the night for them to submit Mrs Bunny Chow to many indignities. These included examinations to check dilation as well as lots of the usual hospital type test, blood pressure etc. etc., and strapping her into a machine to measure her contractions.

Convinced that nothing much was happening they persuaded Mrs Bunny Chow that some sleep would do her the world of good and administered a shot of Pethidine which had the desired effect of allowing her some rest and me to bed down on a mattress on the floor for a few hours of much needed rest. I’m not sure how long she got but I managed a couple of hours interspersed with mutterings of my lack of consideration and exclamations of you got me into this state you can stay awake with me. For the most part though she was pretty considerate given the circumstances.

Come the morning and another round of examinations we had the aforementioned suggestion that we go home and I had my moment of madness where I explained how that was not going to happen. They did capitulate though and instead moved us to the general labour ward where it was decided that they would get things progressing artificially. They did this by using what I can best describe as a plastic crochet hook to reach into Mrs Bunny Chow’s womb and break the waters. This was obviously excruciatingly painful for Mrs Bunny Chow so they gave her gas and air otherwise known as Entonox or laughing gas to help ease things. This didn’t have the desired effect though and caused her to begin vomiting.

As we were now going down the intervention route a foetal heat monitor was attached to Monkey Boy’s scalp and Mrs Bunny Chow was given pain relief in the form of an epidural to the spine (yes it’s a bloody big needle) as well as being attached to the contraction monitor machine again and the indignity of a catheter and being confined to bed. She was also given an artificial hormone supposed to speed up the process and encourage dilation.

Despite these many indignities the epidural greatly improved Mrs Bunny Chow’s demeanor and comfort allowing us both to get some rest if not any sleep. I even managed to pop home and shower, before heading back to the hospital via the cuddly toy shop again.

As midnight of our second night in hospital loomed ever closer another intrusive examination was carried out by yet another midwife who said that Mrs Bunny Chow still wasn’t dilating sufficiently but suggested that she get a second opinion from the consultant obstetrician. He promptly arrived and said actually things were about to happen. Suddenly all chaos broke loose, the room filled with important looking people, the obstetrician put on a face mask that I kid you not resembled something that would be worn by an Ice Hockey Goalie. The end of the bed was removed and Mrs Bunny Chow was forced to assume the classic movie position with her legs in stirrups.

Mr Obstetrician took up his position between Mrs Bunny Chow’s thighs and after about ten minutes of grunting groaning and swearing with his hands in my beloved Mrs Bunny Chow’s crotch the obstetrician called for the Ventouse Device which is best described as a small sink plunger that they attach to the baby’s scull to allow them to pull. After a minute or two of this yanking there was a terrifying sucking noise as the Ventouse detached itself and came flying out as speed, broken as it whacked against Mrs Bunny Chows inner thigh.

Having given up with the now broken Ventouse Device Mr Obstetrician called for the forceps. Again I am not writing for dramatic effect here but these resembled the biggest salad tongs you have ever seen. I’m told that they cause no lasting harm to the baby but holy cow are they big and do they look evil.

At this stage I was asked to move from my position at Mrs Bunny Chows head end to the other side of the bed to allow the Obstetrician a better view of all the monitors. The only way to facilitate this move was to walk round the business end and as I passed I couldn’t help but have a look at what was going on down there. It is a moment I will never forget and whilst I don’t regret having a look I certainly would recommend that the head end is definitely where you want to be.

The forceps of evil obviously did their job as intended though as within minutes Monkey Boy was brought kicking and screaming into the world.

From here I was taken off to the other side of the room with the paediatrician to check Monkey Boy out, gasp at the size of his scrotum (I later learned that this is because of raging hormones and not my influence) and check he had the right numbers of fingers, toes etc, before cleaning up his meconium (first poo) and putting him in his first nappy and clothes.

I’ll write more about the aftermath of this momentous occasion another time so for now.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

With the impending new arrival, I thought I’d write a few bits that I learned from the first time round.

Firstly, there are plenty of books, blogs, hints and tips out there, read them but treat them all with a healthy dose of “so that was your way of doing things.” There are no hard and fast rules and what works for some people might not work for you. The biggest tip I can give is to be open and relaxed.

Enjoy, the baby making, don’t constantly think that putting more effort into your bonking is going to make a stronger baby etc. etc. enjoy the time with your partner and don’t stress when it doesn’t happen right away but again don’t be surprised if it does. I’ve experienced both sides of the coin and can honestly say that your mother was right it only takes once, but I can also speak as someone who experienced the heartache and confusion of failed pregnancies, the disappointment when another month went by with nothing.

One of the hardest things to deal with as a bloke is that you are no longer part of the equation, all focus is now on Mrs You and that is tough especially when things are not going to plan. For this reason I would whole heartedly recommend getting involved in some sort of Ante-Natal classes, much like the books treat it as a OK so that’s your way but take advantage of meeting other couples at similar stages of the game to you. We chose the NTC as one of the bigger ones but I’m sure they are all pretty similar in layout.

It’s really nice to have a core of other blokes all feeling as nervous as you and really excited to have another person who won’t think them a wimp for wanting to talk. plus it’s a good excuse to go for a beer afterwards.

If possible try and go on a babymoon together, get used to drinking alone or abstaining altogether though, and don’t on pain of death assume that her not drinking creates a catch all excuse for her being the designated driver for the next nine months.

Whilst on the subject of nine months, they lie, it’s forty weeks which however you break it down does not add up to nine months. You will be reminded of this at length throughout as your beloved becomes bigger and grumpier, smile, nod, empathise.

Nookie, maybe, maybe not, he choice, she’s a pressure cooker of raging hormones, think back to being a teenager, actually no don’t, but the floods of hormones will be similar and she’s allowed to be moody, horny, weepy, cuddly and or evil, possibly all of these emotions will happen within minutes and as a man we have to accept these things. So in short, good luck I hope you do but if you don’t tough. I come back to my earlier point of enjoy bonking while you’re trying because you never know when you’re next gonna get it.

As the end of life as you know it approaches, remember to keep sober, have plenty of change for hospital car parks and if possible try not to panic. This is not something I’m very good at. When Mrs Bunny Chow went into labour with Monkey Boy, it had been snowing, it was the middle of the night, we were both exhausted and I was struggling to control my emotions. Mrs Bunny Chow was a champion but when after a night in hospital and not a lot happening except lots of pain for her, they suggested that we should go home and wait some more. I very impolitely explained to the hospital staff that they were more than welcome to wheel Mrs Bunny Chow out into the snow strewn car park but that I was taking her nowhere.

They were pretty good about this and did agree to let her stay.

I’ll write further updates of my experiences with both Monkey boy and the impending in the coming days but in the mean time here are a couple of books worth reading.

firstly
http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=0091900638&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
it’s a bit lad humourish but easy reading for those of you who aren’t big book people.

next
http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=0738210072&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
A fantastic book, written primarily for mums but hilarious and informative.

Finally
http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=1847373755&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
this series of books are brilliant, they are written in a no nonsense style and just give you how it is without rubbing their opinions in your face.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

More stuff we need

Posted: 23/08/2011 in baby preparations

So the preparations for our impending new arrival continue apace.

the following aren’t really baby items but things we need to get the house ready.

Our shredder isn’t really up to the job of coping with the amount of junk mail we receive and in these security concious times I feel it’s prudent to get rid of it all so an incinerator is the first thing on the list, anyway what man doesn’t like fire.

It will also be useful for getting rid of garden waste.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=B001C7CW4W&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Next on the shopping list is a new cat flap as our monsters have managed to destroy another one and the local bullying tom cat keeps coming and stealing their food.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=B0002DHN6Y&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

will keep updating as we get more organised.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Book Reviews

Posted: 23/08/2011 in Book Reviews

I’ve now read half a dozen or so of Duncan Falconer’s books and thoroughly enjoyed them all. This latest one Pirate is not significantly different from the others they are not the most intellectual of reads coming from the same vein as Chris Ryan and Andy Macnab one hard special forces operative against improbable odds taking on the bad guys but I like the supension of belief and escapism that these sort of books provide.

Falconer’s central character is in the Special Boat Service based out of Poole and holds the normal SAS types of these types of novel in some contempt which is amusing.

anyway enough of my waffling buy this book if you like this sort of thing.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=B004XCFIK8&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Something Missing?

Posted: 22/08/2011 in idiots

You may have noticed that my previous rant missed out on the other several other scourges of our roads and I will attempt to address some of them below.

Firstly in my previous essay I deliberately left out the most dangerous and annoying of all the small hatchbacks, namely the Estate Agents fashion machine, these used to all be New Mini’s but of late have diversified to include the Fiat 500, Citroen DS3 and occasionally the diesel Golf. I’ve even seen that they’ve begun to drive so called crossover vehicles like the Nissan Puke and Quashiwashi or whatever it’s called. Now whilst these vehicles may be considered to be a nuisance to other drivers, the main reason for them being omitted was in fact that as Estate Agents they fall into a category far more dangerous than that of the bad driver and I generally do my best to forget their very existence whenever possible.

Next missing from the list is the people carrier, and these fall into two categories, Addison Lee and their large fleet of Black Ford Galaxies. I refuse to comment any further on these lest I do damage to my computer or myself.

Then there are the hoards of aging Toyota’s and Mitsubishi’s with names I can’t be bothered to remember and stickers giving them away as mini cabs. I know these again to be good vehicles that will do a million miles without grumbling, my own father owns one for that very reason, they go on forever which in a crumbling impoverished African dictatorship with no access to spares this means something. In London they are only there so that they can ferry the drunken, vommiting hoards home from Croydon on Friday and Saturday nights.

Personally I would prefer that these hoards stayed home in their council estates on Friday and Saturday nights to lessen their chances of finding a mate and breeding, so in my world they too would be banned.

I’m sure there are others on the roads who get my goat but my blood pressure is already high enough.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow.

why oh why?

Posted: 22/08/2011 in idiots

I’d like to begin today’s essay with a couple of disclaimers.

Firstly I am fully aware that as the owner/driver of a large automobile from Ingolstadt I am prone to driving far too close to the vehicle in front, flashing my lights and wondering what that extra lever on the steering column that makes green arrows blink on the dashboard when I press it is for.

I am also an avowed fan of the hatchback as a sensible form of transport and consider many of the below to be excellent choices for the man or lady about town who requires a simple inexpensive way of getting from A to B.

No my rant is directed not at the hatchback, but the owners of far too many of these vehicles.

I am going to name and shame some of the worst offending choices.

The Nissan Micra is a great little car and a perfectly sensible and practical hatchback if a little dull. Why oh why then are they nearly all driven by complete imbeciles? I’ve certainly never seen a boy racer in one and struggle to think of a time when I have seen one driven with anything even remotely resembling some level of thought for it’s surroundings.

The Vauxhall Corsa on the other hand is a hateful machine and I implore every single one of you my dear readers to do everything in your power to run them off the road at every opportunity, they are all owned and driven by either the ancient and infirm or oiks in back to front baseball caps.

I believe that the Koreans now make perfectly acceptable vehicles but without exception I am yet to see anything with a Kia or Hyundai badge being driven in a safe and sensible manner and again implore you to avail yourself of any opportunity to confiscate the drivers licence of anyone behind the wheel of one of these pesky little hate boxes.

The small French hatchback is a strange beast too, if they are very small they tend to bare French licence plates and carry the scars of many a battle with larger machines as they race away in a voluminous blue cloud created in equal parts by Gauloises and diesel. I’d recommend approaching these vehicles with caution. The alternatives seem to be little old blue rinsers who seem to have become lost en route to the Vauxhall/Nissan/Kia/Hyundai dealership and should have their licences confiscated or they are being Peugeot’s being driven by young ladies who are more interested in doing their make up and nails than their immediate surroundings or concentrating on unimportant things like where they are going. I state again the small French hatchback is a strange beast but dangerous in almost all forms.

The Japanese make some excellent fun and practical little cars (the Nissan Micra is made in the North East of England and I don’t count it here) yet still far too many of these great little cars are adopted by the blue rinse brigade and their incontinent partners. The Honda Jazz is a lovely if slightly uninspiring little car, The Toyota Yaris similarly so, yet why oh why was I on this very morning forced to follow a Toyota Yaris for several interminable miles at an excruciatingly painful twenty four miles an hour. At several points I came over all Audi and was forced to attempt tailgating and flashing my lights in a failed attempt to get the young lady behind the wheel to realise that she was holding up a tailback of near biblical proportions.

I have no idea what actually goes through the minds of such people under these circumstances, although I suspect it to be very little as they seem to have very little excess capacity for anything other than the basic function of breathing.

I pray every day that my progeny will not become these people we are forced to share the road with but at the very least I shall insist that they read the following publications.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=0141044209&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Followed by

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=0749552573&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Book Reviews

Posted: 19/08/2011 in Book Reviews, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe

I have just finished reading Wilbur Smith’s Elephant Song.

As a Zimbabwean I should love Wilbur Smith’s books but for some reason despite many attempts I have often struggled with his writing style. With that in mind I approached this book with some trepidation, but I needn’t have been concerened Elephant Song grips you from the very begining, the characters are strong and well thought out. The descriptions of the landscapes beautifully rendered in your mind and the tale does not let up. 500+ pages dissapeared in next to no time leaving me wanting more.

Highly Recommended.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=mrbuch-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=B003GK22U2&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr