The last of the pictures from the hospital
A rare moment of rest for mama. Andrea's room in the post-natal ward at Jessops was shared with four other women and their babies (and their visitors), so even when Janelle wasn't kicking off it was a phrenetic environment. But here she manages to get a few minutes of sleep. Her rest is aided by her wonderful husband, who's attending to Janelle and keeping her quiet. Of course, it isn't so great that he's setting off the camera's flash just feet from her face. Hey, I said I was wonderful . . . not perfect.
One of my favourite pictures. I'm amazed at the biological or emotional mechanism (or whatever type of mechanism it is) that makes a mother bond so quickly and tenderly to someone who's caused so much pain and trauma on her way out. Here you can get just a glimpse of how tender and sweet Andrea is as a young mother. The cannula still attached to Andrea's hand is evidence of the measures taken to keep her well during and after labour. Some of you will appreciate how much Andrea enjoys being jabbed by needles.
Here we see Andrea holding Janelle. I'm not sure I can add anything to this picture, so just look and appreciate.
Some of you have asked for photos of all three Rodriguezes together, and you can't get much better than this (at least, not with me in the shot). As I look at this picture I'm surprised by how happy we look. We are that happy, at least, but we're also shattered, particularly Andrea. The untold story, of course, is that I'm not allowed to stay overnight on the post-natal ward, so I've been trekking up the hill to Rich and Helen's house to get some dinner, check e-mail, and sleep undisturbed. (Rich and Helen have a six-week old son, but his crying in another room is nowhere near loud enough to bother me.) While I'm at Rich and Helen's, Andrea is alone with Janelle, which means she has to tend to her every time she wakes up while I'm able to sleep like . . . well, not exactly like a baby. Truth be told, it was kind of nice having them in the ward, but don't tell Andrea I said that.
Mmm hmmm. And you all thought Janelle was just cute. Here's a side of her she'd rather keep from the public, but she's only more than happy to unleash this on her loving, attentive parents. (Funnily enough, her cry isn't really all that off-putting. But she has this extra setting, which she doesn't engage very frequently and which transcends any earthly baby cry. When she does pop it into that higher setting, blood trickles down from my ears. Luckily, evolution has equipped my body with an instintual reaction to this super-cry, in which my arms automatically and involuntarily stretch outwards and hand Janelle to her mother. It's a survival mechanism.)
I don't know what it is about this picture, so I thought maybe you could provide your own caption for it. Is Janelle waiting to see how we'll respond to her recent crying? Is she challenging us, as if to say, 'What are you going to do about it, papa?' Is this just a glimpse of the contempt I can expect from her when she's fifteen? If you, equipped as you are with your psychic powers, have any idea what's going through her three-day-old head, please leave it in the comments area.
There we go . . . mama and baby wearing matching outfits and relaxing together on the bed. If these two ever join forces against me I won't stand a chance.
Here's a short series of pictures of Janelle in the arms of non-related but well-meaning admirers. This is Julie (of Greg and Julie Brown fame), a physio at the adjoining hospital who's come to visit Janelle during her lunch break. You won't be able to tell, but Julie is herself about twenty weeks pregnant. I tried to offer Janelle to her, but she was adamant that she wanted to have her own baby. Picky picky.
Julie with her husband Greg, who's a doctor at the same hospital where Julie works. Work has just ended for them so they've taken some of their precious time to come and admire my baby girl. She remains, however, singularly unimpressed.
Paul and Jen here are two of the coolest people I have the pleasure of knowing. Both of them are fairly laid back and easy going, and Janelle seems to have noticed and is doing her best to appear to be 'going with it'. Yea, man; I dig it.
Pawel (pronounced 'PA-vel') and his wife Agniezska (the chances of me having spelt that correctly are slim; my apologies) also came to visit. Pawel is a first-year PhD student in my department; he and his wife have come from Poland to pursue his degree. After less than three days, then, Janelle has already begun to attract international attention! I hope it doesn't go to her head.