So what did I get my wife?
First of all, keeping with the theme of our paper anniversary, I started leaving her love notes, hidden around the house, staring from 5 days to the anniversary. I left them in places where I knew she'd find them in the course of the day, it was actually quite fun !!
And on the day itself, her gifts were:
1. Gift Vouchers for Clarks. She wanted a pair of shoes, I wanted to give her something made out of paper. This way, we both won !!
2. A Message in a bottle:
with a personalised love poem inside. The day I got it, I took out the cork with my teeth, and had sand in my mouth all day !!
3. A handwritten love letter. It's about 10-12 pages long (I think)
And that's it !! I hope she likes them !!
It's my birthday tomorrow as well, she's buying me a camera for that, I can't wait to take cute baby pics !!
Â That's all you seemed to do for your first few weeks on this earth. You almost drove me and your poor mother mad !! (Her more than me, as she had to feed you when you were hungry). But recently, we've noticed that you're changing, and changing pretty fast.
From about when you were two weeks old, you started lifting up your head when we laid you on your stomach. Now, you can hold your head up (it makes the crying louder). And you've become so mobile. You don't like lying on your back, you always seem to turn and lie on your side when you're sleeping. And when you're awake, we have to be really careful, because you roll around, sometimes a bit suddenly, and in short jerky movements. We can't leave you on the bed anymore, because you almost rolled yourself to the floor once. You are certainly an active baby !! You were active in your mum's womb (and almost got yourself into a lot of trouble for that), and you're continuing to do that. Mmmm....could we have a female athlete on our hands ? I've checked your fingers, and you qualify !!
Two nights ago, you slept in your cot, and only woke upÂ once for a feed !! (5am). Your mum gotÂ some much needed sleep !! WeÂ were both very happy, and thought it was the start of you sleeping through the night. However, last night, you woke up quite a few times. But take your time, don't rush it.Â I've been sleeping in the guest room, as your mum likes to have you nearby when you want to feed, and there isn't enough space on that bed for 3 of us.Â I miss my bed, and I miss my wife, but I love youÂ both so much, I'm willing to sacrifice until you start sleeping through the night.Â And I have a feeling it will be soon !!
Also, you no longer cry all the time when you're awake. Now, you're always looking around, studying everything around you. It's an exciting phase to see you darting your big eyes all over the room, staring at everything, taking in your environment. And it sure beats crying !! You've managed to give us a few half smiles, but your mum and I are waiting patiently for the first time you smile. It will make my heart melt.
And on Saturday, you'll be one month old !! Wow, how time flies !! Before you know it, you'll be dating, and we'll start having sleepless nights again !
In March this year, at the Oscar awards, one of the winners, Reese Witherspoon (I wonder what she'll be doing by the time you're old enough to read this!), in her acceptance speech, said:
".......I am so blessed to have my family here tonight. My mother and my father are here. And I just want to say thank you so much for everything, for being so proud of me. It didn't matter if I was making my bed or making a movie. They never hesitated to say how proud they were of me. And that means so very much to a child. So thank you, Mom and Dad......"
And when I heard that, your mum was about 2 months pregnant with you. It was just dawning on us that we would be parents. And I told myself, that's the kind of dad I want to be. That's how I want my child to feel about me.
So whether you become a world champion tennis player, a professor of mathematics, a future secretary general of the UN or a hairdresser, I want you to know that your mum and dad will always be proud of you. And that no matter what happens, we will love you unconditionally. You will always have a place in our hearts.
Lots of love,
A fellow computer programmer for a consulting group had designed some software for one of our largest accounts. He asked my help in putting it into operation.
At first, he handled most of the work. Eventually, though, he asked me to help with the last phase of the training.
When I sat down with one woman and told her I would be showing her how to make changes to the files, she sighed with relief. "I'm so glad you're teaching me instead of him."
Surprised, I said that my colleague was far more experienced than I was.
"Yes," she said, "but I feel much more comfortable with you. I get nervous around really smart people."
by the fabulous culturalmiscellany:
Four jobs you've had in your life
- Systems Engineer, Nigerian American Merchant Bank
- Customer Service Engineer, Manifold Computers, Lagos
- Slave aka Shelf stacker/till , Bargain Booze, Liverpool
- IT Trainer, Certschool
Four jobs you wish you had
- Bestselling author
- Professor of Nuclear Engineeing
Four Movie you can watch over and over again
- Cool Runnings (the best movie in the world!)
- Moulin Rouge
- Blues Brothers 2000 (Funny thing, I've never seen the original one!)
- The Lion King
Four cities you've lived in
- Lagos, Nigeria (Surulere born and raised !!)
- Ile-Ife, Nigeria
- Liverpool, UK
- London, UK
Four TV shows you love to watch
- CSI New York
- CSI Miami
Four places you've been on vacation/travelled to
- Liverpool, UK (Before I lived there of course!)
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Lille, France
- Madrid, Spain
Four websites you visit daily
- http://www.google.co.uk (Home page!)
Four of your favourite foods
- Beans and plantain
- Pounded Yam and Egusi
Four things you won't eat
- Black Pudding (HELL NO)
- Anything with Coffee in it (just like Katherine !)
- Sushi (Cook it, cook it, cook it!!!)
Four things you wish you could eat right now
- Suya (Original, from beef)
- Chicken Suya
- Turkey Suya
- Bread and.....(you guessed it!) Suya
Four things in your bedroom
- My wife
- Walk-in wardrobe
- Wall-mounted 26 inch flat screen TV (Dell)
Four things you wish you had in your bedroom
- Wall-mounted 37 inch flat screen TV (Dell)
- Xbox 360
- New PC
Four things I'm wearing right now
- Track bottoms
- My 3 week old daughter, she's lying on my chest fast asleep
- Slippers (flip flops)
One place I'd rather be right now
One fictional place I'd rather be right now
- My personal island paradise in the Carribean
Four people you'd really love to have dinner with
- Stevie Gerrard
- Nelson Mandela
- Mohammed Ali
- Martin Luther King
Four things I'm thinking right now
- Baby O has done a number 2
- I need to take this girl to her mother, she's crying and might be hungry
- I really need to go to bed
- Planning a scheme for giving my wife her anniversary present
Four of your favourite things/people
- My wife
- My daughter
- The frdge
- My George Foreman Grill
Four People I tag
And that's alll folks !!
Still, it's a wonderful thing, and it's been a tremendous journey, if I had to do it all over again, I'd still choose my wife. She's simply the best thing that has ever happened to me, no contest (although my daughter is a very close second!).
Anyway, I've been racking my brains on what to buy as a gift. Traditionally, the first anniversary is known as the paper anniversary, so I really wanted to find something that was paper themed or made out of paper. Something that would show how much she means to me. I had so many options:
- Concert Tickets - at one point I reserved front row seats for a Take6 concert in London
- Framed Share certificate for Mothercare or Tiffany's
- Newspaper from the day she was born or our wedding day
- Framed photo of both of us
- Artwork: Drawing of the church we got married, or historic map of Nigeria.
And so many more came to my mind.
Also, I could have gone with the contemporary route, then the gift would have been clock based:
- Week in Milan to see her sister
- Personalized Clock
I've been racking my brains for the last 3 weeks trying to decide what the best gift was. It didn't help when my wife hinted very strongly that she'd like a pair of shoes. Anyway, I've finally got 2 gifts, one is made out of paper, and the other is probably better described as a paper-BASED gift. I really hope she likes them, as she's really gone all out for my gifts !! I'm thinking of adding one more gift, but I'm not sure if I'll have time to ' prepare it'. We'll see.
On Sunday, I'll let ya'll know what the gifts are (don't worry, it's none of the ones listed above!).
This release follows MTV's Darfur is dying, a game which I have played a few times. In this game, you choose a character to try and get water, while hiding from the patrols. The first thing you learn is that you can't pick a 30 year old man to go and look for water, as he will most likely be killed by militia. When you get caught by the militia, it tells you what would happen in real life, i.e. women getting raped and abused, and the outcome for boys, girls. After this game was released, there were tens of thousands of people who wrote to politicians urging action on Darfur. It attempts to be a little hard-hitting, but it gets a message across, innocent people are dying in Sudan.
I'm not sure if the games get the necessary message across, as I am of the opinion that games will trivialise the conflicts involved. But I'm a news conscious person, with an interest in politics and none of these stories are news to me, however, the games are targeted at people who either have never heard about the conflicts or do not know the full extent of what is going on. And it would appear that Darfur is dying got the required respone, but then it was backed by the might of MTV (music channel), and it was free.
It remains to see if Global Conflict: Palestine will be free, and will haveÂ the desired impact, but I think that all in all, it's not a bad idea.
Anyway the baby pics are here.
My favourite pic is this one, of my daughter and my niece.
The rest of the photo album is here. The new software can also do videos, although I think I'm going to start using YouTube for that, as I'm running out of space on the server. Anyway, let's see if we can embed a video into here, this is a video of the baby's first car journey, leaving the hospital.
[avi width="320" height="240"]http://www.bunmi.co.uk/photos/albums/Uploads/Omolara%20Week%202/Going_Home.AVI[/avi]
*It seems the video only seems to work in Internet Explorer, and you need a DivX Plugin to see it*Â
I took my mum to the airport this morning, and on my way out, my car window just collapsed into the door. I was hoping it wouldn't cost a fortune to repair, but apparently, it's going to cost Â£380 !! That kind of money was not in my budget, and I don't know when I'll be able to pay that off. To make matters worse, since it happened on a Friday, they can't order the parts till Monday, so I'm stuck all weekend without a car, which means no shopping for the Boso household. Not that we can afford to go shopping anyway.......
I will be posting baby pics tomorrow (hopefully). My online photo album went kaput when I upgraded the software, and so did my guestbook, so I'm having to rebuild both of them from scratch. I've been doing that since Monday, and they should both be ready by the end of the weekend.
A naming ceremony is traditionally held on the baby's 8th day of life (Exactly one week after the child is born). The Yoruba take names seriously, for names have meaning and are believed to live out their meaning. Thus serious effort is put into naming a new baby. Also, the baby's name is not traditionally chosen before the child is born, but is based on a significant event or circumstance at the time of their birth.
As they say, ile ni a n wo, ki a to so omo l'oruko. That is, we have to pay attention to the tradition and history of the family before we give names to a child.
Anyway, before I ramble on for too long, here were the names that were chosen for Baby O yesterday, and their meanings.
- Omolara - "This child is family" or "This child is ours"
- Olufunke - "God's gift for me to nurture/pet" or "God has given me to care for"
- Olatunde - "Wealth has come to me again"
- Harmony - English name, translates to "Irepo" in Yoruba
- Temitope - "I have a reason to give thanks"
- Ololade - "The wealthy one has come"
- Abimbola - "Born into wealth"
- Foyinsola - "Add honey to wealth"
- Yewande - "My mother has returned"
- Joy - English name, translates to "Ayo" in Yoruba
- Arinola - "Right in the midst of wealth"
- Adeoti -"Unblemished crown"
- Adiaha Ete - Efik name means "First daughter"
- Makamba - Efik name means "My old mother is with me again"
- Blessing - English name, translates to "Ibukun" in Yoruba
Significance of some of these names
Olufunke - was my wife's mum's name. She passed away in 2002.
Olatunde - was my grandmother's name. She passed away in June this year. Yewande is a name given when an elderly woman in the family passed away shortly before a baby was born. (In this case, my grandma)
Abimbola - is my wife's name. It's also my mother's name !!
Adiaha Ete and Makamba were given by an aunt of mine who lived in Calabar for years. She speaks Efik, and has given all of us Efik names. Mine is Etekamba. I'm not sure if the meanings (or even the spellings!) are correct, so I'm hoping someone out there can help me out with them.
The actual ceremony
I was going to do this as a separate post, but I've decided to combine everything into one post.
During the naming ceremony, the family and the community welcome a new child and accept joint responsibility for raising it. As part of the ceremony, items used in everyday life are presented to the child as symbolic gifts. The basic items are water, salt, honey, sugar, Alligator Pepper, kola nut, bitter kola,wine, dried catfish, and palm oil. The pen and a book, especially the Bible or the Koran, are fairly recent additions to the ceremony.
Traditionally, each of the items used in the ceremony is rubbed on the child's lips. Today, for health reasons, the mother and father of the child tastes the food items instead of the infant.
Water (Omi) - Water has no enemies, because everything in life needs water to survive. It is everlasting. You cannot hold it in your hands, it will escape.
The child will never be thirsty in life, and like water, no enemies will slow her growth.
Palm Oil (Epo) - Palm oil is used to prevent rust, to lubricate and to massage and soothe the body.
The child will have a smooth and easy life.
Bitter Kola (Orogbo) - Unlike most other kolas, bitter kola lasts a very long time, and does not drop until it is fully ripe.
The child will have a very long life.
Kola nut (Obi) - Kola nut is chewed, and then spit out.
The child will repel all the evil in life.
Honey (Oyin) and Sugar - is used as a sweetener for food.
The child's life will be sweet and happy.
Alligator Pepper (Ata) - has many seeds within its fruit.
The child will have a fruitful life with lots of children.
Salt (Iyo) - Salt adds flavour to food.
The child's life will not be ordinary, but will be filled with flavour, happiness and substance.
Other items which are traditionally used (but which we didn't use yesterday), are :
Fish (Eja) - The fish uses its head to find its way in water, no matter how rough the water is.
The child will find its way in life and never drown, even through rough times.
The Pen - The pen is very important today, because it can be used for both good and evil.
The child will not use the pen for evil and no one will use it for evil against him/her.
The book (Iwe) - The book (bible or Quran) contains the word of God.
The child will be 'God smart' and 'Book Smart'. And may God follow him/her, and he/she follows in God's path.
"She's my little girl,
And that's ok,
She cries all night
And she sleeps all day"
The Nappy hours have begun. My wife is sleeping now, the little girl having taken every single ounce of energy she has. So I'm on duty, I just fed Baby O now, and she's sleeping. I should really try and get some sleep now, before she wakes up !!
For some reason, she doesn't like her cot. We've got a carrier from the buggy which is flat, and we're using it like a Moses' basket, even though it has straps and stuff in it. She sleeps ok in that, and when she's lying on my chest, she sleeps as well (Bless her). But put her in her cot, and she's awake in less than 10 minutes. And soon, the crying will start. We haven't figured out why she doesn't like the cot, but one thing is for sure, she doesn't like it. We don't know what to do, my wife had to sleep in the living room last night !! It's only been 3 days though, maybe she'll get used to it eventually.
Anyway, all is well. We're having a traditional naming ceremony on Saturday, although it's family and close friends only. Hopefully, I'll post some pics of that. My sister in law wrecked my camera, so I've been using my mobile phone and camcorder to take pictures, but very few of them have been to my satisfaction. But hopefully, I'll find a decent camera on Saturday.
*Warning, very long post*
I've left my beautiful girls at the hospital. I felt like I was tearing a part of my heart away, leaving them behind. But I'm so grateful to God, because it could have been so different. It's been a rollercoaster of emotions, to say the least.
It all began at 7pm, when we left for the hospital. Before that, my wife had dutifully gotten the cot ready for Baby O.
Suitcase all packed, and we were ready to go !! We prayed together, and off we went.
The plan was simple, I was to drop her in the induction ward, and go home by 9pm. When she goes into labour, I would get a phone call and meet her in the labour ward. But as with most things in life, it didn't go according to plan.
Mrs Boso was hooked up to a monitor which was checking the baby's heartbeat.
It was only meant to be on her for about 15 minutes, but they noticed some 'dips' in the graph for the baby's heartbeat, and left it on for an hour.
I hate hospitals. My mum is a doctor, so I grew up around hospitals, and when she started her own clinic, I was there a lot. I find that hospitals are a place of despair, where you see so many worried or sad faces. I can't stand it. I can't stand needles. I can't stand blood. I can't stand any of it, nurses, doctors, the very sight of them causes my blood to boil. (No offence to any doctor reading this).
So when I saw the doctors, nurses and midwives 'huddle' and talk about the chart, I had a feeling something was wrong. I tried to pry information from the doctor, but she gave nothing away, all she told me was 'We're just taking every precaution'.
My wife was feeling sleepy, but I was determined not to leave until they removed the monitor. However, she wanted to sleep, so I left at about 10pm. I got home, did the dishes, and was about to take off my shoes when my phone rang.
The midwife said that they were concerned about the baby's heartbeat, and that they had moved my wife to the labour ward, and they needed me to be with her as she was worried, and 'needed to see a familiar face'. I could see through all the sugar coating, and demanded to know what had happened. Bless her, she did her very best not to panic me, and asked me to 'drive carefully and not have an accident on the way'.
I grabbed my car keys, and ran out of the house. Jumped in the car, and it took all of my will power not to drive like a maniac. There was an accident on the route, so I had to take another way, which just added to my worry. I eventually got there, and made my way to the labour ward.
What had happened in my absence is that the baby's heartbeat had dropped drastically, and set off an alarm. Before my poor wife could figure out what was going on, she was whisked off to the labour ward, and they explained to her that the baby was in distress and they needed to do an emergency Caesarean section. By the time I got there, they updated me, and I was told to quickly change into my 'scrubs'.
My wife was worried, so worried. I didn't know what to say to her. I held her hand, and we said a quick prayer. It was short, but I've never prayed a more heartfelt prayer in my life. We were whisked into the theatre. The midwife and nurse did their best to tell us not to worry, that it was probably nothing, and that everything would be alright.
Looking at everyone in the theatre, I noticed that there was a sense of urgency. They were all working like every second counted. It was so scary. I focused on making sure my wife didn't panic, but it was SO HARD. The pediatrician was already waiting there before we got there, ready to examine the baby as soon as she was born.
The procedure started. It was nerve racking, but thankfully, it was also quick. At 11.24pm, Baby O made her way into this world. It took a few minutes, but she soon started to cry. Then I heard one of the the doctors say 'there's a true knot in the umbilical cord'. And then the doctor told me that was most likely caused the baby to be in distress.
She was handed over to the pediatrician, and the midwife asked me to come and see her. She looked so tiny, as they gave her oxygen, and the pediatrician checked her out. I caught a few glimpses of the doctors sewing up my wife back up, it was so gory !! But anyway, back to Baby O.
She was so gorgeous !! She had one eye open, and was looking like she was in shock. The pediatrician confirmed that everything was fine, and that it was probably the umbilical cord that caused the distress, they would watch her for a few days, but she was fine. We took the baby over to see her mother, who was under anaesthetic, but managed to say hello to her daughter.
After the operation, we were taken back to the labour ward, where I was allowed to hold my angel for the first time. It was such a wonderful feeling !! I sang to my little girl, I held her, I rocked her, and looked into her beady eyes. When I put her down, she cried a little, so I picked her up again. It was love at first sight.
I finally left the hospital at 2am. I was so tired, as I was awake since 5am the morning before, but I couldn't sleep. I did a quick 'google' on the Internet, and found out what a close call we'd had. Apparently, a 'true knot' in the umbilical cord is one of the most common causes of a stillbirth. Already today, I've spoken to someone who knows a baby that died that way. I got on my knees and thanked God for his many mercies.
Today was routine, I spent most of the day running around, buying stuff for my wife, and helping her in the hospital. I couldn't get enough of my little princess. I held her at every opportunity, she even threw up on me !! But she's doing very well.
Mrs. Boso is recovering well, and if all goes well, she'll be home on Tuesday or Wednesday. I've had LOADS of texts, phone calls and emails from friends congratulating me. Thank you all so very much.
Anyway, I'm home now. I'm going to have to work very hard at the housework, and helping with the baby till I go back to work on the 16th. But I'm so grateful. When I got back today, and I saw the baby seat, I almost burst into tears.
It could have been so, so different.