It’s been 5 months and I haven’t used a tramping metaphor, because I never thought about it. Today when I lost some composure, Oliver’s fantastic Dad explained it in a way that makes perfect sense.
So here we go.
You started walking at 0700 in the morning, it’s 1730 now and you’ve got sore feet, a sore back, sore shoulders, your pack is heavy, your thirsty, hungry, tired and all you want is to sit down.
But you’re not at the hut yet.
There have been so many of these days, I’m over it, I don’t want to walk anymore, why haven’t we reached the hut yet?
We are almost there, we know the hut can’t be that far away, we’ve walked all day, it must be close, but we’re just not sure exactly when we will stumble upon it.
And just when you think it won’t ever arrive, you see the glimmer of the roof against the setting sun, and the path suddenly becomes slightly more formed. You walk over that last hill, or around that final bend and there it is, dry, warm (ish) and waiting for you; a place to sit, to sleep, to have a cup of tea and some instant mashed potatoes (seriously, it’s such good stuff!). The relief is palpable, your feet suddenly say ‘that’s it, I give up!’ Sitting on that wooden porch undoing your laces, it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s the time that you can stop and look, see the mountains, the snow, trees and sky.
All of those steps, those hours of walking are worth it in that moment, away from the world, breathing the crisp air, and knowing that you can just soak this up until morning, there are hours and hours until you have to walk again.
This is the point that we are at now.
We are so close to the end but we don’t quite know how far away it is. It’s the part of this journey that is slow, and hard, and seems never ending, although each little step is slightly closer to the end, the hut, home.
And just like tramping it’s the part of the climb that I always spend a lot of time crying in, it’s gruelling and each step that you take feels like it’s not getting you anywhere.
We developed a big feeding plan this week because both Oliver and his mum were falling apart, hungry and tired and frustrated. We are breastfeeding during the day and alternating bottles and tube feeding overnight, not that he’s overly keen on the bottles. We are adding something called calogen, which is basically just like adding cream to your porridge, in the hope that the extra calories will help him sleep better and therefore feed better. We are also attempting to increase the volume that his stomach can handle, as he’s been so slow to feed his stomach has never had to hold a full feed.
Will we fully breastfeed? Not for a long time. Will the calogen help? Who can say. Will we get rid of this damn nasogastric tube before we go home? Perhaps not.
But we will reach the hut. We will make it home. It may not be October, but it may be. It’s the last push to the hut, we want to stop, give up, but it must be just around the corner, so we keep putting one foot in front of the other. The next feed will be better.
Today we had our 5 month immunisations, so we cuddle. Fully immunised before we breathe the fresh air outside.
5 months old today. 20 weeks. 44/40. 3696g.
One month old.