Saturday 20 June 2009

Who did that?

14st 13½lb again (am I deluding myself here?), 6.7 units. Restored to something like equanimity by seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, I went into the hospital and found Mrs H in an altogether better mood, too. She looked well scrubbed and groomed (not in the paedophile sense) and was wearing jeans and a colourful top in place of her blood-spattered white dressing gown of yesterday. Later on, when we were going down to the neo-natal unit to see The Baby, a nurse ticked her off for showing up the rest of the patients and staff by looking so “glamorous”. I agreed wholeheartedly, and pointed out that that was how we came to be there in the first place.

Having found a way to comply with the neo-natal’s dress code without providing a gift to the robbing bastards so prevalent in the area, I spent some time watching the entertaining spectacle of Mrs H expressing milk, or to be accurate at this stage cholostrom, into two plastic bottles using a couple of truncated plastic cones attached to her breasts. I had witnessed this sort of thing before but only on dairy farms, and it struck me that it would make a splendid picture for inclusion in my blog. Sadly she took a diametrically opposed view.

It is proving exceedingly difficult to wake The Baby up to feed him (a phase which I suspect we will remember with fondness all too soon). Before the attempt due at 5 an attendant nurse tickled his tummy vigorously, and I followed her example, while Mrs H cooed and shook him before expressing a little of that stuff which is supposed to small as good to him as a big curry does to me after I have drunk five pints of beer. And it worked to the extent that he suckled for about 40 minutes, albeit proving to be very easily distracted, just like Mother; and was then “topped up” with 30ml of formula milk, which he lapped like a cat from a little cup.

I talked to the nurse while Mrs H was cleaning her expressing equipment, and asked when we might be able to take The Baby home, and she answered “Towards the end of next week.” She talked of how much the science and equipment have come on since the days of Mrs H’s parents, when she conceded that being sent to a special baby unit was pretty much a death sentence. I then gently pointed out that Mrs H’s father and I were pretty much the same age. Swiftly changing the subject, she moved onto the apparently safer topic of bathing the baby and said that much the best way was to get him into the bath with us. I tried to scotch this idea by pointing out that, at my age, there was a very high risk that one of us would wee in the water and it would be extremely hard to establish just who was to blame.

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