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Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's official: I'm now fully trained, and legally allowed to touch children in a life-saving manner.

Trust me, I'm a doctor.
Spit your dummy out.I have to say, the course was very good. Admittedly I found it slightly disturbing to walk into a room and find the lifeless bodies of three babies and a child lying on the floor, but having established that they were only mannequins, and that Hove Methodist Church hadn't been the site of a major terrorist attack, I felt a lot better.

Of course, the moment Lisa and I arrived, there were immediately two more dummies in the room, but by the end of the afternoon we'd been transformed into paramedic powerhouses, primed to leap into action at the merest hint of a choking child. We went to Sainsburys afterwards, and I was actually hoping to see a baby fall out of a trolley, so that I could treat it for head injuries. Sadly it didn't happen.

But over the course of an afternoon, we learnt pretty much everything we need to know to enable our child to cling onto life until the age of 13. After which it's none of our business, and she can fend for herself.

There were four of us on the course, of which I was the only non-pregnant one. Lisa aside, the others were due to give birth in mid-September, so when it came to demonstrating the recovery position, I was the one forced to get down on the floor and play dead. The others could have got down there too, but they might not have got up again.

The best bit of the course was undoubtedly playing with the mannequins. We spent a good couple of hours trying to restart various people's hearts without breaking their ribs, and attempting to remove blockages from babies' throats by giving them showbiz backslaps. I even learnt the Heimlich Manoeuvre, so I'm going to feel a lot more confident in restaurants from now on.

Apparently if Lisa spills a cup of tea on the baby, we need to run the burn under the cold tap for ten minutes, before wrapping it in cling film. I'm not sure if that works with a burnt mouth, but the good news is we also know how to deal with both drowing and suffocation.

Anyhoo, it was all very good. In fact we were so impressed, we're considering booking ourselves on a four-week birth relaxation course run by the same person. It's quite expensive, but if it stops me fainting in the delivery room, it'll be money well spent.