Subscribe: Subscribe to me on YouTube

Monday, October 06, 2008

She's four days old and getting happier by the minute...

You can't see the jaundice in black & white.
Anyone who says that babies can't smile in the first month is talking rubbish. She's more cheerful than I am.

Anyhoo, the good news is that Lisa's now producing more milk than Dairy Crest, and as of this morning she can sit down without two paracetamol and a flood of tears. Since Saturday we've had visits from a midwife, a student midwife, a maternity support worker, a grandma, a cousin, one uncle and an aunt. After seven visitors I feel we should have a lot more presents, but I don't like to complain. The maternity support worker did provide a cure for Lisa's constipation, which as a gift was worth its weight in gold.

As for Amelie, she continues to be perfect in every way. Even her nappies are a pleasure to change. There's a Chinese proverb which goes "There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it", but the funny thing is, we really do! No, seriously. I've done an independent survey of at least a dozen relatives, and they all think Amelie's the cutest baby they've seen. They can't all be wrong.

So everything's peachy in the Gardner family. Which gives me a chance to complain about something else. Namely the state of hospital food in Brown's Britain.

It looks like a map of Britain and Ireland.This was what the NHS provided for the main evening meal of a nursing mother who'd had nothing more than a slice of toast in twenty-four hours. The lump on the right is supposed to be pizza. When Lisa asked what flavour it was, they said "Cheese".

You're probably assuming that I took this photo after Lisa had eaten all the green vegetables and salad. Needless to say you'd be wrong. That's actually how it arrived. The NHS clearly haven't heard of 'five a day'. Or protein. Or fibre. I did taste it in an attempt to persuade Lisa to try some, but having seen the look on my face after the first mouthful, I think I was fighting a losing battle. Calling that pizza is like calling spam sirloin.

But still, lunch the next day was a lot better. If you like prepacked sandwiches on white bread with cheap processed meat. Lisa wasn't the only one who refused to try that meal. If the maternity ward wasn't situated five minutes walk from my kitchen, Lisa would have wasted away.

But if you think that's shocking, you should have been in the hospital lift with me on Friday afternoon. I was returning to see Lisa after lunch, when who should I bump into but a healthcare assistant who was on my NHS induction course in March. I swear on my life, this is the exact conversation which ensued:

Me: Hello there!

Her: Oh, where do I know you from?

Me: We were on the same induction course in March.

Her: Oh yes. How's it going?

Me: Fine. My fiancee's just had a baby, so I'm here visiting them.

Her: Oh, lovely. Is it yours?

Me: Um... yes.

Her: Even better. Congratulations.

At which point the lift doors opened and she left. I still haven't quite got over it.