I arrived at the hospital this morning to find a very tired wife and a son sleeping noisily in a cot besides her. Welcome to day 2 of a newborn baby.
Unfortunately B didn't get much rest today. The midwives are in and out measuring this and that, offering help to breastfeed the bub, the service staff are changing linen and supplying food. Little Alex, gurgles, farts and sometimes cries away, sometimes needing a nappy check and a feed.
Almost as soon as Alex was placed under the warming lamp, shortly after his birth and first feed, he opened his sticky eyes and looked at me. He knew the voices of his mum and dad, focussed his attention on us.
He (and sometimes we) finds the hospital room a little too cold and dark. When he was particularly unsettled today I took him out for a walk along the warmer and brighter corridors. Alex loved the natural light, opening his eyes, focusing as best he could on the light and movement. And our faces. That's pretty amazing for one so young. It's good to see that curiosity.
My Mum, one of my brothers and his daughter (my niece) came in for a visit in the afternoon. Then one of B's cousins straight afterwards. We had just settled Alex for 15 minutes when along came B's mum and friend. Naturally everyone wanted to hold Alex the whole time. He napped, then was alert, then napped, was alert, and so on.
Each one of these people (with the exception of the niece who is less than 2 years old!) is a parent. I guess that because it's not their baby, that they forget that other people's babies need some time to sleep without disturbance. It's all very well for them to cuddle bub and go home, but then we were left with a baby who wouldn't settle into his cot and sleep without being picked up and cuddled. And then I had to go home, leaving poor, sleepy B to manage by herself.
I'm sure that, right now, she would swap positions with me to look after Alex and she could sit here on the sofa with our dog Kita lying silently and calmly besides her. Can't forget that he needs some loving too!
For all the troubles, the love and warmth shown by everyone is wonderfully overwhelming and very welcome. Tomorrow is a new day and I can't wait to see B and Bub again.
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